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The History of Soap

Posted by on February 28th, 2012

Look around your home, how many different kinds of soap do you have? In my bathroom alone I have pretty decorative soaps, hand soaps, three different kinds of body soap and multiple shampoos. Where did it all come from?

The earliest soap recipe that we know of dates all the way back to 2200 BC Babylonia, and is written on a clay tablet. Soap first came to Europe in the 13th century, and continued to be refined into better and better soaps through science. By the seventh century, soap making was considered a craft in Europe, and at the same time the American colonies began making soap commercially.

The original soaps were made with animal fats, and were very harsh on the skin. Detergents, which are synthetic non-soap cleaners, were developed during World War I. Since the earliest history of soap making, humans have been inventing new, easier, more environmentally friendly methods of making soaps.

Thanks to the long history and inventiveness of scientists and soap makers, today we have multiple soaps, detergents and various cleaners in our home to keep us healthy and smelling beautifully.

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