Latin substantia translates Greek ousia "that which is one's own, one's substance or property; the being, essence, or nature of anything." Meaning "any kind of corporeal matter" is first attested mid-14c. Sense of "the matter of a study, discourse, etc." first recorded late 14c.
"a substance produced by a chemical process, a chemical agent," 1747, from chemical (adj.). Related: Chemicals.
"detergent substance," 1670s, from detergent (adj.). Originally a medical term; application to "chemical cleansing product" is by 1932.