Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions Blog from The Maldon Soap Company

Do you have a shop?

I don’t have a physical ‘Maldon Soap Shop’ as such.  My soap studio is not open to the public, therefore it is not possible to collect orders from there.

All orders must be placed through the website and then posted.  Postage is free when you spend over £50

My social media sites and sign up form for my VIP newsletter can be found here:

Facebook      Instagram      Twitter       Pinterest         VIP Mailing List

Do you do craft fairs or markets?

Not any more! I gave up doing fairs and markets a couple of years ago as they weren’t very good for my back and I found I was working 7 days a week with very little time for myself.  Nowadays I concentrate on selling through the website and the outlets.

Where can I buy Maldon Soap products other than the website?

I sell the soaps and skincare through several outlets which are located in Maldon and surrounding villages.

Please bear in mind tho that, due to the size of the shelves alloted to me in each outlet varying so much, it’s not possible to stock every item.  In a lot of cases the outlet themselves choose which products they stock and how many products they hold in stock, so I can’t take any responsibility if you travel to an outlet for a certain item and it’s not there.  If you’re doing this please check the stock with them directly.

The ONLY place to be able to order every product, including trial sizes of skincare, is the website.

My outlets are as follows:

Mail Order Enquiries

How can I order from your website?

You can order all products including trial sizes of all the facial skincare products from the website by clicking this link here

Simply select which products you require and add them to your basket like any other online shop.

You can pay on the website by credit/debit card, paypal, google or apple pay.  These are the only forms of payment I accept.

I am unable to take payments or orders over the phone or by email.

How long will my order take to arrive?

As a one woman band I make, pot, wrap, label and distribute around 100 products (120 at Christmas).  I also package up every single order lovingly, beautifully and securely, all by hand.  I like to make a lot of products freshly to order so that they reach you in the freshest condition possible.

I aim to post all orders out within 5 working days of receipt of order, although mostly they are sent sooner than this.  Occasionally there may be a longer wait if I have a lot of orders of if the order is very large, it may take longer over the Christmas period.

If your order is for a specific date or occasion please ensure you order in enough time to allow for it to be delivered, especially if it’s overseas which can take a couple of weeks to arrive.

When your order is complete and ready to post you will receive an email to tell you.

Orders are sent by Royal Mail second class signed for and usually take 2 working days to arrive in the UK, up to 2 weeks in Europe and 3-4 weeks for the rest of the world.

How much do you charge for postage?

Postage in the UK is £4.80 for orders up to £50.

How can I get free postage?

When spending over £50 you qualify for free postage which will be sent by Royal Mail second class signed for.

What packaging do you use to send out your products?

I send your orders out in recycled cardboard boxes.  Any tape I use is recycled brown paper tape.  I wrap the products in recycled tissue paper and eco bubble paper.
And the packaging noodles?  They’re not polystyrene!
The packaging is compostable eco-flo noodles made from puffed wheat, a by product of the food industry.
Here’s a video that I made, which is on YouTube and facebook, which explains all the elements of the packaging I use and how I’ve worked really hard to source the most eco friendly packagaing as possible.
Please note, the video mentions tissue paper.  Please be reassured that the tissue paper is, of course, recycled, I just forgot to mention it in the video.

What are your products contained in?

Here’s a video I made in 2019 which explains how, for the last 18 months, I’ve been sourcing glass jars and striving to make my packaging plastic free.
Since this video I’ve introduced even more eco friendly elements to the business and, although there’s still work to do, I’m really pleased with the changes I’ve made to the business so far.
I’m looking forward to finding more environmental measures to ensure the business makes a positive impact on the environment as possible.

General Product Enquiries

Which products would be suitable for my skin type?

If your skin is dry or oily or sensitive or menopausal there are specific categories on the website which you can search to find the products which are most suited to your skin type.

Simply select facial skincare and then each separate category will appear so that you can select which skin type you are.  You’ll then be shown products which would be most suitable for you.  Here’s the link to the facial skincare section on the website

Please note that these are natural products and your skin is the final ingredient.  So what works for one person may not work for another.  The weather, age, hormones and several other factors all play a part in how our skin reacts to products.

