What is Soap?
"Soap is a surfactant, which means that it helps water to wet things more evenly. Soap molecules have tails which attract dirt and pull it away from the surface that it is on. The soap then suspends the dirt in a lather until it can be washed away. Soap is made by combining an alkaline solution with animal fats or vegetable oils which are acidic. When mixed under the right circumstances, they neutralize to form a new compound which we call "soap". Saponification is the technical term for this reaction." (Handmade Soap by Tatyana Hill)
Do you have processes in place to protect products from bacteria and viruses?
In order to ensure that all our products are free from contamination, whether it be bacteria, mold or viruses, we have procedures and systems in place to protect the product from the time of its creation to shipping. This includes but is not limited to biodegradable gloves being worn by employees when creating and working with products, sanitization of areas used for packaging orders, sanitization of areas used for production. When you order our products, rest assured that we are taking all necessary steps to keep producing nourishing and effective products which are safe and beneficial.
Is there lye in your soap?
Nope. Lye will burn your skin off and disfigure you. Lye is the alkaline solution necessary to make soap, but once the chemical reaction between the lye and the fatty acids in the oils and butters takes place, a completely different substance remains: SOAP! Really, what you end up with is "neat soap," water (which evaporates as you "cure" the bar), and a wonderful amount of natural glycerin, that essential ingredient that protects, moisturizes, and softens your skin.
So in short, lye is NOT in the final soap which we sell on our shelves, but it is used to make the soap.
What is the size and weight of your soap?
Shampoo, Body and Facial full sized bars are 5oz in weight, with dimensions of 2.75H x 3.4W x 1D.
Salt full sized bars are 8-9oz in weight, with the dimensions of 2.75H x 3.4W x 1.25D.
Round Shampoo and Shaving soaps are 4oz in weight and 3" diameter.
What are your certifications and standards?
CRUELTY FREE: We are certified by the Leaping Bunny organization and are excited to be in partnership with them.
ORGANIC & SUSTAINABLE: We aim to use as many certified organic ingredients as possible in our products, but have chosen (at this time) to not pursue Organic certification due to expense. Using sustainable ingredients is also very important to us, read more about our stance on Organic and Sustainable ingredients here.
GLUTEN FREE: There are many products in our store which do not contain gluten, but as we do not have a gluten free facility we cannot guarantee there will be no cross contamination. We then define these products as "gluten sensitive". Find out more information here.
VEGAN: The majority of our products are vegan and we have identified these items in this category as such. Find out more information here.
Are your products & packaging Eco-Friendly?
• Soaps are wrapped in paper wrappers or boxes.
• ALL samples (soap, hair rinse, toner, sample packs etc) are mailed out in clear bags made from plant material which are certified compostable.
• 1st class packages are mailed in 100% Recycled Padded Paper Mailers.
• Where we do use plastic we make sure it's 100% recyclable and PCR where possible.
What is the difference between natural soap and soaps like Dial and Dove?
"Soap is made commercially in huge vats by a process called "continuous method", in which ingredients are continuously added to one end and removed from the other. During this process, the emollient glycerin that naturally exists in soap is removed and sold separately for its moisturizing qualities. Commercial soap is nearly always made from tallow (animal fat) and usually contains a variety of synthetic chemicals. Because of the lack of glycerin as well as the inclusion of poor-quality ingredients and additives, commercial soap can often irritate and dry the skin, or can cause an allergic reaction. Sadly, even many hand-made soap companies use synthetic fragrances, preservatives and colors in their products." (Handmade Soap by Tatyana Hill)
Apple Valley Natural Soap is carefully hand-crafted in small batches using the cold process method of soap making. We use only high quality botanical oils and butters as well as all natural herbs, milks, juices, essential oils and spices to scent and color our soaps. These ingredients not only impart sensational fragrances and beautiful, rustic colors, but also add their own exceptional nourishing qualities. Once you try an all natural soap, you will wonder why you ever used anything else on your skin!
What's the difference between a shampoo bar and a regular body bar?
There are several things we do differently when we make a shampoo bar. They are formulated to make even more lather than our body bars and to rinse clean with little or no residue as long as you are washing with softened water. A body-only bar has a higher fat content that has not been saponified which makes them even more moisturizing for dry skin. There are also many different ways to formulate body-only bars including using only one oil (Castile and coconut bars, for example), or using things like salt to make a rock hard salt bar. You can use our shampoo bars to wash your hair AND the rest of you. I do! But you may not have great results if you use a body-only bar in your hair. So the rule of thumb is: if it isn't meant for your hair - don't use it there. But if you can use it in your hair, you can use it everywhere!
How long do your soaps last?
We use fresh ingredients in our soap and add rosemary oil extract in all of our soap batches as this is a natural and powerful preservative.
Soap is one of those things that actually gets better with time. This is why we cure our soaps for a full eight weeks so you'll get a hard, long lasting, mild bar. Your natural soap needs to breathe in order to prolong its life and maintain its hardness. If you plan to store your bar for a while, leave it exposed to air rather than in a tight wrapper which will prevent moisture from evaporating. You can leave your bars in their wrappers as they have both ends open to the air. Tip: if you store them on a closet shelf, they will add a lovely scent to your closet!
Make sure you allow your all natural soap to dry out between uses. If they sit in a puddle of water, they will disintegrate. We sell affordable soap placemats that will keep your bars dry and help them last a long time.
Wonder how long it takes to go through a single bar? That depends on the user. With long hair, I would estimate at least 30+ washes, short hair 60+ washes. One customer told us it took her 6 months to use up a bar. Not knowing everyone's bathing habits, it's hard to predict how long a bar will last for each person. Hey, why not get one and find out?
Aren't your soaps expensive?
If you do a Google search you'll discover that we price our soap right in the middle of the pricing spectrum. Not only that, compare our ingredients, and you will discover that we use a FAR greater percentage of expensive, high-end oils, butters, organic herbs and spices, clays, milks and essential oils than our competitors. Frankly, we are amazed at the cheap ingredients much of our competition uses (soy and tallow for example) and the high cost of their products. You can be confident that at Apple Valley Natural Soap, you are getting the highest quality soap at the most affordable pricing. (Plus, for every seven bars you put in your cart, one will be FREE!)
How can I get in on special offers and free samples?
Sign up for our Loyalty Program and collect points to receive free product and discounts.
What if I want to change my order after it has been placed?
We are happy to help you add or remove an item from your order as long as it has not been processed yet. Once it has been processed, it cannot be changed.
Where are you located?
20929 Independence Avenue, Lakeville, MN 55044
Hey - Are you local?
Then YOU have the option to pick up your order at our home and avoid shipping charges! Select the "Pick Up in Lakeville" option at time of check out. We hold orders here for up to one week from time of purchase and can take payment with a credit card online during check out...OR you may pay by cash or personal check made out to Apple Valley Natural Soap at the time of pick up. Be sure to get our address in the pick up instructions after your order is completed.
PLEASE NOTE: We will send you an email when your order has been filled and is ready to pick up. As we currently do not have a brick and mortar store please wait for that email before coming to our home. We also appreciate a heads up as far as when you plan to stop by, that way you can be sure we are home when you get here. Order turnover is 12-24 hours, on average, so plan accordingly when you place your order.
Still have questions? Feel free to contact us.