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March 13, 2020 6 min read 8 Comments

We’re the Rocky Mountain Soap Company. That means we make soap, and lots of it, and they’re all all-natural, biodegradable, and work hard to keep your hands and body clean. But what’s the difference between them? Bars, liquids, antibacterial — we even have a soap paste. 

We've been getting a lot of questions about how natural soap helps keep you healthy. Soap has been altering the course of human health for the better for centuries, including right now.

We tackle your frequently asked questions about natural soap in this handy guide. If you want to know more and you don’t see the answer here, you can always reach out on Facebook, Instagram, or through customer service.

What kinds of soap do you have?

We have so many different kinds, but this FAQ will focus on:

See the whole natural soap collection

Will natural soap remove germs from my hands?

Yes! Proper hand washing with any kind of soap will clean your hands. People have been using soap to kill germs for hundreds of years. Your skin naturally secretes sebum (oil) which both lubricates it and protects it from the elements Germs (good and bad) are oil loving, so they like to adhere to the oil in our skin. When we wash with only water it's difficult to remove these germs, but when you add soap into the mix... it's a different story. Our natural soap has a pH of 8-10 so in scientific terms it is known to be negatively charged. It is this negative charge that decreases the surface tension of water to dissolve and lift dirt and germs from our skin.

That higher pH also means that the soap is more alkaline. You know who hates alkalinity? Viruses. That’s why the alkalinity of natural soap will deactivate viruses on your skin. When you lather and wash your hands with natural soap for at least 20 seconds and as much as 30, you remove the most amount of germs from your skin.

Soap is more effective than water alone, as the surfactants — meaning the soap molecules have an end that bonds to fats and an end that bonds to water — in natural soap lift dirt and germs off of your skin, then rinsing with water sends all that stuff down the drain. Proper hand washing with soap and water for 20-30 seconds can remove germs (including viruses and bacteria) from your skin. Thirsty for knowledge? You can read more about the science on the CDC’s website.

Image of a pair of hands washing with all natural bar soap.

What’s the difference between the soap types?

Bar soaps

These are package free, so that means zero-waste. We’ve been making bar soaps since we started, 20 years ago and carry over 20 scents. The bar soap base is made of Water, Olive Oil, Sunflower Oil, Organic Shea Butter and Organic Coconut Oil. Other ingredients change based on the scent or desired function of the soap (like for oily, dry or normal skin).

Foaming Wash

This is an efficient liquid soap that’s made from a base of Water, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil and Jojoba Oil. We say efficient because the thin liquid bursts into a luxurious foam when it comes from the pump, and that rich lather takes less product to produce than other liquid soaps. You can also use foaming wash to get a nice lather using the pump one-handed, which makes it great when you’re juggling precious things, like your little one.

Everything Wash Liquid Soap (Hand & Body Wash)

This workhorse natural liquid soap is made from a base of Glycerin, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Jojoba and Water. This is actually a castile soap, which is a traditional style of soap that goes as far back as the 11th century. You can use this liquid soap to effectively wash your hands and body, but also to clean your home. You’ll need to dilute it for different home cleaning methods. You can read more about that on our blog.

Antibacterial Kitchen Hand Wash

This is an ultra-gentle, naturally antibacterial soap that we created to work overtime for your hands in cases where you want an extra antibacterial kick, like food preparation. The base of this soap is Glycerin, Coconut Oil, Lactic Acid, Water, Olive Oil and Jojoba Oil. It’s then enhanced with Lavender, Rosemary and Eucalyptus.

A pair of hands cleaning with a natural lather from Rocky Mountain Soap Company Antibacterial Kitchen Hand Wash

What makes it antibacterial?

You may have noticed we mentioned Lactic Acid in the base of the soap. That’s our secret weapon. Lactic Acid is a gentle exfoliant, but it also prevents the growth of bacteria by altering the PH of your skin, making it inhospitable to bacterias. Note that bacteria is different from a virus. All of our soaps will effectively remove dirt, bacteria, and viruses with proper hand washing.

Are your other soaps antibacterial? 

Our other soaps do not contain an antibacterial agent. That doesn't mean they don't get your hands germ and bacteria-free. Proper hand washing techniques with all of our soaps will leave your hands clean and healthy. 

Do your soaps work as well as something I might find in the drug store?

Yes. With proper hand washing, all of our soaps will effectively remove dirt, bacteria, and viruses from your hands. Some antibacterial soaps that are commercially available may contain triclosan, an antibacterial ingredient you'll never find in Rocky products. 

What is triclosan?

Triclosan is an antibacterial agent that is sometimes found in soaps, body washes and even toothpastes to prevent bacterial growth. It's actually banned for use in soaps in the United States after the Federal Drug Administration asked for proof that antibacterial soaps were more effective than regular soap and water. When no proof came, the FDA ruled to ban triclosan from soap products. There has been no such ruling in Canada. It's believed that exposure to triclosan can contribute to antibiotic resistance. 