That’s why trial size products are available from the website so you can make sure that the product is right for your skin before committing to a full size product.

Are your products suitable for children?

All my products have been safety tested for adult use. Any use on children is entirely at parents own risk.

Can I use your products during pregnancy or when breast feeding?

Essential oils have many different properties. They are added to my products in very safe dilutions (especially in the case of soap and bath bombs which are further diluted in water) – in line with strict safety standards for aromatherapy.

However, it’s important to do your own research into their safety or to check with your medical practitioner before using, especially if you have any medical issues or are pregnant0 or breast feeding.

What is my soap wrapped in?

Cold processed soaps are hand wrapped in himalayan lokta paper.  This is a sustainable, tree free paper that is compostable.

Why is my bath bomb/soap wrapped in plastic?

It’s not! The cellophane wrapper is natural and is made from wood pulp, a by-product of the UK furniture making industry.  This natural cellophane is biodegradable and fully compostable in either your home composter or put in with your green garden waste.

You can see a video I made about the packaging I use here

Can I send back my jars and tins for reuse?

To reuse jars and tins I would have to get them back to the studio either by customers posting them back to me or me collecting them.  Then I’d have to de-label them (sometimes this takes lots of scrubbing depending on how they have been kept.  I’d have to scrub them clean of any residue and then once clean I’d have to take them home and run them through the dishwasher to ensure they are sterile for reuse.
I cannot reuse the aluminium lids or any tins as they bend during the cleaning process.
This would all take up so much of my time that I would scaresely have time to make products!  So it is simply not a cost effective thing for a one woman band business to do.
Glass and aluminium are INFINITELY RECYCLABLE.  That’s why I use them. Recycling them uses less energy than producing the raw materials to make new ones so it doesn’t impact the environment.
They can just be popped in with your normal recycling with your jam jars and tins.
If you don’t want to recycle them you could reuse them yourself to decant smaller items or for anything you like.

Specific Product Enquiries

How do you use the shampoo and conditioner bars?

When first using solid shampoo bars there can be a transition phase that your hair goes through.  This can last anything between 3 days and 3 weeks, depending on your hair type.

Here’s a video showing you how to use the shampoo and conditioner bars. 

Here’s another video telling you more about the transition phase that you may experience.

How safe is my bar of soap?

Bars of soap, good old traditional solid soap, clean your skin effectively without stripping its natural acid mantle which, in turn, helps skin to protect itself from bacteria. Bar soap also preserves the natural flora and beneficial bacteria of your skin which not only cares for your skin but also creates a natural barrier to germs. When using a bar of solid soap the action of rubbing the bar over your skin to create foam also helps to remove germs.

Can I share a bar of soap with someone?


Won’t you transfer germs to them?

NO!  Here’s why…

Soap is an alkali. The bar of traditional soap you use, whatever condition it’s in, from its first use to when it’s a tiny sliver, is an alkali and no germs can survive on it. So you can pass it from person to person and not transfer any germs.

Those of you over about 40 will doubtless remember the little off white bar of soap in the school toilets, which had no fragrance or frills. It looked a bit shrivelled from multiple use and had black lines of dirt along its ridges once it was getting a bit old.

That bar of soap was germ free! It may have looked a bit horrible but essentially it was fine to use, it couldn’t spread any bacteria and killed germs. And yet bar soap was swapped for liquid soap in plastic bottles as it was deemed to be better for us!

Why does my bath bomb have little cracks in it?

Bath bombs are a force of nature.  They are handmade so no two will ever be the same.  When they’re made they harden naturally due to a chemical reaction between bicarb and citric acid.  I don’t use artificial hardening agents or stabilisers which can be bad for your skin and for the planet so very occasionally, tiny cracks or blemishes can form on the surface of the bath bomb, especially if it contains petals or other decorations.  This can sometimes occur once the bath bomb is cured, wrapped and delivered – especially in colder, damp weather.  This is because they are natural. Any cracks or blemishes in your bath bombs will, in no way, detract from their efficacy or therapeutic properties.

