Soap

  • The discovery of soap and its use as a cleaning agent did not occur simultaneously. The ancient cultures used soap as a type of medication for wounds and as a hair cosmetic.

  • Sumerian clay tablets dating to 2,500 BC are the first testimonies on soap. According to these clay tablets, woollen clothes were washed in a kind of soap made from an ash – water mixture and oil from the cassia floribunda plant.

    According to Pliny, in 600 BC, the Phoenicians used a soap made from goat fat and wood ash.

  • In ancient Egypt, the body and clothes were cleaned using a mixture made of animal and vegetable fats with alkaline salts.

  • According to Roman mythology in the “Maint Sapo” region, which gave its name to soap, heavy rains had swept tallow and ashes into the Tiber River from the sacrifices of animals that had been held on the mountain. The locals who were washing their clothes in the river thus discovered a new way of cleaning.

  • Salpo, is the Celtic name for soap. It was made from a mixture of animal fats and plant ashes.

    The region of Marseille in Europe holds first place in the production of soap from animal fats and olive oil. It has retained this position from the 9th up to the 19th centuries.

    Genoa and Venice then took over the trade of soap.

    The production of soap in Germany is almost unknown until the 15th century.

    The first soap manufacturers appeared in Britain in the late 12th century.

  • The manufacture of soap in Greece is directly connected to the production of olive oil. This upward trend began in the 17th century and continued into the 18th century. The Peloponnese, Crete, Mytilene and Attica are the regions with the highest oil production, which also hosted the first soap manufacturing plants. Most of these industries were originally owned by Turkish - French and British interests.

  • Households in Greece used to make the soap that they used. The oil pulp and the other ingredients were poured into wooden floors or wooden moulds. It was then dried and cut into pieces.

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