Two hands washing with soap lather.

What is more effective, hand sanitizer or soap?

For hand sanitizer to be truly effective at removing germs from your hands, you should be using it on clean hands, after washing your hands properly with soap and water. Hand sanitizer — with a concentration of 60% Ethyl Alcohol or more — can help you out in a pinch, but it really is best used to remove any residual germs from your hands after soap and water. Like peanut butter and jelly, cowboys and Yeehaw! Proper hand washing with soap and water followed by hand sanitizer are the perfect pairing.

How do I wash my hands properly?

1. Wet your hands
2. Apply soap and work into a lather. Make sure to get in between your fingers, on the backs of your hands and under your nails.
3. Scrub scrub scrub! For at least 20 seconds, but if you make it 20, may as well go for 30! (hint: that’s singing “Happy Birthday” in your head, twice).
4. Rinse well under running water.
5. Dry your hands (with a  towel or air dry).

Pro tip: A nail brush is key to cleaning underneath your nails. Ours is made from FSC-certified Beechwood and has firm, natural bristles that work to get your nails squeaky clean. 
Gif of nail brush cleaning hands with natural lather.

What is the difference between commercial soaps and yours?

Other than the fact that we make them by hand with love in our workshop in Canmore, our soaps never have any ingredients that are bad for you, your family or the planet. That means you’ll never find sulfates in our soaps. We make our soaps with only sustainable ingredients and work to make them from ingredients that are as local as possible.

What is SLS and why isn’t it in your soaps?

SLS is sodium lauryl sulfate, and you will never find it in any of our products, ever. SLS is a foaming agent that can be made from petroleum. While SLS is thought to be safe for humans in low doses, there is too much of a correlation between SLS and skin irritants for us to feel comfortable putting it in our soaps. It is and always will be on our red list.

Why does your natural bar soap take so long to cure?

Our bar soaps dry for six to eight weeks before we can get them in your hands. The reason why is that they’re super fatted. That means we make them with lots of hydrating, nourishing oils — more than many soap companies — and that we need to add more water in the process. Because of that, the bars need longer to work their magic and for the water to evaporate.

What is superfatted?

Super-fatted is a term you’ll find soap makers using. It means the oils of the soap that were not saponified (turned into soap) during the soap-making process, which is a result of oils and lye turning into soap and glycerin. The superfat stays behind to moisturise your hands while you wash. Learn more about saponification here.

Will all of your soaps hydrate my hands?

Yes. All of our soap have rich, nourishing oils as their base and work to keep your hands moisturised. However, if you've been washing your hands more often than usual and they're drying out, check out our collections of hand creams, lotions, and organic butters


8 Responses

Allison
Allison

April 13, 2020

I am so happy that I found your unscented shampoo and conditioner, they have literally saved my scalp and hair. I have suffered for years with dry, itchy, and inflamed scalp with no remedy, and I have tried no poo, low poo, DIY ingredients, you name it! After one use of this shampoo, my scalp calmed right down. After 4-5 washes, you would never know I ever had any scalp issues. Perhaps it’s the soap nut base that has done wonders & maybe I’m allergic to other shampoos and never made the connection. Anyway, I’ll never use anything else now that I found this. I just bought buckets of it!

Rocky Mountain Soap Company
Rocky Mountain Soap Company

March 30, 2020

Thanks
@DEBBIE
@LINDA
@HEATHER
@KIM
@DONNA
@MIKE

For your wonderful feedback. We’re glad to have you in our community. :)

Debbie Corbett
Debbie Corbett

March 23, 2020

I have been using your bar soaps and liquid soaps for years and love them. I buy all my soap products, shampoo and more at RMSC. My go to place for these natural products.

Heather Noll
Heather Noll

March 22, 2020

I started using your products in 2019 and I just love them. I have tried many natural products and for me, RMSC has the best natural soaps and hair care products you could ask for.

Kim B
Kim B

March 22, 2020

I love your new kitchen hand soap! I used to use either dish soap or other liquid hand soap and the skin on my hands dried out with in a washing or two. This soap has been great for me and I enjoy the smell of it to.
Thanks so much for creating it!

LINDA FOSTER
LINDA FOSTER

March 16, 2020

We’ve been using your products from the very beginning when you were just a “hole in the wall business” in Canmore all those 20 years ago! Love your products! Keep up your great work and thank you for your e-mail listing all of your soap products-people really need to know what great products you produce! Thank you again!

Donna Bradley
Donna Bradley

March 13, 2020

Within 10 minutes of my pondering out loud (my husband thinks I’m talking to him but I’m really talking to myself) about the effectiveness of your lemongrass foam soap we have in our kitchen and bathrooms, Karina’s e-mail arrived and answered all my questions. As always, classy and caring about community. Thanks!

Mike Duggan
Mike Duggan

March 13, 2020

Keep up the good work. Thanks for your products. You are a credit to the Canadian business community.

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