ImageSoap is the result of a chemical reaction between a fat and a base or acid.  It is usually used as a cleanser, but it can also be used as a lubricant. So the correct answers are 3 and 4.

So, what are you washing with?  If it’s one of the products from the grocery store, and not a natural soap, it’s actually a detergent.  What’s the difference? Detergents are harsh cleansers that remove dirt, oil and other debris while stripping natural oils.  They are known to leave your skin feeling dry or trapped beneath a layer of residue.They are also prone to being used up quickly.

What’s the problem with that?  Nothing, if you are in support of capitalism.  Conventional soaps have a short life span once they get wet, causing you to purchase more soap, and to buy lotion to moisturize your skin.  The “soap” may be inexpensive, but what about the lotion or creams? 

Natural soap can be made by using lard, tallow, plant oils or milk.  This soap is very long-lasting, and does not take oils out of the skin.  It’s usually more expensive than “soap” from the store, because it is made in small batches, and raising the animals,or plants, take time, but there is rarely a need for a second lotion, though in some regions, and in some seasons, it may be needed.

Soap is often used as a lubricant for nails and screws to get them started into wood.  Detergent isn’t as “greasy,” so it doesn’t work as well.

Real soap is made using lye, which can be made from a natural process of water through ashes.  There are two different lyes used, either Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) for liquid soaps or Sodium Hydroxide (NAOH) for hard, bar soaps.  How can a drain cleaner be safe to use on human skin?
Because, if the soap is allowed to” cure” for a few weeks, there will be no NAOH or KOH left in the soap. The chemical bonds will break and you will find a safe soap, with water and other safe compounds left behind. The soap will chemically lift the dirt without damaging the skin below. 

There are some “soaps” which are sold, which are beautiful, but not chemically “soap.” These are hardened glycerin, which makes for a striking artistic bar, but it can’t last once it gets wet.  In real soapmaking, especially milk-based soaps, glycerin is a by-product of the process. In commercial soapmaking the glycerin is harvested and used in other products. In artisan soapmaking that nourishing oil is left in the bar, to help your skin.

This is just one example of how consumers have been guided away from asking questions regarding quality and content, in favor of price and availability.  We’ll be talking more about this problem “As the Blog Continues.”   Thanks,