What are the dimensions of a bar of your soap?

That is a bit more complicated of a question than it would seem.

Handmade bar soaps contain water. This is cured out over time. As the water weight drops the dimensions of the bar change slightly. Freshly minted bars weigh 4.25oz. a year later they can weigh 3.25oz, and 2 years later about 3oz. That said, we cure our bars to a 12.5% min moisture content or 3.25” long x 2.15 wide x 1.15” thick when ready. This is of course a moving target as bar size and moisture content are intertwined.

Most people call bars this size 3.75oz, which is their weight when ready to sell.

Thank You and All the Best,

Soapman

Do you carry wholesale lotion base? If not, could you recommend a supplier, who is devoted to all-natural products?

We’re a small St. Louis candle company hoping to expand.

Thanks!

Hi Robert,

Thanks for the email.

Lotions typically mean water in oil emulsions. The presence of water means that preservation is required which voids most organic requirements. We make waterless lotions aka salves and balms and other hot oil fills which require no microbial preservation typically. Here the ingredients are heated, pumped into containers, and chilled. We are happy to provide this service for you.

Vermont Soap manufactures a wide variety of certified organic personal care products. Most are available in bulk. We tend to fill hot fills here, but we also have clients that take Green Gold Herbal Moisturizer and fill jars with it cold using a spatula, which works pretty good for small amounts.

Give us a call if we can help. 802-388-4302

Best!

Soapman Larry Plesent

Are your products cruelty free?

Vermont Soap is a long time Leaping Bunny supporter. No cruelty on our products! Thanks for asking.

I thoroughly enjoy your unscented Castile soap in my personal care products. The gallon I just received is very light in color as compared to the last gallon I purchased which was surprisingly dark. I’m sure they are of equal quality, but I prefer the lighter color’s appearance in my products. What makes this difference in color?

Great Question! The longer the soap cooks the darker it gets. It also comes down in pH making it milder. However, the longer it cooks the more soapier smelling it gets, a definite turn off for most people.

We have a brand new facility now run on (mostly) renewable electric energy. Everything is working really well and we are making castile liquid soap that is both lightly scented and lower in pH than our former specifications. Hallelujah! A perfect batch…….

 

Have you considered making an organic shampoo and conditioner?

We certainly have (and are).

Always testing, but there are some real challenges here.

Will keep working on it.

All the Best,

Soapman

 

 I wanted to purchase some of your foaming hand soaps as Christmas gifts but when I try to add to cart they will not add and a pop up states they are not available? Can you please tell if and when they will be available in the future?

We are re-stocking next week.

Sorry! Just getting back into production in our new facility.

All the Best,

Soapman

shea butter

Soapman responds to customer concerns about shea butter.

Nope!

Our shea butter is pasteurized, de-watered and super filtered before it is repackaged for sale in the West. It is actually certified as food grade in Europe.

Raw refers to the lack of refining in this product. While there are advantages to the refining process (longer shelf life, stable color and scent), most of the goodies that make shea butter so extraordinarily anti-inflammatory are lost during refining. We prefer to reprocess unrefined shea butter to keep the goodies in but get the microbes, and plant material out. When we fill tins and other consumer sizes, we remelt the shea butter and fill containers hot. This pasteurizes it a second time.

It is also important to remember that viruses and bacteria require water to exist. Shea butter has very little water in it and thus will actually exhibit mild germ killing properties. In other words, even if we did not do all of this, it is quite unlikely one can get any disease from shea butter.  Even if someone with active Ebola touched the shea butter, the virus would have to stay alive for months in a hostile environment (oils). Very unlikely to actually be possible. Not that we would take the chance, but still very unlikely.

I have worked in West Africa on and off as a volunteer soap and shea butter processing coach for the past 12 years. The last two years I worked in Liberia helping fledgling soap businesses to get going. I was supposed to be in Liberia last March but begged off, telling USAID that I was tired of getting sick from traveling. The places I worked ARE the very same Ebola hot spots. Remote areas need soap and soap makers, which is why I go there. ‘Nough said, am very glad not to have been in Liberia when this plague broke loose!

You can be comfortable knowing that you will absolutely NOT get Ebola from VT Soap’s shea nut butter. It is pasteurized and packaged to food grade standards even though it is used on your skin (in the US).

All the Best,

Soapman

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post was revised on Sunday November 2nd to address customer concerns. The original sentence read “We prefer to reprocess unrefined shea butter to keep the goodies in but get the Africa out.” this has been changed to “We prefer to reprocess unrefined shea butter to keep the goodies in but get the microbes, and plant material out.” to more accurately convey our intended meaning. Larry apologizes personally to anyone offended by his poor choice of words.

