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Who invented soap?

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Have you ever wondered who invented soap? Or who named it as soap? Were they even thinking what they were inventing or was it just happened randomly? 

According to a Roman legend, an ancient site Mount Sapo where animal sacrifices were done. After an animal sacrifice, they would burn the remaining and rain would wash animal fat and ash that were collected under the ceremonial altars, down to the banks of the Tiber River. Women washing clothes in the river noticed that if they washed their clothes in certain parts of the river after a heavy rain their clothes were much cleaner. This is the legendary story of first use of soap.

Soap gets its name from Mount Sapo and the Latin word sapo simply means "soap”.        

According to real history, soaps have been used since BC2800 by Sumerians. The Inscriptions on the ancients Sumerian cylinders show the records of soap making process by mixing by fats and ashes was started around BC 2800. Since then, fat and vegetable oils were used and mixed with alkaline salts or ashes by Sumerians, Ancient Greek and the Romans to make soap.

Use of soap in history is also very interesting.

Sumerians used soap for textile to wash wool and cloth.

Egyptians used to cure sores and skin problems and also washing.

Ancient Greeks did not use soap for wash purpose, they used to wash and clean their body with sand, clay or ashes, and they used olive oil to moisturize their body.

The Romans cleaned their bodies by rubbing sand or etc but somehow later on soap became so popular.

Arabic chemists produced soap with vegetable oil for the first time such as olive oil and other essential oils and they made perfumed soaps, liquid soaps around 7th century.

Before 11th century, Turks used different methods for cleaning and washing like ashes, soda, different types of vegetables that have saponin which is various steroid glycosides found in plant tissues that dissolve in water to give a soapy froth.

Ottoman Empire is also known by soap producing in many kinds.

Some people were bathing with soap even during the middle ages. For example, the Crusaders developed a taste for soap and brought the recipe to make Aleppo soap from olive oil back to Europe from the Middle East; as a result, soap making flourished in Spain during the 11th and 12th centuries, where Spanish Muslims made castile soap.

Likewise, soap made from wood ash was produced in some of the larger towns in England during the 13th century.

During the same period, the French started using olive oil to produce soap.

The increase in commercial soap making started after two discoveries by French chemists Nicholas Leblanc and Michael Chevreul around the turn of the 19th century. In 1791, Leblanc patented a method of making sodium carbonate or soda ash from commonly available salt. In 1811, Chevreul discovered the relationship and chemical nature of fatty acids, glycerin, and fats.

Another well known soaping center was The Castille region of Spain, responsible for making the first, hard, white bars of olive oil soap. Castille soap is still known today like soaps made with all, or mostly all, olive oil.

Today, Turkey and Greek are also famous for olive oil soaps that are grown in olive gardens at Mediterranean coast.

It apparently seems like Sumerians invented soap for the first time based on the historical records that were found, but we don't know how and when exactly soap was invented.

We know one thing for sure that we owe a big thank you whoever did that.  



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