With the nicer weather, we've made an effort to be outside more. There's something calming to us about the sunshine, the breeze, and the sounds of nature. It helps to ground and reset us, plus it gives us time to reflect. If you follow us on Instagram or Facebook, you might have seen this picture.
One of our quarantine projects was to remove a dead ash tree. As it decayed from the inside, it posed a danger since the limbs had started to fall. It had to go. Here, a month later, is the remaining stump. We marvel at the new life springing from the rot and decay of the old tree. It's a reminder to us that even through the toughest times, such as a heartbreaking loss or the death of a dream, in time there can come hope, newness, even redemption -- perhaps unexpectedly.
Peace to all!
Ben and Polly Gorringe
As soap-makers, we take notice when we see advertisements for soap and soap-related products. We've seen soap advertised with added "Covid-fighting" ingredients such as essential oils or anti-bacterial agents. This supposedly makes the soap "better" against the Corona virus, thus keeping you safer. Knowing what we know about soap, this seems like a gimmick to us. What one person calls a gimmick, another might call marketing (Maybe we are just really bad at marketing!), but we don't want to use fear to take advantage of a consumer. It's just not how we do things. What we do like to do is to educate consumers about our products and how to use them. Here's what you should know -- all soap kills the Corona virus. Fancy soap, inexpensive soap, soap with special additives, soap without any additives, soap that smells like flowers, soap that smells like toilet cleaner... all soap kills the corona virus! Do we want you to buy our soap? Of course we do. We make a superb natural soap that is gentle on skin, comes in fabulous fragrances, and is biodegradable. What all soaps have in common is the essence of soap itself -- the soap molecule. The structure of the soap molecule is what makes it work against the Corona virus. We discussed this in detail the March newsletter. Below is a recap of how soap works. You can find our article here on our blog about how soap annihilates the corona virus.
Our farmers market game is strong this season! We have been participating in the Granville and Newark markets. In June we will be adding the Gahanna and New Albany markets in our line-up! Here's the scoop on these markets.
We will continue to refill your empty foaming soap bottles if you bring those along to any of these farmers markets. The cost of an 8-ounce refill is $4. We also are selling 64-ounce foaming soap refills for $18.99. If you message us ahead of time, we can make sure to bring the large refill of the fragrance you request. Thank you!!!
We are rolling out some new fragrances as summer progresses. If your kids are tired of washing their hands, try some Monkey Farts soap to put a smile on their faces!
This is a fruity and fun scent with top notes of pineapple, middle notes of apples and ripe banana, with a smooth vanilla base.
Stay tuned for more new fragrances coming this summer!
Here's the newest thing in our line-up -- a hand soap perfect for washing up! This is similar to our foaming soap, but it contains a thickener. This way the soap can be easily spread on the hands while washing. It does not require a foaming pump; a regular pump works for this formula.
The concept of soap is simple -- it's a combination of water, oil, and lye. When they combine, the mixture "saponifies," meaning it chemically changes from the ingredients of oil, water, and lye into soap. Each oil brings different properties to the soap. Here's a summary of the oils we use and how they affect the soap.
By combining these organic oils, we create an exclusive blend that ensures a gentle yet effective cleanser which lathers beautifully! We pH test every batch to ensure a mild, properly-processed soap.
To thicken the soap, we use something called hydroxyethylcellulose. This is a plant-derived thickener (thus the cellulose part of the name) that give the soap body and fullness.
To celebrate the arrival of our liquid soap, we are offering 20% off all liquid soap ordered from our website. Use the coupon code LIQUID20 to get this deal! You can shop our new liquid soap here.
Hopefully we aren't spilling too many trade secrets here, but we love sharing more about our products. Since soap and hand washing is taking center stage with the coronavirus, we thought it might be interesting to share more of how we make our most popular soap -- the Castile foaming soap.
The process of making our foaming soap takes several months. Here's how it begins. It starts with organic castor oil, coconut oil, and olive oil. The oils are melted, and the sodium hydroxide (lye) and water is added. This causes a chemical reaction which saponifies the oils. We use the hot-process method and we pH test the soap to make sure all of the lye is used up in the soap-making process. So even though we have lye listed in our ingredients, there's no lye left in the final product. We dump the hot soap into a big pile and let it cool. After it's cooled, we cut it into long bars.
We let the bars air out, rotating the bars as time passes. Then we feed the bars through our shredder to shred the bars of soap. This allows the soap to dry out and cure more quickly.
