FAQ

Who actually makes your products?

The owner, Dawn Robnett, personally formulates and makes all of Seattle Hill Soap Co’s products.

What kind of soap to you make?

We only make soap from scratch by the cold process method. The reason we choose this method over others is because of quality and purity.

Is this lye soap?

All true soap is made with lye. However, when oils are combined with the lye water, a chemical reaction called saponification begins. This reaction changes the lye and oil into a salt of fatty acid called soap.

How is your soap made?

When we make soap, we begin by weighing the oils. The oils are then gently warmed to so all oils are in liquid form. While the oils are warming, we weigh and measure the water or milk, fragrance, colorants, and sodium hydroxide (lye.) From there, the sodium hydroxide crystals are mixed with the pre-measured water/milk until completely dissolved. The lye mixture is cooled to a specific temperature and then combined with the oils. The mixture is then blended with fragrance and sometimes natural colorants. The soap is then poured into molds and set aside to harden. After 24 hours, the soap is unmolded, cut, and then taken to our drying room where it continues to cure for 3-8 weeks.

What exactly is lye and how is it made?

The chemical name for lye is sodium hydroxide. The lye we use is kosher food grade lye and is made from brine which is pulled from the Gulf of Mexico. The brine then goes through an ionic process where one of the hydrogen atoms is removed and sodium hydroxide is created.

Why do you use food grade lye?

We use kosher food grade lye because it’s the purest form of lye you can buy. Heavy metals and other impurities are removed thereby making it a more reliable and wholesome ingredient.

Lye is used in food?

Yes, in the processing of food. Some of the foods that are processed with lye include: pretzels, lutefisk, hominy, and olives.

What’s the difference between your soap and the soap I can buy in the grocery/drug stores?

Our soap is full of glycerin and select oils that have proven to be skin nurturing. Our soap is carefully formulated to provide wonderful bubbles and that skin pampered feeling. All of which are created by a synergistic formulation of oils. Many commercial soap manufacturers don’t actually sell true soap but from the few that do, they choose to remove the glycerin from their products to lower manufacturing costs and increase profits. However, most commercially made soaps are technically detergents that are made with foaming agents and industrial cleansers/degreasers that can stay on skin long after you’ve rinsed them off. Many of those ingredients can also continue to strip away fatty acids, amino acids, and moisture from your skin.

How can I find out about the ingredients in commercial soap?

We recommend using the Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database. Their database contains information and online safety assessments for cosmetic products, ingredients, brands and companies. We also invite you to look up any of the ingredient we use in our products.

What is glycerin?

Glycerin is a by-product of soap and is a natural humectant. A humectant attracts moisture. When used on the skin, it can pull moisture from the air to itself, thereby adding moisture to the skin.

Do you use pure essential oils or fragrance oils to fragrance your soaps?

We use pure essential oils and synthetic fragrance oils however, all of our fragrance oils are phthalate free.

Why not use just essential oils?

Essential oils are nice but many can have skin irritating effects or stimulating effects which are not recommended for pregnant women or some health issues. Additionally, pure essential oils typically don’t last as long in soap because of their “volatile” oil content. Because of this, we use blends that have longer staying power but chose to add synthetic fragrances to our line for variety and to capture fragrances that cannot be duplicated from natural sources, like strawberry or blueberry.

What are phthalates and why don’t you use them?

Phthalates are primarily used to soften plastics. They are also used in the fragrance industry to increase the life of a fragrance. The FDA allows their use in U.S. cosmetics but the European Union has banned them from use in cosmetics made in the European nations. Controversy of this product causing reproductive issues was enough for us to say “No, we won’t use them.”

Do you use dyes and/or pigments to color your soap?

Rarely. 99% of our soaps obtain their color from skin safe herbs, botanicals, roots, and clays. Occasionally we will use Micas in our bar soaps when a specific color is desired.

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