Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Science of Getting Clean

How does soap clean?

Science has never been my forte. I took college chemistry during summer school so I wouldn’t have to take the full semester course. So, it befuddles me that my lackluster for the sciences is coming back to bite me where it counts most.

The more I sell (wholesale) different handmade bath lines, the more I get to know about making soap, and the more I realize this is a scientific process, not just fun & games or arts & crafts.

Soaps are always so much fun to look at, feel & sniff in the store, purchase, and use at home. I figured making them was just as easy as combining a few ingredients. But, like everything else, it’s not always as easy as it looks.

I recently received a newsletter from The Handcrafted Soap Makers Guild,, (a great organization by the way) with all kinds of scientific information I just can’t seem to absorb. I completely appreciate this education, but for some reason, I can’t wrap my little brain around it. So, I’ve decided to let the rest of the world make my soaps…I’ll just be content to sell it… no mad scientist soap lab for me. (You serious soap makers out there will be happy to know I’m not one of those that thinks that because I think I can use melt & pour that I think I’m a soap maker. I know better than to insult you like that.)

However, for those of you science buffs, check out this great article explaining how soap cleans..and then, can someone please translate it to English for me ??

Maybe they should teach soap making at MIT. In fact, I think you cold & hot press soap makers should call yourselves Soap Engineers, not soapers or soap maker.

Who knew that how our skin gets clean is a very scientific process. I always just thought it was a matter of soap & water.

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