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specializing in handcrafted herbal and vegetable soaps
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HANDCRAFTED SOAP FAQ
 
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What is tea tree oil?

Tea tree oil is obtained by steam distillation from the leaves of the Tea Tree (Meleuca alternifolia) which is a shrubby tree native to Australia and New Zealand.

Tea tree oil was first marketed in the 1920's for dental and surgical use. It's most recently used as a non-irritating, germicidal oil and is particularly effective in curing fungal and bacterial skin infections. Because the scent of tea tree oil is very characteristic and strong, I only use it in products that will provide the maximum benefit.

What is the difference between commercial soap and handmade soap?

...the commercial soap bars that line most grocery stores' shelves are actually synthetic detergents!

In contrast, Handcrafted Soap is soap in its true, pure form, Handcrafted Soap - also known as Handmade soap - can be made using either the Cold Process or Hot Process methods. When properly made, these soaps contain both soap and moisture-rich glycerin.

What is Saponification?

Saponification is the chemical reaction created by combining oils or fats with an alkali and water.

Today, most handcrafted soap makers use the Cold Process method. Aside from the heat used to melt the solid fats to their liquid state, the heat produced by combining the precisely weighed oils or fats, alkali and water is sufficient to initiate the chemical reaction. Saponification is complete after the soap mixture has been poured into molds, cut into bars, and allowed to cure for several weeks.

Hot process Soap is actually cooked at a high temperature for an extended period of time to accelerate the saponification process.

Transparent Soap is a kind of Hot Process Soap. In this method the soap has been cooked with other ingredients to create a 'see-through' soap.

Melt and Pour Soap, however, is previously manufactured Transparent Soap that has been melted, colored, scented, and then poured into molds.

What is Handcrafted Soap made of?

Look on the label; it should list the ingredients. Most handcrafters use olive, coconut, palm, and other vegetable oils for their base. Some soap makers use tallow, which is derived from animal fat.

Essential and fragrance oils contribute scent; cosmetic-grade pigments impart color; and botanicals, spices and other natural ingredients add texture.

Adding oils or fats after saponification has begun will superfat soap. These additional oils may be of seed, nut or fruit extraction.

Why is Glycerin Important?

Glycerin is a humecant. One molecule of glycerin is created for every three molecules of soap. Commercial soap makers remove the glycerin from their soap and then sell it to the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.

With Handcrafted Soap, however, all of the naturally occurring glycerin remains intact. As a result, users of Handcrafted Soap frequently comment on how the soap leaves their skin feeling soft, smooth, and itch-free.

Handcrafted Soap is naturally softer. You may be able to "dent" the soap with your finger. You will also notice that when handcrafted soap is fresh it will draw moisture from the air into small beads that will make the soap bar's surface wet. Both of these traits indicate that the soap has a high glycerin content.

Is there Lye in my Soap?

No. When Handcrafted soap is properly made and cured, the soap no longer contains lye, as the chemical reaction has converted the alkali (lye), water, and oils and fats into saponified oils and fats and glycerin. The end result is mild, pure Handcrafted Soap.

Is there a way to make Handcrafted Soap last longer?

Yes. Handcrafted Soap is a special product. Extend the life of your beautiful soap by placing the bar in a well-drained soap dish.

May I get a list of the ingredients?

Ingredients are listed on the pages with categories of soap, such as the earthy soaps, floral soaps, revitalizing soaps, soft & soothing soaps, and specialty soaps. If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to email, call or write us.





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Tea Tree Soap Co. - P.O. Box 63, BLAINE WA 98231- 360-332-1096
specializing in handcrafted herbal and vegetable soaps using only the finest ingredients