 Do you have the organic soap processed machine? if yes how much per unit?

We make soap, but we do not sell the machines. We buy used equipment and modify them, an expensive and difficult task. It is often easier to make cookers from metal drums and heat with dried coconut husks or something similar. You will need a lot of clean air to clear the fumes from cooking liquid soap. Both bar and liquid soaps can be turned by stick as long as the mixer is not breathing the fumes (the smoke).

All the Best,

Larry Plesent

Hi Larry,
Approximately how long before the pet shampoo will be available.

Thanks for your help.

Regards,
Diane

Hi Diane,

We are getting back into production now.

3-4 weeks.

You can also use any of our castile liquid soaps. Tea tree and Lemongrass Zen are popular for pets. Liquid Sunshine works great too. All of these are in stock as I write.

Best!

Soapman

Are you ever going to produce hand and/or body lotions? I love your soaps and would love to be able to purchase hand and body creams or lotions.

Hi Beverly,

Thanks for the compliments, and for asking about moisturizers.

We make a product called Green Gold. It is a pretty amazing herbal moisturizer and anti-aging balm.

We also have pure shea butter in little pots for lips.

All the Best!

Soapman

Hi, My friend and I were looking forward to visiting your booth at The Big E this weekend, but we didn’t see you. Are you going to be there at all or have you opted out this year? Thanks.

As you may have heard we had a factory fire on June 4’th and had to relocate (ipod speakers caught on fire). Just getting back into production now so we don’t have a lot to sell for the Big E. We WILL be back at the Big E next year.

In the meantime checkout our bar soap special (45% off list for naked 12 packs of one flavor) and sign up for our eSpecials to continue to save big-time.

All the Best!

Soapman and the intrepid Soap Crew

I have been seeing charcoal face soap suggested for breakouts and oily skin but I don’t see any on your site. Is this something you would consider having in your store?
Thank you!

Charcoal sounds interesting. The only downside I can see is a loss in shelf life. Working with African shea butter, I have observed that charcoal in oils causes them to oxidize faster.

For oily skin sensitive skin I recommend Clay Soap. This is a high quality, unscented bar soap that dries up oily skin and closes pores. We used a local green clay from an organic farm. The Blue Bar (double strength tea tree and peppermint) is quite good for red infectious oily skin conditions.

Many people on the oily skin side of their lives like the Sweetgrass Shower Gel. May or not be for your face but it is quite yummy.

Look for the Skin Type Spectrum on all of our product pages. This graphic matches your skin type with the proper products in your category.

All the Best!

Soapman

We live in an area with hard water. To counteract the effects of hard water, we have a water softener. Unfortunately, softened water does not always completely wash soap away, leaving a slippery feeling on our skin. Is there a type of soap that washes away better in soft water? Thanks for your help!

Try the castile liquid soap and the foaming hand soaps. These will work better than our gels or bars.

Best!
Soapman

Hello!
How do I know if an all natural product needs a preservative for retail?

Is there a safe all natural preservative?

Do you know of any online classes for all natural skin care products?
Would a Pure Aloe Vera Gel product need a preservative ?

Thank you,
DeAnna

Hi DeAnna,

Thanks for writing.

How do I know if an all natural product needs a preservative for retail?
If a product contains water there is a very good chance that it will grow microbes. Always do a CTFA challenge test for any unique product that you make and an inexpensive plate test for variations.

Is there a safe all natural preservative?
pH can be adjusted, sugar or salt or soap at 20% or more concentration kills germs.

Do you know of any online classes for all natural skin care products?
Do not sorry!

Would a Pure Aloe Vera Gel product need a preservative?
Yes – typically potassium sorbate is used.

Best!

Soapman

I would like to dilute the liquid sunshine all purpose concentrate to refill my Spray and wipe bottle. How much concentrate in water do you recommend for the 16 oz bottle?

Thanks,
Suzanne

OK – here you go:

  1. Always rinse out your refill bottles 3x in hot water. Soap is only as fresh as the oldest molecule of soap in the bottle!
  2. Always add water to soap only when you want a lot of foam, like when you wash a dog or a car. Otherwise add soap to water to minimize foaming in the bottle.
  3. You can use as little as 5% soap in a Spray for glass, windows and light surface cleaning. Go as high as 10% for extra heavy duty cleaning like oven cleaning or to kill flies or insects in your garden.
  4. Do not worry about exact concentrations. If it isn’t strong enough, add more. Too soapy? Just dilute.
  5. Works great inside the automobile too, glass and vinyl. No need to use toxic car cleaners. Use at 5%.

All the Best,

Soapman

Is it ok to apply insect armor directly to the skin? (I found a can hidden in the garage)

Yes it is but you should always test new products on your forearm for sensitivities first. We call it Camping Spray now. Best!

