Aleppo Soap is a soap produced from olive oil, berry oil or laurel and vegetal soda leaves.
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Aleppo Soap is a soap produced from olive oil, berry oil or laurel and vegetal soda leaves. Traditional production doesn't contain any synthesis product, solvent, dye, perfume fixative, or derivative of animal fat. The main fat substance used is second pressure oliveoil. In order to obtain saponification olive oil is poured into an underground tank, with water and vegetal soda (salicorne, Salsola kali). The content is boiled for three hours in copper cauldrons, during this time a chemical reaction transforms oil into liquid soap. Finally laurel berry oil is added at the end of the process. This oil, called also laurel butter, must not be confused with essential laurel oil, obtained by distillation of laurel leaves and not of laurel berries (the fruit).
The dough is spread on the ground and it is covered with paraffin paper in the workshop. While the soap cools down, some workers, with a board attached to each shoe, walk on the soap in order to make its thickness. And then soap, still on the ground, is cut into blocks with a tool that is like a rake and the dough is stamped.
They are piled up and, after being sufficiently dried, they are stored in a cave where they age for a year. During the aging several modifications take place : soda which has not reacted with oil decomposes itself ; the humidity rate decreases ; the outside of the dough becomes brown (clorophile, with no sun and photosynthesis, oxidises slowly on the surface), while the interior remains green.
The traditional Aleppo soap takes the form of a brown dough.