Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Homemade Liquid Handsoap

Slowly but surely, I'm learning to recreate many of the items I use to buy at the store for a fraction of the cost. I like that it's not only frugal, but the products are often safer because the ingredients are much more simple. I know every single item that goes into the soap, deodorant, or whatever it is I'm making. And this liquid handsoap is no exception... it's a fraction of a fraction of the original cost! Woo hoo!



You may remember my recent batch of bar soap? I actually had extra soap that wouldn't fit into my molds so I just poured the excess into some disposable plastic containers and then pulled it out a bit early in chunks because I had a little trouble getting that batch to firm up. But it eventually did and I saved these pieces, not knowing for sure what I'd use them for.



Then I was on Pinterest and found Robyn's liquid hand soap recipe on The Farmer's Nest. Jack pot! I knew exactly what I was going to do with the soap scraps I'd been saving. And in fact, this was very timely because I had been searching for a bulk supply of liquid hand soap at a great price, but hadn't found one that I was pleased with in terms of cost and quality. Even if this experiment was only so-so, it would be almost free since I had all the ingredients on hand.

Liquid Hand Soap Recipe

1  8 oz. bar of soap, grated (or more - I'll explain below)
2 T. liquid glycerine
1 gallon water
favorite essential oil (optional)

Place the water in a large pot and begin to heat it on medium-high. Add the 2 T. of glycerine and the grated soap to the pot and stir. As it warms it may get a bit bubbly. Stir in several drops of your favorite essential oil if the soap is not scented and you want your hand soap to smell nice. (I just did this until it smelled like I wanted - sorry I didn't count drops!).






Continue to stir until all the bits of soap have dissolved. Then turn off the heat and let it sit over night or for about 10-12 hours. After sitting, mine seemed to separate and was very watery, so I followed Robyn's instructions and reheated it and added more soap shavings (believe me, I had plenty!). So in all, I guess I used about 16 oz., not 8 oz. But mine was a homemade soap. Robyn used an 8 oz. bar of Mrs. Meyer's and it got very thick after sitting.


After mine sat a second time overnight, it didn't look cloudy like Robyn's but it did look like a liquid version of my soap. And if I put my hand into it, the liquid was certainly soapy! This time it was still runny, but thicker than before, so I decided to call it done.


Using a funnel, I loaded up a couple of my very empty soap dispensers and stored the remaining soap in a couple of large canning jars.


And now, I have a lot of soap for literally a few pennies. I think I can live with it a bit runny at that price!

It the runny soup bothers you, perhaps these two tips will help:
• One reader on Roby's blog made a solution of 3 T. table salt and 8 oz. hot water, stirred until dissolved, then added it to her room temperature liquid soap. According to the reader, it instantly thickened it.
• Another reader suggested not adding as much water if your soap is high in oils (which mine was).

If your soap ends up being too thick:
• Try using an electric hand mixer and breaking it up a bit.
• Try adding a bit more glycerine.

So I hope this extra info helps because every bar of soap is going to produce different results. At least our hands should be clean for a long time!




80 comments:

  1. Thank you posting the hand soap tutorial! I have tried in the past and failed to get it just right. I resorted to buying liquid dish soap and watering it down to stretch it. Then I use a foaming soap dispenser to get the quality feeling I desired. You might try this with your soap that is a bit thin. The foaming makes it feel substantial but actually uses very little soap.
    Meanwhile, I am going to try your recipe :)
    Thank you again!! Heidi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heidi, I didn't realize that the kind of pump is what makes the foam and not the product itself! Good to know! Thanks!

      Delete
  2. I love your soap dispenser. Care to share where you found it, or did you make it?
    Thanks for this recipe. Soap making is definitely on my learn-to-do list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's from Anthropology - I just refill it every time. It's from their Good and Pure line or something like that.

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    2. where do I get this glycerine from

      Delete
    3. I like http://www.brambleberry.com/

      Their prices are really competitive overall and good quality.

