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Frequently Asked Questions About Uncle Earl’s™ Hand Healing Soap™

How does it work?
Why is putting moisture back into our hands so important?
What do you mean by claiming that this soap is “Hand Healing?”
What do we mean by "hypoallergenic?"
What is dermatitis?
How does it protect the hands?
Why is there no grit in Uncle Earl's Soap for Machinists?
How can this soap clean so well considering there is no grit in it?
We prefer liquid soap. Does your liquid soap also have these benefits?
Why aren't all your liquid soaps transparent?
How is the foam used as a waterless cleaner?
Is Uncle Earl's really made with all natural ingredients?
Is your soap also organic?
Do the terms natural and organic mean the same thing?
What is the Demeter® association?
What else is Uncle Earl's good for?
Is Uncle Earl a real person?
Why don't you let someone else make your soap?
D you have a question that is not answered here? Please ask us directly.

Q. How does it work?
A. Our formula pumps moisture into your skin through a process called osmosis. The water and water-containing compounds are in the lubricating layer left behind during and after washing. Moisture is absorbed by the skin depending on how dry it is.  Many hard working hands are very dry. By applying a lubricating layer that's very high in natural moisture, we're giving your hands the opportunity to get back to normal. We've seen incredibly dry hands absorb the entire moisture layer within 15 seconds.
  On the other hand (so to speak) hands that are already in good condition don't absorb much of the moisture at all. They are already 'fine tuned.'
  Once your skin is back up to normal moisture content, the rest of the healing is up to your body. Now cell defense, repair, rejuvenation, and even creation can proceed at a normal healthy rate allowing your hands to become as happy as the rest of you.
Q. Why is putting moisture back into our hands so important?
A. Our bodies and our cells are made to work best with a certain amount of moisture inside them. Like an engine needs a certain level of oil, or a plant needs a certain amount of rain and sunlight, our bodies simply work better when our fluid levels are 'topped off.'
  Our hands suffer because we work them hard, and because we clean them with chemically aggressive abrasive soaps. This depletes their fluid levels causing your hands to run dry.
  Once your hands have the proper amount of moisture, your cells can begin to resist and fight off damage, repair themselves faster once they are damaged. Your cells can even rejuvenate themselves (almost like coming out of hibernation after being dehydrated), and of course, go back to creating new skin cells deep into in your dermal layers.
Q. What do you mean by claiming that this soap is “Hand Healing?”
A. We mean that we keep your hands hydrated, which is more than most soaps and cleansers. They tend to strip the skin of necessary oils and moisture, which starves the cells of important fluids and protective coatings. Our soap helps restore the balance allowing your body to heal itself. We don't claim to have any magic or unproven powers. We do work better and more naturally than most commercial soaps. And you don't have to take our word for it. Listen to the words of some of our current customers. Better yet, try it for yourself. We're from the old school. If you don't like it, we'll give you your money back. That's our guarantee.
Q. What do we mean by "hypoallergenic?"
A. All of our soaps are as natural and as gentle as vegetable and essential oils can be. But there are some people who find the slightest amount of certain essential oils to be irritating. So our recipe that has absolutely no essential oils added to it is called 'hypoallergenic' because it is the least possibly irritating product in our line. Does this mean that it won't irritate anyone? Not necessarily, but we haven't found them yet! Does it mean that our other products that DO contain essential oils will be irritating? Again, absolutely not. We have yet to meet anyone that finds our products annoying, let alone irritating. So please, feel free to use any of our products with confidence. If you're the type that can't stand added fragrance, then hypoallergenic is for you. We just don't call it unscented because some sensitive noses can still detect a scent. And as always, if there are any questions or problems, don't hesitate to give us a call.
Q. What is dermatitis?
A. These hands have an extreme case of dermatitis. There are many possible causes for such conditions, and medicine is still working to understand them. Eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis are serious problems, and there are no easy answers. Uncle Earl's does not claim to be able to cure or heal conditions such as these in any way. We do claim that the first step in keeping hands healthy is to keep them clean and hydrated, assisting your body in its ability to heal itself.
Q. How does it protect the hands?
A. Uncle Earl's contains compounds that are absorbed into the skin. This helps your skin reclaim its own natural defenses. Your skin does the rest.
Q. Why is there no grit in Uncle Earl's Soap for Machinists?
A. Soap that contains abrasives generally tears at the surface of the skin. This encourages irritation and can encourage skin problems, such as dermatitis.
Q. How can this soap clean so well considering there is no grit in it?
A. Uncle Earl's is formulated with powerful and natural cleaning agents which chemically help wash away dirt, grease, and grime.
Q. We prefer liquid soap. Does your liquid soap also have these benefits?
A. Each form of our soap carries the same benefits, but they will appear differently. The bar is extremely long lasting, but not as easy to apply. The liquid is very concentrated and will penetrate your skin more quickly. The foam is commonly used as a lotion by some, and as a waterless cleaner by others.
Q. Why aren't all your liquid soaps transparent?
A. Some of our liquid soaps are transparent, while others are various shades of gold or pearly white. When we started making these, we were told by the experts that all liquid soaps have to be transparent, or people wouldn't want to buy them. We listened to the experts, and worked hard to make all the soaps transparent.
