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"Soap" commonly refers to detergent, most of the time.

It seems that the distinction between soap and detergent doesn't matter to the general public, who use "soap" to refer to detergents as well as true soaps. Should we recognize such usage, redefining "soap" to include detergents? Soaps form sticky, insoluble curds when the water used with them contains Ca and Mg ions, but detergents do not. Nikevich 23:25, 29 October 2016 (UTC)

Salt-water soap

This existed before and during the mid-1950s; I used it a few times in the Navy. It was made in conventional bars, not significantly different from conventional ones, and formed a lather easily. What was its composition? Was it simply detergent in solid form? Nikevich 23:29, 29 October 2016 (UTC)

Is "true soap" made of animal fat?

The section about the history of soap in China says: "True soap, made of animal fat, did not appear in China until the modern era." But other places in this article refers to soaps made of vegetable fat. Am I missing something? Either the whole article should be about this "true soap" made from animal fat, or the section about China should say something like "The Chinese traditionally made lots of soap from vegetable fat, while modern European soaps have become common in modern times." Ornilnas (talk) 09:07, 27 January 2017 (UTC)

I know absolutely nothing about soap, but I'm tempted to just rewrite large parts of the History section if no one addresses this. The current text reads as if Western culture has had "true" soap for thousands of years, while all other cultures only made "soap-like" detergents until recently. Not only does this sound really strange (what is so special about this "true" soap that the word "soap" should refer to only that particular substance?), but as I pointed out above, other places in the article contradicts it. So before I start large-scale editing on a subject I know nothing about (and probably insert a few mistakes in the process), can someone correct me here? --Ornilnas (talk) 20:16, 28 March 2017 (UTC)

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Major revisions Mid-Jan 2018

The large section on soap-making is supported by three references, only one of which is a commercial book that appears to be a hobbyist's soal-making manual. Most soap, one can be sure, is made in factories and none of that is described.--Smokefoot (talk) 21:48, 16 January 2018 (UTC)

One idea is to split this article into (1) slightly elaborated disambiguation page, (2) "toilet soaps" (bar soap, etc.), (3) metallic soaps, which would be more industrially related including heavy metal soaps.
  • Advantages to split: gives normal readers who want to read about normal bar soap to have "their page", gives equal opportunity on metallic soaps, which are more obscure to normal people but important in technology.
  • Disadvantages to split: more complicated and readers might want it all in one article, some might not like the term "toilet soap".

--Smokefoot (talk) 14:10, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

I sort of agree but I think we should follow WP:COMMONNAME. I expect for most people 'soap' and 'detergent' are the same, so we should open with that and differentiate it from say SLES or LAS. The information on non-sodium salts could but moved to a techinically named page such as fatty acid carboxylates - currently the first thing described here in detail is the use of soaps as greases - surely not what most people would expect.--Project Osprey (talk) 14:50, 19 January 2018 (UTC)


In the second sentence I read "used a" instead of "used as".

Thank you for spotting that error. I've made the correction. Dbfirs 17:03, 24 January 2018 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 12 February 2018 (talk)

bffl -- (talk) 07:30, 12 February 2018 (UTC)? ?

 Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format and provide a reliable source if appropriate. Begoon 07:41, 12 February 2018 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 11 April 2018

In "Non-toilet section", the sentence "Greases are usually emulsions of calcium soap or lithium soap and mineral oil." could do with an hyperlink to lithium soap, as there is a pertinent article on WP. Thanks. (talk) 23:17, 10 April 2018 (UTC)

 Done OneShot010 (talk) 14:58, 1 May 2018 (UTC)

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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