What is Soap Made From

What is Soap Made From

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Your skin is your largest organ

Soap Matters

What is soap made from? It is important know. Your skin is your largest organ, sheathing your body from all elements.

What you put on your skin matters, since your skin is water resistant, not waterproof. Skin has low permeability and can absorb small percentages of what it is exposed to.

What is Sodium Laurel Sulfate

What soap is made of

Fats and Oils

Soap is made of a combination of saponified oils and/or fats. The saponification process is mixing your oil solution and your alkali solution together.

The act of the saponification process occurs when mixed properly, turning the 2 solutions into one thing. It's something totally different, in this case, soap. Once this process begins, it cannot be undone.

Any oil can be made into soap

Good vs Bad Oil

Any oil can be made into soap or a soap like substance. These oils can be but are not limited to:

  • Olive oil (from the olive fruits)
  • pomace oil (olive oil extracted from the olive pits)
  • hemp oil
  • coconut oil
  • soybean oil
  • corn oil
  • rice bran oil
  • canola oil (Canada Oil Company, a genetically modified oil)
  • sunflower oil (Purple Hopi Dye Sunflower Oil Seed Head-left)
  • safflower oil
  • almond oil
  • avocado oil
  • shea butter
  • coco butter
  • tallow (beef fat)
  • lard (pig fat)
  • schmaltz (poultry fat)
  • Petroleum Oil
  • Coal Tar
What is Castile Soap

Soap is an oil solution mixed with an alkali

What is Soap

The alkali in bar soap is usually sodium hydroxide. The alkali in liquid soap is usually potassium hydroxide. These salts can be made the old fashioned way from wood ash, or manufactured commercially.

Colorants such as herbs and spices, or synthetic petroleum based, chemical dyes or mineral colorants (toxic or not) may be added. Natural perfumes, such as essential oils or synthetic (and toxic) perfumes can also be added.

The photo to the left is our Tough Guy Soap. It is colored naturally from the yellowish lemongrass essential oil, steam cleaned pumice, and edible poppy seeds

Essential Oils

If soap doesn't lather, it doesn't work

Does soap go bad

Well made natural soap should not expire or go bad. If it does, the natural oils will become rancid and smell "off".

If rancid soap still lathers, technically it will still collect excess oil and dirt from skin. It just may not be a pleasant bathing experience.

Ithaca Soap's bar soaps are lathery and perfectly balanced, using simple recognizable ingredients. Each hand soap and shower bar is specially formulated to produce a lot of lather, while being a hard long lasting bar of soap. Each bar of Ithaca Soap provides up to 84 showers. That's 2 people; 4-8 weeks of daily showers.

How to Use Bar Soap

Lather has a function

Lather Up

To create lather, wet your hands, rub some soap on them, and then vigorously rub your hands together. This should produce a lather. Good soap makes a thick rich lather. Hard water may affect this process and thin the lather out.

Natural soap needs to lather in order for it to be affective. The lather collects excess oil, dirt, germs, pathogens, and debris and rinses it off. If you are very dirty, like garden hands caked with dirt, the lather will fill up quickly and you should wash your hands again.

If your hands are seemingly clean and need a simple hand washing and you have a natural soap that does not lather or produces a thin cream colored film during your hand washing process, It's one or 2 things.

  1. The soap is ineffective, and will not collect dirt and debris or kill any pathogens.
  2. You are using very hard water.
Bar Soap

How the soap molecule works

The mechanics

It's a mechanical process. The soap molecule is a round bubble, surrounded with tiny points. When these points come in contact with pathogens, they puncture the pathogen's protective shell and the disease dies.  

This process leaves your skin and it's natural protective oils in tact.

Compare that to detergent. Detergents are a chemical process of breaking down excess oils and dirt. This includes your natural skin oils, which is why you may feel dry after using chemical soap.

Dish Soap vs Detergent

What is Soap Made From

Ingredients are Important

If you are going to use soap to clean your skin, your dishes, your house, cars, cat littler boxes or anything really, the grey water rinses off into the ground water. Or if you wash fruits and vegetables that you eat, it matters what soap you use.

Most other soaps, shampoo bars, hand sanitizers, lip balms and lotions include unnecessary, sometimes harmful ingredients - even the natural ones.

Below is a brief list of ingredients we do not use and the reasons why.

  • glycerine: is the drying protein extracted from whole, full fat oils
  • various salts, sugars and alcohols -  such as sodium phytate, Cocomidiproply Hydroxysultaine, sodium methyl coccyx taurate, sodium coco sulfate, caprylyl / carpal glucoside, laurel glucoside extracted from whole oils which can be drying to skin, and are lung and eye irritants
  • sodium laurel sulfate, methylisothiazolinone, benziothiazolinone are foaming agents deemed to be unsafe 
  • thickeners, palm oil

Use Natural Soap whenever you can. It's important for your health

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