  What we learned is that there is a lot of complex chemistry when dealing with natural essential oils. What the big companies have done is add all sorts of synthetic materials to their soap in order to make it clear, or they eliminate the problem entirely by using synthetic fragrances that are well behaved.
  It didn't feel right to us, having to get all complex just to make something pretty. If there's one thing Earl never worried about, it was trying to make something pretty at the expense of making it work. We thought about it, started ignoring the experts, and decided to keep the recipe as simple as possible. So when we add the essential oils, we let nature take its course. If the oils blend well and the soap comes out clear, great. But if the oils make it cloudy, do we fret? Not at all. As long as they stay mixed, as long as they smell good, and as long as we can use as few ingredients as possible in making excellent product, then we're happy.
  If customers insist on clear liquid soap, then we know that there are plenty of choices out there. If they want a liquid soap that's 100% natural, has body and nuances that only Mother Nature can create, and is also good for your skin - then Uncle Earl's is your choice. That's where we stand, and we're proud of it.
Q. How is the foam used as a waterless cleaner?
A. Many apply several pumps of the foam and “wash” their hands as if they were under a stream of water. The dirt will lift off, and there's enough water left over so that they only need to use a towel to “dry” their hands off.
Q. Is Uncle Earl's really made with all natural ingredients?
A. We are proud to acknowledge the simplicity and goodness of old fashioned common sense, along with a healthy dose of some modern technology.
Q. Is your soap also organic?
A. Not quite. We're doing our best to ensure that all our ingredients meet high standards of being natural first, organic second, and Demeter Biodynamic third. As we are growing rapidly, it becomes harder to make sure all our ingredients meet these standards, especially those that are imported into the US. As a result, we can stand by the statement that our products are 100% natural. They don't contain preservatives, biocides, enhancers, artificial fragrances or colors. How those ingredients were made is not yet something we can assure ourselves about carrying the label "organic." Trust us, we're working hard to make sure they will be 100% organically derived as soon as possible.
Q. Do the terms natural and organic mean the same thing?
A. No. Although use of the terms is not legally regulated, they have come to distinguish between materials that are not man-made (natural), and materials that are not man-made but were also not exposed to synthetic chemicals, like fertilizers. So it's possible to buy a natural product that does not contain any synthetic fragrances or coloring. But for the product to be labeled organic the manufacturer must also ensure that those fragrances or colors were not produced using dangerous chemicals or practices along the way.
  Here at Uncle Earl's, everything we produce is destined to carry the organic label. But we're even more ambitious than this; read about what it means to be a Demeter® manufacturer.
Q. What is the Demeter® association?
A. Demeter® USA is the only certification agent for Biodynamic® farms, processors and products in the United States. As a non-profit organization, Demeter’s mission is to improve the health of the planet and its people by providing certification of products whose ingredients are grown and processed according to the highest agricultural and environmental standards. From farm to market, only those companies that consistently meet these standards are permitted to display the Demeter certification mark. Uncle Earl's does not yet have Demeter certification, but is working towards this highest of all ideals. Read more about Demeter here (USA) and here (International).
Q. What else is Uncle Earl's good for?
A. Without any encouragement on our part, our customers have been using our soap in some ingenious ways! For instance, we've learned that it removes grass and mud stains from clothing. It appears to remove bathtub rings, at least in Vermont. See our Testimonials page for any new abilities that aren't mentioned here.
Q. Is Uncle Earl a real person?
A. Yes he is. Earl is a truly good friend and mentor, the kind of person who makes our world a better place. He'd give you the shirt off his back without asking for anything in return. We're honored that he's letting us use his name to make the world a slightly cleaner and healthier place. Learn more about him here on his own About Earl page.
Q. Why don't you let someone else make your soap?
A. We are asked this question by almost everyone who visits. They get the impression that we're working too hard, that it would be easier if we let someone else do the work. It's hard to argue with them during a plant visit, especially because (almost) all of our competitors subcontract all of their products to specialized vendors.
  What we've learned over the years as an industrial machine builder is this; it's very hard to control quality when you let someone else do all the work. More importantly, it's easy to forget why we work so hard and what's important in our products when we let someone else do all the learning.
  It's true, we could send all our work over to China and teach them how to make our product. Then we would buy it back from them at a tenth the cost. But it defeats the whole spirit and meaning of the Demeter principle for one thing, and it also defeats the whole concept of what we're trying to do. We want to keep jobs here, locally. We want to support local farms, and local businesses. we don't want to make China (or Russia, or India, or Brazil) stronger just because we can make a few more dollars. We want strong neighbors, and we want ingredients that we know are made right. We want to know that we're not polluting the environment, and that when we SAY our products are 100% natural, we can prove it. We don't have to send a team to Shanghai to find out.
  Finally, and frankly, we don't want to let someone else do our work. Uncle Earl would never shirk from hard work, and we won't either. Yes, we won't be as rich, we won't get million dollar bonuses, and we won't be able to sell out to a faceless multinational for a billion dollars. But we will be able to sleep at night, rub elbows with our friends who have read Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, and when we go outside to camp or fish, we'll know that we're helping to leave something to our children.
  So, you see now why when someone asks us, “Why don't you let someone else do all your work?” our usual polite response is, “Good idea. Maybe someday.” And we get back to work.
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