- Soap factories all have different methods of creating their products.
- Nablus Soap Company is one of the last factories making olive-oil soaps in the West Bank.
- Clean the World partners with hotels to collect, clean, and recycle soaps for people in need.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Following is a transcript of the video.
Narrator: Here’s how four soap factories create their products.
Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps has been around since 1948 and is most famous for its pure castile soap. All of the soaps are made out of vegetable oils like organic olive, hemp, and coconut oils. The brand says its main ingredients are sustainably and ethically sourced. These oils are mixed together to form soap through a chemical reaction called saponification. Then essential oils like peppermint and lavender are added. The final soap is cooled before it’s bottled. The factory in Vista, California, can make over 14.3 million bottles a year. Now for the bar soaps. The company says it first sources organic palm oil, which helps harden the soap bar, from Ghana. The palm and coconut oils are mixed together to form the soap-bar base, which looks like tiny pellets. The pellets are mixed with an essential oil and triple-milled, and that helps remove excess moisture and air and makes the bars last longer and lather better. Then the soap goes into a vacuum to create one log that is then cut, molded, and wrapped.
Primal Elements has a factory in Huntington Beach, California, where it makes sustainable vegan beauty products. The factory can produce over 7,000 soap bars a day. The process starts with a hot liquid base. Then color and fragrance are mixed in. Shapes like these stars and anchors are made with extruders, but others are handmade. The shapes are carefully aligned inside the liquid tubs and sit overnight to cool. Then the soap is sliced in this machine, revealing its designs.
Nablus Soap Company is one of the last factories making olive-oil soap in the West Bank. It follows a centuries-old Palestinian tradition. The soap is made with only olive oil, baking soda, and water, which are cooked overnight in a large stainless steel pot. When the soap is ready, the hot liquid is removed with buckets and poured onto the floor to cool. Once cooled, workers cut the soap into its distinctive square shape, then use hammers to stamp the soap with a company seal. In one to two days, all the soap is cut and stacked up. Then it’s left to dry for 40 days. Nablus is one of two factories still making soap in the West Bank, down from about 40 factories in the 19th century. Even though demand for these soaps has decreased, Nablus is working to keep the tradition alive.
Clean the World is a nonprofit organization that collects hotel toiletries like soaps and lotions, sterilizes them, and donates the recycled new products to people in need in 127 countries. It’s partnered with over 8,000 hotels and resorts, including Hilton, Marriott, and Walt Disney Resorts. Hotel staff members are trained to collect the used bars and bottles, which are then transported to one of Clean the World’s recycling facilities to be sorted through. The bar soaps are surface-cleaned, then go through a sterilization process to remove all pathogens like bacteria, viruses, or anything else that can cause diseases. Those sterilized bars are ground up, remolded, and sliced into new bars to be distributed. The nonprofit says it has distributed over 50 million bars of soap.