We load the shredded soap onto large ventilated trays so the soap can continue to dry out. We rotate the trays and spread the soap around to even out the drying process. Then it's back to the shredder to chop the shredded soap into pellets.
We store the soap pellets in food-safe buckets until we are ready for the final step in making the liquid soap. Finally, we dissolve the soap pellets into distilled water and add our desired essential oil or fragrance.
Each fragrance reacts a little differently with the soap base. You'll notice that some soaps are darker, some are lighter. That's due to the different fragrances. The scents that contain vanilla will darken more than others, for example. Our Warm Flannel and Cocoa Butter Cashmere fragrances both contain vanilla. This darkens the final soap product.
So there you have it! We are proud of what's in our soap (and what's not!) and how the whole process works. Remember that our foaming soap refills are 25% off for the month of May -- no coupon code needed. Thank you so much for supporting our soap-making business! See you at the market!
You might want to hang on to your empties! Our foaming soap has been popular recently, and we're learning that these bottles are a HOT commodity! We still have a supply for now, but the supply chain for these bottles is disrupted until who knows when.
We want to offer more options for you in providing you with high-quality soap, especially since washing with soap and warm water is so vital right now! Even if we run out of foamer bottles, we can still make sure you have the soap you need.
Foaming Soap Refill Options
We are featuring our foaming soap refills this month, and will have a variety of foaming soap fragrances "on tap" at these local markets. Simply bring your empty foaming soap bottles, choose your fragrance, and we will refill them for you. An 8-ounce refill will be on sale for $3 each (25% off the regular price of $4) during the month of May.
Or if you'd rather, you can also order a 64-oz foaming soap refill on our website for 25% off soap refills for the month of May. Choose the fragrance you like, then select the 64-oz size. No coupon code needed. We'll also bring a few of the 64-oz refill bottles to the local markets.
Now you can enjoy your favorite foaming soap all season long! We appreciate each of you as you take care of your skin and support small businesses.
Raising little humans isn't for the faint of heart, especially during this quarantine! Mamas, we see you, we know how crazy-hard it can be, and we appreciate and value you. We understand the doubts you have... wondering if you're doing enough, being enough. If you could see yourself as we see you -- we see incredible beauty in your strength, in your vulnerability, and in your sense of community. You are uniquely suited for your people. We know that there are times when you just need a minute, and that can be hard to come by -- especially now. We've put together this gift set of simple luxuries, designed to give moms some pampering and peace. And we've made it easy for you with free shipping. We use USPS Priority Mail, so it can quickly get to its destination.
We love that you have the option to personalize a hand-written note, plus you can choose from a variety of fragrances. You'll receive these five products plus free shipping for only $35.99. (When purchased individually, the items pictured here would retail for $42.95.) Click here to learn more. We will have this gift set available for purchase at the local farmer's markets as well. Wishing you all the best this Mother's Day!
We're excited to be a part of FOUR markets this season! We'll be participating in the Granville Farmer's Market, Newark's Canal Market District, the Gahanna Farmer's Market, and the New Albany market. Farmers Markets in the state of Ohio are classified as an essential business. Even so, each market is adjusting its operating procedures to cooperate with safety recommendations. Please be flexible and patient as you attend the local markets. We appreciate your willingness to support local small businesses at these weekly markets.
Last month we discussed the differences between soap and detergent. We received some questions from some of you about our soap, so we thought we'd talk a bit about the chemistry of soap and why soap is so effective. We shared a video on our website about this that you can watch here. We should start by saying that when we speak of soap, we are not just talking about our brand, but true soap in general. The soap molecule is unique in its structure.
Here's a simplified graphic of a soap molecule. It has two ends -- one end is a negatively charged head which attracts water. The other end is a hydrocarbon chain (or tail) which attracts fats or impurities.
The coronavirus has a protective layer of protein and fat. The tail of the soap molecule is attracted to the fat, while the head of the soap molecule is attracted to water. The soap connects the water molecules with the fat molecules and causes the fat molecules to break apart.
The soap bonds the impurities with the water, and it is all safely rinsed down the drain when we wash our hands. Detergents work in the same way. Soap kills bacteria or viruses by breaking apart its structure. The soap does not have to have an "anti-bacterial" additive to do this -- in fact, anti-bacterial soaps have not been shown to be any more effective than regular soap, according to the FDA. Be sure to use the soap with warm water, and wash your hands for at least 20 seconds to give it time to work. This applies to any soap, not just Martha's soap. So now you know how soap destroys Covid-19!
This blog is an interactive place where we can share more about natural skin care and how we create what your skin craves!