The Soap Room is a home-based soap-making enterprise which started in Pietermaritzburg in 2011. It specializes in affordable, handmade, pure, natural soap. The Soap Room was established in response to a need for locally made, natural soap, particularly for individuals suffering from skin allergies and eczema. This soap is an excellent choice for individuals concerned about the quality of the soap they use, health related benefits and the environment.
A number of ingredients can be used in the soap-making process (the process taking up to two months from beginning to end). These can include Beeswax, Olive Oil, Castor Oil, Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Avocado Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter to name but a few. The Soap Room uses only vegetable and plant based oils for its hand-made natural soap and uses essential oils for fragrance and health benefits. We decide what ingredients to use in our soap and how much of each ingredient. All the soap we make, is made using the cold-process method and is super-fatted by 5%. There is no added synthetic colouring to this soap - the colour of the soap is determined by the actual ingredients used in the soap-making process.
The Soap Room's hand-made soap retains glycerin in the soap-making process and is therefore a natural glycerin soap. Glycerin is known to soften skin naturally and is one of the best known humectants (attracts moisture to the skin).
During the manufacturing process of commercially made soap, glycerin is usually extracted and then sold as a valuable by-product. Natural ingredients are rarely used in commercially manufactured soap - if used at all, natural ingredients are used sparingly. The Soap Room's hand-made soap is a natural glycerin soap and is opaque, not transparent. Transparent soap is often referred to as glycerin soap. This is a myth which needs to be debunked as glycerin is not needed to produce a clear or transparent soap. Transparent soap is made by adding solvents such as alcohol to the soap mix, to prevent crystals from forming as the soap cools.
The "melt-and-pour" soaps are also known as solid glycerin blocks. The pure glycerin used for this soap (animal or vegetable derived), is always liquid and can only be solidified by the addition of plastizer chemicals. To produce a foam, detergents are added. The method used in making "melt-and-pour" soap is simply making soap from a soap by-product and although they often have natural ingredients added to them and are lovely to use, they are synthetically based.