Clays, Botanicals & Other Additions

The all natural ingredients in Seattle Sundries soaps have been known for centuries to promote clean, soft and healthy skin. Each ingredient is carefully selected and combined to create our unique soaps. We are always trying new combinations, so be sure to visit often.


Activated Bamboo Charcoal Powder: Our activated charcoal is a very fine powder that has excellent absorption properties, due to its abundant surface area. If you were to look at it under a microscope, you would see how porous and bumpy the surface is (minimum 1100 m2/g). This feature allows it to absorb a tremendous amount of pollutants and toxins. It is used for water purification, as an edible digestive purifying agent in food, and as an air purifier. Our bamboo activated charcoal is food-grade and will not stain, though it does give soap suds a gray-ish tint as it washes away the odors and impurities in the skin.

Ale: A type of beer brewed from malted barley using a warm fermentation with a strain of brewers' yeast. Our ale comes from Seattle’s Pike Brewery in the famous Pike Street Market of Seattle.

Alkanet Powder: This deep red colored powder comes from the borage family of plants (Boraginaceae) and is used to add purple and blue tints to natural products.

Beeswax: Is a natural wax produced in the bee hive of honey bees of the genus Apis. It is mainly esters of fatty acids and various long chain alcohols. A German study found beeswax to be superior to similar barrier creams (usually mineral oil based creams such as petroleum jelly).

Bentonite Clay: An absorbent aluminium phyllosilicate clay consisting mostly of montmorillonite. It is composed of aged volcanic ash, and the name comes from the largest known deposit of Bentonite Clay located in Fort Benton, Wyoming.

Black Walnut Hull Powder: This black powder comes from the hull of a tree, which is native to North America. It is valued for its astringent and insecticidal properties. The Comanche made a paste of the leaves and husk of the fruit to treat ringworm. Black walnut was also used by the Appalachian, Cherokee, Iroquois, and Rappahannock as a treatment for fungal infections of feet and hands.

Borax: (Pentahydrate sodium borate) Borax works in many personal care products such as cosmetic creams, skin lotions, hair shampoos, dyes and gels, bath salts and denture cleaners. It is often used as a water softener and laundry booster. It is a mild alkali.

Buckwheat: Related to sorrel, knotweed, and rhubarb, this plant is not actually related to wheat at all. The seeds are triangular and make a great exfoliant, when ground. Buckwheat has been providing essential nutrients, vitamins, energy, and fiber to humanity for approximately 8,000 years. It first appeared as a cultivated crop appears circa 4000 B.C. in the Balkan region of Europe, but its thought to have truly taken hold inland in Southeast Asia and from there spread to Central Asia, Tibet, the Middle East, and Europe.

Calendula: Also called pot marigold, this common flower (Calendula officinalis) has a long history of use as a wound-healing and skin-soothing botanical. This lovely flower is considered to be a substance that promotes healing. Calendula also has anti-inflammatory and weak antimicrobial activity.

Carrot: The bright yellow-orange juice and pulp of this common root vegetable is high in bet-carotene which is a natural anti-oxidant and sun-damage fighter.

Cocoa Powder: A fine chocolate powder treated with an alkalizing agent to darken its color. It is also called Dutch Process Cocoa. We use only organic, food-grade.

Dill: Is either a perennial or annual herb. It is the sole species of the genus Anethum. Dill is native to southern Russia, western Africa and the Mediterranean region. The use of this herb is most commonly associated with the cuisines of Scandinavia and Germany. Its green leaves are wispy and fernlike. Dill adds color and a very slight exfoliant to our soap.

Espresso Coffee Beans: Extremely dark roasted coffee beans that are ground to a fine texture. The bean contains caffeine, which reduces inflammation and acts as an exfoliant.

French Green Clay: Was used in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome to treat a variety of skin problems and digestive disorders. French green clay is regarded as a useful treatment for stimulating the skin and removing impurities from the epidermis (outermost layer of skin cells). The clay works by adsorbing impurities from the skin cells and by stimulating the flow of blood to the epidermis.

French Red Clay: Was used in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome to treat a variety of skin problems and digestive disorders. French red clay is regarded as a useful treatment for stimulating the skin and removing impurities from the epidermis (outermost layer of skin cells). The clay works by adsorbing impurities from the skin cells and by stimulating the flow of blood to the epidermis.

Glycerin: This is a simple polyol (sugar alcohol) compound. It is a colorless, odorless, viscous liquid that is widely used in skincare products because of its humectant (moisture-attracting) properties. It is a by-product of the chemical reaction that produces soap. It can also be added to soaps and skincare products to increase their moisturizing properties.

Honey: Primarily known for its humectant and antimicrobial qualities. (A humectant is a compound that attracts moisture to itself and helps retain the moisture.) It is a wonderful additive to soaps. It can impart a light, warm, sweet scent, adds a bit of lathering capability, and acts as a humectant. Cleopatra of Egypt regularly took honey and milk baths to maintain her youthful appearance. It was said that Queen Anne of England used a honey and oil concoction to keep her long hair lustrous, thick and shiny. And Chinese women have a tradition of using a blend of honey and ground orange seeds to keep their skin blemish-free. (Information from The National Honey Board)

Licorice Root Sweetener (Ammonium Glycyrrhizate): Glycyrrhizin comes from the root of licorice, Glycyhrrhiza glabra. The plant is native to Turkey, Iraq, Spain, Greece, and northern China. Glycyrrhizin (as a component of licorice root) has a long history of use as a sweetener and as an herbal remedy. It is commonly used as a sweetener in cosmetic and food products.

Oatmeal: Oatmeal has been used for centuries as a soothing agent to relieve itch and irritation associated with various skin conditions. Oatmeal acts a cleanser, moisturizer, buffer, as well as a soothing and protective anti-inflammatory agent.

Rhassoul Clay: This mineral clay comes from the Altas Mountains of Morocco and has been used by Moroccan women and in Turkish baths for centuries as a skin and hair softener and pore reducer. As a clay, it also improves razor glide in shaving products.

Yellow Clay: French Yellow Clay is considered to be a powerful detoxifier which draws out impurities from the body while the essential minerals within the clay are released. It stimulates the circulation of blood and lymph, removes dead skin cells, and tones & strengthens connective tissues to leave skin smooth, fresh & radiant.

Orange Peel: Is one of the greatest sources of vitamin C in the world. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects your body's cells from damage.

Poppyseeds: This is an oilseed obtained from the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum). The tiny kidney-shaped seeds have been harvested from dried seed pods by various civilizations for thousands of years. We grind our poppyseeds to add color and texture to soap.

Rattanjot Powder: Comes from the Onosoma echiodes perennial plant of Kashmir. It is dried and ground into a dark purple/red powder, which is used as a natural colorant. It is a traditional ingredient in many Indian dishes, such as Rogan Josh and Tandoori Chicken.

Red Reef Clay: This fine clay from Australia is high iron content and essential minerals help to replenish and regenerate the epidermis of the skin.

Vitamin E Oil: We use Vitamin E T-50, which is a natural plant derived viscous liquid, made of mixed Tocopherols. It is considered by many to be nature's perfect antioxidant. It is used to assist in slowing the oxidation process.