What is the ounce size of your wholesale bars?

This is actually a very good question. Handmade soap has a fairly high percentage of water in it. When it is first made it pours like pancake batter, lye water solution being about 1/3 of the mix at that point. After three days or so the product is hard enough to handle and cut. The bars are laid out on stainless steel screens and dried for a month. When water weight drops below 12% it is ready to take off the drying racks and can be sold. As water continues to slowly cure out of the bar the weight continues to drop.

We calculate that a year after a bar of soap is made its weight will occasionally drop below 3.3oz. This is a factor of, among other things, the barometric pressure the day the soap was made. Therefore we label our bars at 3.25oz. Our typical bar soap is 4.1oz (5 days after it is made) and average 3.8 oz +/- the day we ship it. For years we labeled our bar soaps at 3.75oz (now industry standard) but several fines later we have learned to err on the side of caution in labeling bar soaps.

All the Best!

Soapman

Do you make or plan to make a organic hand sanitizer?

-Maureen

Hi Maureen. Yes indeed we have one close to launch but the factory fire this Summer set us back. Give us about 6 months or less. If you sign up for the eSpecials on the Home Page you will know as soon as we do.

All the Best!

Soapman

I want a soap that cleanses and washes off completely to remove as much bacteria as possible.

– Marilu

Hi Marilu,

Our foaming hand soap works great and doesn’t dry you out. Try it!

According to the FDA washing your hands in pure soap and water for 35 seconds kills 99.9% of all germs.

Thanks for asking!

Soapman

I suspect this is on your website somewhere, but I can’t seem to find it. Do you use sodium hydroxide? If so, do you make your own from ash, or do you purchase it made by the electricity in water method?
Thanks

Hi Garret,

Good questions!

When we make bar soaps we use sodium hydroxide. When we make liquid and gel soaps we use potassium hydroxide. Paste soaps (special order) are a mixture of both types of alkali.

I have made potassium carbonate from wood ashes and water and then refined that into potassium hydroxide when I was in Liberia teaching a couple of years ago. Here in the US we buy it fresh and US made – not from ashes.

All the Best,

Soapman

How do the soaps hold up during shipping in the warm weather months?

Great Question!

Handmade soap melts at 128F; 53C so you should be good to go. If you live in a desert we can ship your order with a freeze-pack in it.

How can I prevent the regular castile liquid soap from clogging our regular hand soap dispensers? It doesn’t seem to like to be pumped in either non-foaming and foaming type dispensers. Thanks!

Jen

Hi Jen,

You want to thin down your castile liquid soap for most dispensing pumps and foamers. Try 40% soap/ 60% water for your foamers. Hint: add soap to water not water to soap here

You can cut you castile soap by 50% with water for your pump.

All the Best!

Soapman

Dear Soapman,

I used to buy Insect Armor and really liked it. Then you discontinued it and came out with Camp & Garden Spray and Camp & Garden Lotion which seems to be pretty much the same thing as the original Insect Armor formula. What’s going on here? Bugged in Brattleboro.

Dear Bugged,

A few years back Vermont Soap was served a cease, desist and recall order from the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency. They claimed that we were selling an unregistered pesticide across State lines.

“But this is a blend of all natural plant oils designed to confuse (or “addle”) insects so they avoid biting people,” we told them.

And they read us their legal definition of a pesticide; which includes repelling pesky bugs using natural plant oils.

So we recalled Insect Armor and soon came out with our new Camp & Garden Spray and Camp & Garden Lotion, neither of which makes any reference to insects, bugs or annoying pests. We only claim to “make you more comfortable with citronella and other natural essential oils.”

If this amazing blend of eight potent essential oils works synergistically to keep annoying insects at bay all the more power to ya. We will never say in writing that it is anything more than herbal perfume.

Now excuse me while I apply some more herbal perfume to my sun hat!

All the Best,

Soapman

Dear Soapman,

Keeping clean naturally is all well and good. But I am tired of predicting the weather by the pain in my joints. Do you have anything for achy people?

Signed, The Human Barometer

Dear Human,

No need to hire yourself out to the Farmer’s Almanac HB.

In our continuing quest to soothe the minor injustices of human existence, VT Soap now offers Old Fashioned Arnica Salve to soothe your everyday aches and stiffness.

Made from certified organic coconut oil, shea butter, hemp seed oil, wintergreen oil, beeswax, arnica, St John’s wort and rosemary extracts. Every ingredient works together to provide gentle, soothing relief.

Vermont Soap manufactures both vegetarian products and vegan products. A few of our products, like Old Fashioned Arnica Salve include organic honey or beeswax. Look for 100% natural and organic Vermont Soap products at vermontsoap.com and a health food store near you!

