Soap has been made for thousands of years, so why are there still so many things about soap that confuse people? It’s like lots of things – most of the time we just don’t take the time to look into the details.
This page on our web site is intended to present a few things about how soap is made and the things that distinguish Green Mountain Soap from most other soaps. We think that the more you know about soap, the better informed you will be and the better you will be able to decide what is best for you.
Soap is made through a chemical reaction called saponification, literally “soap making” from the Latin word for soap, Sapo. The result of the reaction is two things: soap and glycerin. Glycerin is a natural by-product of the soap making reaction, and glycerin is known for its ability to hold water. Soap without glycerin in it tends to dry your skin.
Most soap made by large-scale continuous process factories has had the glycerin removed from it. The glycerin can be sold as a separate commodity to maximize their profits. All the glycerin produced in Green Mountain Soap stays in the soap. That is the first major point of distinction between Green Mountain Soap and most of the soap you will see on the grocery store shelves.
Many things are added to most soap. For a list of additives found in other soap,
go HERE .
Though Green Mountain Soap Co. does have a few soaps to which fragrances and essential oils have been added (See Bayberry and the list of shaving soaps), it is true that our original flagship line of soap, both bars and liquid, is free of all additives. Period. None.
That is the second major point of distinction between Green Mountain Soap and nearly all other soaps on the market.
Remember the Saponification Reaction, above? Oils plus Caustic yields Soap plus Glycerin. So the purity of the oils and caustic will determine the purity of the soap and glycerin.
All of the oils used to make Green Mountain Soap are Food Grade oils. We use Tallow, Palm Oil, Coconut Oil, and Olive Oil for the oils (the triglycerides). And the caustic soda is always greater than 99% pure.
Because soap can pick up the scents and odors that surround it, we make all of our unscented products in a separate building that is used exclusively for making unscented products. The air conditioning system is separate and dedicated only to that building.
Any work with fragrances is done in another building, again with its own dedicated HVAC system. All facilities are air conditioned year-round so the soap will never get too hot. (Cold is no problem for the soap, but we do heat the buildings in the winter for the people working there.)
Several years ago, we discovered that there are small amounts of copper and iron in the city water that comes to our plant. Those metals were enough to shorten the shelf life of our soap a little, so we started using distilled water exclusively in the entire soap making process.
Our unscented soap is so pure, in fact, that one of our formulations, the All-Vegetable bar soap, has been certified as “Food Grade” by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF International), an arm of the US Department of Agriculture.
Because none of the raw materials used in making Green Mountain Soap contains any gluten, our soap can be used by people who are observing a gluten-free diet.
Because of the pesticides and herbicides used to produce cotton, we decided at the very beginning not to use cottonseed oil in producing our soap. Also, because of the peanut allergy, we do not use peanut oil.
We do not now, nor have we ever, nor are there any plans for the future to perform any testing of our soap on animals. There has never been anything used to make our soap that is questionable enough to require testing for allergic reactions.
We do, however, admit to having done major testing over the last 35 years on members of the human race, homo sapiens. Happy results have always been the outcome.
To sum it all up, we make soap that is as pure as soap can be made. If you prefer soap without fragrance, we can provide that to you. If you prefer fragranced soap, we have a few of those as well, and the scented soap is produced in a separate building with separate air conditioning from the building in which the unscented soap is made.