Handmade Soap and Sundries
The fragrant solution
to so many of life's little problems.
Q: Eek! Doesn't handmade soap have lye in it?
A: You can't make soap without using lye, or something equally as caustic. The lye saponifies, or reacts with the oils, to make soap plus glycerin. Lye is no longer present in the final product. Here's an analogy: it would be rather dangerous to serve raw chicken to your dinner guests. But as long as you cook it properly, there is no risk of aunt Martha expiring from salmonella. You may have started out with raw chicken, but the finished product is quite different.
Q: But when I used granny's old lye soap, it nearly burnt my hide off!
A: We feel your pain. However, granny probably made lye with wood ashes, tested the strength by floating an egg in it, mixed it with bacon drippings, and stirred over a fire for six hours, in one direction only. Soapmaking today is slightly more scientific.
Q: Hey!   My granny was a smart woman!
A: No doubt. But she didn't have a computer or a digital scale. These days, ingredients can be precisely determined and measured, ensuring that no one's hide gets burnt.
Q: OK quit being a smart alek! Can I wash my hair with handmade soap?
A: Yes and no. If you have soft water, you can wash your hair just fine with true soap, handmade or otherwise. But if you have hard water, you can't. Well, you can, but you probably won't like the results. On the hair, real soap reacts with the minerals in hard water and leaves a film. It won't hurt anything, it just doesn't leave your hair shiny. And be careful... true soap does sting if you get it in your eyes.
Q: Can I wash my face with it?
A: Yes and no. (Didn't you just know we were going to say that?!) Don't use soap containing any "scrubbies" on the delicate skin of your face or neck. This includes additives like corn meal, pumice, loofah, or herbs. While these may make wonderful gardener's soaps for the hands, or great exfoliating scrubs for the rest of your body, you don't want to damage your tender facial skin!
Q: Will it last a long time?
A: Oh, the bane of soapcrafters everywhere! Often the number one compliment we receive (after raves about the scents) is about how long the soap lasts. And the number one complaint...? That the soap doesn't last long enough! It all has to do with how you care for the soap. No, you don't have to treat it like a pampered pet, but do show it some respect! Don't leave it sitting in water, or let the shower constantly hit it. Handmade soap has no hardening chemicals to keep it from dissolving. Seem inconvenient? Well, maybe. But just think of all the chemicals you're not putting on your skin! We use and recommend a draining soap dish.
Q: Can I use it for a sachet?
A: Want to see a soapmaker wince? Ask this question the next time you see one in person! It's not that handmade soaps don't make lovely sachets - they do. But... imagine giving your friend a pie you'd made, and later asking how she'd had liked it. If she answered, "Oh, I didn't eat it. It smelled too good to eat! I just used it like potpourri in the kitchen..." Your reaction might include weeping, moaning, wailing, severe coughing, or gnashing of teeth... just like the reactions of soapmakers who realize their products will never be enjoyed properly. By all means, keep your soap stash in your lingerie drawer if you like. But use them! Use them! Use them! (In the shower or tub, that is!)
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PO Box 203
Allgood AL 35013
sales @ naturalimpulse.com
Toll-Free ordering: 1-877-IMPULSE (1-877-467-8573)