I want to make a constructive criticism (not a complaint :o). We recently purchased tooth salt, and love the product – but surely there is another way to deliver it to the toothbrush? It doesn’t ‘squeeze’ out, as mentioned in the directions; it only ‘shakes/poofs’ out like a salt shaker, and most of it ends up on the sink and not the brush. I’m sure you’ve been working on this, but just wanted to let you know our experience with it. Thank you.

Yes it’s true. We OVERFILLED a couple of thousand Tooth Salts and they do not dispense properly until the level drops a bit. Here are several useful suggestions:

  1. Tap it out rather than squeeze to dispense onto your wet toothbrush
  2. Empty some out for now
  3. Take off the cap to dispense for a week or so until the level drops.

Apologies for the inconvenience!

Larry Plesent and the Soap Crew

Just learning about real soap & started out with Dr Bronners. TOO drying. Came across your website and ordered some stuff yesterday. Today I realized coconut oil might be irritating my already dry skin. Can coconut & palm oils become irritants? I was reading something about developing allergies to them. Do you have liquid soaps without them? Worried I’m going to have trouble with my liquid sunshine that is coming…. Does it stay in your clothes and build up? Would that dry my skin? What about residues on dishes? My new baby has some ezcema and I’m trying to resolve it. In the process, I’m finding out how sensitive I am too!

Help!

Thanks

Jennie

Hi Jennie,

Thanks for contacting us.

Bronners is very drying for almost everyone who uses it it – except for their chemist who does NOT have sensitive skin. Let’s back up a bit…..

Knowing that you have dry skin I recommend that you try our Shea Butter Bar which is specifically formulated for dry sensitive skin. Try it – it will rock your world. I use it to wash my (thin) hair and shave with too. Fine for baby too.

People with extraordinarily reactive skin use liquid on their clothes with great success and sometimes with a relief of symptoms caused by mass market laundry products. No Worries!

Read some of the back Ask the Soapman questions about dry skin.

You will also like our foaming hand soap. Try Unscented first. Refill with 1/2 liquid sun and 1/2 water when you use it up as a comparison to see if essential oils make any difference to your skin.

On the formulation side: the more coconut oil in a formula the higher the percentage of the population that gets dry skin from it (coconut oil turned into soap harshness). Bronners is 99% coconut oil. Allergies to soap are VERY VERY rare and certainly not your issue or you would know it by now.

We have a number of excellent organic moisturizers. Try Green Gold. It is amazingly healing. Keep it in the fridge after opening.

Go easy on bleach and babies. They often react to detergent laundry products. You are much better off and safer using natural soap for laundry and dishes than synthetic detergents that did not exist 75 years ago!

 

I am going to bottle both 4 and 8 ounce size bottles of the shower gel. Could you tell me how much fragrance I should put in each. I will be using both fragrance oils and essential oils. I want the scent of the gel to match the fragrance scent of the body oil and body spray that will go in the kit.

Essential oils are usually added at 2% to 3% of the total. If you measure out 100g of soap gel base it makes it easier to calculate percentages first time. These are guidelines only as aesthetics and scent strength will vary. Fragrance oils start at ½ the percentage of essential oils. Have fun!

Can I buy your products anywhere other than online? Are you in any stores?

Vermont soap is carried by over 1500 stores nationwide. We are usually found in health food stores and co-ops but also in bookstores, gift stores and country stores and sometimes even by hair stylists. Email customerservice@vtsoap.com with the zip codes of some of the larger towns in your area and we will check our database for outlets close by.

And always feel free to email info@vtsoap.com with suggestions for stores near you where you would LIKE to see us carried. We will follow up, send small samples etc. If you have a name or business card of the buyer or owner that is even better. Most owners and buyers are responsive to their customers. If they hear Vermont Soap asked for a by name a few times, and then they get a call from us, overall response is usually good.

Thanks for emailing. Spring is coming!

The Soap Crew

Where may one find fragrance descriptions for your products? Thank you!

Lavender: This is Vermont Soap’s signature lavender blend (not your Great Grandmother’s lavender).
Forget the mediciney, overpowering and often synthetic blends of the past, this is a clean light lavender blend with hints of citrus and echoes of deep woods. It reverberates in the heart and is both calming and cheering.

Citrus Sunrise: If you could capture sunlight and happiness in a scent this just might be it. Light as a Spring morning yet full like good Asian food. It will put a smile on your nose.

Peppermint Magic: You’ve heard it all before; bracing, refreshing, uplifting. Look for a broader boof here beyond the twangy one note of less complex blends.

Sweetgrass: Complex best describes this sophisticated lavender/clove blend with hints of forest and garden.

