When we first discovered the harmful effects of the chemicals in regular commercial soaps, the easiest way for us to start moving away from these toxins was to make natural bar soaps. Although the process involved in making bar soaps is time-consuming and a little daunting to some, it is actually relatively easy. After doing research online and experimenting with different combinations of oils, we soon developed our first basic range of soaps for both hair and body. Washing our hair with a bar soap took some getting used to, but the results made it worth while.
Although we were very happy with our bar soaps, I still wanted to be able to make a liquid hand soap for my basin… and a liquid shampoo! I tried grating bar soaps and dissolving them in boiling water, but they always separated after a couple of days. Eventually we took the plunge and made our first real liquid soap. And we are hooked!
How we make our liquid soaps
The process for making liquid soap is much more involved than that for natural bar soaps. We use potassium hydroxide (KOH) as lye for saponifying the oils as opposed to sodium hydroxide (NaOH) which produces a solid soap. Saponification (that is, turning the oils into soap) takes much longer, so the soap is usually left to cook gently for an extended time before it is ready for dilution. We then dilute the soap with purified water till it reaches the right consistency. This sometimes takes several days to avoid an overly-runny end product. When we are happy with the soap the essential oils are added – except of course in the case of the Pure soaps which have no added essential oils. Once bottled, we allow the soap to stand for a further two weeks to cure properly.
As with our natural bar soaps, our liquid soaps are made purely from saponified vegetable oils. We do not add any other ingredients like emulsifiers. The result is, therefore, what is called a liquid castille soap.
Our range of liquid soaps
As mentioned above, all our liquid soaps are castille soaps. This implies that they are made from saponified vegetable oils. Oils have particular properties when saponified due to their fatty acid make-up. We have, therefore, developed three distinct liquid castille soaps, each with a specific purpose.
Olive Oil Liquid Castille Soap
The Mein Herr Olive Oil Liquid Castille Soap contains a high percentage of olive oil. This makes it a particularly moisturising soap. It can be used as a hand soap or shower gel. Alternatively, for those who enjoy whipping up their own DIY natural products, this soap can be added to recipes that call for castille soap.
We have a fragrance-free option, Pure, with no added essential oils. This gives you the freedom to choose your own combination of essential oils to suit your needs.
Hair and Body Liquid Castille Soap
The Mein Herr Hair and Body Liquid Castille Soap is made from vegetable oils that are particularly good for hair-care. As such, it can be used as a basic shower gel, but also as a liquid shampoo. Always remember that natural soap is very alkaline, so it is advisable to complete your shampoo routine with a dilute apple cider vinegar rinse to neutralise the pH. This acts as a natural hair conditioner. Read more about using vinegar here.
The Hair and Body Liquid Castille Soap comes in two fragrances: Berg Rose and Meander. If you prefer a fragrance-free soap, or would like to add your own personal blend of essential oils, we also make a Pure option with no added essential oils.
Coconut Oil Liquid Castille Soap
Finally, the Mein Herr Coconut Oil Liquid Castille Soap (coming soon) is a soap ideally suited to making household-cleaning products. It is a 100% coconut oils soap which means that it is great for cutting grease. You can read more about coconut oil in soap here.
The Coconut Oil Liquid Castille Soap is only available in Pure, that is with no added essential oils. You can add a couple of drops of lemon essential oil and it serves very well as a natural dish washing liquid. Alternatively it can be used as an ingredient in other DIY natural cleaning products.
Our hope is that through making these wonderful liquid castille soaps available in our shop, we will enable you to more easily progress towards a chemical-free environment in your home.