      Delete
  3. Hello Amy,
    Oh, I have been wanting to make my own liquid hand soap. I am going to try it out. Do you think that you can add xanthan gum powder to thicken the soap? Thanks for sharing. :o)
    Smiles, Paula

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Paula, good question! But sorry, I don't know the answer. I may have some in the pantry and I might put it in a small amount to see if it works. Thanks for the suggestion!

      Delete
    2. I accidentally used Dove for my first batch before I learned it wasn't really soap. I tried xanthan gum to thicken it up and it worked. That batch is about 6 months old and it seems to be fine.

      Delete
  4. Isn't this great? I actually blogged this very same recipe a few weeks back, but I also had a runny soap. Like you, I decided I could deal with it at the price I paid for a whole gallon of soap :) Your tips at the end about how to thicken it up are wonderful and I'll definitely be trying them next time around. Thanks!

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  5. I love this! I buy goat milk soap locally and I think I will try this recipe using the bar I have left. Thanks for sharing! Your blog is beautiful!

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  6. Another way to thicken the soap a bit is to use a small amount of xanthan gum. For a gallon...maybe 1/2 tsp. This is great...thank you!

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  7. Great idea...Success.

    I had one question. Would that liquid soap work in pumps where the liquid then turns to foam? We have soap pumps in all our bathrooms where you add mostly water and a bit of liquid soap...and when you pump, that liquid becomes foam.

    Blessings,
    Connie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Connie,
      I haven't tried it yet. Not sure why it wouldn't work though since Heidi left a comment saying the dispenser makes it that way, not the soap. Let us know if it works!

      Delete
    2. If the soap it too think, the foaming pump will not work. If it is running it works perfect! In my bathrooms, I use foaming pumps and in the kitchen, I use a glass (for oil olive) dispenser.

      Delete
  8. Very interesting. It never occured to me to make my own liquid soap. I might have to try this.

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  9. I just made this last night! I actually used less water, and no glycerine, and got a thick gel. Blended with some water, and it works great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! That's great to know, Amanda! Thanks. I may leave out the glycerine next time.... which will be a while. I have a ton of hand soap now! :-)

      Delete
    2. IMHO, the soap made with the glycerine is better. The other comes out like snot. The kids hate it. Just letting you know! Thanks for the great post.

      Delete
  10. This is great! Thank you so much for sharing! I have the same soap dispenser! Have a blessed day! :) xo Heather

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  11. I'm definitely going to file this under my DIY cleaning recipes folder ;) :) I just purchased a 32 oz. bottle of Dr. Bronner's citrus-scented liquid castile soap. So I'll be using that to make hand-soap for now...and I'll try this when that stuff runs out.

    Oh, where did you get that glass soap pump? It's really cute. Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :) :) :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anthropologie. I love their home goods. I typically go through their clearance section once or twice a year when I'm on vacation and I think I picked up this jar at that time. I just refill it with my own soap (as you can tell!)

      Delete
  12. How wonderful! I love that you are making these yourself, now I need to visit your goatmilk soap tutorial!
    Blessings,
    Susie

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  13. So great to read about this, Amy! Thanks for sharing it with us! I haven't even gotten to the bar soap stage yet, but I do want to make liquid soap also.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Love the soap recipe and will try that soon :-) But.... I want to know what kind of pens you use to write on your jars?!!?!?!? I've been using masking tape and replacing it each time the jar is used for something else. Is it a dry erase or a wet erase maybe???? I use SO many jars - this would be a cost savings on the masking tape!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FAF, I just use a regular Sharpie. I buy these in bulk at Costco for a fraction of the price. I use them to label my milk jars after milking as well. They easily wash off with a netting type sponge and soapy water but it stays on without smearing in the meantime.

      Delete
    2. Permanent Sharpie will also come clean if you use a dry erase marker and write over the Sharpie, then wipe it off.

