made from different oils and fats. Oils and fats such as coconut
oil, olive oil and whale fat and other animal fats go into the
making of soap. These oils and fats are heated together, with
caustic soda, which is an alkaline solution. When the ingredients
are heated together, glycerine is produced. Glycerin may be used
for other purposes and is therefore separated from the soap mixture.
by this time forms a curd. It is boiled again, in order to remove
all traces of salt. After this, the soap is given the color and
perfume. It is then left as long bars to cool and later cut and
wrapped for the commercial market.
are materials that aid in the removal of dirt or other matter from
contaminated surfaces. Until the 1940s, soap was the only important
detergent. During World War II (1939-1945) there was a shortage of
fats and soap production was affected. This led the soap
manufacturers to look for soapless or synthetic detergents. Today
soap is one of many detergent products.
contain comparatively large molecules. One part of the molecule is
soluble in organic material, and the other part is soluble in water.
Detergents were made by treating an aromatic compound with sulphuric
acid. It was then neutralized using an alkali. Such detergents,
unlike soap, were neither soluble nor biodegradable. Replacing the
aromatic compound with a so-called linear alkyl-type led to products
with effective detergent action that are more biodegradable and