Soap Origins


In the past most families made their own soap.  This was only possible when they had enough ashes from which to make potash or lie (check that).  This was usually at the end of the winter hence the term ‘spring cleaning’.  It is nothing to do with spring as a season but rather that they were actually able to make soap.

This soap tended to be liquid and the rise of the commercial companies, such as Lever Brothers, was based on these companies being able to make bar soap which lasted for some time.

Soap making is essentially quite easy if you have the right ingredients, and also provides a good moisturising and beauty aid if the glycerine is left in.

There are arguments against modern soaps and detergents due to their chemical components, whether that be colour or fragrance.  In the past most soap was coloured by natural or vegetable dyes which of course faded in time on exposure to light.

It was also subject to a relatively short shelf life, perhaps little more than a year.  This has not been noticed by UK manufacturers.

The ability to make soap depends upon the unsaponifiables, these are present in better quality food grade oils so refined oils are better for soap making.  Basically fats are heated up and then caustic soda is added to the content.  It is claimed that this caustic principle disappears very quickly in a properly made soap.

All sorts of other good ingredients can be added in such as essential oils, herbs, anything I suppose which is fat soluble such as herbal oils.

About Jan Kuśmirek

Having brushed with the Security Services in my late teens and early twenties, I went on to become one of the world's leading exponents of aromatic medicine and skin care. I am an accepted authority on the subject and a sought-after lecturer. In the last few years I have turned my hand to literature and am the author of three spy novels that retell the European confilcts of the 20th century from a Polish perspective. The central character in the series - Teddy Labden - has resonated with the Polish media, who have claimed him as their own "James Bond".
This entry was posted in Aromatics, Fragrance, Body & Skin Care. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s