Sudsy Facts

Why Is Soap Special?

Soap is for cleaning, but the ingredients in soap make it special.  The moisturizing agents leave your skin soft.  I have one friend who exclaims that this soap has “changed  her skin.”  However, soap becomes personal with the scent.  Everyone has a favorite.  Mine is Black Tea & Sage.  It’s tangy and herby.  It makes me feel good in the morning — I don’t know why.  Scientifically explained, the olfactory system, which is affected by scents, stores emotional memories.  Through conditioned learning,  a smell becomes associated with an experience.  In some cases, we may not be able to attach the specific memory.  We just realize a positive or negative affect associated with a smell.   I watch as customers stop by my table.  Almost every one has a different favorite, but each has the same reaction.  They find their favorite, take a sniff, and I watch their eyes close and their entire body relax.  That is what makes soap special.


What is Soap?

Nate Whaley created this particular soap formula over years of trial and error.  I became a fan of the soap and happened to be in the right place at the right time when Nate decided to hand over the reins.

To quote Nate:

Chemistry nerds, lend me your ears because we’re about to get molecular on you.  In terms of chemistry, soap is a surfactant used with water for cleaning.  It adheres to both ambient nonpolar molecules like dirt or grease and polar molecules like water.  Hydrocarbons break down oil and dirt while the ionic components makes soap water soluble.

Lye (sodium hydroxide) is used in all soapmaking, whether in a cast-iron pot over a campfire or mass-produced by a Fortune 500 conglomerate.  You can’t make real soap without it.  Anyone who tells you differently is wrong, plain and simple.  Old time lye soaps had the reputation of being a skin irritant.  The precise balance of lye added to the moisturizing agents in Oak Lane Soaps allows it to act as a cleansing agent without skin irritation.  End quote.


Oak Lane Soap is a mixture of moisturizing agents and cleansing agents.  For most soaps, I use palm kernel, coconut, olive, avocado and castor oils mixed with shea butter and lye.  I also carefully select essential oils and fragrances to give Oak Lane Soaps pleasing aromas combined with healthful moisturizing agents for your skin.  This is a “hot process” soap in which I gently heat the oil and lye mixture until it reaches a chemical reaction called saponification (sah-pon-if-ik-ay-shun).  All OLSW products are handmade by me.  I enjoy the process and selling a product that makes people feel good.


Storing your handcrafted soap.

Handmade soap does not like standing water.  For best results, store your soap in a dish that does not collect water.  Before using your Oak Lane Soap in the shower, cut it into halves or thirds, using only one piece at a time.  The soap will foam and moisturize just the same in the smaller size, and the longer that the soap stays away from water, the better.