What goes into making our Natural Handmade Soaps?
How we choose our ingredients.
We put a lot of thought into what goes into our soap. We selected Olive oil as a base because of all its skin loving qualties and than added butters to create a creamy moisturizing bar and than just the right amount of coconut oil to give it a nice fluffy lather. We put as many local ingredients as possible and organic ingredients as well. What truly makes our soap special is knowing just how much of each ingredient to add to make a perfectly balanced soap that is good for all skin types.
Our Natural Handmade Soap Process
All of our soap is created using the cold processed method of soap production. This is the most natural way of making soap as it can happen naturally given all the correct circumstances occur. Using the cold process method we create those cirumstances perfectly in The Soap Shack. The process does not actually take place naturally in nature, but we careully set the process up in our shop and then the natural process takes over to create the perfect balance and a perfect soap.
The whole process starts with oil. We carefully formulate are soap recipes have a perfect blend of oils giving us that perfect natural handmade soap bar that leaves your skin feeling clean refeshed and nourished. The blend of oils is the most important part of the soap making process. After we have our perfect blend of oils for the soap we are creating we calculate the correct amount of lye also called sodium hydroxide to add to our oils. Yes sodium hydroxide sounds scary and can cause burns this is why soap making can be dangerous and we caution any one wanting to make soap to please educate yourself before trying to make soap yourself.
We belong to a group of profesional soapers called The Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild. This is a great starting point I would like to share for anyone thinking of creating their own soap, Here is a link to making soap. A Guide for Beginners
Ok back to our process. We caculate the amount of sodium hydroxide to add so that when we add the sodium hydroxide to our oils a reaction called saponification starts. We stir the oils and sodium hydroxide until it reaches what we call trace. This is when we know the saponification process has correctly taken effect and we can safely pour our soap into one of our handmade wood slab molds. After we pour our batch of soap into the mold it is covered with a blanket and it sets for 24 to 48 hours till its cool. This is how long it takes to finish most of the saponification process. We then cut our soap into bars and it sits on our drying rack for about 30 days. The reason for this long drying process is to let the saponification completly finish but the biggest reason is to get as much moisture out of our soap as possible, this process is called curing. The longer it cures the harder the soap gets and the longer it lasts and the better it lathers. At the end of the process we have our perfect bar of natural cold processed soap.
We often hear do you sell soap with out sodium hydroxide. Our answer is the process of Saponification is what makes soap and without saponification you cant have soap. So anyone wanting real soap and not a compressed bar of chemicals this is your only option. If its soap sodium hydroxide was used or its a bar of chemicals.
At the end of the saponification process all the sodium hydroxide is gone. That is if it was done correctly. That is why its very important you only get soap from a professional experienced soap maker.
The final touch, our label
Since our goal was to make our natural bar of handmade soap, we wanted to add a nice final touch our label. Our label had to be special, but what would make a label special?
Well we researched ideas and found "Of The Earth" www.oftheearth.org. They had seeded paper. This paper is all organic and has seeds implanted into the fibers. We had found our special label. What a wonderful final touch to our handmade natural soap. An awesome handmade soap and a label that you can grow that wont add to the landfill. This is how our label idea was born.
So you can actually plant them and grow random wild flowers and herbs. Its easy to do just place soil in a pot, right to the top. Gently pack the soil, so it's slightly compressed, but not too hard-packed. Place the seed paper on top, and add another thin layer of soil on top of the paper (about one-eighth of an inch). Give your newly planted seed paper a good soak of water right off the bat. After that, just make sure it's always moist. This may mean watering it a little bit every day or two, but just enough to maintain that level of moisture. Just make sure your planted seed paper is in a sunny area, and you should hopefully start seeing some little green sprouts pop up within a few weeks!
Here is a photo we recieved from a customer that planted our labels.