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What Are Saponified Organic Oils?

June 11, 2017

Saponified organic oils are the base of 4-Legger's Castile Soap for Dogs

Saponified oils are the base of all of 4-Legger's safe and non-toxic dog shampoo. 

So what is saponification?

Saponification is the name of the chemical reaction that takes place when you mix oils and water with lye (a strong alkali - sodium hydroxide) under heat. In the case of 4-Legger's liquid shampoo, sustainably sourced certified organic oils of coconut, olive, and jojoba are mixed in kettles under heat with lye and water. 

Each oil has its own temperature and lye to oil concentration required for the chemical reaction of saponification to take place. The saponification reaction results in soap and glycerine and the water evaporates from the heat.

We mix the glycerine and the soap back together again to create our superior Castile base. 

The reason "soap" has come under attack by dog shampoo companies marketing detergent based dog shampoo is inferior soap companies who do NOT mix the glycerine back into the soap but instead sell the glycerine to companies who are making detergent based products who then market their product as "soap free"! 

Sadly, some soap makers discovered they could make a lot more money selling the glycerine to bolster the detergent based products instead of using it to retain the high quality of their own soap.  Any dog shampoo made WITHOUT lye is a detergent. 

Another reason our our Castile Soap is better is what we call super fatted. More oils are added in the mixture than the lye can react with during the chemical reaction. This ensures there is no detectable lye in the final solution.

So, some definitions: 

  • saponified oils: oils and butters mixed with sodium hydroxide (lye) and water
  • sodium or potassium cocoate: the name for coconut oil that has been saponified
  • sodium or potassium olivate: the name for olive oil that has been saponified
  • sodium or potassium jojobate: the name for jojoba oil that has been saponified

Saponified bars = sodium.
Saponified liquid = potassium. 

Saponification sounds easy - just mix oils together under heat with water and an alkaline.

Let me assure you it is not as easy as it sounds! It is truly an art!

As a side note, the USDA Organic Program uses "saponified organic oils" as the final listed ingredient as it contains no detectable lye - all of the oils have converted to soap and glycerine - it is truly safe and non-toxic.   

Also in Ingredients in 4-Legger's USDA Certified Organic Dog Shampoo

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