Whilst every attempt is made to ensure your bath bombs reach you in perfect condition I cannot guarantee against breakages due to their semi-fragile nature and unpredictable postage conditions.

As with all bath and shower products beware of slips and trips in the bath/shower.

Why is my product grainy?

Graining can occur in intensive serum, coconut and olive hot cloth cleanser, skin saving balm and glycerine and lavender intensive hand cream.

Don’t worry, there’s nothing at all wrong with the product it’s just a jojoba wax distribution thing. A bit like when honey goes grainy due to the beeswax solidifying a bit. The graininess in your product is easily solved by just rubbing your hands together so the heat from your skin melts the wax and then you can just apply it as normal.  it’s then just as effective as ever it was. The products are 100% natural, I don’t use artificial stabilisers (chemicals) to stop the graining process because nature is best and it works, it just sometimes needs some warmth. In this case just rub the product between your fingers or hands to bring it back to it’s soothing smoothing condition.

Here’s a video showing you what you need to do. 

Do you use preservatives? 

Most of my products are preservative free.  When water is added to a product, as for creams and lotions, a preservative must be used.  I do not use tap water in any of my products so, technically, I don’t need to use a preservative but I add one to creams and lotions just to ensure that the products are safe to use and will last a reasonable time.

I have never, nor will I ever use parabens.  These formaldehyde based preservatives are good at stopping mould forming on products but are of little benefit to the skin.  They are very cheap tho which is why the majority of skincare companies use them.  Parabens were developed in the fifties and deemed safe to use – but then so was tobacco in the fifties and we all know how that turned out!

I use an EcoCert approved eco-friendly preservative which is gentle, mild and suitable for all skin types.  Due to its skin-friendly attributes it is an excellent cosmetic ingredient for skin care and hair care so it’s good for both your skin and the planet.

How long do products last? 

I use essential oils in the majority of my products.  While my products would last for a good few years the essential oils won’t.  Essential oils can oxidise in the air and over time can lose both their fragrance and their effectiveness.  A soap or a cream or a serum will still work after a number of years but they won’t smell very nice or, indeed, work as well as they should due to the deterioration of the essential oils.

Each product category has different dates.  Some products have two time periods on them.  One is a general use by time if the product were to remain unopened and the other is how long the product should last once opened.  When a jar is open it begins to deteriorate from being exposed to moisture in the air and from being touched etc.

These times are general times and do not take into account the conditions they are kept in once they leave Maldon Soap. ie they may be kept in direct sunlight or in a steamy bathroom or a warm bedroom and this can have a negative impact on a natural products lifespan or effectiveness.

A bar of soap may keep for many years in a drawer – indeed soap bars were found in Egyptian mummies tombs – but that bar would fare less well if it were placed on display in a steamy bathroom so it made the room smell nice, so a degree of common sense and flexibility is required when it comes to a products shelf life.

Bath bombs are wrapped in compostable cellophane to prevent them from absorbing moisture from the air.  Many people keep bath bombs in the bathroom so they make the room smell nice but if they are opened they will go crumbly, lose their fragrance and won’t fizz properly so it’s not really a good idea to keep them open to make the room smell nice if you intend to use them in the bath at some point.

What are the products shelf lives?

Soaps/Solid Shampoos: Use within 2 years of made/ready date.

Bath Bombs: Use within 1 year of made on date if unopened.  If opened use within one week.

Pure Indulgence Luxury Bath Soak: Use within 9 months of made on date if unopened and within 4 months once opened.

The vast majority of other products ie. solid conditioners, hair treatment, body oil, cleansers, toner, moisturisers, serums, body lotions are all:

Use within 9 months of opening or 18 months of made on date if unopened.

However the exception to this is the face masks which are:

Use within 6 months of opening or 9 months of made on date if unopened.

Any other questions?

I’m going to keep adding to this frequently asked questions blog as and when I’m asked questions.  I’ll endeavour to keep it up to date and relevant.


