What is Carbolic Soap? People remember it from their childhood, and people wishing for a quality, economical all purpose cleaning product are just some of our customers. Up until the 1970’s you could be pretty sure you’d find a bar of Carbolic Soap in most households. A no-nonsense multi purpose soap, which at the time was used for cleaning virtually anything. Personal use, bathrooms, sinks, floors, garage. You name an application, it was probably used. People grated it and used it for laundry, and hung it out in bags to discourage deer from eating plants, as well as cleaning out Budgerigar cages to deter mites. Carbolic Acid was used as an antiseptic ingredient to the soap, which also gave it a distinctive “clean” fragrance. The antiseptic properties of Carbolic Acid were used by Sir Joseph Lister (1827–1912) in his pioneering technique of antiseptic surgery.