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Olive Oil Soap

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Patounis Olive Oil Soap Factory

The Patounis family have been hand making olive oil soap by the traditional stamped method for over 150 years, and is one of the very few such factories left in the world. You can visit and see the process, and also buy the products which are both 100% vegetarian, and 100% biodegradable.

Olive oil soap has been used for centuries in the Mediterranean, both for personal hygiene and for general cleaning purposes. Pure olive oil soap is considered the most adequate skin cleanser since it unblocks skin pores by effectively removing dirt, oily substances and dead cells. It is made from natural raw materials and the final product does not contain any additives.

The soap is made from olive oil which is boiled with caustic soda and sea salt for several weeks. It is then cast in open moulds to produce the so-called "stamped soap bar" (as opposed to the conventional "pressed soap"). Finally, it is placed in wooden racks to cure for 3-4 months.

The main types of soaps produced are:

  • "Green soap" made from crude (unprocessed) olive pomice oil. The latter is obtained by extraction from the ground flesh and pits of the olives after pressing. It contains olive chlorophyll; hence the green colour of the soap when "fresh". This green colour fades as the soap dries and matures. The "green soap" is used mainly for household chores (especially clothes). It also had a good reputation for its disinfecting and healing properties on skin infections, allergies, bed sores, and strained muscles.
  • "Asper green soap", which is a stronger formula of the "green soap". It has free alkali in its mass (increased pH). This makes it effective for clothes washing.
  • "White olive - palm kernel soap" , which is made from pure Virgin olive oil (lampante grade). Edible palm kernel oil is added during the manufacturing process. This soap is used as a gentle personal cleanser ( face and body). It lathers well.
  • "White olive oil soap" is as the white soap above, without the palm kernel oil. It has limited lathering ability and it is recommended that it be used with soft water.

You will find the Patounis Olive Oil Soap Factory in loannis Theotokis Street, just off San Rocco Square in the centre of Corfu. Call (+30) 26610 39806 or email for more information.

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