1. Just what is "custom soap"?
2. How soon will I get my custom soaps after I order them?
3. How is it that my soap will be ready to use as soon as I get it? Doesn’t soap take a certain amount of time to properly “cure”?
4. I noticed “lye” is listed as an ingredient in your soap bases. Isn’t lye harsh for the skin?
5. Is this just glycerin soap?
6. How can I make my custom soap last as long as possible?
7. Do your soap bases contain goat's milk?
8. Why don't you offer scents like caramel, vanilla, bitter almond, pumpkin, etc…?
9. Is the palm oil you use sustainable?
10. How can soap be gluten-free?
11. What does “halal” mean?
12. Why can't I include any exfoliants/add-ins, if I choose the Ultra-Dry/Sensitive Skin Formula?
13. Why are your soaps $8 per bar?
14. What is the cost for shipping throughout the U.S.?
15. What is the cost for international shipping?
16. I want a couple of different kinds of soaps. I want to design a bunch and give out a specially designed bar to relatives for Christmas. However, it looks like I can order only multiples of ONE type of bar. So, if I want to design, say, four bars, and I want them to all come to one address, how do I make this possible?
17. What if I want to order a soap I have designed in bulk? Is there a price break?
18. Is it possible to reorder one of my past soap designs? If so, how?
19. I ordered a Digital Gift Certificate- when and how will I receive it?
20. What would you do if a producer from the "Ellen" show contacted you and asked you to be guests?
21. What if I don't see my question answered here?
22. Can I call you?
Q1: Just what is "custom soap"?
A: To us, "custom soap" means you should be able to make real choices about the basic formula, essential oils, exfoliants, and other add-ins in your soap. You should even get to choose your label art and soap name! “Custom” should mean custom quantity, too. (So, if you want one bar of “Shirley's EucaMint,” you should be able to get just one bar of “Shirley's EucaMint!”) That's why we created DesignMySoap.com, the world's first online soap-making studio—and purveyor of truly custom soap!
Now, if you do a quick search for “custom soap” online, it seems like you get everything but real, custom soap. Sure, you can get your name, initials, or logo carved into pre-made soaps. You can have soap molded into particular shapes. You can choose from a menu of, again, pre-made soaps. And you can create custom soap recipes which can be a great help to DIY soapmakers. But, even so, none of those things are truly custom soap, if you ask us.
Bonus question: Why is customizable soap so important to us? (Is customizable even a word?) Check out our SOAP-ifesto for our beliefs about custom soap and you!
Q2: How soon will I get my custom soaps after I order them?
A: One of the things that makes DesignMySoap.com so unique is that the custom soap you design is handcrafted to your exact specifications and made within 10 days of placing your order. What's more, it's safe for use right away.
We guarantee that your order will be processed and shipped in 10 days or less. We strive to get orders processed within 1-6 days, but there are times where production stretches until the 9th or 10th day. Once we ship your order, you'll receive an automated shipping tracking notification from us and then your order is in the hands of the post office (USPS). Depending on how far you live from Bloomington, Indiana (zip code: 47401), the post office may take anywhere from 1 to 5 days to get your order to your door.
Q3: How is it that my soap will be ready to use as soon as I get it? Doesn’t soap take a certain amount of time to properly “cure”?
A: We’ve developed a proprietary method which completes the soapmaking process within one day. To ensure it’s safe to use, we pH test every soap batch. So, if by “ready,” you mean safe, yes, our soap is safe to use. But you are correct that most soapmaking processes require 30 days or more for the chemical reaction that makes soap (known as “saponification”) to finish. This is why our soapmaking process differentiates us from other soap companies.
Q4: I noticed “lye” is listed as an ingredient in your soap bases. Isn’t lye harsh for the skin?
A. Some common errors in soapmaking are adding too much lye, not adding enough oil, or mis-measuring ingredients altogether. This results in an incomplete chemical reaction, meaning some lye remains in the soap. By contrast, we make sure that all the lye we use in our formulas is fully converted into usable soap.
Q5: Is this just glycerin soap?
A. We’re going to answer a question with a question. Do you mean is this “melt and pour” soap? Nope! This is traditional, handcrafted soap made by combining plant-based oils and lye to create the chemical reaction which makes soap. Glycerin, a moisturizing agent, is naturally produced as a byproduct of our soapmaking process, but we don't add extra glycerin to our soaps.
Q6: How can I make my custom soap last as long as possible?
A. How long your soap lasts depends in part on how well you take care of it. The harder your bar of soap, the longer it will last. Also, the drier you are able to keep your soap, the better. There are a few things you can do to help with this. For instance, if you're using your soap in the shower as a full body soap, you can store your soap bar on the opposite side of the shower (out of the direct spray of your shower head) or just outside of the shower curtain to help keep it drier.
Using a soap saver also helps. By elevating the soap and allowing air to circulate around it, the soap can more quickly dry out between uses. (We specifically say "soap saver" instead of "soap rest" or "soap dish," because, for best results, the soap saver should enable good drainage—something standard soap rests or soap dishes don't necessarily do.)
Finally, you can also cut your bar of soap in half and alternate your use of each half. This gives each half more time to dry out between uses, and, if only half of the bar is wet at any particular time, the bar as a whole will last longer. For more ideas, check out our “Tips for Making the Most of Your Natural Bar Soap.”
Q7: Do your soap bases contain goat's milk?
A: All of the ingredients we use in our products are plant-based which makes them vegan. We do not use any ingredients that are derived from animals or their byproducts, such as goat's milk, cow's milk, beeswax, or honey.
