The difference between real handmade soap and body wash bars
With the rise of more online sales, we are also seeing an increase in providers of natural care products including soap and body bars.
Is the latter just a different, nicer name for soap or what about that actually? Well no, let me try to explain.
If you want to make soap there are actually 3 ways to do that; the cold method (cold process), the hot method (hot process) and melting and pouring (melt and pour)
The "hot" method
Let me start with the hot method, which is usually used by large-scale manufacturers and whose soap you can find on the shelf in the supermarket and drugstore. In the hot process, oils and alkali are boiled together for a while to create saponification (the process by which the oils and the alkali bind). During cooking, the soap mixture and the glycerine separate. In many of the large commercial processes, the glycerine is then separated and sold separately or used itself because it is a valuable ingredient for other products. In addition, separating the glycerin from hot process soap mixes prevents the soap from shrinking a little, which is an advantage for large commercial soap manufacturers to always produce a uniformly shaped soap. The remaining soap mixture is then either molded into soap bars or processed into so-called soap noodles that are also sold for other producers.
Most of the soap noodle production is for export and mainly takes place in Malaysia, China, India and Australia. But they are also made in other places where palm and / or coconut trees grow.
Because the hot process soap mixture for soap noodles or for mold extrusion is cooked for so long, the oils in hot process soap can become rancid. So, to prevent rancidity, many preservatives are added to keep hot process soaps stable for a longer shelf life.
Soap manufacturers using soap noodles only need to disclose the ingredients they add to make their bar or body bar, they do not need to fully disclose the ingredients in the soap noodle. The final ingredient list can therefore be deceptive as not all ingredients need to be listed.
Melt and pour
This is somewhat similar to making soap with soap noodles, but instead of soap noodles, large blocks of soap of about 20 kg are used. This is then melted at a temperature of about 60 degrees Celsius, all kinds of ingredients are added and it is poured into molds. After cooling, the soap can be used immediately.
The "cold" method
This is actually the traditional form of soap making and the maker is also called "soap maker". This is a much slower process, but the end product is welcome.
In this process, the oils are mixed with an alkali (sodium hydroxide) at room temperature. This then gives a so-called exothermic reaction (it creates heat from the inside), causing the saponification to take place. During that process, the alkali disappears completely, nothing remains in the final product.
Important: natural glycerine is also formed within this process and remains in the mixture. Glycerine acts as a natural moisturizer that does not dry out the skin, but usually results in a noticeably softer skin.
Then the other additions are made that make each soap unique and the mixture is poured into large molds as a block.
Those blocks will then harden for about 2-3 days and then they are cut into pieces manually. This is not over yet, because all bars of soap are then given 3-4 weeks to mature further before they are suitable for optimal use.
Compare it with slow cooking at low temperatures; the best stays in it!
In summary, you can say that "cold method" soaps maintain the glycerin content, require fewer production processes and use no preservatives, all of which are better for Mother Earth.
It goes without saying that Elicious only makes real artisanal soap according to that cold method, with the experience and knowledge gained since 2005.
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