Soaps are formed by the reaction of alkaline (lye) and fats and oils. Fats and oils can easily be broken down into simple molecules by microbes and hence soaps are biodegradable.

Detergents are synthetic compounds, generally ammonium or sulfate salts of long chain carboxylic acids. These synthetic compounds can not be broken down into simple molecules by microbes and hence soaps are non biodegradable.
why ammoniun and sulphonate salts of fatty acids cant be broken down by microbes but alkaline salts can
The Brainliest Answer!
Soaps are made of materials found in nature. Detergents are synthetic (although some of the ingredients are natural); they were developed during World War II when oils to make soap were scarce.There is little doubt that soap is better for your health and the environment than detergents. Detergents are very toxic to fish and wildlife. Nonetheless, a big drawback of washing with soap is that the minerals in water react with those in soap, leaving an insoluble film. This can turn clothes grayish, and the film can leave a residue (such as is found on shower stalls, for example).Detergents react less to minerals in water and for all practical purposes are the product of choice for laundry, unless you have very soft water. Those of you with hard water—which has a high mineral content—already know about this, I am sure. If you choose to wash your clothes with a detergent—or the dishes, or some of my recipes asking for a biodegradable soap or detergent—you can ensure the least possible damage to the environment by selecting the most biodegradable products.Health food stores have a number of brands of detergent that are made with renewable materials instead of petroleum-based ingredients, and with natural essential oil fragrance and no dyes. They also sell liquid vegetable-oil soaps called castile soap
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