History of Soapmaking

It is thought that soap was first made in ancient Babylon around 2800 B.C.  These early soap makers discovered that mixing animal fats with wood ash created a substance that was capable of easier cleaning.  By colonial times, the process had changed very little.  Hard wood ashes were saved from each fire and eventually water was poured over them to leach out the ash.  These early settlers did not have access to the natural, vegetable oils that are so readily available today; instead they used fat leftover from cooking and animal preparation.  Soap making was difficult and smelly and required long hours stirring outdoors over a hot fire.   There were no precise methods of measuring and often it would take several attempts to produce a batch that produced usable soap.   


Today we no longer have to estimate the amount of ash or spend hours rendering unpleasant animal fats.  We have digital scales, organic butters and pure essential oils.  We are able to predictably produce a hard, moisturizing bar that smells fantastic and nourishes our skin.  The name of our company, Oil & Ash, serves to remind us of how soap making began and inspires us to continue creating products that are authentically pure and a joy to use.   

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