Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Cleaning Up Part 3: Liquid Hand Soap

This is actually shaping up to be something of an actual series…look at me go!

Actually, don’t, because then there’s pressure and I don’t always do well under pressure. Sometimes, but not always.

Let’s not increase my stress simply over a blog, shall we?

So, I alluded to my liquid hand soap recipe in my Ten Things of Thankful: Week 11 post. And a few of you actually commented that they were eager to see it.

Well, don’t let me keep it from you any longer! And actually, I believe you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how simple this is. And the best part is that it’s cheap!

Liquid Hand Soap
  • 8oz bar of soap, grated (this can be one bar or several small ones…think “hotel soaps,” which equals FREE…well, not exactly, but since you’re paying for them anyway you might as well take them!)
  • 2 tablespoons glycerin (you can get this at your local pharmacy, but you might have to ask exactly where it is…and to be honest, I had to go to a couple different pharmacies to get it; but the pharmacies that did not have it on hand did offer to order it. Your eagerness to start can determine if you want to order it or drive around. BTW I did end up getting it from CVS, which had it in stock…so you can obviously tell how I felt about it.) At CVS, the glycerin was just over $5 for a 6 ounce bottle, but I used ExtraBucks I’d earned so it was free to me (this time)…but a 6 ounce bottle will net you at least 6 gallons of soap so I think it’s probably worth it; just for comparison’s sake, the generic hand soap refill at Target is less than a gallon and costs a few dollars.
  • 1 gallon of water (according to what I found online, it does not have to be distilled but using distilled will supposedly make it more effective…I chose not to use distilled because I forgot to get it and was all set to make my soap; the soap still seems to work fine for me!)
  • OPTIONAL: Essential oils…I had some lavender essential oil so I put a few drops in to make it smell really fabulous. But even without it, it still smells as lovely as the soap you use.

After you grate the soap (or you can put it in a blender or food processor…I chose to grate mine, because I’d already sacrificed a grater when I made my laundry detergent), dissolve it in the water on the stovetop (it does take a little bit of time); then add the glycerin (which is in there, FYI, to help soften your skin) and stir well.

Remove the mixture from heat and let it cool overnight. It will thicken quite a bit (think the word “congeal”…there’s a visual for you, right?) so you’ll need to give it a thorough whisking. (And please note that it will thicken up again if not used right away, which is not a big deal, but it may need to be whisked again.)
Pour into containers for storage or into pumps for immediate use.
NOTE: I stored mine in a milk jug which I had washed out (plus, if it still had some residual soap in it, what would be the worry?); also, you could obviously use the distilled water jug if you opted to use distilled water. Also, I would be sure to label it “Liquid Hand Soap”…lest there be any confusion. I doubt anyone will mistake it for milk (since it’s probably in a cabinet and not the fridge) but mine does look like a gallon of milk because the soap was white.

A post about Fabric Softener is yet to comel I just made it yesterday so it hasn't been adequately assessed as of yet.
I only promote quality products, you know!
Let me know how your soap turns out…because I’m SURE you’re all going to rush right out and try it, right?


  1. Do you think this would work as a foaming soap? My husband & I like the foaming hand soap (my kids don't, but they don't pay the bills, so they don't get a say in the matter). So, what I do is buy the foaming soap, use it until the container is empty. I buy one of those BIG jugs of regular hand soap. I pour about 1 inch of that into the foaming soap container and add water up to the "fill line". That big thing of soap lasts a LOOOOONG time doing it this way. :)

    I also make my own laundry detergent and also homemade "fabreeze". I use vinegar & essential oil (lavender) for fabric softener. Actually, I pretty much use vinegar & baking soda for most of my household cleaning needs. We (well, more my husband than I, but I do too) hate "chemical-ly" cleaners, especially bleach.

    Ok, well...I am rambling...I'll shut up now. Anyway, I might try to hand soap out sometime.

    1. I would think that it would work, however as a soap in general it is NOT very I don't really know. Try it and let me know!