FAQ-headerGenoa began at home in 1998. Deborah received a kit from a craft book club that made fifteen bars of creamy bergamot scented soaps. Over the years, she experimented with different scents and colors. Her husband came on board to design all the packaging and display materials. Together they crafted the brand Genoa has become today.

We make over 27 different kinds of soap. Some are only available on a seasonal basis. We have been using our own products exclusively since we started making them and our skin has never looked better.

Each fragrance is made in small batches. If, like many of our customers, you think they are too pretty to use, consider getting some to use and some to display! It also means that periodically, we may run out of your favorite scent. We try to anticipate this, but keep in mind that artisanal soaps take a month to cure, insuring that you experience the mildest and freshest soap possible. This gives us the flexibility to try something new, to offer some items on a seasonal basis or to custom blend something for you especially.

Genoa uses recycled paper boxes for packaging and recycles shipping materials. Please continue this trend by reusing your boxes. Do your part to keep our landfills and waterways free from contamination with all your use of natural products and recycling efforts. We hope your purchase from Genoa is part of this effort.

What’s so special about handmade soap?
Handmade soap does not have any detergents or preservatives in it. Oils and lye combine chemically to make soap. In fact, the commercial product you have buying for years isn’t actually soap at all. It’s a detergent, and by law, is not allowed to use the word “soap” on the label.

What are your soaps made of?
Most of our soaps are a base of coconut, olive, and palm oils. That base is blended with lye and undergoes a process called saponification where the combination of ingredients is chemically transformed into soap. Check out the Additional Information tab on each product for all ingredients.

I see sodium hydroxide in the ingredients. Isn’t that lye?
Yes, but lye is not actually present in the final product that you buy. The lye transforms the oils into soap changing the properties of both in the process. Think of it this way. Water is made of two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. But water doesn’t bear any resemblance to each component in its separate form. The same is true of soap. Here is a more chemically slanted explanation: What Is Soap?

What kind of scents do you use?
We use both fragrance oils and essential oils. This gives us a greater variety from which to choose. Bear in mind that the amount of scent in any batch is never more than 1%.

Are your soaps vegan?
Most of them are. We have several that have beeswax or honey in them, so please make sure you check the ingredients.

Do have a soap that’s good for (fill in a skin condition here)?
While we think that all our soaps are very mild and good for anything, we never recommend a particular soap for a skin condition. Only your doctor can do that. We can’t say this enough; please read all the ingredients before making a purchase.

What kind of colorants do you use?
We use ultramarines, oxides, micas, and FD&C colors. Some have natural colorants like coffee, oatmeal, tea, and cinnamon. All colorants are manufactured for cosmetic use.

Aren’t oxides and ultramarines artificial?
The pigments that we use are the same molecular structure as those found in nature. The FDA regulates cosmetic colorants so the level of toxic metal present is present in such low concentrations that they are considered safe. In fact, only synthetically prepared iron oxides are approved for use in cosmetics in this country.* While strictly speaking soap is not a cosmetic, we use cosmetic suitable colorants.

* (Johnson, S.T. & Wordell, C.J. “Homeopathic and herbal medicine: Considerations for formulary evaluation,” Formulary, 32, 1167, Nov. 1997.)

How long will my soap last?
That depends on where you use it and how you care for it. If you have it by the sink, it can last for many months. If you have it in the shower, it will last a shorter time depending on how many people use that shower and how often, how hard your water is , and other factors. Regardless of where you use it, try to make sure that it is kept elevated and dry.

The longer soap sits without being used, the harder and more mild it becomes. The soap will always be good, although the scent may fade somewhat. We have some that have been waiting to be used for 3 years.

I like glycerin soaps? Do have any like that?
Glycerin is a natural byproduct and exists in some quantity in all handmade soaps. If you are looking for the clear soap that is generally marketed as glycerin soap, we frequently have a small batch of a special scent or color at shows. These special soaps are not available on our website.

Do you test your soap?
Only on ourselves. We’ve been doing this since 1998, and we haven’t used anything else since.

Can I special order a scent I don’t see on your site?
Yes. The smallest batch is 8 4oz. bars. Please contact us for details on having a special batch made just for you.

Can I have a soap party?
You bet you can! We will bring our complete display to your home and talk with your friends about our products. We don’t have any special format we follow, so if your idea of the perfect party leans toward wine & cheese, that fine. We just want to have the opportunity to share the benefits of handmade soap with others you think would be interested. Since we are in central Ohio, we just ask that you be within a 30 mile radius.

Do you sell wholesale?
Sure do. Just contact us for details.