Ask the Soapman
Do you still carry aromatherapy refreshing spray — country lavender?
We sure do Dinah. It is in a bigger bottle (better value) but the scent is pretty much unchanged.
Here is a link.
With your deodorant being all-natural, please consider coming out with more scents, other than lime. The lime is nice, but why not some scents that match your soaps.
Thanks for the suggestion Deb!
We use the sage/lime combo because it fought BO better than any other essential oil combinations we tried. It also had a low reactivity to sensitive skin.
Thanks for keeping it natural!
How is your shampoo bar different from your soaps? What would happen if I used your soaps to wash my hair? I’m trying to find a shampoo bar I like but several of the ones I’ve tried leave a residue in my hair. What causes this? Is it the shampoo or is it my hair?
Here’s what I can tell you:
- The thicker and curlier the hair the less a shampoo bar will work for you.
- Shampoo bars will lighten dyed and tinted hair
- Thin hair will probably not need a conditioner. The thicker the hair follicle the more additional conditioning will be desirable.
- Use only low or no-scented handmade bar soaps for a shampoo bar (hint: I use the Butter Bar as a shampoo bar because I do not want to smell lavender all day). Essential oils and scents are not good for hair especially over time.
- Shampoo bars may thicken the appearance of thin hair. They may also temporarily straighten wavy hair.
- You may need to experiment to find if washing your hair everyday is best for you.
Everything I just listed above may not exactly apply to you and your particular and unique hair but this will provide a good guideline for you in your search for nontoxic hair care.
All the Best!
What is better to use on dishes: castile soap or liquid sunshine?
They are two different versions of the same liquid soap base.
Liquid Sun cleans grease better than any other blend, but in a pinch I use whatever Vermont Soap product is handy; including gels and foamers.
I can’t tell the difference between Castille liquid soap and shower gels. I am sure I’m not the first person to ask but I can’t seem to find the answer. I’d be using it for shower/bath and hand washing. thanks. MGB
Castile liquid soaps are multi purpose products used for hands and feet and general cleaning. Dilution and use instructions are on the product page of the website.
Shower gels are very differently made and formulated to be used on the body. They are more moisturizing and less de-greasing and not particularly suited for cleaning purposes.
I think you want our organic shower gels for hands and body.
All the Best,
Do you still sell seconds at your store and do you ship them? I met Larry quite a few years ago when you were on RT 7, in Brandon in a small house.
You bet! Seconds are still offered for sale at our Discount Factory Outlet and Soap Museum in Middlebury. Open m-f 9-5.
We also sell seconds and thirds on the website.
All the Best,
How come my sensitive skin can tolerate handmade bar soaps but regular bar soaps dry me out?
Soap is fascinating stuff and the same ingredients can take bar, liquid, gel, paste or foamer forms. But of all the forms soap can take, properly made and formulated handmade bar soaps are always the mildest soap that can be made. Here are three reasons why:
- Handmade soap has no measurable free caustic. Excess caustic in mass market soap insures an extra long shelf life and helps the bar foam more. Downside: your sensitive skin will get dried up and irritated!
- Handmade soap has extra oils in them. These help to moisturize tender skin. However the more moisturizing a bar soap is the less it foams. It is the art of the soapmaker to find that balance.
- Soap is a crystal and soapmakers are crystal growers. Properly made handmade soap takes a month before it is ready to use. Crystals that grow slowly are more uniform instead of being large and jagged. Here is a picture if some nice looking soap crystals being formed:
While driving around Vermont one summer many years ago, we stopped by the factory and bought the the soap scented as “fresh cut hay.” We absolutely love that scent……will you ever make that soap again? If so, I am going to buy loads of it! It was the best scent ever!
Our store, officially the Vermont Soap Discount Factory Outlet and Soap Museum, is located right next to our factory in Middlebury, VT. Glad you found us! We sell dents and bents and seconds by the pound. Vermont Soap makes a lot of soap for other companies and a lot of those seconds and not-quite-perfects you are buying at a discount are left over from those runs. We do make up new names for the soaps to preserve our client’s privacy.
You never know what will be there and the mix changes week to week. Our 17 stock bar soaps are pretty much always there, but the rest rotates through.
The leaves are peaking in Central Vermont right now! It’s a great time to visit your favorite soap company.
Why don’t Vermont Soap bar soaps lather more?
- There is an inverse relationship between lather and moisture. More moisture = less lather.
- Synthetic detergents lather better in hard water and cold water than soap does – and the suds last longer.
Downside; these synthetic foaming chemicals do not exist in nature. Thus there are unintended consequences that go with their production and use. Every foaming agent that ends with an “ate” or an “eth” contains minute amounts of 1,4, dioxane a potent tumor enhancer; for just one example. As another: sodium lauryl sulfate is suspected of deteriorating the optic nerve in newborns and premie babies.
