What are soaps made of?

Soaps are sodium salts of long-chain fatty acids. Soaps are potassium or sodium salts of a carboxylic acid having a long aliphatic chain attached to it.


  • A soap is composed of a sodium or potassium salt of long-chain carboxylic acid.
  • It is composed of two segments, i.e., a long hydrocarbon tail and a negatively charged head.
  • The hydrocarbon tail is hydrophobic, i.e., insoluble in water and repelled by water while the polar end is soluble in water and hydrophilic in nature.
  • Soaps are generally prepared via the saponification of fats and oils.

The most commonly used soap making process is the saponification of oils and fats.

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