Five Local Soap Companies: You Need It, They’ve Got It

What we wash our hands with when we (constantly) wash our hands

Not to throw any shade on sanitizer. Not to dis the people who are insanely hoarding that stuff, nor even to praise the likes of Desert Door and Treaty Oak Distillery (who’ve begun turning some of their alcohol into sanitizer, to give out alongside their usual, much more tasty wares).

Some of that excellent saponification from A Wild Soap Bar

But soap, O my droogs! S-O-A-P!

You keep hearing that washing your hands with soap is at least as effective as squirting sanitizer, right? Because of how the results of saponification break down a virus’s protein sheath and make the nasty little varmints dissolve like some suddenly staked vampire in an old Hammer horror movie? So it’s like you’ve become Van Helsing, you’ve become Buffy, you’re actively slaying the thing that’s turned our former way of life into a restrictive nightmare?


So we’re all getting kind of into soap, all of a sudden. And if we’re going to be using the stuff more than ever, we’re going to want to use the best we can get. None of those megacorporately pimped “beauty bars” that have all the glycerin removed, i.e., but the real, natural, the-way-it-was-made-centuries-ago stuff – but maybe enhanced with some exotic oils that would’ve rendered the soap too expensive for ordinary folks like you & me in our past incarnations.

(Remember? That time we shared a meal around a crackling fire, sitting there in our rough mud-stained tunics, long before steam was invented? Oh! Our fellow villagers got so wasted on fermented berries that night!)

Here’s a few good soaps to consider, made right here in the ATX and nearby, which can (of course) be ordered through whatever device you’re currently reading this article on:

1. South Austin People You see how their name spells out So.A.P.? That’s how this longtime Austin company’s all-natural products are gonna spell out relief for your basic ablutionary needs: effectively and cleverly. While supplies last, they caution: The stock of bars is going quick-quick-quick during So.A.P.’s “Stupid Virus Sale.”

2. Tamarinda We should’ve been aware of these guys years ago, before any viral shutdown, even before the U.S. electoral college put Dumbfuck Trump (I don’t call him Donald Trump; I call him Dumbfuck Trump) in the White House. Why? Because wow, is why: The translucent glycerin soaps here are unsurpassed in quality and they’ve been made in Austin since 2007. And, unless Tamarinda’s been overwhelmed by current demand, they also sell three-pound loaves of soap.

3. A Wild Soap Bar The Hanus family’s been making all-natural soap from scratch out in Manor since 1995, while helping support environmental nonprofits – they 86’d their own shower gel line last year, realizing that single-use plastic containers are about as stupid as they are evil – and rocking their wares through the Green Business Network. We don’t need to describe their fine array of soaps for you here, just offer this link to provide optical proof of (lovely, sudsy) concept.

4. Black Butterfly We always think, “Hey, yeah, that place near the chromed Denny’s on I-35, the shop that has black soap!” And Gloria Henry-Manor’s bath & body shop does have black soap and white soap and green soap, and so on in bright profusion, among their “handcrafted natural body products blended with shea butter.” Bonus: They offer soap and organic tea pairings, to comfort your outsides and insides.

5. Feto Soap Rather fancy Etsy shop here, better equipped to offer bathtime luxuries in the more frivolous olden days (you remember: about two weeks ago?). But we’re suggesting this Yuzu Japanese Citrus Shea Butter chunk (used sparingly, in addition to your everyday soap) might just be the little indulgence you need to make it through a long sheltering-in-place with your sanity in fewer smithereens.

6. Yes, we did say five earlier. But this is to encourage you to shout-out your own favorite local soapsters in the comments below, in case we missed them. <3

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Soap, Texas soap, Austin soap, Wash your hands

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