Castile Soap from Sandy Hook Soap Factory
Castile soap bars for handwashing. We buy a large bar and cut it into smaller bars that are sold by weight.
Soapnut Powder from Naturoli
We sell Naturoli soapnut laundry powder*. We buy the powder in bulk and repackage it in smaller quantities for sale.
Right now we have a limited quantity of liquid soapnut detergent in for sale. It’s ten ounces for $10, enough for up to about a hundred loads of laundry according to Naturoli.
Soapnut detergent and pure Castile soap exemplify in many ways what this market is about.
As we prepare food, ingredients come into contact with our hands and food utensils, and our hands and food utensils have come in contact with soap we wash our hands with and with towels washed in detergent that we dry our hands with.
Thus, any minute residue, such as added fragrances, from soaps and detergents we use that are found on towels, our hands, and utensils ultimately find their way into the food we make, albeit in microscopic quantities.
Our use of detergents and soaps made from food grade ingredients stems from our slow living Weltanschauung. We strive to reach perfection when manufacturing the most natural and pure food products. The level we want to achieve is attained through the kinds of ingredients we use and where they are sourced from, by limiting what comes in contact and gets mixed in with those ingredients, and also by maintaining an elevated mindset as we prepare the food.
Sandy Hook Soap Factory has a similar philosophy: “As we choose to live a basic, more natural lifestyle we are constantly searching for a healthy alternative with less impact on our bodies and the environment. This philosophy has definitely influenced the type of Natural Soap that we have chosen to make and share.”
Bar soap and liquid soap are made with different processes. Bar soap can be made into liquid soap by heating it, but it will revert back to solid form after awhile. That being said, for those who slow live, it is not a bother to routinely reheat the soap, but just part of a weekly routine.
You might ask, why not just use liquid soap instead of turning a solid soap into a temporary liquid.
The answer is that it’s hard to find a source of Castile paste that can be made into a liquid soap (Sandy Hook only makes bar soaps); and while we might make our own Castile paste at some point, we’re not there yet. Beyond that, when making liquid soap in small batches it is easier to work with the solid soap than with the paste. And most importantly, Sandy Hook has perfected the manufacture of classic Castile soap using the highest grade olive oil and lye. Our goal is to partner with others, not to create redundant industry.
To make liquid Sandy Hook Castile soap, take a business card size of Castile bar soap about a quarter of an inch thick. Then cut that piece into smaller chunks and put them into a small mason jar. Fill the jar with water, and place it into a pot of water to make a double boiler. Warm the water up and slowly the soap will dissolve, turning from a yellowish hue into an olive color. Use an eyedropper (available for free from the market) to transfer the liquid soap from the jar.
After a few days, depending on the ambient temperature, the liquid soap will begin to noticeably solidify. Place the mason jar back in the warm water about once a week or so, as necessary, to re-dissolve the soap.
Important: do not screw the cover on to the mason jar during the heating process in case the water inadvertently boils which could lead to the jar exploding. Mason jars are made for canning, but best not to take a chance. It’s ok, though, to sit the lid on top of the jar without screwing it on.
Here’s a link to an interesting video how to make soap from basic ingredients.
Here is a link to an explanation of superfatting. Soaps are made from a fat, such as an animal fat, or an oil like olive oil. It is possible make soap in such a way that all the fat or oil is converted to soap.
However, if the finished soap product contains some fat or oil that wasn’t converted to soap, the soap is superfatted. This will affect how the soap feels when washing with it.
I like a Castile soap that has been superfatted since the olive oil in the soap keeps the skin from being dried out by the soap. Soap removes dirt. But soap also removes the natural oils on the skin; the olive oil in superfatted soap compensates for that.
*The Naturoli company sells liquid soapnut detergent formulated from soapnuts by their own in-house chemist. For years, I used and sold this detergent.
However, soapnuts are a fruit, and the liquid detergent is thus a fruit juice. Fruit juice needs a preservative if it’s not vacuum packed. Soapnut detergent is not vacuum packed, and even if it was, once opened I would think it would have to be refrigerated. So a little amount of food grade preservative is added to the detergent to keep it fresh.
In a bid to be the most natural possible, a few years ago Naturoli switched to using grapeseed extract as a preservative.
This presents a Kashrus concern. Just like wine needs Kosher supervision, grapeseed extract requires supervision in order to derive benefit from it.
To avoid this concern, we sell the Naturoli soapnut powder which is ground from soapnuts with nothing added. We also sell what is left of our Kosher stock of liquid detergent.