This is known as Lye. It's a chemical and it sounds out of line with my all natural stance on my soap. The cold process soaping method uses the chemical reaction called saponification - meaning soap - from the lye to get the liquid oils to set into a hard bar of soap. It's a damn good chemical and also a dangerous one. One splash and you can burn your skin, blind your eye, and even cause death if you decide to munch on it. And apparently it's good for hiding murder victims!!! It takes a while apparently but lye can dissolve bones and teeth. Best not to murder anyone in the first place I think.