HISTORY OF SOAP

Legend has it that soap came about by some women who were washing clothes at the bottom of Mount Sapo in the river Tiber. They noticed that it was easier to wash the clothes and the clothes came up cleaner in certain areas of the river. It is believed that at the top of the Mount Sapo animals were being sacrificed and burnt. The ashes and grease from the animals and fire mixed with the rain and produced a soap which washed down stream to River Tiber. As the women washed their clothes against the stones, the action caused a foamy reaction and made washing much much easier.

 

The Babylonians were recorded to be making soap as early as 2800 B.C. and the Phoenicians around 600 B.C. These early soaps were used for the cleaning of wool, cotton and textiles rather the cleaning of humans.

 

The roman historian Pliny gives an account of soaps being produced from goats tallow (Goats Fat) and wood ashes and mentions the use of salt to create a hard soap.

 

In the 8th century Spain and Italy began producing soaps. France began around the 13th century and England in the 14th century. 

Spanish and Italian soaps were of much higher quality as they were made from olive oil. France and Britain made their mainly from animal fats known as ‘Tallow” which produces a poorer quality soap.

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