      Delete
  15. I just made the soap tonight. I had bars sitting in water for a month... It didn't work. Tonight I put it on the stove. Tomorrow we will see if it works. I would like to get a foam pump.. it might motivate my kids to wash there hands after doing things in the barn. Thank you for the recipe.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Amy, another thought. Even though your soup bottle IS gorgeous...you might consider a foaming pump style one for a thinner soap. You could probably dilute even more and stretch it even further...but I water down my (store bought) castile soap (about 7 to 1)-which I find to be perfect for the soam pump bottles. The soft foamy suds are always so nice to wash in and it really stretches my soap - since I have LOTS of dirty hands on my homestead. Just thought I would mention it...since you have a good sipply to play with. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  17. I've made dishsoap before using two different recipes and each time it has left a greasy feeling to my dishes. The soap will for great the first day I use it but then after that it leaves a icky greasy residue. Have you had this problem with your recipe?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So far I've not had any greasiness to it. However, it does seem to be separating a bit. But still works. I'm going to keep an eye on it and I'll post an update if anything worth mentioning comes up with it.
      Thanks for the information so I know to watch for it!

      Delete
  18. I also used this recipe for the liquid soap but I am still trying to tweak it so it comes out right. Mine is rather like the consistency of snot (sounds gross I know) and very stringy so the first time I blended it and it became kind of foamy but now it separates and comes out watery and doesnt suds. The next batch came out better but still very stringy and snot like. I used Yardley soap first time and a castille soap. Really want to find a recipe that works I also tried with Zest and came out better it was an aloe soap. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. I am tryin to make as many of the DIY household and cleaning and beauty products as I can because it will save so much money and its just a nice feeling. So far most recipes have still needed tweaking but over all I'm loving saving a buck.
    As an added thought although most have needed tweaking they have worked as well as what I buy except the one batch of soap that wont suds.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks, Amy--I just tried this a few weeks ago, but need to tweak my recipe as it turned to thick and stringy. I'll give it another try as it really did make a large batch and much cheaper than buying all that store bought pump soap.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm new to your blog, so I hope it's ok to link to another blog (I found last week via Pinterest). If not, delete this comment after checking the posts:

    Nuking bar soap instead of grating:
    http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2012/03/his-and-hers-no-grate-homemade-body-wash.html

    Foam soap
    http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2012/01/make-your-own-foaming-hand-soap.html
    I bought a dial foam soap from Wally for abt $1-2 instead of ordering an expensive dispenser LOL. Not sure if the homemade/no-grate soap would work in the foamers or not - have to use up the Dial soap first LOL

    ReplyDelete
  21. I just made 12 bottle of Olay body wash by nuking 4 bars and adding 14 cups of water plus heating. Wasn't happy with the thickness after 24 hours so put it back on the stove gently reheated and beat in a 1 1/4 TBS of xanthan gum with my immersion blender. Within minutes I was able to bottle the soap and the bottles are standing like solders waiting to be put away. All for 4.66 in soap and .50 in xanthan gum!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You may want to read all the ingredients in that Olay bar soap... the ingredients would be the reason to make your own...

      Delete
  22. New at this. Where do I get liquid glycerin?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Any drugstore sells it as well as online:
      Essentialdepot.com or camdengrey.com
      to name a few. Good luck!

      Delete
  23. I have Dr. Bonner's Liquid Castile soap on hand. Can I use that instead of bar soap? Same amount? Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it would just be about the same thing. However, if you have a Dr. Bronner's bar soap, I think it would work.

      Delete
  24. I've never made soap and I'm scared to use glycerin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe there are different types of glycerin and this one was safe to use as far as I was able to discern.

      Delete
  25. I love this idea and I can't wait to make some of my own! Thank you for sharing!

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  26. Victoria R
    LOL! I just looked up glycerin to see where I could buy some.. fleet suppositories came up!! I will keep looking. lol Thanks for this great recipe. :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. nice idea.. thanks for sharing..

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  28. Is it safe to make this in a pan that you normally cook in?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because I make soap, I always use separate pans for soap making. I would highly suggest you do some further research just to be sure, but since it's "soap", which is what you clean the post with anyway, I'm not sure why it would be dangerous.The lye has already been saponified and neutralized.

      Delete
    2. On second thought... there could be a chemical reaction. And I wouldn't use something like cast iron.

