Soap: FSA Eligibility
What is soap?
Soap is one of the most common personal hygiene products used throughout the world, and the first evidence of its use was dates back to 2800 BC when soap-like materials were put into production in Ancient Babylon. As personal hygiene standards fluctuated over the centuries, soap came in and out of fashion throughout many cultures, but today soaps are the most common surfactants used for washing, bathing and cleaning.
Soap comes in a variety of forms, but traditionally it consists of the salt of a fatty acid. It is made by treating vegetable or animal oils and fats with a strongly alkaline solution such as lye. These fats and oils hydrolyze into fatty acids, and then combine with the alkali solution to form a crude form of soap. Soap is unique for its ability to allow insoluble particles to become soluble in water, so they can be washed away. The composition of soap will vary widely based on its potential use, as fragrances, anti-bacterial ingredients and other substances may be added to the finished product.