Woodspice: An organic blend similar to the original Old Spice™ blend.

Patchouli (now Patchouli Rose:) Like patchouli on steroids. Rose geranium and patchouli compliment each other in a clean, refreshing and spiritually uplifting blend.

Rosemary Herb: A layered lavender rosemary blend which reveals itself over time. Lavender combined with mystery…

Balsam Pine: A blend of North American evergreen oils. Like a walk through a balsam pine forest.

Blue Bar: A double strength tea tree and peppermint blend.

Shampoo Bar: Very lightly scented with our signature lavender blend; as is the Baby Bar soap.

Honey: A citrus clove blend with notes added from local honey.

What is the difference between your castile soaps, bath & shower, and hand soaps? Aren’t they all oil based and foam equally?

I love this question.

Just as a baker will take different types of flours, different yeasts, waters, salts, sugars and extras to make an astonishing range of baked goods, so too our master soapmakers work with different plant oils, lyes, waters and extras to create a very wide range of foaming products.

The differences are in:

ASTRINGENC or how pore tightening or loosening a formula is. Dry skin formulations are the least astringent. One way to vary this effect is by altering the essential oil combinations. Mints are most astringent, then citrusy blends, then lavenders. Our Unscented blends are the most moisturizing and least astringent.

MOISTURE in cosmetic marketing speak usually means the amount of free oils in the formula. We can add exotic oils to bar soaps all day long. Liquid soaps not so much; most of the oils rise to the top and have to be shaken in each time. So by default, dry and sensitive skin people will enjoy our handmade organic bar soaps on their face and bodies.

FOAMABILITY refers to, well, how easily the stuff builds foam over a variety of conditions like temperature of the water, minerals in the water etc. The foamer formulas for example are designed to maximize small and medium bubbles to form a creamy smooth skin feel while being de-greasing enough to be able to quickly remove a wide range of materials without drying out your hands.

GEL SOAPS are a hybrid. We start with a special high olive oil body care liquid soap base. This is thickened using vegetable glycerin and organic guar gum, a food grade plant based thickener. VT Soap invented this process and although we never have patented it our exact methods are a trade secret and have never been successfully duplicated. Gel Soaps are milder than castile liquid soap but a little more astringent than our special bar soaps.

CASTILE LIQUID SOAP refers to the base or concentrate that is used to make all of our cleaners, foamers and gels. Vermont soap has developed 5 unique liquid soap bases formulations (to date) that we use in different types of products and for our custom contract work for other companies.

Many of our customers save money by buying a gallon of castile soap or Liquid Sunshine. Dilution instructions are printed on the bottle and on line to help you to make your foamers and spray cleaners simply by adding more or less water and changing the dispensing system. The premade stuff is perfectly adjusted already but you can still get good results by doing it yourself. When you look at the wide range of toxic cleaning products out there you quickly realize that adding a little extra soap to your spray cleaner makes a whole lot more sense than buying a new bottle for every item you own. ALL watersafe surfaces clean up well with natural soap and water.

Thanks for reading labels, asking questions and thinking about these things!

All the Best,

Soapman

 

 

I am chemically sensitive but I usually can tolerate essential oils if they’re organic. I’m attracted to lavender scents so just wondering if the essential oils included in your lavender soaps are all organic?

We use an American Lavendin that is steam distilled on farm in the USA. It is 100% natural but not certified organic. US farmers growing crops for distillation typically grow without pesticides (the plants themselves take care of that) but use ammonia nitrate fertilizer towards the end to boost yields another 10%.

Many essential oils are “stepped on”; blended with fragrances and/or diuted with cottonseed oil which is full of pesticides. Our essential oils are not stepped on – we have a way of testing them for that here.

Try a bar of oatmeal lavender. That is our best seller. As a back up get a butter bar (my personal fave) which is not scented but has a fresh herbiness that is quite pleasant. I suspect that you can use most of our stuff.

Have you downloaded your free copy of The Reactive Body Handbook yet?

All the Best!

Soapman

 

Hello,

Interested in the Bulk Liquid Castile soap. Does Castile Soap expire? If so, how long can I keep it for after purchasing?

Thanks for your time.

Roxann

Hi Roxann,

Great question. Thanks for writing.

We rate all of our products for a three year shelf life. For comparison, mass market products are formulated for a minimum seven year shelf life – think Twinkie ™.

The enemies of all natural products are ultraviolet light, which breaks things down, air, and temperature. The less of those things you have i.e. seal the bottle and store in a cool dry place out of sunlight; the longer the shelf life.

Castile soap is a completely natural multi-purpose foaming liquid. It will clean all water safe surfaces including you. It can be a body wash as long as you do not have dry or sensitive skin; we make very special bar soaps for that. Results as a shampoo vary widely. Thanks for making your home a less toxic household!

