Soaps have been made for millennia. Aside from making fire and cooking food, saponifying oil and fat into soap is one of the oldest and simplest chemical reactions known to humankind. In fact, the first soaps were accidentally made by fat dripping into the ashes of cooking fires.
Soap is made by saponifying a fat or oil with an alkali. A fat or oil is a triglyceride, which means that three fatty acids of various carbon lengths are attached to a glycerine backbone. The alkali is either sodium (for bars) or potassium (for liquids) hydroxide, made by running electricity through salt water. The saponification process is a simple one-step reaction with no waste generated: the glycerine is split off from the fatty acids, and the fatty acids combine with the sodium or potassium to form soap, while the hydroxide forms water. The result is soap, glycerin and water (no alkali remains in our soaps).
Quality soap-making consists in great part of choosing the right proportions of the right oils with their different fatty acids. Most commercial soap manufacturers skimp on quality because of cost and use lots of tallow from beef fat with a little bit of coconut or palm kernel oil. Our unsurpassed soaps are made with certified organic olive, hemp and palm oils instead of tallow, and contain three times more organic coconut oil than commercial soaps. Saponified coconut oil generates high-lather cleansing even in hard water because it has shorter-chain saturated fatty acids. Hemp, olive and palm oil-based soaps make a mild, smooth, creamy lather because these oils contain longer-chain unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fatty acids.
Other Ways Dr. Bronner's Makes Higher-Quality Soap
• Unlike most commercial soap-makers who distill the glycerin out of their soaps to sell separately, we retain it in our soaps for its superb moisturizing qualities.
• We superfat our soaps with organic hemp and jojoba oils for a milder, smoother lather.
• We use natural plant-derived vitamin E and citric acid to protect freshness.
• We do not add any chelating agents, dyes, whiteners or synthetic fragrances.
• We use pure and powerful high-quality certified organic essential oils.
• Our liquid soaps are 3 times more concentrated than most so-called liquid soaps on the market, and are only a few percent away from being a solid, which ecologically saves on packaging materials.
• Our new plastic cylinder bottles are made from 100% post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic.
• Our soaps are a superb value, costing less than less-concentrated, inferior detergent body-wash liquid soaps.
• Our soaps are most popular for at-home washing, but they also are the soap of choice for many campers and hikers, as they are so biodegradable and nature-friendly.
Saponified Organic Coconut, Palm & Olive oils (w/ retained Glycerin), Water, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Salt, Citric Acid, Vitamin E