Saponification - The Art of Castile Soap
May 25, 2017
Did you know that Zero Xeno incorporates an old-fashioned process called saponification to produce our organic liquid Castile soap base! Our natural liquid soap is used exclusively in our Kombucha Body Wash and Baby Wash and many of our other personal body care products.
Saponification may sound like a big scary word, but really it’s just a fancy term for the age-old soap making process that grandma used for centuries. In my blog today, I will dive into the bubbly world of saponification and teach you why this process is as simple as 1, 2, 3 and naturally xenoestrogen-free!
I remember the first time I made liquid soap - it seemed like a scary, daunting task. I researched the process for weeks, bought raw ingredients, gathered the necessary safety equipment and then got ready to saponify! I still recall the feeling of exhilaration when I completed my first batch of liquid Castile soap. The sense of satisfaction after I achieved what corporations had led me to believe was only for 'chemists' to handle was empowering and liberating. It was like I produced my own liquid gold!
When my children were small I began making my liquid Castile soap at home to ensure my family remained free of hormone disruptors like sodium lauryl sulfate, perfume and parabens. Oddly, I also remember once I made my first batch of soap that I didn't really want my 4 boys to use it as I could barely stand to watch my liquid gold be washed down the drain. Funny how the human mind thinks! Needless to say, I got over the perceived abuse of my creation after I realized how simple and easy it was to make. I'm not sure why learning new things often seem scary or impossible to us humans when really they enable us to become stronger and more knowledgeable individuals.
Did you know that the name saponification literally means 'soap making'? The root word, 'sapo' is Latin for soap and has its origins in ancient Babylon. To manufacture our soap we start off with organic extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil. We saponify these base oils (chemically known as fatty acids) using a naturally mined mineral from Saskatchewan called potash (chemically know as potassium hydroxide - an alkaline/base substance).
The combining of these ingredients, (fatty acids & alkaline/base substances) is what transforms oil into soap, aka 'saponification'. With the addition of some heat, a whole day spent cooking and a dash of love, Zero Xeno’s liquid Castile soap is born. We use our soap base as the foundation for many of our natural skin care products.
At Zero Xeno we still use my original Castile soap in our products. We add our in-house (homemade) herbal extracts of calendula and rooibos so that our body care line packs an extra antioxidant punch for your skin. We are proud to produce truly artisan, therapeutic and unique products for you and your family.
Did you know that we use a simple, natural food-grade ingredient to make our liquid Castile soap extra lathery, cleansing and moisturizing? This secret ingredient will be revealed in my next blog.
However, I will leave you with a riddle to ponder on until then. "What is sweet and sticky but never icky unless you are very picky? White as snow unless it’s organic you know, that makes the lather grow but isn't a chemical foe."
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By Bonnie Penner
Photo Credit: Kim Becker