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Learn about when soap was made, who made it, how we use it, how it changed society, the different kinds of soap, and other facts about soap by reading the facts below.

We hope that you find these soap facts interesting and that they help you learn more about this cleaning product.

Soap Facts 1-11

1. At an average of 22 square feet, the skin is the largest organ in the body.

Over 60% of what you put on your skin gets into your bloodstream.

This means that your skin can easily take in the chemicals in commercial soap.

2. “Fragrance,” which is listed as an ingredient in most commercial soaps, could contain several chemicals that are not listed.

The FDA doesn’t require companies to list what’s in a fragrance because the chemicals that make it are “trade secrets.”

3. Soaps sold in stores usually have sulfates like SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) and SLES (sodium laureth sulfate).

Sulfates can irritate skin that is already sensitive or has eczema, and they can also take away the skin’s natural oils.

4. Because it can make things blend together, soap is a great way to clean.

An emulsifier can mix two liquids that don’t mix well with each other. This means that oil, which attracts dirt, doesn’t naturally mix with water.

However, soap can suspend oil and dirt so that they can be washed away.

5. The Babylonians were the first people to learn how to make soap.

In the past, these people used a mixture of ashes and water to clean the grease off of wool and cloth. 

6. The biggest soap sculpture is 2.19 m by 2.07 m by 2.68 m and was made by Protex Soap (South Africa) on October 5, 2010, in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The piece of art looks like two hands holding a globe.

7. Jinan Rujia Co., Ltd. (China) made the largest bar of soap on December 11, 2015, in Jinan, Shandong, China.

It weighs 14.45 tonnes. The soap took more than 3 months to make, and after the first try to sell it, it was cut into smaller pieces.

8. Archaeologists found this soap-like substance in clay cylinders.

People in the past started to figure out that the ashes and grease made the mixture work well as a cleaner because they were mixed together.

The words “fats boiled with ashes” were written on the clay cylinders. This is the oldest known recipe for soap.

9. Soap just washes away dirt; contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t kill dirt or germs.

A few anti-bacterial soaps could indeed kill bacteria, but it doesn’t really kill viruses.

10. In Qatar, a fancy bar of soap could cost you as much as $2,000! It is made by a family-run business in Qatar.

It is known as the most expensive soap in the world. Each bar of soap is made with diamond and gold powder, which is why they are so expensive.

11. In the past, soaps were used to clean clothes and treat animal hides.

Soap Facts 12-22

12. Soapwort is a plant that gets its name from the saponin in its leaves and roots. This saponin makes a rich lather and is often used to wash.

13. Soap has been around for at least 4,800 years. The ancient Egyptians used something similar to what we call soap today.

14. Alkali and animal fat are used to make soap (tallow). Soap is good for the environment and breaks down naturally because it comes from plants.

15. The word “soap” comes from an ancient Roman legend about a made-up mountain called Mount Sapo.

16. In the 1800s, Italy, Spain, and France were the most important places in the world for making soap.

17. Soap can be in the form of a liquid or a solid.

18. Soap that comes in a liquid form is called liquid soap or foam soap.

19. You can wash your hands, face, body, and hair with soap and use it to clean surfaces.

20. Dish soap is a soap that is used to clean dirty dishes, glasses, and both eating and cooking tools.

21. Antibacterial soap is a soap that can kill bacteria.

22. Novelty soaps are made for kids and look like real things, like a duck or a cow, in terms of shape and color.

Soap Facts 23-33

23. Hand soap is a soap that you use to wash your hands.

24. Washing your hands with soap and water is good for your health and stops pathogens from spreading.

25. The World Health Organization says that you should wash your hands before and after caring for someone who is sick, making food, eating, going to the bathroom, taking out the trash, and dealing with animal waste.

26. The World Health Organization says that you should wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.

27. Using soap and water to wash your face will get rid of dirt, sweat, oil, dead skin cells, and germs.

28. Some over-the-counter and prescription face soaps, like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and sodium sulfacetamide, have one or more of these chemicals in them to help treat acne.

29. Because it kills bacteria, benzoyl peroxide is added to soap as it helps with acne.

30. Salicylic acid is added to soap as it helps peel off your skin’s top layer.

31. Sodium sulfacetamide is put in face soap because it can stop acne-causing bacteria from growing.

32. Body soap or body wash is a soap used to wash your whole body.

33. People who want to make their own soap at home often take up soapmaking as a hobby.

Soap carving is a popular hobby in which people make things out of a bar of soap.

Sources: 1, 2

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