History of Soap

Soap is as old as the hills and was first documented as being made by the Sumerians in 3000BC when cleaning hides of the animal fat over fire. Up until that time Sumerians used water and ashes to cleanse themselves. When some melted animal fat mixed with ash the resultant slurry was realised to clean dirt and grime better than water and ash alone and so the beginnings of soap making was born. Specific directions for making different kinds of soap have been found on cuneiform tablets of the time.


Modern day soap reflects centuries of tradition and craftsmanship. There are several forms of soap making and although the traditional Cold Process soap making method takes time to produce gentle mild soap, it is regarded as the superior method by natural soap makers. Once made, this soap need to cure for a minimum of four weeks to complete the process before it is offered for sale. So you see, you just can't hurry a good thing.


Other methods exist as do commercial methods. Commercial soap is often made by boiling animal fats, oils and synthetics with a caustic solution until saponification takes place. Once hard, this type of soap then milled very finely, often several times, before any additives, foaming agents, fillers, synthetic fragrances and colours are combined into the mixture. It is then compacted by machine and extruded into the desired shape.


As soap saponifies, natural moisturising glycerine is produced. Commercial soap makers often separate this out and syphon it off for other cosmetic or industrial uses with the result that commercial soap is often drying. Sometimes companies add some glycerine back into the formula and then advertise and market it as having added glycerine. Natural Soap By Design retains this natural glycerine as a normal part of the cold process soap making method ensuring a superior moisturising and gentle soap.