Q: will you ship to an APO address?
A: Absolutely, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your order and zip code, and we will send you an invoice with the correct shipping charges. Unfortunately we can not offer a flat shipping rate for APO addresses.
Q: What is the shelf life of your products?
A: Very good question!
We have two types of products: Hydrous and anhydrous.
The hydrous products generally have water added, which is what makes them a cream. Unfortunately, with either limited natural preservatives, or without preservatives, we recommend these products be stored in the refrigerator when not in use to extend shelf life. We have done stability tests, and refrigerated we have had good success from 9 months to a year. Some of the creams did show discoloration due to oxidation at the one year mark, but that doesn’t hurt the cream any, it just looks different. This applies to mostly the face creams, and it states on the website to refrigerate. The body butters have arrowroot powder which is an edible flour, so they could spoil if left out at room temperature for months at a time.
The anhydrous products (massage oils, lotion bars, lip balms, deodorant, bug spray, sunscreen) do not have water added, and will last much longer. How long will depend on storage conditions. Dark glass bottles are best to keep light out and the glass will prevent from plastics leaching into your products. Because these products do not have water added, spoilage should not be an issue. However, oils can become rancid over time. To help prevent that, we add vitamin E to almost all our oil products. While the products are stable at room temperature, and we’ve had oils last for over a year with no problems, you can easily extend the shelf life by storing them un-opened in the refrigerator. Do note that many of the oils will solidify at cooler temperatures, so that doesn’t mean they went bad, they just need to be warmed up to room temperature to re-liquefy.
The tooth powder we have stored for three years with no problem (how long we’ve been in business). Because it’s a powder, it seems to store very well. The only thing we noticed is that the essential oils lose potency over time when stored at room temperature, but it doesn’t harm the powder, it just starts to lose flavor.
The bar soaps should store very well. After three years of storage, our oldest bar soap stored just fine. We did find that it tended to dry out a little, but as a soap, it still functioned very well. If sealed in plastic bags, they should store very well.
The insect repellent is mixed in with alcohol along with many essential oils that are not pleasing to many bacteria, and of course bugs. We have traveled with our repellent to Central America during some very hot days, and had no problems with stability of the left over contents a year later.
The deodorant has also shown to be stable for at least a year, however, it does start to dry out a little making it harder to put on. We would recommend only storing the winter/cold weather formula as the warm weather formula dries out much faster.
One product we do not recommend for long term storage is colloidal silver. This is because after a few months, the silver will start to fall out of solution. If you mix the bottle vigorously, you can still gain the same benefits of the colloidal silver, but it will not look right, and potency is reduced. The same happens if colloidal silver is stored in cooler temperatures such as the refrigerator, as that speeds up the process of the silver coming out of solution. We recommend storing colloidal silver at room temperature, and out of the sun.
We have a few new products coming out in the next few weeks. Liquid soap should store just fine. It may lose it’s translucency over time, but it should function fine as a soap. We have not done stability testing yet it because the formula is new, but based on research, it should last for at least a year if not longer. We also have a new anhydrous hand cream coming out that so far has done well for six months in terrible conditions of hanging out in a purse being taken everywhere. Finally we have a vitamin C serum coming out that has also done well as far as stability goes. Stability of the vitamin C serum has not yet been been tested but we expect it to remain stable from six to eighteen months.
While we do take great care to maintain sterile conditions during production, we do avoid preservatives as described in several of our articles. This means that care must be taken in how the products are stored. If you decide to stock up on any items, keep them in un-opened in glass containers, keep them out of light, and refrigerate. For any products that require special storage conditions we include instructions with each order. We also recommend rotating stock on a regular basis.
Q: Why do you have a disclaimer about sodium and potassium hydroxide on your soap?
A: Most popular brand soaps are actually not soaps at all. They are really detergents made from various chemicals (usually petrochemicals) that offer cleaning action, but are not real soap. Real soap always involves the use of natural lipids (oils or fats) that have been saponified. And the process of saponification requires the use of a strong base/alkali such as sodium or potassium hydroxide. Our soaps are made via a saponification process of oils with either sodium or potassium hydroxide. Because these hydroxides are processing aids, and none remains after the saponification reaction completes, they technically (legally) do not have to be listed as part of the ingredients, since they are no longer present in their original form. Here at Tober’s Traditions, we strive to be transparent about how our products are made, so that consumers can make informed choices about the products they buy. We think it is only fair to disclose that our soaps are made the old fashioned way by using either sodium or potassium hydroxide, which results in real soap. This is a process that has been used for hundreds of years and has proven to provide both a safe and effective end product.
Please let us know if you have any additional questions, we are always happy to answer them!
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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information and/or products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.