How We Make Our Soap
Old Whaling Company handcrafts each bar of soap according to the [tried and true] recipe that has been passed down for years. Every soap maker [anyone who’s ever made soap] would tell you that learning to make soap is incredibly difficult and that everyone does it a little bit differently. Take Kelly, our VP of Operations, for example. She created our soap’s signature “waves” [the texture on top during the soap making process] that we still use to this day. Her younger sister Celia, our Chief of Production, makes waves that look slightly different from Kelly’s, as well as each of our soapmakers with a flair of their own. Even though each bar has its own unique fingerprint, the process remains consistent!
1) Add our olive, coconut, and soybean oil blend.
2) Add color, here, we are adding our teal Sea La Vie color and blend it with the oils!
3) Add Lye solution and mix to trace.
4) Add fragrance, mix again to the final trace.
Trace: a point in the soap making process when oils and lye water have emulsified. Once the soap has reached trace, it will continue to thicken over time, and become soap in a process called saponification.
5) Pour into our handmade molds.
Each mold makes 17 bars of soap, as well as 2 of the beloved soap samples. They are the ends of the ‘loaf’.
6) Make waves once the mixture reaches the right consistency/trace.
7) Let sit overnight.
The loaves will heat up during the gelling/saponification process and then cool to turn into soap. This picture is during the start of the gelling process, where you can see the loaf starting to gel under the waves.
8) Cut the soap and box to sell it in retail, wholesale, or e-commerce!
Old Whaling Co. uses the soap making process known as the cold process. According to Celia, “A common ‘melt and pour’ method, wherein all the soap is melted down and poured into molds, is like baking a cake out of a box. We make ours from scratch.” Spearmint & Eucalyptus was the first loaf of soap Celia ever made, fondly saying “I remember not being able to get the waves quite right and Kelly telling me to do them over and over again.”
All of our soap makers are true perfectionists, ensuring that each bar of soap looks and smells just right. Celia was the first-ever employee of Old Whaling Company and has poured her heart and soul into this company since the day she started. Now, she runs the production of all of our products with her team of nine! Her favorite product to make is soap and her favorite scent is a tie between Bergamot & Grapefruit and Coconut Milk!
Watching the process, it seems like an easy task. However, our soapmakers know that there is so much effort and care that goes into each batch. It’s a therapeutic process over in what is known as “Soapland” in our warehouse. They are in control of every piece of the process and only our senior employees learn to make soap.
From our warehouse to your hands, we care about every step of the process. We hope you love it as much as we love making it!
Lauren Hedwall + OWC Family