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In modern slang, a soaper is a person who practices soap making. It is the origin of the surnames "Soper," "Saboni," (Arabic for soap maker) and "Soaper." Roads named "Sopers Lane," "Soper Street," and so forth are often so named because historically they were centres for soap making.[citation needed]

Historically, in England and in the United States, a "chandler" is a person who makes soap and/or candles for profit.[1][2][3]

Whilst much soap nowadays is mass-produced by industrial chemical companies, some people still make soap themselves; sometimes out of a desire for a higher-quality or different soap product than can be purchased, sometimes for the sake of keeping the traditional soap making methods alive, and sometimes as technical avocation, in conjunction with an interest in chemistry or manufacturing.

The hobby of soap making has enjoyed various eras of popularity. In recent years, making soap by hand and using it in place of synthetic detergents is also seen as a way to more sustainable living.


  1. McDaniel, Robert (2000).
  2. Miller Cavitch, Susan (1997).
  3. The Merriam-Webster Doictionary (1994).


  1. McDaniel, Robert (1997). The Elegant Art of Handmade Soap: Making, Scenting, Coloring, and Shaping. Iola, WI: Krause Publications. ISBN 0873418328. 
  2. Miller Cavitch, Susan (1997). The Soap Maker's Companion: A Comprehensive Guide with Recipes, Techniques, and Know-How. North Adams, MA: Storey Books. ISBN 0882669656. 
  3. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc. 1994. ISBN 0877799113. 

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