Organic products are not for everyone, but they ARE for people who really care.
I am interested in your soaps for my bath and body liquid dispensers. We live in the Southern parts of NJ and our water is 25ppm of iron content. We use a salt water softener. We have iron deposits in our water and rinsing of traditional soaps is difficult at times – especially shampoo and conditioner. Thus we use minimal amounts and stretch it thin.
Anyway, I am interested in a bath & body gel/soap for the new dispensers we purchased. I wanted to choose a soap that is perfect for sensitive skin as my four young children have (8,6,4,2) my wife also has fair skin and I suffer from really dry flaky skin around my mouth and under nose/chin. My wife has oily skin and my children are just fair, all light (blonde hair and blue eyes).
I would like to now what you would suggest for us that we can use for our family? We have tried Aveeno, St. Ives., Dove, Irish Spring, and I am now using Dettol soap which is really strong for my kids.
Please advise on the scents too, it’s hard to get a description on what the scents are like.
Could you explain your smells? Are they very pungent? Does the orange smell like citrusolve or orange GoJo, etc.?
Does the Lavender present the best bouquet for a family – or will it leave the boys smelling like floral?
Those new dispensers sound pretty cool, but hear me out before you stock up on gel and liquid foaming products.
All of the foaming products you named are commercial detergents. Not a soap molecule to be found except in the AVEENO bar soap. All those gels and liquids are in fact, first cousins to your hair shampoo.
I would like you to take a step back and try a couple of our soap based products instead.
First, stop washing your face with chemical detergents! Those dry spots tell us your skin is not happy with your current product choices. I recommend that you try our BUTTER BAR. Use this on face and body. Try it on your hair and for shaving too! Super mild for the kids and pretty much unscented.
Try our Lemongrass Zen foaming hand soaps. This is our most popular foamer.
I find it hard to believe that your water softener is functioning properly. If it was there would be zero iron deposits and your water would encourage foam rather than suppress it. I like a simple string filter followed by a carbon cartridge. Get the bigger cartridge model and change them less often. Something is not quite right there.
Sounds like you have your hands full! I know you like the convenience of liquids and gels, but want you to try the mildness of handmade organic bar soaps instead.
Wishing You All the Best,
Organic liquid soap is it usually thin like watery or thick but not overly I guess my question is that I heard organic liquid soap is thin. Making it thick is difficult?
Our organic shower gels are made by thickening our liquid soap with vegetable gums and glycerin. You can buy this from us online for your use as a shower gel. It is tricky to do successfully on your own – despite some internet claims otherwise. For cleaning and general use you will want to use our liquid soap, which rinses off faster and is more de-greasing.
Even though our Castile liquid soap is liquid (not gel) it is very concentrated and will foam even when diluted by over 90% in water.
All the Best,
Are the liquid Castile soaps antibacterial?
Thanks for the question.
ALL real soaps kill germs.
That is why the Vermont Sate Department of Health says to wash your hands well with soap and water after you potty; dry them, and go off to flip burgers without starting an epidemic.
The anti-microbial ingredient in soap is usually triclosan, a molecule that is only one carbon atom away from being Agent Orange defoliant. This product is suspected to be linked to meteoric rises in autism and depression today, an accusation for which there is ample anecdotal, but little clinical evidence.
Thanks for asking Roxie – Keep it natural!
How long do natural bar soaps last in storage?
Organic bar soaps should be viable for 3 years from manufacture. As with all natural products; heat and ultraviolet light break down organic soaps.
Store your organic bar soap in a cool dry place away from sunlight if not in active use. Put a piece of plastic wrap over the top of your naked bars and seal the box with tape for best results. For long term storage organic bar soaps can be sealed in plastic as if they were food and frozen.
I am using your liquid sunshine for house hold cleaning and it works great! I wanted to ask you how to use this liquid in dishwasher? Today I used it straight from the 1 gallon bottle in dishwasher and after washing there was a white layer on all my dishes. Please let me know which product I can use for my dishwasher and how to use it.
Thanks for switching to Liquid Sunshine organic cleaner!
The white layer on your dishes is “soap scum”.
From Wikipedia: “Soap scum is an informal term for the white solid that results from the addition of soap to hard water.”
The easiest option is to dilute the soap in half with water. Hint: Add the soap to the water when you dilute and it won’t foam up the way adding water to the soap will.
Next: Your dishwasher probably has a setting for a Hot Final Rinse. Hot water rinses off soap better than cold.
Long Term: Consider installing a simple water filter. All your plumbing appliances will last longer and your water will clean better and might taste better if the unit is working properly. We have hard water in the mountains where I live and we use a string type sediment filter followed by a carbon filter. I change them twice a year (install the bigger filter holders $99ea but they last twice as long) and buy replacements by the case which cuts the cost considerably.
