Our soaps are handcrafted natural soaps, made in small batches using the cold-process method. Our recipes are carefully researched, then tested thoroughly on family, friends, children, and co-workers; NEVER on animals! We use vegetable oils, beeswax, high-quality fragrances and essential oils, with botanical ingredients in every bar. Not to mention, of course, our own creamy goat’s milk. We buy locally produced ingredients whenever possible, and grow or pick some ourselves. We use no powdered or canned milk, none of the commercially available soap bases, nor hardening agents. You may purchase our soaps through our store, or through the merchants listed on our links page.
Soap is created by a chemical process called saponification: combining fats and oils with a strong base (sodium hydroxide or lye), in the presence of a liquid. When using fresh, cold, or even frozen milk, some of the milk’s sugars are always caramelized. As a result, true milk-based soaps range in color from pale cream to very dark brown, depending upon the additives used, and have a wonderful, earthy appearance. Soaps made using canned or powdered milk, or from commercially available bases, however, may be much lighter in color to almost pure white.
Most commercial soaps are detergent-based, and have had much of the natural glycerin removed for use in other applications. Glycerin is a natural humectant; meaning that it attracts moisture. Natural soaps retain all of the glycerin present in the component oils. This is what gives natural soaps their wonderful moisturizing qualities. High levels of glycerin also cause natural soap to attract moisture; causing sweating and softening. To preserve your soaps and make them last longer; be sure to store them away from excess humidity; and provide a soap dish with excellent drainage to allow drying between uses.
Our soaps begin with saponified vegetable oils. Base oils are warmed, and then blended with a mixture of goat milk and sodium hydroxide. Our base oils have been carefully selected and proportioned to produce soaps that meet our goals for lathering, hardness, and conditioning . These base oils include:
- Coconut oil… for bubbles, bubbles, bubbles! We love bubbles! The more coconut oil in a soap, the more bubbles you get and the harder the soap. By itself or without conditioning oils, however, coconut oil may be a bit drying; so other oils are included in the mix
- Soybean oil… for smooth and stable lather without dryness
- Olive oil… not a great latherer, but it adds great mildness and skin-loving qualities
- Castor oil… adds smooth creaminess to the lather
- Beeswax… we like it for the silky feel it adds and the way it seems to help seal moisture into the skin.
Once the mixture has reached a stage called “trace” which has a texture similar to thin pudding, the premium conditioning oils, herbs, botanical additives, and fragrances are added. Tocopherols (a form of Vitamin E) are also added as preservative to maintain the qualities of the conditioning oils not utilized during saponification. At full trace, the soap is poured into molds to harden. When it is cool, it is freed from our molds, cut into bars, and allowed to cure for several weeks. When fully cured, the bars are pH tested, wrapped, and are ready to provide a luxurious bathing experience.
Rustic packaging distinguishes our brand and the individual soap varieties. Each simple cigar-band wrapper is individualized by a different font and style. A fun or interesting quote is printed on the back side of the label; usually inspired by the soap itself or specific ingredients. While browsing our online store, click on the image of the
wrapper to see each in more detail, or hover to see its quote.
We are able to create custom soaps and wrappers, as well as gift baskets. Please contact us for further information. Be aware that it can be as much as 6 weeks from start to finish before a soap is ready for use.
You may also download and print our informational brochure to read more about our soaps, and the additional ingredients that make each variety unique.
Visit our online store to see information on each variety; to order soaps or other Fat Bottom Farm merchandise!
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Originally posted 2011-01-28 14:07:21.
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