Larry Plesent aka Soapman

We are looking for dried castile soap. Can you help us?

Liberia-Soap-Flakes
Ms. Zubah Gayflor of Monrovia, Liberia demonstrates how she turns palm kermel oil bar soap into soap flakes for laundry.

Hard to find. There was an outfit in the UK making it but they left the business maybe 6 or 7 years ago. My understanding is that you could start with liquid castile soap. Then it would be spray/freeze dried. This type of machine is out there and if you find a company that will take on the project I am happy to work with you guys by supplying the castile liquid soap.

On a smaller scale you can take always unscented handmade bar soap and grate it.

This is a picture of a friend in Liberia, West Africa who makes this product from a handmade soap she creates from palm kernel oil, water and lye.

There are undoubtedly other formulas and other ways of making castile soap flakes out there as well. Hope this helped!

All the Best,

Soapman

 

Could I add my own choice of essential oils to your unscented shower gel or would that ruin the soap?

Yes! You can mix your own pure essential oil blends into our unscented gels and liquid castile soap. Real essential oils stay in much better than fragrance or perfume oils will. Use about 2% scent or just put it in a few drops at a time until you have the boof where you like it.

All the Best,

Soapman

I like your foaming soap very much, and use it in several places in my home. A friend recently bought me a decorative foaming soap dispenser for my main bathroom. I would like to use your soap in it. The instructions on the new dispenser say to dilute soap – about 1 part soap to 4 parts water. But when I use your soap in your dispensers, I don’t dilute it, of course. Do I need to dilute your soap for my new dispenser, or use it as is? The foaming mechanism looks pretty basic, similar to yours.

Thanks!

Hi Lori. Thanks for the kudos on the foam soap.

I would expect your decorative foamer to work just fine with our natural soap formulas. They usually do.

We put a lot of work into getting the foamer refills just right and we add extra vegetable glycerin to them to make the foam last longer and to alter the skin feel slightly. I recommend using our preformulated foamer refills if you like things to be perfect every time (as much as that is possible in life).

But when I run out at home – I dilute whatever Vermont Soap is around. You can even dilute one of our shower gel soaps in a pinch but they come apart and you have to shake the bottle first every time.

If you want to save yourself some money you can use any of our Castile Liquid Soaps or Liquid Sunshine as a base and dilute it to foamer strength. The dilution range here is very wide – this does not have to be an exact science. 25% makes a dry foam; which is cool, but there are not a lot of soap molecules in there to do the cleaning. Most people prefer a 30% to 40% soap in their dilutions but tastes vary so experiment.

Some folks like to wash their dishes with their foamers. Use a 50% to 60% soap in your cleaning foamers. They make great spot removers and spot carpet cleaners too.

Always add soap to water (not water to soap) when diluting castile soap – unless you want to make a LOT of foam!

Be sure to rinse the foamer bottle in hot water between uses to keep things fresh. Soap is only as fresh as the oldest molecule in the bottle. Everything else quickly comes down to that level diminishing the shelf life of the product. You would notice this as a slight unpleasantness to the otherwise sweet scent and the skin feel would not be as nourishing.

Thanks for writing. Foam rocks!

Soapman

What does the vegetable gum/glycerin extract in the baby wash and fine hair shampoo do? I am asking because I originally was planning to purchase unscented castile liquid to use as baby wash. Then I came across the baby wash and saw that the ingredients are identical except for this one.

Hi Stacie,

Definitely go with the baby gel. It is much milder than castile liquid soap for baby and for all human skin.

We make it from a special body care soap base that we developed for this purpose.

The way we formulate, every ingredient serves double duty. The guar and gum and glycerin are our thickeners. They serve additionally to increase the mildness of the product.

Thanks for asking.

Soapman

Thank you for your time. If you go to ewg.org (Environmental Working Group) website, they have a link to healthy cleaning products. You can type in any ingredient, and they will rate it A-F. When you type in the ingredient Saponified Coconut it is rated an A, but I thought you could help me understand the ingredient more. I want to order the unscented house cleaning products from your company. It has Saponified coconut, Olive & Jojoba oils, Rosemary extract. I have respiratory problems and hope this will be a wise choice for house cleaning. It’s the purest I can find! Thanks….

Gina

Hi Gina,

EWG is a good tool to use in your search for truly safe and natural products. I disagree with them about the topical use of essential oils but otherwise great stuff!

Vermont Soap works with thousands of people with Reactive Bodies like yours (and mine).

Here is a link to the Reactive Body Survival Kit of unscented body care and cleaning products. Every product in the kit is certified to USDA organic food standards; the highest standard for natural on the planet.

