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Natural Soap


Seven people work for Simply Soaps, making soap and other skincare products in a small workshop near Norwich in Norfolk.

The company's soap is made by hand, using traditional processes that have remained largely unchanged for hundreds of years. A basic soap is made by combining:

Most handmade soap is made using the cold process. If solid fats are being used, these are heated until they melt. Liquid oils are then added and the mixture is heated to a temperature at which it will react with the lye. The lye is added and the mixture is stirred continuously. It thickens gradually, slowly becoming opaque and 'tracing' (leaving the impression of a line of soap on the surface). Tracing can take anything from a matter of minutes to over a day. Colours and scents are then stirred into the mixture and the soap is poured into a prepared mould.

Simply Soap's soaps are made in rectangular moulds that are about 60cm long, then cut into slices and sold in local markets, over the internet, through natural product suppliers like organic supermarkets, and through organisations such as Greenpeace.

Making soap commercially

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Practical Action - Technology challenging povertyEuropean Commission - Department for International Development

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