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Soap is amazing stuff. The exact same ingredients can become a bar, liquid, gel, paste or spray—yet all made with the same ingredients. How cool is that?

At Vermont Soapworks (kind of a Willie Wonka™ factory for soap) we take oils, which make you greasy, and turn them into soap, which make you clean. This process is called saponification (making soap). Soap is fascinating stuff. It is actually a salt that foams! This crystalline nature of soap allows it to be made clear as glass when boiled in alcohol with sugars. That’s right! Your bar of soap (not detergent bar) is actually made of tiny soap crystals that grew in oil droplets.

When you mix oils, alkali and water, they chemically react and turn into soap and glycerin. Natural soapmakers stir the glycerin back in to add to the moisturizing qualities of the final product. Soap is a very unusual molecule, acting like a snake with two heads. The oily head hates water and the alkali head loves water. When you mix soap and water, this love/hate relationship causes soap to lather. Love water/hate water, love water/hate water... and then it foams!

In the old days, rainwater was filtered through hardwood ashes coconut husk and plantain ashes in Africa and the South Pacific, oak and maple here in New England. In modern times electricity is run through salt water to make alkali.

If you have sensitive skin try handmade or “poured” soaps. These traditional, poured and cured bar soaps last nearly twice as long as most mass market bars. Handmade soap is typically mixed in small batches and poured into wooden molds. The soap hardens up over time, and is cut into bars and air-dried for three to four weeks. The end result is a bar of soap that is mild enough for the most sensitive skin.

Different essential oil blends and base formulas alter the astringency of the soap and make it suitable for differing pore structures, while adding variety and individuality to your choices. What about antimicrobial soaps? Do I need them? Soap and water kill 55 percent of all bacteria within 45 seconds, and even more if given additional time. This 55 percent kill rate encompasses most of the bad stuff like mold, mildew and surface fungus, various soil bacteria, staph, E-coli, insects and more. Unless you perform open heart surgery or work under extreme conditions, you will seldom need to use an antimicrobial soap product.

Unlike detergent chemicals, which have only been in common use in the past 75 years, soap is found in nature. Your own body makes it! And only soap kills most of the bad germs, while leaving the good ones your skin needs to stay healthy.

Organic soap is a natural way to keep you healthy, young looking and clean!

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