Ingredients

Sourcing for Ingredients

Parsons Farm Cow

Hi. I’m lucky because I get to live on Parsons Farm where Farmer Bob knows me personally and tends to my delicate needs himself. I get to roam around in the pasture in the summer and eat fresh green grass. Even in the winter, I get to roam around freely in the pen, so I can get some fresh air and exercise.

We start with searching for the most pure and natural ingredients in the market that meet our standards. Our typical soap recipe contains a blend of five oils, each which benefits your skin in its own special way and that complement each other to create a cleansing and moisturizing product. We also scoure the great state of Maine to identify dairy farms, vegetable growers, herb growers, orchards, breweries, wineries, natural spring water bottlers, organic coffee roasters, sugar houses, and other local business that produce natural ingredients we can use in our soaps to add cleaning power as well as antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

We only LYE because it’s good!

You may ask: “Why do they use lye in their soaps? I thought it was chemical, aren’t these soaps supposed to be all-natural?” Soap is a chemical reaction that occurs when sodium hydroxide, known as lye, is mixed with oils. The lye binds with the oils in a process known as sopanification.  The result is soap and skin-pampering glycerin. (Not familiar with the benefits of glycerin on the skin? Check out this article on the Livestrong site about “The Effects of Glycerin on the Skin“.) Other natural ingredients can be added for fragrance, exfoliation, soothing properties, and even natural bug repellents. (After all, we are in Maine, where spring is known as black fly season in the deep woods! You can’t enjoy going up to camp if you don’t have bug repellent in the spring; and even in the summer, if the mosquitoes are extra hungry that year.)

Making a Batch

Maine Soap Works

Andrea and “Aunt Sue” experimenting with soap recipes

We carefully sanitize all our tools and work areas prior to each new mix and are cautious, safe, and stylish when working in the kitchen with the proper gear.

Each of our soaps are mixed as small handcrafted batches and poured into a variety of molds for shaping. We conduct quality tests all along the way – ensuring that the saponification process is progressing as desired and that the lye and oils are binding properly. We take its temperature. We measure its PH. We precisely measure ingredients to the nearest tenth of an ounce. Yes! We are indeed Soap Enthusiasts to want to dedicate the time necessary to create these works of art out of natural ingredients.

The Curing Process

Maine Soap Works Curing Rack

All-Natural, Fragrance free Soap on the curing rack

After at least a day of processing (and filling the house with the scent of fresh, warm soap and other fabulous fragrances), we hand cut each molded block or log into individual bars. Because of this manual process, you’ll notice not all our soaps are the exact same weight or size. In fact, no bars are exactly the same! Most of our soaps will then sit patiently on our curing racks for 4-8 weeks, allowing the excess water moisture to evaporate and the bars to harden. Patience is essential as bars sold before their time are softer and have a shorter life expectancy in the soap dish.

Finished bars are then given the final official seal of approval and are lovingly wrapped up and ready to share!

Clearly Labeled Ingredients

We bring together a mix of all-natural, local and fresh ingredients in our soaps to provide many unique options for your everyday clean living. We provide detailed product descriptions in our on-line Shop, so that you can made the best decisions for you and your family.

Visit our Shop for a full list of our current products, prices, and gifting options.