Soap acts a little differently than detergents. (They are actually opposites and neutralize each other). Dishwashers were programmed with detergents in mind. By switching to organic soap you are actually participating in a cultural revolution; the change-over back to the use of molecules that are actually found in nature!
You may have to experiment a bit to get the dilution ratios that work for you, your water and your application.
All the Best!
Thank you for the most complete information for making potash!
What I can’t find on-line is, can you use commercial potash to make a BAR soap? (plenty of info on liquid soaps)
My friends who use their grey water for their garden told me that my CP or HP soaps which contained sodium hydroxide added too much sodium to their plants and I read that a potassium hydroxide would actually benefit a garden. So in effort to create a “environmentally compatible” soap I am looking for the answer to that question.
Soap calculators have KoH but no one can tell me if it will work
“Black Soap” or “Alata Soap” (Alata is a Nigerian name as some claim the knowledge of how to make Black Soap came from there) is made with potash.
With black soap the water is seared out of it in the final stage and the soap is dried overnight. You might be able to find some videos of it being made.
You can also make paste soap which is pretty cool. 1/3 sodium and 2/3 potassium will do it.
All the Best!
What is the difference between castile soap and liquid sunshine? The ingredients are the same.
Hey! You’re right!
Liquid Sunshine is a type of castile soap. We tweaked it’s formula to be degreasing without drying- – a fine line! Actually it’s pretty amazing how many things can be made from the same dozen main ingredients we use here. We make one castile base for cleaning and for hands and feet, and another for body care shower gels. Then we thicken or thin and add botanicals and essential oils to change the characteristics of the product we are making.
All the Best!
I have seborrheic dermatitis due to Parkinsons disease. Can you tell me if any of the bar soaps would help this. Bar soap rather than liquid soaps were recommended as I have it in scalp (hair cut like a man’s cut to allow soap to get to scalp), face ears, neck and chest. The last soap for this had sharp pieces of oats that my 72 year old skin could not tolerate.
Thanks for contacting us here at Vermont Soap.
According to the Mayoclinic.com website: Seborrheic dermatitis is caused by A yeast (fungus) called Malassezia. This fungus is one of the normal microscopic life forms that grow, along with certain bacteria, in your skin’s oily secretion (sebum).
This is actually good news, because malassezia responds very well to soap products that contain tea tree oil (a distilled essential oil from a bush from Australia). We make three products with very high grade tea tree oil in them.
While we do not claim that organic soaps can help any disease, I do have some suggestions for you to try. Try using one of each of the following products in the order listed:
Fungasoap: This is very strong and comes in gel soap (not a detergent chemical) form. Try this first, leaving it on for a minute if possible before washing it off. It will tingle!
Blue Bar: This is not as powerful as Fungasoap. Use this on face/body/hair after you use up the Fungasoap, or if Fungasoap is just too strong for you to use.
Tea Tree Bar Soap: This is even milder than the Blue Bar and is very gentle on your face. Use this ongoing for face/body/hair. This will be your maintenance product for daily use. You may need to use the Fungasoap every 2 weeks for a while once you are on top of the fungus.
Other tips to try:
Try avoiding all detergent products. These may irritate your already sensitive skin. Vermont Soap makes a variety of products (foaming hand soap, Liquid Sunshine Cleaner) to replace detergent products.
Wash your pillow and pillow case and sheets frequently once you start testing the Fungasoap, until symptoms subside. Try washing in Liquid Sunshine if you can. ALWAYS avoid dryer sheets and fabric softener and use a double rinse with one cycle hot if you have a newfangled laundry machine that allows that.
Do not moisturize for a while. Vegetable and petroleum oils can actually help spread the fungus. However, you might want to try using the Honey Love Face Mask from time to time. This exfoliates and conditions without chemicals or oils and is very mild.
Once your on top of this use Unscented Green Gold to moisturize.
Wishing you All the Best!
Is there any soy in the soap??
Nope. The Soapman does not like the way soy oil foams when it is turned into soap.
There is no soy used in ANY Vermont Soap product.
I absolutely love your soap, but I am starting to feel guilty about using so many bottles. Is there a way to get bottles refilled? Or can I return the empty bottles to you to be reused? Thanks
You can buy gallon refills at our store in Middlebury (cheap) or online and refill those bottles.
Always rinse a bottle several times in super hot water to remove any soapy residue inside.
The shelf life of the product equals the shelf life of the oldest molecule of soap in the bottle.
Thanks for keeping it natural!
Is there any harm in using a solution of diluted Liquid Sunshine to wash produce? I noticed that LS has the same ingredients as the Fruit and Veggie Wash.
NOT AT ALL! And yes – BOTH products are castile liquid soaps.
