If it weren’t for the chemistry of soap and the nature of organic regulations, we could put the USDA logo on our soap.
Lye makes up 12-15%, by weight, of the original ingredients for bar soap. It doesn’t exist in the final soap product, but organic regulations require that ingredients be traced back to the beginning, to the product’s origins, and then be accounted for in organic percentages.
Quality and Transparency
As it is, we make every one of our soap bars with a minimum of 85% organic ingredients, a fairly common number for organic soap. It’s not carved in stone, but 85% is a good point of reference, especially for consumers. It identifies a particular level of soap quality. And, when it’s used by the soapmaker to describe their own product, it also shows a commitment to honesty and transparency.
Liquid soap tends to be slightly less organic than bar soap in percentage, more in the 83% range. The reason might be obvious. Liquid soap has more water than bar soap. Water doesn’t count against you in organic percentages, but it can’t count for you, either. When water makes up a bigger portion of overall ingredients, the portion that can count toward organic percentage is reduced.
Lots of Rules
Playing by the organic rules means there are a lot of rules. We’ve always thought the process is worth it, though, especially being able to prove the quality of our product to customers, rather than just telling them and asking them to trust us.
Not that we wouldn’t love to reach the 95% level and wear the logo. We know it means something. Especially now, with so much in factory skincare turning out to be bad for us, the organic seal is something to trust.
Organic Is More
It’s not just numbers behind the trust. It’s the spirit of committing to the most natural product possible, throughout the supply chain. In the case of soap, that means no synthetics or toxins to irritate the skin and cause long-term problems over time. It means no toxins washed down the drain and passed on to others. Organic means safe, high-quality products you can feel good about using, and it means an industry you can feel can good about supporting when you shop.