HOKUROKU SOUSUI

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Production Highlights

Production Highlights - Washing Soap

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Washing Soap Production Process

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  • Fatty acids are the source of cleansing ingredients made from plant oil, and they are measured out carefully together with the glycerin that influences lather and cleansing power, plant extract, sugar and other raw materials.
  • Raw materials are always measured in teams of two who check each other's work. Some raw materials in the formulation are measured out to a precision of 0.1 g.
  • The lather that gives washing soap its resilience is formed by a careful combination and balance of raw materials in just the right proportions. The recipe for the final product is arrived at in a series of trial and error experiments.
  • Fatty acids and caustic soda are caused to react in a stainless steel steel pot with a diameter of roughly 1.2 m. This creates the base for the soap.
  • The soap base and the measured raw materials are then put in a large pot. Amachazuru extract and many other raw materials are added in strict order.
  • Pot temperature management is also crucial. Raw materials are only added when the pot is at an appropriate temperature for them.
  • Glycerin, sugar and ethanol are then added and stirred until the content of the pot becomes semitransparent. This is the transparent soap body that provides the base for washing soap.
  • Inspection verifies that neutralization is progressing and that there are no residual ingredients that would irritate the skin.
  • Materials must be mixed at an appropriate temperature or their delicate aromas will change. Essential oils and plant extracts, for example, are both vulnerable to heat. When the proper temperatures reached, they are added and stirred to finish the product.
  • Now it is time for the second inspection. Here we check whether the washing soap has been produced to standards.
  • Aroma and color are compared to standard products. The material does not progress to the next process unless inspection is passed.
  • At this stage, the washing soap is still hot and thick. It is cut into long, thin pipe shapes and fed into frames for cooling and hardening.
  • This is likewise a key process. Temperature and time management at this stage will determine how transparent the final product is and what it feels like in the hand.
  • The rod-shaped washing soap is removed from the frame. It is then cut to uniform size using a piano wire cutter.
  • The product is still soft immediately after cutting. It must be handled carefully so as not to cause damage.
  • At the start, it weighs nearly 1.5 times what it will as a final product, and it is still not transparent.
  • It is then dried and matured for a period of 20-30 days under strictly managed temperature and humidity. During this phase, the sugars and other ingredients restrain the growth of soap crystals, which is what creates the transparency.
  • The timing of maturation also impacts quality; it can neither be too fast nor too slow. The decision as to whether the product is fully matured relies on rigorous inspection and long years of experience.
  • When it is approved, the soap moves to the final finishing process. During the final process, the dry washing soap is placed in warm water to soften it up and enable it to be formed into a more usable shape.
  • Each individual piece of washing soap is polished carefully and quickly by hand. The polishing gives it a luster and shine. It is a job for skilled craftsmen.
  • The washing soap is then warmed to an appropriate temperature before going to a stamping process where it is given its final shape. The aroma of washing soap fills the finishing room.
  • Molds are used to shape the washing soap.
  • The washing soap is set in the mold. As the mold comes down, the corners are rounded and the size is adjusted so that it fits well in a woman's hand.
  • Finally, the soap is polished one more time. It is also inspected for damage and impurities.
  • Once the carved seal is applied, it is truly Hokuroku Sousui washing soap.
  • The last process for the finished washing soap is a packaging and boxing.
  • Care is taken with the design and specifications of the packaging film so that the washing soap is delivered to you in optimum condition. After packaging, the soap is placed in dressing boxes and then crated for shipment.
  • There is one final inspection to ensure there are no quality problems the finished washing soap.
  • Testing at this stage measures volatility and pH. And then, after roughly 40 days, the soap is ready to be delivered.
  • Our washing soap is produced in a factory located on the north side of Mt. Fuji at an altitude of 1,000 m
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