I am looking for a bar cleansing soap in the 4.5 – 5.5 range. Do you have any? thanks
There are probably some types of synthetic detergent products that have been altered to foam at this pH range.
One of the Alkylethylbenzylsulfonate industrial degreasers or their derivatives perhaps.
You can also try Soap Nuts. They do not foam much but if you have a rare illness that requires that you use a specialized low pH cleaner on your skin this is what I would recommend.
If you do not have a rare illness I recommend the Butter Bar for facial cleansing of dry, sensitive skin and for shaving. Finish with Unscented Green Gold Organic Herbal Moisturizer. Use certified organic Honey Love Facial Mask occasionally for natural exfoliation and conditioning. For combination skin try Lemongrass bar soap and for oily skin Peppermint Magic.
Thanks for writing!
All the Best,
Saw your videos very educational and interesting, especially the liquids soap. Does your liquid soap making go through the paste and dilution process like majority of the world. What types of alkali do you use Potassium Carbonate or Potassium Hydroxide for your liquid soap and Sodium Carbonate or Sodium Hydroxide for your bar soap?
Is hydroxide better or carbonate for soap making?
Also, are there any goat milk soap from your company and what is your opinion of using goat milk in the soaping process, please. Thank you.
Glad our videos inspired you to write. It is always a pleasure to meet other people who get excited about saponification!
Does your liquid soap making go through the paste and dilution process like majority of the world?
Danny: I am sorry but this information is a trade secret. I will tell you that we did not develop ANY of our formulas or processes by simply reading a book or by watching a video. I learn something about soap every day because we experiment here EVERY day. Hint: You learn more from your failures than you do from your successes.
What types of alkali do you use Potassium Carbonate or Potassium Hydroxide for your liquid soap and Sodium Carbonate or Sodium Hydroxide for your bar soap?
Is hydroxide better or carbonate for soap making?
Hydroxides are stronger and purer and cleaner and more generally available in developed countries. Potassium carbonate is what we used to make Black Soap (Alata Soap) in West Africa. Potassium carbonate takes longer to set the soap because it has a lower pH.
Also, are there any goat milk soap from your company and what is your opinion of using goat milk in the soaping process? Thank you.
Danny: I am lactose intolerant and milk in soap creeps out my skin and leaves it feeling weird and itchy. Since I test everything on myself (not on animals) well, you can see where I am going here. VT Soap does not use the processed lactation product of our or other mammalian species in any of its products. (Vegans Rejoice!).
All the Best Danny!
Evelyn here. I bought a bottle of your pet soap to use on my American Bulldog, Delilah Pearl. I like the way it smells, and am generally very happy with how it lathers and cleans my furry friend. However, I’m concerned about the TeaTree Oil in the product. I know Tea Tree oil is fine for humans, but I’ve seen some really nasty horror stories abt TTO used on dogs. While Miss Pearl has not shown any problems, I worry about the long term side effects or liver damage that could occur. Do you guys offer a tea tree free dog wash? Thanks -Evelyn
Evelyn my dear… if we heard it on the net it MUST be true!
Here at VT Soap we have heard outrageous stories about every essential oil that can go into a pet shampoo from day one.
Let’s take a look at the facts:
- This is a wash off product
- There is less than 3% essential oils in the product to start
- There is no measureable penetration into the blood barrier by using a 3% essential oil wash-off soap product.
So what are they talking about? Eating or ingesting teas tree oil or other essential oils is NOT a good idea for you or your pet as it is hard for livers to filter that stuff out quickly.
Neither is eating soap, and we wash with that too!
As the man said,” Just the facts ma’am”.
However, if you are concerned about ANY essential oils going on or near your pet in general; we make a lovely Aloe Castile Liquid Soap Concentrate that works great as a Pet Shampoo too.
All the Best,
Do you recommend washing or rinsing out the foaming hand soap containers before refilling or not?
Thank you for your awesome products.
Thank YOU Nancy.
Always rinse out your bottle a couple of times with hot water before refilling.
Otherwise the soap on the bottle is only as fresh as the oldest soap in it! The older soap will decrease the shelf life of the new soap and the foam won’t smell as fresh and clean with each new fill.
I am interested in purchasing some of your soap, specifically the lemongrass zen and I wondered if there are locations other than your store in Middlebury, Vermont that sell your soaps.
Thanks for asking.
Vermont Soap is sold in 1500 health food stores, co-ops and neighborhood markets across the US.
You can find us at the Whole Foods Co-op in Erie and at Honest Weight and Deans’ in Albany.
All the Best!
For the castile liquid soaps do you need to put water in it? And are they concentrated?
Our Castile Liquid Soaps are quite concentrated. You can use them straight from the bottle or use different dilutions for different solutions.
