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Frequently asked questions

Nederlanse versie, klik hier


Do you use natural materials in your soaps?

Yes! In fact, we only use natural materials! The only chemical we use is a lye mixture, which is essential in all solid bars of soap. Without lye, saponification (the hardening process) does not occur and your soap would be nothing more than a runny mixture of oil. Therefore a lye mixture is added and as saponification occurs, the lye dissipates leaving behind only the natural ingredients.

What is lye?

Lye is caustic soda. It is an extremely strong alkine substance obtained from wood ashes. Its correct name is sodium hydroxide. It is used in many items, such as drain cleaner but even in things most of us wouldn't think of, such as paper and textiles. In soap, however, it is used purely to saponify the oil mixture. The lye, which is extremely dangerous to work with, reacts with water and even moisture in the air, so as the oils in the soap start to solidify, the lye gradually evaporates. By the time the bar of soap has set and cured, no lye remains in it.

Is your soap hypoallergenic?

No. Our soaps are very gentle, so most people will be fine but whilst we do use all natural ingredients, one of the things we use is essential oils for fragrance. They can irritate some peoples skin. This is rare, and most people will have no problems whatsoever, but we cannot use the hypoallergenic label. We also use various oils and butters, most of which are fine for most people but there is always the possibility of sensitivities.

How long does it take to make a bar of soap?

The actual mixing process takes a couple of hours depending on how many ingredients are used, carefully calculating the quantities and mixing it all. After that, it takes up to 48 hours for it to set. It is then carefully demolded and sliced, but it is still somewhat sticky and not yet fully hardened. It is not ready to use at this stage and still contains significant amounts of lye. So it then takes a further 4-6 weeks to fully cure, after which all lye has fully evaporated and it is safe to use. 

Is there a way to make my soap last longer?

Of course! Firstly, ensure you store in in a soap dish with drainage so it doesn't sit in a pool of water, or in a soap saver of some kind and hang it up. When taking a bath or shower, ensure it isn't in the water or at the bottom of the shower tray. Use a flannel or scrunchie instead of lathering it up on your hands. Of course we'd love nothing more than you returning to us regularly, but we're more about the environment here at The Enchanted Tree than an extra sale so we want you to enjoy your products for as long as possible.

What is the shelf life on your soaps?

This depends on how it is stored, the room temperature, humidity etc as well as the actual soap ingredients. If you want to keep a soap for an extended period of time, then storing it in a sealed container will prevent the scent from dissipating. Eventually the natural oils in the soap will start to dissipate too, but it should last at least one year. Longer if stored in a sealed container. We have yet to have one last that long as we use them so often!

Your soap does not lather as much as a mass produced one. Why?

Most mass produced soaps have lots of added chemicals which help create fragrances, lathers etc. We choose to use high quality moisturising oils and butters instead of those chemicals. The end result is a luxurious creamy soap rich in oils rather than lots of bubbles. Both will clean your skin, but one is more natural than the other. We choose to keep ours natural and our soaps are both gentle and richly moisturising on the skin as a result.

handmade soaps, natural ingredients
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