  1. Laurinda Heard

    Can you post to Europe? I live in Spain and a friend of mine gave me some of your products for a Christmas present – I love them!!!

    • Sue Mckenna

      Hi Laurinda. Yes I post to Europe 😊 x

  2. sandeep.kaur

    Hi :

    I am writing to you from Canada and would be interested in buying your products. My daughter has tried a lot of your products and love them and she suggested them to me. I am 49 years old and my skin is dry and menopausal. Can you please advise a few products which will be best suited for my skin type. Since the current challenging times, please advise if you are shipping international and how long does it take to receive the products.

    Thank you

    • Sue Mckenna

      Hi Sandeep. Thank you for your message. There is a whole section on the website that covers all the products that would be suitable for dry/menopausal skin. The link to it is here:

      It usually takes 2-3 weeks for products to reach Canada but with the current covid situation and with Christmas coming it could take longer. Unfortunately I have no control over the postal system or how long it would take to reach you.

      Best wishes,

  3. Phillip Alder

    You have an interesting website for the soaps but state no sizes for the bars. 4.95 for 10g bars is expensive, if 100g it is reasonable, if 190g then it would be fantastic.
    Will not buy blind as do not want to be ripped off.

    • Sue Mckenna

      Thank you for your question.

      The average weight of these organic, handmade, local ingredient soaps is 100g tho some (survival soap, dog shampoo) weigh considerably more.

      They are handmade and hand cut so weight can differ by a few grams each time.

      I will add this reply to the FAQ section. The website is a work in progress and adding weights to each item is the next step.

      Best regards,

  4. donna.jessup

    Can you tell me if you can send it straight to the person I am buying it for with a gift card that says it’s from me? It will just get there quicker and save on further postage.

    • Sue Mckenna

      Hi Donna, Of course you can. Most of the orders I send out are to other people at the moment! I don’t have gift cards, as such, but can write any message on the ‘thank you for your order’ card I put in with all orders. Just write what you want to say in the comments and we’ll sort it for you. xx

  5. Sue Smith

    Can you let me know the approx weight of your shampoo and conditioner bars. I understand they are hand cut but a rough idea would be helpful. Did see the soaps were approx 100grams etc. Thank you

    • Sue Mckenna

      Hi Sue, The shampoos are around 80g and the conditioners are roughly 70g but, as you say they’re hand cut so can vary.

      Best wishes

  6. Rosie

    Hi Sue,

    Products look great and I am looking to make the transition to sustainer skin and hair care! I have curly hair, which shampoo and conditioner would you recommend? It needs to be cleansing for the shampoo for product buildup and hydrating for conditioner. Thanks!

    • Sue Mckenna

      Hi Rosie,

      Fab that you’re making the transition to more sustainable skincare and haircare. You’ve certainly come to the right place!

      For curly hair, if your hair is quite dry, I would recommend the coconut and argan shampoo/conditioner. If it’s normal I’d recommend the lavender and tea tree shampoo and coconut and argan conditioner.

      Hope that helps,
      Sue xx

      • Rosie

        Thanks Sue! Sounds great 🙂


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like…

Neroli Essential Oil – Why It’s Fabulous

Neroli Essential Oil – Why It’s Fabulous

Neroli essential oil has always been one of my favourite fragrances. It's why I use it in so many of my products. It is extracted from the blossom of the Seville Orange Tree (the same oranges used to make marmalade). These slightly bitter oranges have a unique...

Getting my curls back

Getting my curls back

Look how curly my hair used to be! This photo was taken well before the onset of peri-menopause and hot flushes. I rarely tied my hair back unless I was cooking or gardening. I left it loose and it never seemed to get in the way. Even when I was working fulltime in...

What does a soap maker actually do?

What does a soap maker actually do?

I thought I'd give you a bit of an insight into what a 'soap maker' actually does.  But first, for anyone new to this site, a bit of an introduction. I'm Sue, the owner and creator of The Maldon Soap Company. I started my business 10 years ago on 18th July 2013 from...