Saponified means literally, “turned into soap”. We take organic food grade coconut, olive, and jojoba vegetable oils and turn them into soap. We preserve this with a scentless, organic food grade preservative made from rosemary. We even superfilter the final liquid soap through a variety of mediums to reduce it’s natural soapy aroma.

I am now completing the editing of a short book I wrote titled,”The Reactive Body Handbook”. This will be available as a free download on our website very soon. Sign up for our eSpecials on the home page to stay in touch with us on this, and also to learn about other strictly natural products as we develop and release them.

Congrats! You found the right stuff. Plus you don’t have to mortgage the house to buy factory direct from us.

Wishing You All the Best,

Larry Plesent, CEO and Soapman

The floor in our house is ceramic tile. We use the Hoover Floor Mate to clean the floor. Do you have a product that could be used to clean our ceramic floors?

Sure. Any of our castile liquid soap based products will work fine including our Pine Floor Cleaner and Liquid Sunshine. All of these are mild, effective and nontoxic.

Hi Vermont Soap,

I watched several videos over the weekend of your operation in Vermont and the founders trip to Africa. They were GREAT! You have a very cool factory. It was also nice to see the founder giving his time and knowledge to those who are less fortunate. It was inspiring to see him helping to teach skills that will lead to self sufficiency.

I noticed the large soap molds appeared to be made of plywood in the Vermont factory. I’m just curious, what do you line the wooden soap molds with to keep the raw soap from leaking out? I would assume that the raw soap would eat away at the wood and leak out before the soap becomes solid. How many bars of soap come out of one of those big blocks? How much does the soap block weigh?

Thank you for your time.

Tom

 

Hi Tom,

There are many people who would like to know the secret of what we use to protect the soap and release it from the mold. BUT! That is a trade secret.

We pour up to 110lbs per block which makes about 400 standard sized bars.

All the Best,

Soapman

 

How much shea butter is in your Butter Bar in terms of percentage?

I have been using it for years and it is the only soap I use in the winter because it is mild and does not aggravate my eczema.

Thanks.

Hi Sarah,

Thanks for the kudos!

The Butter Bar is our mildest soap for dry skin.

I use it for face and body, shaving and hair washing.

The exact percentage is a secret but I can tell you that it not only contains our own special shea butter but we also use calendula and St John’s wort oils which are also potent anti-irritant/ anti-inflammatories.

Thanks for asking and Stay Well!

Soapman

How do you use the toothbrush cleaner on dental appliances?

Simple! Spray and allow ten minutes to evaporate off. Thanks for asking.

Do you have any products that offer natural sun protection?

Most natural formulators agree that a big floppy hat is the #1 best sun protection system available. For a great natural zinc oxide sun block see our friends at Badger Balm.

47 years old male. I have has a rash rash very bad for almost a year. Derm and allergist suggested patch test. It’s scaly burning inflamed red and hurts daily. I’m thinking maybe the soaps? I use dove bar and head and shoulders. Do you think your products will work?

Hi Tony. Ouch! Sounds painful. The only way to know what is causing this is through an elimination diet. This means eliminating every possible cause which should soothe the heat down considerably. You then add one thing at a time and wait a couple of hours to see what starts the irritation back up. Your doctor is suspecting that this is a dietary reaction, and he could be right. Fortunately for you it is much easier to test for topical irritations than for food allergies. Here’s how.

The most sensitive skin on your body is at your inner elbow on your forearm just below where your elbow bends. Dip the product (like Dove detergent bar) you want to test into distilled water and gently rub some into one arm. Leave the other arm alone for comparison. If you are reactive to something in the test product you will know it within two hours.

Test your shampoo, shaving cream etc the same way.

If you are reacting to detergents or artificial scents (toluene carrier) in your products pretty much everything will irritate your skin; from laundry to underarm deodorant to bubble baths, bath gels –you name it. If this is the case Vermont Soap makes products for people like you (and me) so no worries. Try some Green Gold Unscented to soothe the heat of the rash. Our Butter Bar (soap) is also unscented and full of herbal anti inflammatory molecules. Use it for hair and shaving when you need a soothing alternative.

Some municipalities are foolishly using chloramine sanitizer in the water supply. Find out if this poison is in your water. You may possibly be reacting to that molecule. If they started putting it in about a year ago this is worth filtering out with activated charcoal. Certainly you do not want to be drinking it.

Many people react to laundry products. Stop using fabric softener and switch to Liquid Sunshine multipurpose nontoxic cleaner if laundry products are suspect.

Rashes are your bodies way of telling you to stop doing something you are not yet aware of. Pay attention to the intensity of the rash. Keep a log of everything that goes into and onto your body. Then gradually replace anything that is not natural and is healing to you – inside and out.