      Delete
  29. i tried this yesterday and followed your recipe exactly and this morning it had thickened and turned out perfect....thank you for sharing this recipe, i can't wait to share with friends and family....i don't know if it made a difference but i used 5 oz bar of nubian heritage soap, and 3 oz bar of kirk's original coca castile soap....worked perfect

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  30. I have been making this hand soap recipe for several years now, I find the addition of 2 to 3 tablespoons of rose water makes for a lovely addition..... It also smells heavenly.

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  31. I got a liquid soap recipe from a lady on facebook. Then forgot where I put it. I made it anyway and 'burned' it (forgot I had the pot on). It still turned out ok. It's brown liquid, but instead of smelling burnt, it just smells clean. I didn't have any glycerine, so I used some body mist I had on hand (which has glycerine in it). I later added a little of the pink dish liquid with oil of olay in it (trying to change the color). Then I added a body oil to it - really nice smell. Now that I have the recipe again, I'm going to follow it. (And I think this stuff is making my fingernails grow - about two months with my brown liquid.) My family likes it also.

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  32. Thanks for the great recipe! Can't wait to try it. Love your main page, too! I believe we are seeing and living in a time when wives and mother's are realizing the importance of god's plan for homemaking and motherhood.

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  33. I am out of glycerine. Wonder why I couldn't use coconut oil instead? My goal is to use it for handsoap and then use some of it in a dish soap recipe I have. I make my own goat soap too so I will be using that but just wondering about either leaving out the glycerine or substituting the coconut oil. Thank you!!!!!

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  34. Is glycerine and vegetable glycerine the same thing?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. glycerine can be made from vegetable, animal, or a synthetic if I'm not mistaken. If you're going to the trouble of making your own soap, you probably want to make sure it's not synthetic.

      Delete
  35. I followed this same recipe and my soap turned out like slimy snot. Should I add more glycerin or what should I do to try to fix it. Any suggestions welcome...thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kris... Sorry... I thought I responded to this the other day. I must have been interrupted at the computer - LOL!!

      A bit slimy and "snotty" like is pretty close to being just right, however if you don't like the consistency, take a little of the soup and put it in a separate container and add some water. See if this changes it and makes it work better for you. Then if it does, do the same thing to the rest of the soap.

      Perhaps others could chime in with their thoughts...

      Delete
    2. Thanks. I'll try that and see what happens. I'm wondering if I shouldn't have added the glycerin because of the soap that I used. It said that it had some glycerin in it. We'll see what happens after adding more water.

      Delete
  36. I'm about to make another gallon of soap, just brushing up on what to do. Thanks again for the tutorial! Another tip for thin soap- we leave it thin and use a foam dispenser. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What kind of bar soap do you use? and do you add the glycerin too? My soap turned out terrible and now am not sure what to do to fix it. Any ideas? It's thick, slimy and snotty. Kind of gross...

      Delete
  37. Do you cover the pot when you let it sit overnight?

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  38. I tried making my own soap and the end product resulted in a liquid soap with a decent consistency (feel) but it didn't suds up or clean as well as I'd hoped. I used Yardley Oatmeal and Almond Bar Soap based only on the scent because it was similar to the scent I would normally purchase for a liquid hand soap. The Yardley soap also happened to be the most inexpensive soap, which I cautiously thought of as a bonus. I was prepared to spend up to $4 for a good bar of soap if it was going to allow me to make a gallon of quality liquid hand soap. Any idea where I went wrong?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Juli,
      I'm sure you already are aware of this, but for other readers, I want to point out that suds do not clean. However, they sure make us feel like they do - personally, I like suds for this reason. But I'm trying really hard to remind myself of that since I've switched to a natural dishwashing soap that cuts the grease well, cleans the dishes great, and has natural bacteria fighting ingredients, but it just doesn't produce a lot of suds.

      Every bar of soap is going to produce different results and I'm not sure about the Yardley ingredients. A good question might be, how do you like the Yardley soap just as a regular bar soap. If you don't like it for bar use, you probably won't like it for liquid soap. If you DO like the bar soap, it could be that the ingredients ARE cleaning, but don't seem like it. Or it could be that the ingredients just aren't a good match for your liquid soap.

