Although both of her grandmothers made soap, Louisville native Lisa Brangers taught herself soapmaking from books in the late 1990s. In her research, Lisa found that the earliest records about soapmaking were found on Sumerian clay tablets from around 2500 BC.
Since then the process has changed very little. Lisa uses a cold process which adds heat only to melt the solid olive oil, palm kernel oil, palm oil, soybean oil, and castor oil that her soap contains. Sodium Hydroxide, a naturally occurring caustic which is formed when water is added to wood ashes, allows the oils and rainwater to join together to form what we know as soap.
Once combined and stirred the soap is poured into luffa sponges, a plant in the gourd family, to create a unique cleansing soap-scrubber combination which is then cut into slices and allowed to cure.
Lisa uses natural herbs and essential oils for fragrances.
Lisa Branger’s soaps can be found at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, Berea, KY and numerous Kentucky State Parks.