Why Is Soap a Base?

Soap is defined as a base because it forms hydroxide ions (OH-) when dissolved in an aqueous solution. The hydrolysis of a fat and sodium hydroxide yield soap, which ultimately allows the soap to release hydroxide ions when dissolved.

When dissolved in water, bases will be slippery to the touch, have the ability to conduct electricity and neutralize their properties during reactions with acids, all of which are prominent properties of soap.

Soaps can also be produced from oils, and properties will vary depending on the type of fatty acid used; long chain fatty acids produce insoluble soaps, whereas shorter chains, such as coconut oil, produce a highly soluble soap.