If everything that goes into and onto your body is “medicine” for you; you will quickly be healed.

Reactions affect our mental and emotional states too. Stay cool and calm and figure your way out of this through careful observation. I have a new book “The Reactive Body Handbook” coming out soon as a free download. Sign up for our e-specials mailing list so you will know when it is done being edited and available.

All the Best,

Soapman

 

 

Is there info anywhere about which essential oils are included in the different blends? I just got the country lavender/lavender ecstasy (which is it??) gel and it smells kinda woodsy, almost like pine…. I’d like to try another one after this but it would help to know what it will really smell like first. Thanks

Sorry. Some of our scent blends are trade secrets!

Hi, do you have any products that will kill mold between the tiles in a shower? Thank you

This is a great question. Tile grout and sealers contain mold retardant chemicals. But over time their effectiveness lessens and we see various types of mold/fungus stuff growing on the grout between the tiles. The easiest, safest and most effective way to clean this stuff off is with Bon Ami. This is a 160 year old product. Near as I can tell it’s a mixture of powdered feldspar and lime. These guys still use the original formula so there is no weird fragrance or colors or inputs from chemical manufacturers. A can costs less than the toxic cleaners and is pretty easy to find.

Unfortunately these nice folks did not heed the Soapman’s advice when they formulated their line of “green” surface cleaners. I guess somebody in a suit with a nice full color brochure convinced them that diluted shampoo base constitutes a green cleaner! Regardless, try Bon Ami powder. It’s inexpensive and effective. I put the label that covers the holes back over half of them to better control the flow. Scrub into the tiles and grout with a small stiff bristled nylon brush. I scrub the shower when I am in there and leave it to dry right on the tiles overnight to put real pressure on the fungus. Then I rinse and scrub it off before taking a shower the next day. There is one corner in my shower that seems to harbor the mother spores. I throw some dry Bon Ami on it from time to time so I don’t have to scrub the tiles as often.

Best!

Soapman

 

 

What type of organic alcohol (grain, cane or corn) is used in your products like the toothbrush sanitizer?

Thanks for asking. Our organic alcohol comes from organic corn which is gluten and GMO free, and certified by the USDA. All the corn used to make this alcohol was grown in the US.

 

I was in Vermont during the recently holiday and had bought one of the Vermont Soaps. I had used it and love it and wish I had bought more! Before I place my order… Wondering which soap has the most scent? Thank You.

Hi Bryan,

Thanks for writing.

We try to maintain a fairly even level of boof in our bar soaps so one scent does not dominate the others on the shelves. There are now almost twenty scents to choose from. Because we use real essential oils, the scents actually do something besides just smelling nice. In fact, they alter the astringency of the soap. If you have pretty normal skin utilize the range of citrus scents including lemongrass and also Rosemary. Dry skin prefers the unscented or lavender products and mint family (including the Blue Bar) are good for oily skin.

All the Best!

Soapman

 

 

I see that your products are manufactured in a peanut free facility, but is it also a tree nut free facility? I got super excited, then saw an answer to a question about almond oil being okay once it is saponified. For someone with life threatening allergies like me, it is NOT ok and I’m desperate to find a company that I feel safe with!

Ouch. I hear you Taylor. While we do not use almond oil here typically (that was a question from a customer) we do use palm, palm kernel, coconut, olive, jojoba and shea nut oils everyday. Hope these are off your list!

Dear Soapman,

I love my husband but every winter he grows a beard that comes in so scratchy I cannot kiss him! Please do you have a natural way to soften beards and save my marriage?

Signed,

Mountain woman33 in Vermont.

Dear Mountain Woman,

Fear not! Soapman is here to bring the zing back into your married life.

  1. First, wet that beard thoroughly. Then moisten a BUTTER BAR SOAP.
  2. Rub the bar right into the beard and then massage it in for a half a minute.
  3. Rinse as normal with warm water.

After just a couple of uses his beard will soften and scratchiness will lessen even more with every treatment. It makes the beard sit better on the face too.

All the Best,
Soapman

I’m interested in your toothbrush sanitizer. How do you ensure that your alcohol is organic?

Thanks so much, Nate

Love your stuff!

Hi Nate,

Great question. Thanks.

To make organic toothbrush sanitizer spray we first had to become USDA certified organic handlers. This means that we are trained, certified and inspected to conform to the NOP (national organic program) standards. So basically, we are licensed to make genuine organic products, and all the raw materials going into these products have to have a chain of paperwork confirming their veracity and origin. Next we had to obtain a Homeland Security license for handling cosmetic alcohol. Once we had these two things we were able to create this unique and effective product for your oral health!

All the Best,

Soapman