Our non-soap syndet (which stands for synthetic detergent) bars are made using blends of synthetic plant-based surfactants and produced differently than traditional vegetable soap bars. Syndet surfactants are derived from oils and fats and are processed heavily in processes other than traditional saponification. Syndet is not as 'natural' as soap. Syndet detergents work better than soap when water contains calcium hydrogen carbonate (e.g. hard water). Syndets have a lower pH level. Detergents are free-rinsing (meaning they don't leave a residue).
Soaps can be made at home or in primitive settings. Ancient Babylonians understood soap making as early as 2800 BC. Syndet production requires highly specialized machinery. The first syndet-based bar, Dove, was introduced in 1955.