We are reprinting our castile liquid soap labels with solution dilutions on them. In the meantime check this out:
Floors: Add 3oz of Liquid Sunshine to mop water. Clean as usual, and allow to dry.
Laundry: Use about 1/3 cup per load – a little more for hard water. Liquid Sunshine may be neutralized by detergent residues in the machine so use enough to get the barest start of foam on top. You may have to use a little extra the first time. Always mix into warm water before adding the clothes. Softens clothes with natural aloe! Also has a mild whitening effect. Great for silks and fine fabrics, wool and suede (may darken).
Stain Removal: Safe and effective. Wet surface and apply full strength. Work into the material from several directions and let sit a moment. Rinse and dry.
Woodwork, Floors and Walls: Dilute 1/4 cup per 1 gallon of hot water. Clean, rinse and let dry.
Bathrooms: Use full strength on sponge and rinse. For all porcelain and tile surfaces.
Vehicles: Saturate sponge with Liquid Sunshine. Work over vehicle in sections, wetting first, applying Liquid Sunshine and then rinsing. Always wash vehicles out of direct sunlight.
Carpets: Replaces detergent concentrates. Works well in all carpet cleaning machines and on stains.
General Cleaning: Stovetop, refrigerator, etc. Wet surface. Scrub with sponge saturated in Liquid Sunshine. Rinse and dry. For ALL water safe surfaces.
I am allergic to latex. Does Shea butter contain latex?
Thanks for asking!
Shea butter and cocoa butter both contain a latex/protein that people with TYPE B Latex allergies might react to.
I am told that specific tree nut allergies must all be present for a reaction to occur. Because of these two factors, reactions to shea butter are quite rare.
Additional good news is that Vermont Soap invented a way to remove MOST of the latex/protein before we use it in our products further reducing the likelihood of a reaction. We will be using this technique; called “polishing” on our coco butter products as they come up in the production cycle.
Some shea butter like raw Nigerian butters have a much higher latex content than others. So remember that all shea butter is not alike in latex content.
This is what I recommend.
Get yourself a .3oz pocket shea butter from Vermont Soap and a sample of another company’s shea butter. We are adding .3oz shea butters to the site today in response to your email. Take a cotton swab and dip it into one of the test shea butters. Gently touch/dab it to one forearm. Take a clean swab and repeat the test on your other forearm. Wait 4 hours. If you have an allergy there will be a raised bump on the test spot or an obvious reddening with irritation. Use this test on other products you are unsure of.
Wishing you All the Best!
Soapman Larry Plesent
Wanting to know when you will make Vanilla Calendula again. We loved it and want to stock up on it.
Sounds like a flavor you found in our Retail Store.
We sell off seconds from soap runs we make for other companies there.
You never know what you will find there and inventory changes monthly.
Glad you liked it but there is no telling when it will be made again.
All the Best,
do you have a catalog if you do can you send me one
We have a paper order form we can send, but our website is our catalog.
We invent and change things so often a paper catalog would not be realistic!
Thanks for asking,
Are your products or their ingredients tested on animals?
No way! We test on ourselves.
Vermont Soap is a member of Leaping Bunny.
We are reprinting our labels soon and the new ones will say, “Vermont Soap never tests on animals.
Thanks for asking!
I am inquiring of your hand soap? Since your hand soap has castile soap in it. Is it sticky after use? I tried bronners and felt their product had a sticky film on it. Does all castile soap require vinegar wash?
I have not tried any of the Bronners products in 15 years so I cannot honestly comment on the state of their current formulations. I have sensitive skin and stopped being able to use their stuff back when I was a hippy kid of 17.
However I am very sorry to hear that their products are giving a black eye to Castile Style liquid soap.
The first recorded liquid soaps in Europe were developed in Castilla La Mancha, a region in central Spain that grows a lot of olives. There, a beautiful liquid soap was made from olive oil and coconut oil. Over time real liquid soap became know as Castile Soap, mostly through the promotional efforts of the founder of Dr B’s many years ago. The American meaning of castile soap is now, “any liquid soap that has some olive oil in it”.
At Vermont Soap we see ourselves as craftsmen and women in the European tradition. Our medium is soap molecules made from organic vegetable oils, and we also manufacture other “yummy” products to replace all the “yucky” ones out there and on the shelves. We have developed two different formulas for making liquid soaps and their many product variations.
One is our Standard liquid soap base. This is the base we use to make all of our hand and foot soaps, cleaning products, pet shampoo and hand foamers. It cleans well and washes off smooth with just a hint of glycerin left behind to re-moisten your skin. We also make a Body Care base which is more moisturizing and has a longer rinse off period. This is turned into our Bath and Shower gels.
Vermont Soap invented the first certified organic pet shampoo, foamer soap, shower gel, multi purpose cleaner and spray cleaner in the country. We haven’t been around for a hundred years like Dr Bronners (21’st year) but it sounds like we are better at our jobs.
