ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The History of Castile Soap

Updated on April 4, 2012
Source

    Ever wonder when, why, how and where people started using castile soap.  If your like me...probably not.  I mean, let's face it.  It's not the most interesting topic.  Soap is just a cleanser right.  And today, soap is literally everywhere.  In every public and private bathroom, in every scented gift basket, and in every janitor's closet the foamy stuff has taken over.  Castile soap is no different right....  

In the beginning

    The earliest literary references to soap are from 1700 BC and the earliest theorized use of soap dates back to 2000 BC in the Fertile Crescent. So sorry guys, no such thing as caveman soap. Interestingly enough archeologists theorize that the original use of soap was not for general cleanliness.  Rather they believe it was for used for dressing wounds and hairdressing. 

    While certain groups of European peoples independently discovered soap and its uses.  Soap was largely unknown to Europe (including the Mediterranean region) for many centuries.  The Arab invasion of the Byzantine Empire is accepted by some to be the more or less official introduction of soap to Europe.     

"Sorry No Caveman Soap"
"Sorry No Caveman Soap"

Origin of Castile Soap

Now let me lay some chemistry on you. Soap, as most of us know it, is the result of a saponification reaction between a fatty acid under basic conditions. The end result is an alcohol and the salt of a carboxylic acid. Here is a link to see a good description of the process. http://www.chem.latech.edu/~deddy/chem122m/L06U00Soap122.htm.

Centuries ago, Arab peoples in and around Europe often used animal fat as the fatty acid to make soap. Meanwhile, people in the Mediterranean found it most convenient to use the abundance of olive trees in their vicinity. Specifically, many Mediterranean people used olive oil (fatty acid) and the ashes of the barilla tree (base) to make soap.

One of the places to do this is the Castila region of Spain. The soap from this area was thus called Castile Soap. Many claim that castile soap was one of the first examples of hard, white soap to appear. Others claim that castile soap was reserved almost exclusively for the Spanish royalty; and later sought by a variety of European royalty for its mildness. While I personally don't know if any of these claims are true. Here are some of the more obvious facts.

1.)  Castile Soap was first made in Spain approximately around the 13th Century.  

2.) In many instances it has been called the queen of soaps. 

3.) Traditionally, Castile soap was actually made from a combination of animal fat or tallow and olive oil.  

4.) Its a great product...At least I think so. 



Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • loonedorna profile image

      loonedorna 

      5 years ago from New York

      Thank you Justin!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)