Saturday, March 9, 2013

Making Liquid Laundry Soap (Day 2)

 Your soap is still settling, but you want to get something done. Time to make your label!

Morning of day 2, very cloudy.

Morning of day 3, clearing up!

Now, the information I'm about to give you is in no way to be construed as legal advice. I'm just putting together the information I've been able to find on proper labeling. If you plan on selling your soap you should do your own research on labeling as well. That said, many of the labels I saw on Etsy products did not meet the standards I'm about to present.

So, soap is easy. It's only a cosmetic product if you describe it in any terms other than "soap" such as "moisturizing, cleansing, etc." If you do make your soap "super moisturizing" it's a cosmetic and you follow the cosmetic labeling guidelines, not too difficult, but what about laundry soap and other household products?

From what little information I could find and looking at the labels on my Purex laundry detergent, Borax, and washing soda boxes this is what I came up with.
1. The front (principal)label must include the name of the product, identity and net quantity of contents (either by weight or volume).
2. The side/back/information panel should include directions for safe use, warnings, name and place of business, ingredient declaration and any other required information.

Ingredients - Ingredients should be listed in order of prominence (this means water first!). You can list the chemical ingredients by function in order to protect your recipes (Purex does this) so your list will say Detergent, Surfactant, etc. I don't like this idea. Customers are buying my product because it's more natural and they have the right to know what's actually in it. I choose to list both the INCI (international nomenclature cosmetic ingredient) name and the common name so that there is no confusion.

My laundry soap ingredient panel reads like this:
Ingredients: Water, Saponified Cocoa Nuciferia (Coconut) oil, Sodium tetraborate (Borax), and Sodium Carbonate (Washing Soda).
Front panel with product name, purpose, and quantity.

Side panel with ingredients, warnings, and my etsy store address.

Side panel with directions, company name and location.
Warnings: This is the important part of the label that I see a lot of people overlooking. Since I'm not about to test my product on anyone/thing to see what negative reactions I can induce, I used a combination of the warnings on the Borax and washing soda and a little common sense.

Both of these ingredients list that they are eye irritants and may be harmful if swallowed. It's pretty safe to assume that my laundry soap is too. I put a short caution on the front panel, "Caution: Eye irritant, may be harmful if swallowed," because that it what I saw on the other product labels. Then the side panel contains a more detailed cautionary statement, "Caution: Avoid contact with eyes. If contact is made, flush with water for 15 minutes. If swallowed, give milk or water and contact a physician." This is a combination of the details found on the Borax and washing soda labels.

Some people may want to downplay or skip over the warning statements because it makes your product seem less safe. This is necessary information. Customers should be able to differentiate between a product being natural and safe to clean with and being safe to rub in their eyes and ingest. A bar of regular bath soap can make your eyes sting, and if it was a household product and not a soap or cosmetic it would require an eye irritant warning.

So, now it's up to you to find a nice graphic, come up with a name (I used "Laundry Soap" creative right?), and put it all together. Please make sure that your graphic is not copyright protected. There are plenty of descent free stock photos out there you can use, or you can pay for a nicer one, or take or draw your own! The nicest thing about label making is that you do it once and then just print it over and over.

Oh, I use a jug with a child-safe lid for my laundry soap. Such a lid is required for household chemicals. I believe there are exceptions, but I didn't look into it since I planned on using child-safe packaging anyway. Better to be safe than sorry. Legalities aside, you wouldn't want a kid getting sick because the drank your soap. I get my packaging for all my Back Road Soap Company products from SKS.

Edit: 2 fl oz is 4 tablespoons not 2. I'll be correcting the label the next time I print it.

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