People use goat's milk in soap for its moisturizing effects, but we have had customers who have tried our Ultra-Dry/Sensitive Skin Formula tell us that it is as moisturizing as—or even more moisturizing than—goat's milk soap.
Q8: Why don't you offer scents like caramel, vanilla, bitter almond, pumpkin, etc…?
A: Because we feel strongly about using only natural ingredients, we don't offer any synthetic fragrances. Instead, we use plant-based, pure grade essential oils in our products, as these offer many benefits and are safe for use on the skin.
Q9: I've heard there are a lot of problems associated with the harvest of palm oil, including deforestation, animal cruelty, and more. Is the palm oil you use sustainable?
A: Yes, the palm oil we use is sustainable. We specifically source sustainable, organic palm oil as well as sustainable, organic palm kernel oil, in order to preserve natural habitat and protect wildlife. Both of the oils we use are Rainforest Alliance Certified.
Q10: How can soap be gluten-free? (It's not like I'm going to eat them!)
A: Gluten-free doesn't just apply to food. It also applies to the products you use on your skin. We have never used wheat, barley, or rye in our soaps, but, after discovering that oats often contain gluten through contact with other grains, we immediately switched to gluten-free, certified organic oats.
If you are gluten-sensitive or have Celiac disease, you can rest assured that the soaps you create via DesignMySoap.com will not contain any gluten.
Q11: What does “halal” mean?
A:“Halal” means “permissible” in Arabic. It ultimately signifies that a product is produced following established ethical, Islamic rules, often pertaining to the humane and safe treatment of animals. To make sure that we follow these guidelines, we thoroughly ensure that all of our ingredients are plant-based. Our products do not contain any alcohol or animal/pork fat, therefore making it permissible for use. (If you eat halal food, don't you want the products you're using on your body to be halal as well? We do!)
Q12: Why can't I include any exfoliants/add-ins, if I choose the Ultra-Dry/Sensitive Skin Formula?
A: We thought carefully about which scents, exfoliants, and add-ins to include and developed DesignMySoap.com with your success in mind. It is very important to us that you be able to mix and match most any combination and still come away with a soap you'll be happy to use for yourself or proud to give as a gift.
Our Ultra-Dry/Sensitive Skin Formula was designed for people with sensitive skin, and there are a couple of reasons we don't add exfoliants to this soap base. First, exfoliants can be irritating to especially dry or sensitive skin, so adding them in would defeat the purpose of the Ultra-Dry/Sensitive Skin Formula. Also, the main ingredient in our Ultra-Dry/Sensitive Skin Formula is olive oil. While this ingredient is very moisturizing, we have found that it doesn't reliably hold exfoliants in place. In other words? Trying to include them with this particular base makes for a really messy bar of soap that just doesn't meet our standards.
If you have your heart set on adding exfoliants or one of the other add-ins, such as activated charcoal or Bentonite clay, you'll need to opt for a different base instead. Both the Neutral/Dry Skin Formula and the Oily Skin Formula bases will support add-ins well.
Q13: Why are your soaps $8 per bar?
A: Because we simply won't skimp on ingredients. We exclusively use all-natural, high quality exfoliants and pure grade essential oils. Also, most of our ingredients are organic, making them more expensive than their conventional counterparts. But the result is a very, very high quality soap.
Q15: What is the cost for international shipping?
A: International shipping varies. Canada, Europe, Australia, India, and China: $15 for the first item, $5 for every additional item, limit of 10 items total (per order).
Q16: I want a couple of different kinds of soaps. I want to design a bunch and give out a specially designed bar to relatives for Christmas. However, it looks like I can order only multiples of ONE type of bar. So, if I want to design, say, four bars, and I want them to all come to one address, how do I make this possible?
A: We're sorry for the confusion. Shipping for all USA orders is $5 flat rate. Shipping is applied to the order total, not your per bar design. All you'll have to do is design what soaps you want, keep adding the different designs (and the quantity of each of those designs) to your cart by clicking "Add to cart!" When you're ready to checkout, click "checkout" on the cart page. When you enter in your address, you'll find that the total shipping for the entire order will be $5.
Q17: What if I want to order a soap I have designed in bulk? Is there a price break?
A: We are more than happy to make a bulk amount of soap for you! We do offer price breaks on orders of 50 bars or more of the same soap design. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (812) 269-8812 for details.
Q18: Is it possible to reorder one of my past soap designs? If so, how?
A: Yes! To reorder a soap that you have ordered before, simply log in using your DesignMySoap username and password, access Order History, click on the soap name(s) you want to reorder, and add them to your cart.
Also, if you want to make any tweaks to these past designs, you can then click on the name of the soap to be edited from the Shopping Cart page. This will enable you to change scents, the label, etc.
Q19: I ordered a Digital Gift Certificate- when and how will I receive it?
A: At this time, we generate each digital certificate by hand (we hope to automate this process in the near future.) We strive to send the PDF gift certificate by email the same day, however if not, we'll get it to you the next day.
Q20: What would you do if a producer from the "Ellen" show contacted you and asked you to be guests?
A: Pinch ourselves--and let everyone in the audience design their own custom bar of soap, of course! We love Ellen!! (We’d even let her scare us, if that would make her happy…) :-)
Q21: What if I don't see my question answered here?
A: Contact us to ask your question. We'll reply lickety-split, and we just might add your question to this FAQ section while we're at it!