Friday, 22 November 2013

Learning about the soap making process

We have been going on lots of field trip at least once a week, it is our way of getting out and trying to meet new people.  A few weeks ago we went to a local Soap shop in a part of town called the "Hill"  I am told this is the Italian neighborhood in St. Louis and it is full of wonderful restaurants and bakeries.  I need to go back and scoop that out a bit more:)
The gentleman that owns the shop used to make soap out of his home and now has a staff of 6 and says he ships his soaps all over the states.
We were introduced to the Soapy the owners dog and shop mascot

While waiting for our tour to begin we looked around the stop and the kids found some Soap sculptures they likds

Once the tour began the kids were given a smell test.  Small bottles of common smells found in soaps along with a few unusual ones.  Did you know that the smell of coffee can neutralize smells?  After a couple of sniff from several of the tubes we were instructed to smell the tube that held the coffee smell and then we were able to continue our smell test.  

We saw racks of drying soap bars, since Christmas is coming up they are super busy filling orders.  The soap needs to dry up to 3 weeks to reduce the water content 
Kids were shown the two main ingredient needed for soap...vegetable oils

and Lye...
the shop uses only natural colors which are plant based.
Once the two main ingredients are mixed together it results in a chemical reaction and the liquid is pours into containers and kept that is not a bed in the shop it is where they store the liquid soap until it harden, the chemical reaction is complete, and the soap hardens
Next the shop assistant brought our a wire cutter which is how the cut the large blocks of soap into small rectangle shapes

The smaller rectangles soap blocks are then cut into uniform bar sizes

Next it goes to the packaging center

the labeling machine

The have lots of labels even some that are specialized.

After touring the soap factory the kids were able to make  decorative soap piece to take home

Using cookie cutters MarioFan made the the state of Missouri and his soap smells like black licorice

Firedrake made a leaf shape  and smell like lemon

I bought several christmas presents at the shop to give to the children's various tutors and even bought a soap that claims to help resist mosquitos which I intend to try next summer, as I was bitten a lot while camping.


  1. Now I need to do some snooping and see if I can find a tour like this in our area. How fun!!!