Our Soap History

Our Soap History is a curious one, as many of our soap making ancestors did not write down their soap recipes or processes. Have no doubt that our ancestors did make soap, in a variety of forms.

 Fullers Earth

The First Soap Recipe:

Cuneiform is a system of writing first developed by the ancient Sumerians of Mesopotamia c. 3500-3000 BCE. The first soap recipe that we have found evidence of was written in Cuneiform. This recipe turned into a soap slurry or paste was used to cleanse the Priests and Priestesses and temple attendants before ritual. Also, this same soap slurry was used to clean cloth.  

It is not difficult to see if one is washing clothes that their hands would also be cleaned, however, according to some historians, we have been a dirty people until large scale industrial manufactured soaps appeared. Even when the English soap tax was levied in 1712 A.D. and lasted 141 years. From 1712-1853 making soap on an industrial level was a break-even endeavor. (Do you suppose people stopped bathing? ) They did not record their behaviors, because reporting to the government or to anyone or going against the King would have had dire consequences. Soap was now being heavily taxed and considered a luxury item. 

Monkeys groom, horses groom, birds groom... To say that humans do not understand when they are dirty, or that they smell foul, is a large disservice to humans and makes humans less intelligent than all other animals. 


This is the question that cannot be answered, but needs to be asked.

If someone didn't teach you to wash your body, would you? 


The Germans knew about soap before the Romans. The Romans beat themselves with leaves and branches and used fullers earth, because that's how you clean cloth - with fullers earth. Fullers earth is put into the cloth and then beat out.

Fulling is an important step in the production of woolen garments, and can be traced back to ancient times. Cuneiform texts from Mesopotamia mention a raw material, im-bab-bár (Akkadian𒅎𒌓, gaṣṣu: ‘gypsum, plaster’), literally “white earth”, which was delivered to fullers for the finishing of cloth.[11] There are several Biblical references to fulling (2 Kings 18:17; Isaiah 7:3 and 36:2; Malachi 3:2; Mark 9:3), but the materials used to whiten the fabric are not specified. Pliny the Elder mentions several types of fuller’s earth (creta fullonia in Latin) from a variety of locations, each with different properties and therefore different uses.

I've been reading many books on the subject of our soap history. A search that produces few results and less information about our soap Craefting history. We have been using soap in some from - a slurry, paste or bar - for thousands of years. However, if you listen to soap industry information they imply we have been dirty until the industries came to save us. Rats clean themselves, raccoons wash their food, most animals groom in some form. We are no different and know, without being told by commercials, when we're dirty. What we have done to clean ourselves is subjective, whether we've used soap slurry, paste or ashes from a fire, but to say we don't know when our skin is sticky or we stink and have to be told when to bath, like children, is ridiculous.

We would have solved this issue with or without letting the King know. 

I'm on the hunt for our true soap history.

No worries, I will find our true history, not what industrialists and google wants you to know. I just read a book printed in 1957. That author knew more about our soap history than what google tells you. 

Trust I'm on the hunt for our history and will share the story I find - all the hidden ways our AnSisters made soap and cleaning supplies to keep their loved ones clean and healthy. 

Because you, dear reader, are a clever and curious mind your reward is a discount for today and through this weekend. 10/3/19-10/6/2019. 

Use discount code for 10% off on entire order at check out:  CleverWitch 


1 comment

  • I love how the researcher in you comes out with such passion. Passion keeps one educated and true to self. I too research till the last hours of the day are gone and admire anyone who has the same ware with all to keep the oneself determined. I see that the love and inspiration for art and soap keep meshing so that it pushes you further. You inspire so many and share that passion to further us all to follow in our own way. I applaud you and your the way share without secrets. You are truly an inspiration to our craft. Thank you for your time and effort to show that anyone can dream a dream too. Thank you for all that you are and all that you do.


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