Q: Lye? In my Soap? That stuff is sold as drain opener!
Q: I see you have an online store. Can I buy Green Mountain Soap locally? I shop at a local store and it would be very convenient if they carried your product line. How can I put you in touch with them?
I. Bar & Liquid Soap:
A: All true soap is by legal definition "lye soap" (an alkali salt of fatty acids). Once we make soap from it, there's no lye present anymore; it's all combined with oils and converted to soap, glycerin, and water. Further, we test every batch for excess caustic in our chemistry lab.
A: Just barely. Both soaps are made from oils and caustic, but grandma couldn't really control the quality of her ingredients or monitor the process like we can.
A: Right. Ours is made using high precision processes and tolerances, with more than a few safeguards and tests. Excess lye can cause a burning sensation and serious skin irritation.
A: Some soaps dry people's skin because all the glycerin has been removed from it for resale to the cosmetics industry. We don't remove the glycerin so our soap is very moisturizing to your skin.
A: Surprisingly well. It's still soap, so you may see soap curd in very hard water; but unlike some soaps, it lathers well in hard water.
A: Yes. We don't use wheat or related products to make our soap.
A: Detergents use petroleum-based oils and do not contain any naturally-occurring glycerin. Detergents don't react with hard water minerals (i.e. they can't make "soap scum") but can be very drying to skin.
A: It's a detergent. If it doesn’t meet the legal definition of soap (an alkali salt of fatty acids), it may be labeled as a body wash, deodorant bar, beauty bar, or some similar marketing term.
A: True, but you can clean the dispenser easily and pronounce all of our ingredients.
A: Our unscented soaps are nothing but soap, water, and glycerin. They are very popular with people who have allergies or multiple chemical sensitivities. We do sell scented soaps. The shaving soaps are scented with essential oils. We use fragrance oil for the scented bath soaps, but we manufacture the unscented soap in a separate building from the scented soap.
A: Almost certainly not. We get letters (actual paper letters and cards) and emails from people telling us they can use our soap even though other soaps or cleansing products they have tried do irritate their skin or aggravate sensitivities to fragrances.
A: Some of our individual customers send us Christmas cards! We are proud of the personal relationships we have developed with folks.
A: No. If any of our soaps get in someone's eye, it will hurt. The soap is gentle on all types of skin (including our adorable grandchildren), but it isn't tear free.
II. Shaving Soap:
A: GMSC's CEO has skin like iron (he's rumored to have shaved with metal siding and cold water), but our son doesn't. He discovered traditional shaving in 2007 and hasn't looked back. It's a closer, gentler shave, it's better for your skin, it's more sustainable than using cartridges and canned foam or gel, and it's seriously cheaper than cartridges. If you're feeling gutsy, shave with a straight razor. You'll have an amazingly smooth face once you learn how.
A: That shape fulfills two criteria; first, that it fit in any size shave mug, large or small, and second, our puck is a generous weight (121 grams), and a wide puck would have been very big---necessitating larger packaging and higher shipping costs.
A. Our shave soap is triple milled. Sometimes more if the situation requires it, but never less than three times.
A: Ugh. Yes. Especially if you leave the glycerin in your shave soap.
A: No. That's a misconception. Milling soap is much easier with a "dry" soap, one without water or glycerin, but milling soap doesn't affect the glycerin content.
A: No, our shave soap contains tallow. We are working on a vegetarian shave cream, but the shave soap took three years of R&D. The shave cream may take a while, as we want to guarantee the same shave experience.
A: GMS shave soap does perform well when face lathering. Some informal testing reveals that a shave stick is indeed possible for us to manufacture. Packaging and additional infrastructure will be required, however. Shave sticks will not be available for a while yet.
A: The shave pucks use essential oils. The scented bath soaps use fragrance oils. All scented soaps are made in a separate building with a separate air handling system from the unscented and liquid soaps.
A: Since the mid-1970s. GMSC incorporated in 1992.
A: Thanks for thinking of us! Please contact us via email or call (256) 650-0059 during business hours, Central US Time.
A: We have developed a few custom soaps for people in unusual medical circumstances. We actually developed the Castile (100% olive oil) liquid soap for people who are allergic to coconut oil and then added it to our regular line of products because it is so mild.
A: Yes. Our all-vegetable and bayberry soaps are made from only vegetable components, as are our liquid soaps.
A: We are aware of the concerns surrounding sourcing of palm oil and coconut oil. We purchase vegetable oils from sustainably-managed plantations. For example, our palm oil comes only from producers who are members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil http://www.rspo.org/
Is your packaging recyclable?
A: Both the bar/shaving soap packaging and the liquid soap bottles are recyclable any place you can recycle cardboard and milk jugs.