      Hope this information helps and that you find the right solution for your recipe!

      Delete
    2. also, why are you making your own soap... usually due to the ingredients that are not good for us...

      You may want to read up on the ingredients before you use just any bar soap...

      I am cutting out as many chemicals as I can out of our lives... Three of my family had passed from various cancers... and while the soap it not cancer causing...

      I am compelled to eliminate the chemicals from our skin...

      so, again read the ingredients on the label of everything you buy...

      Delete
  39. Hi
    I live in Australia and I have bought from my cleaning section a box of pure soap flakes. Do you think I could use this to make this recipe instead of grating soap?
    Thanks
    Abigail

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Abigail,
      It certainly SOUNDS like it should work, but I'm not real sure. You could make a mini-batch to find out. Just cut all the ingredients down and see what happens. We'd love to hear the results if you can come back and leave a comment when you find out. I'm sure others would like to know!

      Delete
  40. Hi Amy,
    I found your recipe on Pinterest. Thank you! I tried it out today and it turned out great. I used a Mrs. Meyers bar soap. I noticed on Robyn's recipe that she says to used distilled water? I just used filtered tap water. Should I have used distilled? Also, I saw that some people were worried about bacteria or mold growing in the stored soap? Is this something to be concerned about?
    Thanks again,
    Justine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you use your soap within a reasonable amount of time, it's probably fine. I think I used filtered water in mine and haven't had a problem.

      Delete
  41. To the readers that use Mrs. Meyer's soap, it has titanium dioxide in it which is a carcinogen (Gut and Psychology Syndrome, Natasha Campbell-McBride, 2010). I would recommend Dr. Bonner's bar soap instead, and Amazon has a great bulk price.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. and by the way... that is in a lot of make up ....

      Delete
  42. Mine keeps separating and i was wondering if you had any tips? Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Taylor, I had this happen on my second batch, but I believe it was because I made it too thick. I just add some water to the dispenser periodically, shake it up good, and it's good to go again for a couple of weeks. I don't recall this happening to the first batch, but it wasn't nearly as thick.

      Delete
  43. Hi there,

    I have made hand wash Liquid using the above recipe, but i found that it's slimy/slippery.
    what can i add to get rid of the sliminess?slipperiness?
    thank you,
    Summaya

    ReplyDelete
  44. I bought a highly fragranced warming oil that contains essential oils, can I add a warming oil to unscented liquid hand soap. I don't know anything about all the oils available.

    Thanks








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  45. You can get a gallon of Food Grade vegetable glycerine at Tractor Supply for $20. That gallon will last a long, long time! :)

    Also mine came out too thick, so I put some in the blender with a bit of water, blended on high and it's perfect!

    Read elsewhere if you do the blender thing and let the soap "settle" for a few days, it will lose that...um....mucousy texture. :)

    Amy is right, the "suds" don't help anything. Commercial soap makers actually add chemicals to make it suds to make us think we are getting cleaner. No/low suds is ok for homemade!

    Use a foaming dispenser if you want suds. Be sure your soap is kinda thin. Stretch that dollar even further! :D

    Just my 2c. (that's cents, not cups, lol)

    Norma

    ReplyDelete
  46. I have been making both bars soap and liquid soap for awhile now. One thing about the foaming dispensers...if you put your homemade liquid soap in it...thin it down or it will clog up. The foaming dispensers only use a tiny bit of soap. I fill my $ store foaming dispensers 1/8 of the way with liquid soap (yes it's runny) and the rest is water. Makes a great foaming soap. I learned this trick when I saw my mother-in-law put a tiny bit of liquid dial soap in her foaming container, and then she added water. It's saves money, and time (because you don't have to keep unclogging it).

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  47. Thanks for the tips. My soap came out runny so will try adding the salt water. Still, runny or not, saving money and the good feeling of making my own product outweighs the consistency problems!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Thanks so much for the tips. My first batch of liquid soap came out thick and my second, thin. I'll try dissolving salt in water. However, runny soap doesn't bother me too much. The money saved and the feeling of making my own product more than makes up for it.

    ReplyDelete

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