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!


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