Their hobby took off, and they have been growing ever since. Today their Wash Basin Soap Company offers several all- natural products for customers who are seeking ecologically safe cleansers for household use.
Nancy had a table set up at the Visitor’s Centre in Plaster Rock during the World Pond Hockey Tournament. I met her daughter Jessica, and son-in-law Nick, and caught up with Nancy later by phone.
Wash Basin Soap products are all made according to old, classic recipes made in Nancy’s kitchen in small batches.
She uses vegetable oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, castor oil and cocoa butter. To add fragrance to her products Nancy and Janice use a variety of essential oils and paraben -free fragrance oils.
Nancy is a lab technician by trade, so kitchen laboratory experimentation came naturally!
The company’s original wash basin soap comes as a liquid in a quart jar. It is concentrated, so to use it you mix two parts water to one part soap, thus tripling the volume and it will do 40 loads of laundry. It is priced at a mere $5 per quart, which becomes 3 quarts after you dilute it.
It consists of just three ingredients: Borax, washing soda, and fels naptha, which is an old time stain remover.
This soap does not contain a sudsing agent, but works efficiently nonetheless. Sudsing agents are added to commercial soaps to give the illusion of cleaning power….the suds don’t actually do anything!
This soap is also generally safe for people with allergies and environmental sensitivities to use.
Nancy and Janice also make bath and shower soaps that come in a variety of exquisite natural fragrances:
- Lemon rosemary
- Citrus spearmint
- Coconut lime
- Black cherry
You also have the option of soaps containing poppy seeds to exfoliate, or oatmeal to moisturize!
There is also a lotion bar that sounds like a winner for our dehydrating winter weather. This solid moisturizer liquefies as your body heat warms it when you rub it on your skin. It contains beeswax, cocnut oil, shea butter , sweet almond oil and a touch of vitamin E and costs just $4 per bar.
Nancy uses other local businesses and groups to help merchandise her products. The Family Worship Center in Plaster Rock prints the labels for Wash Basin products, and local wood crafter Peter MacDonald makes hand carved wooden soap dishes.
You can purchase Hand Basin Products at the Guardian Drug Store in Plaster Rock. Nancy will have her products on display at the upcoming Women’s Day Event that will be held at the river Valley Civic Centre in Perth-Andover on April 26, and look for her at local farmers markets.
You can also call Nancy at home at 356-8454 for more information about the products. Nancy works at the Hotel Dieu in Perth, so travels regularly into the village.
Using products like Wash Basin Soaps is safe for the environment and helps to support local entrepreneurs… a win/win for our rural villages!