Lye is a mixture of sodium hydroxide and water. For real soap to have cleaning and lathering qualities, it has to have some sort of alkali. When an alkali is added to oils, saponification occurs and produces soap.

Kali Spice Karma Cleansing Bar Soap

Kali Spice Karma Cleansing Bar Soap

Detergents use petroleum products or vegetable oils, all body washes that do not use the word saponified, alkali or contain a lye mixture are a detergent. Shampoos are also classified as a detergent.

Detergents and soaps are two classes in the surfactants group.

In a very simple usage, surfactants are products that lift debris (dirt) off of surfaces.

The modern method of obtaining sodium hydroxide is to extract it from sea salt.  Many soap companies will also write that they just use sea salt to make soap which is impossible;  sea salt is sodium chloride not sodium hydroxide. You cannot make soap with pure sodium chloride.

Our lye mixtures (sodium hydroxide and water) are carefully monitored and standardized to exacting recipes based on scientific recipes, not guesswork.

Many soap companies do not list all their ingredients on their label, even though in Canada they are legally required to do so. You will find that many American companies cannot bring their products into Canada because their labeling does not meet Canadian labelling laws.

However, many Canadian companies also do not meet these regulations, but since they don’t have to pass through a border system, there is no regulatory policing by Health Canada to prevent misleading Canadian labelling.

“Saponified oils of” – saponification is the end product of adding an alkali to an oil or fat. A saponified product is soap. This is not the present Canadian protocol for writing ingredients.  Adding salt (sodium chloride) to an ingredient listing does not qualify as an alkali which creates soap.

“Sodium tallowate, sodium canolate” – this is the present Canadian method of describing the oil which sodium hydroxide has been added to. It is describing the end product.  It is also possible to write the oils and the alkali separately on the ingredient listing.

A listing of just coconut, palm, olive and etc. oils – It is impossible to have a solid bar of only oils in your hand that will lather and not melt at room temperature. If you see an ingredient listing on a soap where there is no alkali substance listed, the company is purposely being deceptive and misleading.

It is also required by Canadian labelling standards to have the weight of the product listed on the front of the packaging, so consumers can compare price and quantity.

Mountain Sky Soaps lists all of our ingredients on our products, and has the weight/amount of our products listed on the front of our boxes.