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Vegan soap— a Mother’s Day suggestion

April 29, 2009

Today Betty and I were watching a TV program called “Modern Marvels” on the History Channel. The focus was on bathrooms— history, technology, manufacturing and future trends. And they mentioned that water isn’t enough to get clean, you need soap too. 

The reason soap works is that the oil on your skin doesn’t mix with water, and soap emulsifies it— that is, the combination of fat or oil and an alkaline solution mixes with the oil on your skin and hair and lifts it off. The water then washes it all away. 

Then the program showed an artisan making soap the traditional way, by boiling down animal fat to render it free of solids and impurities such as blood, and adding lye to create the soap (a process called saponification).

Now, this info on how soap is made isn’t new to me, but seeing it, watching her tear apart the fat, boil it, stir it— eww. I don’t cook meat (though I still eat some, less as the years go on) for a number of reasons, one is that I dislike dealing with the fat. And while saponification changes fat into soap, the idea of it made me check out vegan alternatives. So, I went directly to Etsy.

Etsy is a handmade marketplace. While we have a shop on Etsy to sell Betty’s original art work, the largest percentage of work for sale is handmade crafts. And I love shopping on Etsy! First of all, I know that I’m supporting individual craftspeople who are doing work they love, and everything I’ve bought has been great! 

A search on Etsy for vegan+soap turned up over 9,000 entries! This is one that caught my eye— “Cut Grass” soap. It looks beautiful and smells like cut grass, perfect for spring. It’s from a shop called Sherri’s Scents and Soys and is one of over a hundred listings. And that’s just one of the thousands of shops available on Etsy. (Click on the photo to go directly to the listing.) Ingredients include things like Olive Oil and Babassu Oil (a great name, whatever it is). 

Once on the Etsy site, you can do a search on vegan+soap and see what catches your eye, or go to the Mother’s Day Showcase for more ideas for a wide range of budgets. Another option is to see my favorite sellers

My mom died back in 1995, but if she was alive, I know what I’d be giving her for Mother’s Day.

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