Try a Lemongrass Foaming Hand Soap. You will be very pleasantly surprised.
All the Best,
Larry Plesent, CEO
Are any of your soaps good facial cleaners? I have normal to oily skin.
And how many oz. are your bars of soap?
Both good questions.
Handmade soap has a high water content. It starts out the consistency of pancake batter and then sets up solid in block molds. Freshly cut bar soaps weigh about 4.2oz. After a month in the curing room (yup it really does take a month to make a great bar of soap) they weigh about 3.75oz. One year later they might weigh 3.25oz which is how we label them. In terms of size the bars measure a little over 1x2x3” or the same size as most 3.75oz bar soaps.
I shave and wash my face and body with the same bar of soap. One bar used this way lasts about 3 weeks for me, but results will vary with technique!
For normal to oily skin the Lemongrass bar is a real favorite. Lemongrass oil provides mild astringency (closes pores a bit) and it smells terrific. Give it a try!
You can buy bar soap from us a number of ways. Boxed bars are available singly and they make great gifts. Once you know what you love to use, go ahead and order 12 “Naked” bars and save big time. Every time you order Vermont Soap online you earn points towards Bubble Bucks discount coupons good towards a future order.
Thanks for writing!
My 18 month daughter insists in licking her skin while I am soaping her with your shower gel.
I try to discourage it but usually loose the battle… Should I be worried?
Thanks a ton,
PS we love your products – all we use in our home
I am flattered that your daughter likes to taste our soap! Our shower gels are safe and nontoxic and a few molecules picked up on the tongue will do no harm. I would ignore it so it doesn’t become a game.
Humans are generally hardwired to avoid the taste and smell of caustic/alkali which is why most soap products are scented. The reason for the avoidance mechanism is that caustics are not food. Our Baby Wash Gel is superfiltered and has little of that classic soapy/caustic edge to it. If you taste it yourself you will see however that even natural organic soap…tastes like soap. Check to see if she is getting enough potassium these days. It is hot in PA these long summer days and she may be sweating out potassium faster than she is ingesting it. I mention this because we use potassium salts to manufacture this product and her body may be craving it. Just a hunch but worth checking into.
All the Best!
I purchased a gallon bottle of the liquid Lavender castile soap. Is it concentrated and need to be diluted or should I just use as is? I’m wanting to combine it with some other ingredients for dishwashing detergent. Thanks,
Use abut ¼ cup of castile liquid soap per load, it is very concentrated. If you are hand washing your dishes first, do not rinse off the soap – just place the soapy dishes into the machine and add an 1/8 of a cup or so extra.
I bought the bluebars to give to people with acne. Who do you suggest using them (how many times a day….)?
Thank you for that Yehuda.
Acne is a disease and we would never claim to cure diseases with natural soap.
However many people with oily skin issues and red angry skin are soothed by using the Blue Bar two to three times a day.
All the Best!
When I’m on a road trip with my family, I have occasion to wash my hands at various restaurants and rest stops. I end up skin perfumed with floral-cranberry scent or who-knows-what. Sometimes my nose tickles for hours. I take my Vermont Soap foaming hand soap with me to our destination, but is there any soap product you could suggest for roadside rest stops?
P.S. Love your Unscented foaming hand soap and liquid castille soap. My son’s skin finally feels healthy and soft.
Hey Julia, Thanks for the note and the kudos. Sounds like Junior could be detergent sensitive. Does fresh laundry or shampooing make him itch? If so, I recommend the Butter Bar for hair and your favorite Castile liquid soap or Liquid Sunshine for laundry.
I would bring along a foamer when traveling. The tops swivel and lock down for travel. Because the bottles sometimes leak around the pump tote it in a zip type plastic bag. Tighten the cap occasionally as these caps mysteriously loosen over time. Alternatively bring along a pocket full of travel/amenity size bars to use and give away as small gifts.
All the Best!
Can Vermont soap bars be used to wash hair?
The answer is yes – with some qualifications.
- essential oils do not do well over the long term in hair care products
- the finer the hair the better the results
Soap products do not do as well with kinky/curly hair for some reason, but excel with finer hair types. I recommend trying the Butter Bar. You are most likely to have satisfactory results with it.
All the Best,
Does the Classic Lavender Soap that is currently on special have lavender blossoms in it, or just lavender essential oils. I prefer a soap without the actual lavender blossoms in it.
Classic Lavender – no blossoms
Lavender Blossom – with
Thanks for asking!
Does your Oatmeal Lavender soap contain gluten? I know that many times oats and wheat live in close proximity in the fields, and I have an allergy such that I want to make sure the oats and facility used to make the soap are gluten-free.
