History of soap
The history of soap making dates back to 2800 years BC. The clay cylinders discovered in ancient Babylon contained a soap-like substance that covered their inner walls.
The writings on these cylinders indicated that soap was obtained by boiling ashes and fats. The Greek physician Galen mentions it as a medicine and a means to cleanse the body.
In the writings attributed to Jabarban Hayan, product differentiation of bathing soaps is mentioned many times as a cleaning agent.
Ashes and animal fats were probably used to make early herbal soap. Ashes of wood or plants contain potassium carbonate, which is poured into water and boiled with fat. Animal fats contain a percentage of free fatty acids that help this process.
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How does soap work in cleaning?
Soaps are detergents that, when dissolved in water, have the ability to remove dirt from surfaces such as human skin, textiles, and other surfaces.
The seemingly simple process of cleaning a dirty surface is actually complicated. Soap molecules are the result of a hydrocarbon chain that has a sodium or potassium atom at the end.
The hydrocarbon end of the chain is hydrophobic, meaning it repels water, and the sodium or potassium end of the chain is hydrophilic, meaning it attracts water.
This unique structure forms the cleaning power of the soap. When we wash our hands with soap, the hydrophobic ends of the soap molecules absorb the oily dirt and the hydrophilic ends stick out. The hydrophilic ends of the soap molecules allow suspended oil droplets to be washed away.
Why do we need soap?
The benefits of washing hands with soap are countless. This significantly reduces the risk of diarrhea, typhoid, respiratory diseases and many waterborne and infectious diseases.
It is estimated that hand washing with soap can prevent 30% of cases of diarrhea. Because hand washing reduces diseases and their long-term complications, that is the reason for the importance of using soap.
All kinds of soap
There are different types of soaps that are used for many purposes. The types of soaps differ from each other based on the type of application, form of production and performance.