Soap and the Environment

I love making cold-process soap. I have learned techniques from all over the world; you amazing soap making people you! Grab a You Tube video and have a seat. Making this stuff is great, like a kid with a first chemistry set and an art brush.

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We are proud of our soaps, too. No added chemicals, all vegan and more. And yet. How do we buy the product? What do you do with the leftover bottles and plastics? More importantly, how is YOUR cleanup?

I will admit it! I am careful in the buying process. Glass bottles recycle as do most plastics. I have found a great source for oils that is in a container I love http://www.brambleberry.com/Basic-Quick-Mix-P5525.aspx. and I trust the company to be ethical. I know there are many more good companies out there and I’d love to hear from you. Making a good product from the start makes me happy.

But there is that end game that I can’t figure out yet. I see that there are a lot of soap makers who use “disposable cups” to create a multi-layer soap. That’s an “easy clean up” and multiple cups to toss every time they make soap. For me, I use glass and plastic measuring cups. I use a spatula which is a must have to get the soap out of the containers. So far, so good but what about the water use? We know what cleanup is like. It is a bear and I have yet to figure out how to clean up all the oily containers without a 140 degree ocean of water and that undermines a lot of the joy I get out of the finished product. So I am asking you. Is there a way you make soap and clean up without causing minor environmental havoc? If you have a solution, would you share it? Thanks!

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2 thoughts on “Soap and the Environment

  1. Hi! Great post – Love that line about the chemistry set and art brush. So perfect! I keep a squeeze bottle of Windex multi surface cleaner. It works great to break down the oils in your bowls, etc. Vinegar and lemon juice combo works well, too. I have two clean up routines.

    1) Scrape as much soap batter out as possible (i put the leftover batter in a silicone multi bar mold, I have random sizes of all my soap that we use at home). Wipe as clean as possible with paper towels and hand wash with Dawn, try it in the bathtub! If you scrape and wipe very thoroughly you can put stuff in the dishwasher, but I rarely do that. I bought several plastic measuring cups with pour spout at the dollar store, and use these for multi color batches. I reuse any plastic containers until they’re worn out, then clean and recycle.

    2) Throw everything into a big plastic bag, tie and leave for up to 48 hrs. Then scrape everything with a silicone scraper and make soap balls! No danger of lye burns this way and soap balls are fun 🙂 The scraping’s a little tougher, but no paper towel waste.

    You’re right, clean up stinks, no matter how good your soap smells! Thanks for the great post!

    Like

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