Thanks Mellissa, we appreciate your concern. Our Operations Manager (the gal that runs the place) is celiac so we are very gluten conscious here. Our Oatmeal soap is in fact gluten free.
I’ve heard that glycerin is genetically modified, but ‘vegetable glycerin’ is not. Which one do you guys use?
Glycerin is a component of natural oils. Your body is made from it.
Our products are USDA certified organic. In order to be certified organic, no GMO products may be used. So if it is certified organic you know that it is safe.
There are three types of glycerin:
- Animal based
- Mineral based
- Vegetable oil based
We do not use animal fat glycerin out of respect to our many Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Kosher, Vegetarian and Vegan friends and fans of Vermont Soap.
Petroleum of mineral oil based glycerin is just bad. It does not smell right, feel right or formulate right. We never us it and it is not organic.
Most vegetable glycerin comes from palm oil trees which are not GMO at this time. Palm oil plantations being monoculture have their own issues which is why we buy our palm oil from Agro Palma, winner of the Green Peace award for low carbon footprint palm oil. Click here to learn more about our sourcing practices.
i’m wondering if your ‘unscented bath and shower gel’ can be used for dishes, laundry, etc., (like the other formula with the essential oils).
No, I would not recommend using our unscented shower gel for your cleaning needs. We make it moisturizing which means it was not formulated for quick easy rinse off. You CAN use it that way, but I recommend using Unscented Liquid castile soap instead. This is what the product was designed for and I think you will prefer it for your cleaning needs.
All the Best! Soapman
Is your baby shampoo and wash tear free?
Nope. Soap stings eyes a bit. So do chemical detergents. In fact anything that foams will irritate eyes.
In order for eyes not to sting multi national companies employ two strategies.
One is to anesthetize the eyes. By putting a topical anesthetic into the shampoo, mass market products avoid the sting. Alternatively, a filming agent which coats the eyes is sometimes used. Here, the eyes are not in contact with the shampoo due to the film that forms over them
We recommend using organic personal care products and buying a shower visor to deflect suds from young eyes.
All the Best!
Is your camping spray (bug repellent) safe for pregnant women?
Citronella Camping Spray is an herbal perfume to keep your campsite comfortable. According to the EPA calling it a bug repellent would make it an illegal pesticide. Anything that keeps bugs away is called a pesticide even if it does not actually kill insects. We learned that when the EPA ordered us to recall Insect Armor (the predecessor of Camping Spray) from the shelves of our stores.
We manufacture products for human beings. We would not put anything out there we would not use on our own wives and children.
There is a lot of scuttlebutt about essential oils on the internet. We routinely see the rosemary rumor repeated (claiming that bathing in rosemary soap will bring on a miscarriage for example). This is just irresponsible rumor mongering. But if you want to use safe organic products without essential oils, just spray the camping spray lightly onto clothes rather than skin. We also make unscented baby wash, bath bar soap and castile liquid soap (for cleaning) if you desire.
So yes, Camping Spray and everything we make is safe and nontoxic for humans, pregnant and otherwise – especially when placed side by side and compared to mainstream products.
Wishing you All the Best,
I’m interested in buying your products but I have one concern. Why don’t your bottles show a USDA Organic seal on them?
Great question Luisa!
According to the USDA organic program (NOP) any product that contains soap molecules is a “Made With” product. This is a weak organic claim that only lets us say “Made with organic oils” on the front panel and limits our verbage elsewhere. Made with products cannot bear the USDA seal. However they must carry the name of the certifying agency so you know it is the real deal. Our certifier is VOF or Vermont Organic Farmers, a division of NOFA –VT. Only our oil based products like Green Gold bare the coveted USDA seal even though MOST everything we make is certified organic.
I am so happy to have found your soap! By the way, solveeczema.org is where I found you! I’ve heard you can make baby wipes with your soap. How do I do this?
Try 5% unscented aloe castile liquid soap in 95% water. Add the soap top the water not the water to the soap. Soak your paper towels and use! You can also put this into a spray bottle and use on baby or any surface needing cleaning with soap and water.
I am using your fruit and veggie spray and thinking about carrying it on our store. I realize that it states that it makes food taste better but how does it do against pesticides, food wax, etc? Any idea? Thanks
Our Fruit and Veggie wash makes food taste better because it is washing away pesticides, grit, and mineral wax much better than water alone. We actually have attest on it’s effectiveness against e coli bacteria and how using natural soap and water reduces e coli on our food. My veggies taste better just knowing that!
All the Best,
What is the shelf life on your shower gels?
We put a 3 year shelf life on all of our products.
That said I have seen shower gels over five years old and still quite fresh.
Ultraviolet light, heat and air are the enemies of natural stuff. Store your cubes in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and all should be well. Under 58°F is a good storage temperature if you can.
Thanks for working with us!
