Formed by the neutralization reaction between an acid and a base, soap is actually a salt that has been around only in the last two centuries
“The wealthiest and most enlightened nations would be the ones consuming the greatest quantities of soap”, according to nineteenth century German chemist Justus von Liebig’s standards for civility.
The origins of soap are surrounded by mystery. Roman legends say that soap was discovered around 1000 b.c. on Sapo Hill, a place where animal sacrifices took place. The melted animal fat and wood ashes mixed into the clay soil of the Tiber River. The women washing at the river found that the soapy ooze somehow made clothes cleaner.
Nevertheless, soap-like item were discovered in Mesopotamia, that predate the Roman discovery by almost two thousand years.
Also, Germans and Gauls are considered to be the originators of soap, but the main purpose of it was not for cleansing but as a wound medication.
Arabs were the first ones to produce hard bars of soap, as soap making became an important Muslim industry after the discovery, at that times.
Archaeologists also found a soap-making factory in the ruins of Pompeii.
In the twelfth century, the first centers of soap rose in Marseilles, Genoa and Venice. Back in the 1800s in America, soap-making was a yearly household chore performed before the spring clean. In Europe, soap was a very expensive and luxuriant commercial item until the 1850s.
The nineteenth century allowed substantial advances in soap production technology for an industrial scale. The use of soap has become an indispensable widespread habit in the twentieth century.