Frequently Asked Questions

Posted by Gwen


Does the handmade soap I buy from you have lye in it?
Here is the pure and simple fact about soap. All soap, whether it is the type you buy at the store, from me or anybody else, is made from the combination of sodium hydroxide (lye), and fat, either animal or vegetable. Combining fat and lye starts a chemical process known as saponification. The batch gets very hot during the process, and when it is complete, you don’t have fat, you don’t have lye, you have soap! A properly made and cured bar of soap will have absolutely no lye remaining in it.

What about Melt and Pour soap? That doesn’t have lye in it, does it?
That’s true, Melt and Pour soap doesn’t have lye in it. It also is not a true, made from scratch soap, but created from a pre-made block that you buy, melt, and pour into molds. A lot of people have fun with Melt and Pour soap, but I prefer to make my own soap from scratch. You will never get any soap but Cold Process soap from Little Hippie Girl Soap Company.

So what is Cold Process soap, anyway?
Cold Process soap is soap that is not taken through a cooking process to start saponification like Hot Process soap is. The combination of the fats and lye creates enough heat to start saponification and complete the process. It is then cured for at least four weeks. This is the type of soap I make and sell here.

Does handmade soap last as long as the soap I buy at the store?
Absolutely! Easily as long (or longer) as commercial soap. Stored in a cool, dry place, your handmade soap should last at least a year or more, though some fragrances, like the citrus ones, may fade over time. But the soap itself, would still be good to use even if the fragrance does fade.

And, of course, any soap will quickly turn to a pile of goo if it sits in water, but if you use a soap dish that allows the water to drain off, it should last a good long while for you. So go ahead, use up your soap...we`ll make more!

What is that white residue I see on the surface of some of my soaps?
That is a harmless substance known as soda ash. It is caused by the high heat of the saponification process and is easily washed off. I could shave it off, but I prefer to just leave it on and give you a fatter bar of soap for your money.

Some people consider the white soda ash on the soap to be a hallmark of fine handmade soap.

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