What is it about bug spray that repels insects? Is it the smell, the plants being used, or a combination of the two?
Good question Bee!
Herbal insect repellers are INSECT ADDLERS. They addle the insects so their sensors do not work as well. A mosquito might fly right into you and never “see” you there. Plants produce essential oils to combat insects, mold and fungus. Humans can harvest those plant oils and use them ourselves. So in this application it is the smell. Thanks for asking!
I LOVE your soap products that I’ve bought so far. I especially love the unscented Aloe Castille Liquid Soap and am using it all over the house for cleaning, showering, shampooing, etc. A question. For my general kitchen countertop, stovetop, and bathroom fixtures I currently use distilled water, or half and half distilled water and white vinegar, and sometimes full strength vinegar. It works pretty well, however, the vinegar is not “organic” and I wonder how healthy that really is. Tell me if and why your new unscented Liquid Sunshine surface cleaner is a better, healthier choice.
Thank you so much!
Thanks for the kudos. We like our Unscented Castile Soap too! It really is the best liquid soap out there and you get to buy at factory direct and bulk prices.
Vinegar and distilled water is a good mix for many cleaning jobs including shining up those faucets. We use white vinegar here at the Soapworks to remove soap build up from our stainless steel work tables. Vinegar would be a good choice for attacking soap scum build up on bathtubs for example as it is an acid and thus the opposite of soap. Opposites clean opposites in this realm. It does not matter if you use certified organic vinegar or not for cleaning. However for eating, organic apple cider vinegar is so flavorful and yummy that the small amount you pay extra for it is well worth the gourmet appeal – let alone that it fosters responsible long term agricultural practices and a safe and sustainable food supply.
Vermont can get dusty faster than you could imagine. And if you heat with wood like we do in our home it is even worse. I use a 5% Castile or Liquid Sunshine spray (95% water) for pretty much every surface in the house from computer screen to window screen. Hint: First add the water THEN add the soap. Ball up newspaper and this mixture makes a very good window cleaner too. For oven cleaning, first knock off/brushoff/wipe off whatever you can. Make a 10% solution (double strength) and mark the bottle HEAVY DUTY. Let the mix do the work by applying liberally and letting it soap in, then wiping off and repeating. It might take 3-4 treatments to get things clean and shiny again depending on the condition of your oven. For regular surface cleaning just spray and wipe – which is what we call our pre-diluted spray cleaners for easy use.
As you experiment you will find that some things like woodwork and porous plastics respond better to your organic soap and water mixture. Others, like porcelain may sparkle better with vinegar or with a vinegar/baking soda paste that you rub on with a cloth.
Hi, I am hoping you can help me….
I have been extremely itchy for years. Forearms and legs mostly, but can be horrible all over. All I can think it that is it an allergic reaction. I can’t sit in upholstered chairs or I get visible bites and horrible itching.
My skin gets broken scratch like spots and my hands are often swollen. I tried Bronners but it got much worse– it dried my skin out horribly. I’ve used other things also, but they leave a terrible soap scum. I use 7th generation laundry soap and it doesn’t make me itch but just saw that it is mostly SLS. Laundry soaps esp. make me unbearably itchy. Even ones that say they are fragrance free.
OK– so.. what do you suggest to help me? I saw you recommended for non-detergent items that will help ezcema… I need laundry soap (incl for delicates, silk, wool, etc), shower gel, hand soap, dish soap, face soap, etc. But ones that will not leave a residue if that’s possible with soap (ideally without having to rinse everything in vinegar……). Something that will help the dry skin but not make me itch or leave a residue on my skin or clothes……
Can you help me?
No guarantees but I will try:
- Do you have cats or other pets?
- I suspect that you may have strong dust allergies. If there are no fleas or bed bugs present this is the most likely culprit for “old furniture rash”.
- You are going to have to experiment to find out what your triggers are. Dust is probable. Fake scents seem to be implicated since 7Gen did not make you itch yet it is full of detergents. The common element in fake scents is “toluene”, a commonly used scent carrier and solvent that does not appear on any label. If someone becomes sensitized to toluene they will not like any fake scents or flavors. This means you should avoid prepackaged processed foods of any type.
- “Everything that goes into your body or on your body must be medicine!” This means that if something is not healing for you leave it be. This is particularly true for Reactive Bodies – like yours.
- Always do a “patch test” when trying new products. Gently rub a small amount of the product on one inner arm near the elbow. Wait 90 minutes. Compare arms. Products you cannot use will often raise a bump or a rash or itch.
- Test our latex reduced shea butter in a patch test. If all is well, use our Butter Bar to soothe and Green Gold to heal and moisturize.
- Try Unscented Castile Liquid Soap for laundry, dishes and general cleaning.
- Try Unscented Foaming Hand Soap for daily hand washing.
Wishing you all the Best,