I've read recently somewhere that most "soaps" are actually detergents and the real soap would not be a good idea in everyday applications like washing hands, shower gels and shampoos, and dish washing liquids. But I couldn't find a sufficiently detailed explanation about the differences of the two, just that the detergents are often marketed as soap.

Are they really different? What negative effects does soap have that detergent doesn't? Is there something soap does that detergent doesn't do?

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    $\begingroup$ Are you interested in the chemical differences ? $\endgroup$ – NotEvans. May 28 '17 at 19:15
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    $\begingroup$ Yes. I wanna know what the negative effects of regular use of soap would be on hands instead of detergent. $\endgroup$ – user1306322 May 28 '17 at 19:39
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    $\begingroup$ Soaps are generally made by treating fats with sodium or potassium hydroxide, so they may be more caustic than detergents? There is some discussion of the differences in the Wikipedia entry for detergents. $\endgroup$ – airhuff May 28 '17 at 19:56
  • $\begingroup$ Soap is one of many detergents or surfactants. Soap is a salt of a long-chain fatty acid. A detergent is any chemical that is attracted to both polar and non-polar sub substances. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detergent $\endgroup$ – DrMoishe Pippik May 30 '17 at 22:53

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