Industries: Household chemicals, Cosmetic industry
Composition: Oils, fats, waxes
Soap is a salt of a fatty acid used in a variety of cleaning and lubricating products. In a home environment, soaps are surfactants that are commonly used for laundry, bathing and other types of housekeeping. In industrial environments, soaps are used as thickeners, components in some lubricants and precursors to catalysts.
When soap is used for cleaning, it dissolves particles and dirt, which can then be separated from the article to be cleaned. In hand washing, as a surfactant, when lathered with a little water, soap kills microorganisms by disorganizing their membrane lipid bilayers and denaturing their proteins. It also emulsifies oils, allowing them to be carried away by running water.