Soap has been made for at least the last 2000 years in some form or another.
Soap was used and possibly invented in 2800 BC by ancient Babylonians, and later by the ancient Egyptians, who used animal and vegetable oils.
‘Soap’ is derived from the Latin word ‘sapo’, which is the name of a fictitious mountain in the area of Rome which is said to be associated with soap.
Industrial soap production occurred in the 1450s to 1500s,
in France and as early as the 1200s the process was industrialised in the Middle East.
Liquid soap started being produced in the 1800s, and was patented in 1865 by William Shepphard, the use of which became more practical than typical bars.
Soap cleans by causing things that are insoluble, like small bacteria, chemicals, dirt or the like, to become soluble, and wash away with water.
1.4 million deaths can be prevented each year by handwashing with soap.
The World Bank has estimated that hygiene is the most cost-effective health intervention available.
Children under 5 who wash with soap can reduce their risk of pneumonia by 46%.
Handwashing by birth attendants before delivery reduces mortality rates by 19%.
Handwashing with soap can reduce diarrhea morbidity by 44%.
10 billion pounds of soap are produced each year.