Did you know that some Mexican soaps are still made in the good old-fashioned way? They make these bars by hand, and it’s actually pretty interesting to learn about. Today I thought we’d talk about the life cycle of a Mexican soap, from the saponification process all the way to the finished product — and I’ll tell you five things that you might not have known about Mexican soaps.
Soap can be traced back to ancient Rome
The word “soap” is derived from the Latin word for soap, sapo. The Romans used soap as a detergent and cleanser, but it wasn’t until the 19th century that modern soap was developed.
In 1910, Procter & Gamble introduced Ivory Soap, which was made with pure vegetable oil and no animal fats. This marked the beginning of modern soaps.
Soap is made by saponification, which is a chemical reaction between an alkali and a fat or oil. The alkali breaks down the fat or oil into fatty acids and glycerin. Soap contains both sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and fats/oils (saponifiable).
The earliest known soap-like substance dates back to 2800 B.C., when Mesopotamian clay tablets were found containing instructions on making a soap-like substance out of wood ashes mixed with animal fats or oils or plant oils such as olive oil or sesame oil.
Soap was once made from animal fat, but it’s vegan now
Today, we wash ourselves with everything from antibacterial soaps to liquid hand sanitizers. But what if you’re looking for something a little more natural?
Soap made from lye (sodium hydroxide) is highly alkaline and can cause burns if left on the skin for too long. It’s also mildly corrosive and will destroy clothing when spilled on them. Soap made from animal fat is called tallow-based soap and was once very common in America, but today it’s vegan and only used by people who prefer its natural scent or because they have allergies to synthetic products. Tallow-based soap typically has a yellowish color derived from the fats used in its creation and tends to leave behind more residue than other types of soap due to its higher oil content; however, some people prefer this type of soap because they believe it leaves their skin feeling softer than other types.
Each bar starts off as a liquid
Mexican soap is a popular handmade product in Mexico. It’s also known as “pasta de agua” or “papel de barro.” That’s Spanish for “water paper.”
Each bar starts off as a liquid that’s poured into molds, then dried out and cut into bars. The process is similar to how cheese is made, though it’s more like making butter.
The main ingredients are water, lye, and fat. The fat comes from vegetable oils like palm oil or coconut oil. The lye reacts with the fat to create soap.
Mexican soap has been around for at least five centuries when it was first used by indigenous people in Mexico and Central America as a way of cleaning their clothes and bodies. It was also used as a medicinal remedy for skin conditions like psoriasis (psoriasis).
Today, Mexican soap can be found all over Mexico and parts of Central America. It’s sold by street vendors who sell it from big buckets or flat trays full of bars mixed with other fragrant items like flowers or spices like cinnamon or vanilla bean powder. Visit here to browse a selection of Mexican soaps!
A new batch of soap takes about 8 hours to make
It begins with a mixture of water and lye, which are heated together to create a liquid called “lye water.” Once it has cooled down, the lye water is poured into another container called “the batch,” along with oils such as olive oil, coconut oil or palm oil. The mixture is then stirred until it becomes creamy and thickens. At this point, additives like honey or avocado can be added for extra moisturizing benefits. Finally, a fragrant essential oil is added before pouring the mixture into molds to cool down completely.
The molds are made out of wood or metal frames covered in cheesecloth or muslin sheets that allow air circulation while the soap hardens over time. Some Mexican soaps contain perfumes made from natural ingredients like mint leaves and lemon rinds while others use synthetic scents that don’t spoil easily and have long-lasting effects on your skin tone and appearance.