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Kitchen soap

Discussion in 'English Only' started by little black bean, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. little black bean Junior Member

    chinese
    Hello,

    Would someone like telling me, in the old days, the kitchen soap is just used in kitchen or it is the way they used to make their own, so called kitchen soap?

    thanks

    Little black bean
     
  2. Hau Ruck

    Hau Ruck Senior Member

    United States - Midwest
    English - U.S.
    I never refer to soap as "kitchen soap". If it were used in the "old days", I would assume it was just to specify where that soap resided; not because of its point of manufacture.

    I do say "bathroom soap", but again, that is to specify that it is the soap in the bathroom; not because it was made there. :)
     
  3. Embonpoint Senior Member

    Boston
    English--American
    The soap we use in the kitchen to wash dishes is called dish soap.

    Is that what you mean?
     
  4. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    It was for use mainly in the kitchen. A block of kitchen soap would be used with a scrubbing brush for cleaning work surfaces, tables and floors. It was then grated (with a thing like a cheese-grater) and the small pieces were dissolved in hot water and used removing grease from dishes, cutlery, etc.

    In BE, it was called "household soap" I see you can still buy it on Amazon (although it looks better now - not just a rough cut block.)

    Sixty years ago, my grandmother used to use a large block of kitchen soap, which was cut from an even larger block when she bought at the grocery shop. (I remember it was a dark green colour, hard and waxy.)

    As a small child, I was told not to touch this soap when it was wet unless I was wearing rubber gloves because it had a high alkaline content. Of course, being young, I did, and it made my hands feel very dry and tender.

    The soap in the bathroom was quite different and is the sort of bar of soap we see today.
     
  5. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English
  6. Hau Ruck

    Hau Ruck Senior Member

    United States - Midwest
    English - U.S.
    As part of the OP's question, we all agree that the soap is not referred to as such due to it being made in the kitchen though, correct?
     
  7. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    That is my understanding.
     
  8. little black bean Junior Member

    chinese
    Thank <you> all! So I can say kitchen soap is mainly used in the kitchen?
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
  9. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English
    Rokeach kitchen soap was a purchased item.

    But this woman describes soap that is definitely made in her kitchen: http://wildrootshomestead.blogspot.com/2010/03/soap-making-from-scratch.html

    Today was soap making day. It had been so long since I'd made soap from scratch (a year and a half), that I'd forgotten the steps involved and had to thoroughly re-read the instructions more than once.
     
  10. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    Yes.
     
  11. Hau Ruck

    Hau Ruck Senior Member

    United States - Midwest
    English - U.S.
    If it were used somewhere else, it would basically cease to be "kitchen soap". ;)

    I might say (while in the bathroom, perhaps), "Hey, please bring me some of the soap from (in) the kitchen."

    I just (in my experience, at least) don't often hear the soap being referred to as "kitchen" or "bathroom" soap. It's soap; keep it simple. ;)
     
  12. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English

    That may be the general situation, but my mother always referred to the soap for the kitchen as "kitchen soap". But it was specifically kosher soap so I would imagine it could be the exception.
     
  13. Hau Ruck

    Hau Ruck Senior Member

    United States - Midwest
    English - U.S.
    I would definitely agree, that if it were a particular soap only used for the kitchen, then perhaps "kitchen soap" would be most appropriate.

    Something that you would readily use only on, perhaps, dishes, but not on your skin for bathing.
    I could see that; good point.

    I do definitely say "dishwasher soap" when referring to such. This, to me, is such a different kind of soap, that you'd most likely not want to use it for anything else.
     
  14. little black bean Junior Member

    chinese
    Just curious. Be cause in the book said,‘ in the old days, they used to make their own.’ You know I am Chinese. In china people only say soap or fragrant soap. So I am thinking if there has some history story behind it.
     
  15. exgerman Senior Member

    NYC
    English but my first language was German
    The original home-made soap was a concoction of lye (from wood ash), water and fat. It is functionally equivalent to modern soap, but made by a much simpler process. When modern soap became popular in the 19th century, old-style soap was still used in the kitchen, where it didn't matter that the soap was not fragrant or flattering to the servants' skin.

    Here's one of the many sites that tell you how to make the stuff.
     
  16. little black bean Junior Member

    chinese
    Thank you all! I see!
     
  17. Hau Ruck

    Hau Ruck Senior Member

    United States - Midwest
    English - U.S.
    One thing you must realize, little black bean; every example given to support such a title (kitchen soap) is either greatly outdated or very specific.
    As far a modern day, general "kitchen soap" is concerned, it's just "soap". There's really no reason to call it otherwise. :)
     
  18. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    Although, "in general", it is true, as the question refers to "in the old days", I feel I should emphasise that "household soap" (I don't know that it was ever called "kitchen" soap in the UK) was a different product, and still is. It was the forerunner of washing-up liquid, detergents and general liquid cleaners. See my post #4.
     
  19. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English
    In fact of the matter "kitchen soap" in the USA is almost always called "dish washing soap". (or detergent)
     
  20. little black bean Junior Member

    chinese
    That's very interesting!
     
  21. little black bean Junior Member

    chinese
    that's very interesting!
     

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