Frequently Asked Questions


Where will you ship to?

We can ship to anywhere in Australia. Shipping prices are calculated automatically at checkout and will usually come to $10 depending on location, or $15 for express.

We do not currently ship internationally.

Will you ever ship internationally?

We would like to! There's a lot of variation in legal requirements for both the selling and shipping of handmade soap and we want to be very sure of what we're doing before attempting to ship internationally. International postage from Australia can also be quite expensive - often costing far more than the soap itself! - so we need time to look into options and explore what's best.

Don't worry. We have our eye on the horizon over this vast ocean. If we can make it happen, it will.

Is your packaging recyclable?

Yes! Aside from the adhesive shipping labels, all of our packaging is either compostable or recyclable. We chose Sendle for our shipping company because of their carbon neutral policies and home compostable satchels, and we've kept our soap packaging to paper and cardboard in the hopes that our customers will compost or recycle them. The environment and climate change are important topics close to our heart here at Ugly Scrub and we're trying to do the best we can for this wild, wonderful world we live in.


What do I do if there's something wrong with my order?

Please send us a message through the Contact Us form and be sure to include your order number. This will help us to quickly locate the information about your order.

If your problem is with a particular bar of soap, please also include the batch number. You can find this on the inside of the paper band wrapped around the soap in question.

Do you do exchanges or returns?

As soap is a cosmetic product we cannot accept returns or offer exchanges.

If your soap is badly damaged or you have received the wrong order, please Contact Us as above.

Any refunds will be sent through the same payment method as you used at checkout.

About the Soap

I ordered the same soap as I did before, but this one looks slightly different. Why?

All of our soaps are handmade in batches of 7 - 12 bars which are then left to cure for a month. Ambient temperature while mixing and humidity while curing can affect the overall appearance of the soap. In soaps with colour and swirls, each batch will have different patterning due to the behaviour of the soap when it is poured and the method of swirling. This is especially true of soaps like Spectra and Meteor as the more colours there are the more the pattern changes.

Each bar also bears the small marks and notches of being cut, cleaned, and packaged by hand. It may sound cheesy, but we value variety and individuality in our soap. Handcrafting has an element of life in it.

I saw sodium hydroxide in your ingredients list. Isn't that a dangerous chemical?

On its own, sodium hydroxide is indeed a dangerous chemical. It is highly alkaline, and when mixed with water it becomes very hot and caustic.

However. Sodium hydroxide (also known as lye) is the vital component that turns oils such as olive oil or lard into soap. The two ingredients chemically combine and the sodium hydroxide is neutralised through a process called saponification: becoming soap! After saponification is complete (24 to 72 hours after mixing) there is no sodium hydroxide left in the soap and the bar is safe to use.

In the same way that sodium and chlorine are dangerous on their own but form table salt when combined, sodium hydroxide is dangerous on its own and perfectly safe when made into soap. We pH test each batch before sale anyway, just to be sure.

If they're safe to use after 72 hours, why do you leave them to cure for a month?

The curing period allows water to evaporate from the soap. The longer soap cures, the harder and longer-lasting it becomes. A soap that has only cured for a week will become slimy and dissolve much faster than a soap that has cured for a month.
Some soaps such as pure olive oil Castile are best when cured for over a year, as they become very hard and very mild. Long-cured Castile soap is the best for sensitive and temperamental skin.

(Yes, we have put aside some Castile to cure for a year. Patience is a virtue, apparently.)

Do you use palm oil in your soap? 

We do not use palm oil in our soaps. While there are sustainably and ethically sourced palm oils, we are wary of supporting the industry while unsustainable and unethical practices still continue. We know there's no ethical consumption under capitalism but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try.

I have specific allergies or sensitivities, is it possible to obtain more detailed ingredients lists?

Yes! While we formulate our soap to be as gentle as possible on sensitive skin, we are well aware that even the mildest soap can set off an allergy if it has the wrong additives. Please feel free to send a message through the Contact Us page and we'll do what we can to find you the information you need.

As with any cosmetic product, it's always wise to patch test if you're unsure, and discontinue use if you react in any way.

Your soap looks like fudge, can I eat it?

Please don't eat the soap. It will not taste as good as it looks.


First and foremost, we at Ugly Scrub would like to acknowledge the Whadjuk Noongar people who are the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and operate. We give our respect to their Elders, past and present, and recognise that Indigenous Australian peoples retain their spiritual and cultural connection to Country. We are deeply grateful that the continued use of their languages, beliefs, and traditional knowledge sustains the world's oldest living culture.
We would also like to acknowledge that we are living on stolen land as sovereignty was never ceded, and we throw our support behind the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices calling for treaty.

Beyond that, we'd like to thank everyone involved in getting Ugly Scrub to this point. Anthony and Ashlee for your endless patience as Jacknel filled your houses with soap and anxiety. Naomi for your brilliant design of the Ugly Scrub labels. Carolyn, Glen, Meredith, and Kristine for your support and advice along the way.
And last but not least, the enormous and enormously kind online soaping community that taught us everything we know.