Ingredients and Packaging

Basic Soap Ingredients:

Castor oil- used in all soaps.  This oil is a favorite for soap makers because it makes a good stable lather and is moisturizing.  It makes bars softer.

Coconut oil- used in all soaps, it is the main component of Castile liquid soaps.  Coconut oil makes the best lather, rinses well and helps condition and protect skin.  It is solid at room temperature and makes a hard soap bar

Lanolin- used in shaving soaps, it comes from sheep's wool, and is a golden waxy solid.   Lanolin is largely unaffected by lye.  It is a great moisturizer, emollient and skin protector.  Lanolin absorbs water.

Olive oil- used in all soaps, it is the largest part of most of our bars and all of the soft oil soaps.  Olive oil was the original soap oil and is still the only

Palm oil-Was used in bar soaps and shaving soaps.  It has been replaced in bar soaps by rice bran oil in all bar soaps except the Mechanics and Gardeners Soap

Rice Bran oil- used in bar soaps

Sunflower oil- used in Castile and Soft Oil soaps.

The oils in this list are converted into soap through a reaction called saponification.  A strong base is reacted with oils, converting the triglycerides into soap and glycerin.

Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)- used in bar soaps and shaving soaps to turn oils into soap and glycerin through saponification.  All the lye is consumed in the saponification reaction.

Potassium Hydoxide- used in Castile and Soft Oil soaps to turn oils into soap and glycerin through saponification.  All of the potassium hydroxide is consumed in the saponification reaction.

Citric acid- used to reduce the pH of Castile and soft oil soaps to between 9 and 10.


Essential Oils:

Oils taken from the leaves, stems or fruit of many kinds of plants, by steam distillation or less often by pressing.  Most are used for aromatherapy, some are used for alternative medicine treatment or even in food.  

There is a lot of contradictory information on essential oils publicly available.  Most of the information concerns their use in aroma therapy or alternative medicine treatments.

In our soaps they are used primarily as natural scents and are present in small amounts compared to those used in other applications.  

Bay laurel-Used in Rosemary Bay Bar Soap at 0.6% and in Rosemary Bay Shaving Soap at 0.54%

Grapefruit- Used in Citrus Castile Soap at 0.36% and in Citrus Soft Oil Soap at 0.34%

Lavender- Used in Lavender Castile Soap at 0.5% and in Lavender Bar Soap at 1.8%

Orange (Sweet)-Used in Citrus Castile Soap at 0.36% and in Citrus Soft Oil Soap at 0.34%

Rosemary- Used in Rosemary Castile Soap at 0.8%, Rosemary Bay Bar Soap at 1.8%  and Rosemary Bay Shaving Soap at 2.6%

Wintergreen- use at 0.18% in Citrus Castile Soap and at 0.086% in Citrus Soft Oil Soap


Fragrance Oils:

Fragrance oils are fragrances formulated from essential oils, essential constituents of plants and dissolved in a carrier solvent.  Fragrance oils are perfumes and as such are not natural in the way the other ingredients on this page are.  We use them when essential oils are not available or not practical.  As an example, sandalwood was over-harvested in the past and is now very rare and expensive.  

Bergamot Tarragon-used in Bergamot Tarragon Coconut Bar at 2.3%  The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) Certificate for this fragrance lists a maximum safe quantity in soaps at 14.2%

Bamboo - Used in Bamboo Soft Oil at 0.8%.  The IFRA Certificate shows a maximum safe amount in soap to be 11.2%

Sandalwood- Used in Sandalwood Soft Oil at 0.8% and in Sandalwood Shaving Soap at 3.1%  The IFRA Certificate specifies a maximum safe usage of this fragrance in soaps at 7.1%

Oud Wood- Used in Sunflower Oil Shampoo at 0.6%  IFRA Certificate specifies a maximum safe usage of 7.2% in shampoos and soaps.  Like Sandalwood, Oud Wood essential oil is extremely expensive, Oud Wood being the most expensive scent in the world,making the use of a fragrance oil necessary.



Lavender water infusion used in Lavender Soft Oil Soap and Lavender Castile Soap is made by adding cleaned dried lavender flowers to boiling distilled water and allowing the mixture to steep for two days.

Cleaned, cut eucalyptus leaves are used to infuse coconut oil for Eucalyptus Castile Soap and olive oil for Eucalyptus Bar Soap.  

Whole bean French roast coffee is ground and processed as regular coffee using boiling distilled water.  This infusion is used in Coffee Scrubbing Bar soap.

Paprika is added to melted coconut oil and allowed to simmer for 24 hours.  The resulting orange colored oils is used in Citrus Castile Soap.



Glycerin is a sugar like compound that occurs naturally in soap making. It is used as a moisturizer and emoullient.  It looks like water only thicker.  We add glycerin to our liquid soaps to help moisturize and to help the soap and water mix.  We also use it in our shaving soaps.

Rosemary Oleoresin Extract is a concentrated form of rosemary oil is a natural anti-oxidant that prevents rancidity in vegetable oils.  It adds a slight greenish color to the soap mixture.  

Bentonite clay is an absorbent clay that is used in facial masks among many other uses.

Pumice is volcanic ash that is cleaned up and ground fine.  Chemically it is amorphous aluminum silicate.  It is used in our Mechanics and Gardeners Soap as a soft scrubbing additive to help remove tough grease and dirt.

MGDA- methylglycinediacetic acid is a new chelating substance that is derived from the amino acid glycine.  It was formulated to replace EDTA, the standard chelating agent used in most detergents and cleaning products as a preservative and to prevent the formation of soap scum or to dissolve soap scum that has already formed. 



Liquids are packaged in clear PET bottles.  PET is Polyethylene Terephthalate.  It is recyclable, recycle code 1, and does not contain BPA.  These bottles will melt in a microwave or other hot conditions.

Bars and shaving disks are minimally packaged in PVC (polyvinyl chloride) shrink wrap.