I began making my own liquid hand soap because I was trying to avoid products with triclosan* in them, and after spending $20.00 on the equivalent of 1-gallon of liquid hand soap that was free of fragrances and nasty chemicals, I decided there had to be a less expensive alternative. The best part? This is really easy to make and you won’t need lots of ingredients or need much space to store the soap once it’s made.
How to Make Liquid Hand Soap
This liquid hand soap is easy to make and I don’t worry if there’s a spill. After all – it’s soap!
Materials needed for making liquid hand soap
- Clean and empty 1-gallon jug (this can be a rinsed out milk jug)
- 1 bar Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap – (I use peppermint but any Dr. Bronner soap will do)
- 2-Tablespoons glycerin – available at drugstores (Walgreen’s doesn’t carry it and at Rite-Aid they have it behind the pharmacy counter so you have to ask for it. It’s also available as “vegetable glycerin”, and is non-gmo, from health food stores)
- 1-Tablespoon olive oil – (this doesn’t have to be fancy but whatever you cook with)
- Large pot (needs to hold at least 1-gallon of water)
- Cheese shredder
- Large spoon for stirring
- Funnel for pouring liquid
- Several empty hand soap dispensers
Directions for making liquid hand soap
- Fill 1-gallon container with tap water.
- Shred bar of soap – use a hand-held cheese shredder.
- Add 4-cups of water from the 1-gallon, tap water filled container and place in large pot.
- Place large pot with 4-cups of tap water on stove and set to medium.
- Add shredded soap to pot and mix.
- Add 2-Tablespoons of the glycerin and 1-Tablespoon of the olive oil to pot and simmer and stir until soap has dissolved. This takes about 5-10 minutes depending on stove setting, but don’t let it boil over.
- Once soap has dissolved, remove pot from stove and add remaining tap water from 1-gallon container.
- Stir all contents of large pot until well combined.
- Let mixture cool slightly.
- Stir contents again and using a funnel, carefully pour liquid soap into several empty soap dispensers.
- Pour remaining soap mixture into the empty 1-gallon container, for later refills.
- While the mixture will look “separated” once you’re done, the soap will cloud up as it cools. Give it 24-hours to look white, thick and store bought.
- Don’t let it cool completely in the large pot. It is too hard to work with and pour. I did this the first time I made it and it was a huge problem to get the soap from the pot into the dispensers.
- When you refill your soap dispensers with the extra soap in the 1-gallon container, make sure to shake the soap first. It will “glub, glub” out of the container in big amounts and not get into the dispenser if you don’t shake it first.
- When using the hand soap in your bathroom or kitchen, you may need to shake the container first, if it has separated.
- Use enough soap to really get a good lather. There’s more effort needed to get a good, soapy lather with this soap compared to store bought brands. I figure we’re getting our hands extra clean!
- The cost for this project? Less than $4.00. Find the Dr. Bronner’s bar soap on sale and you’ll spend under $3.00. Compare this to the Triclosan free product you’ll buy at any health food store.
- Save your current soap dispensers! That’s another “saver” in all of this – by making your own hand soap, you’re not producing more waste when buying liquid hand soap dispensers at the store.
- I tired different brands of soap with this but was not happy with the results. Dr. Bronner’s worked well and if you can’t find at your store, they do sell it on-line.
- Olive oil? Really? I know this is a strange ingredient in soap but it really helps in combining the ingredients. The first time I made it I didn’t use olive oil in the soap and it was super-stringy.
Liquid hand soap is easy to make and easy to clean up if you spill. There aren’t lots of ingredients and you don’t need much space to store the soap. Get together with a friend or make some to give as gifts. It would make a lovely gift but please do use a gingham ribbon.
Have you tried making your own liquid hand soap? Do you have a recipe you like?
Go Gingham related links:
Cute and clean for the kitchen: make a baking soda shaker for soaking those stubborn pots and pans
The mop cover is a re-purposed t-shirt: how to make a mop cover
Why I use an inside laundry line and not an outside laundry line
How to install an inside your home laundry line my son helped me install ours
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Being an informed consumer and reading the ingredients is important for any products we buy and not just food. Before purchasing almost any consumer products, I check the Environmental Working Group website. It’s my resource for consumer health products and lists what’s in our cleaning supplies and laundry detergents. They also share which ingredients have been banned in other countries, but not here. They rate the products based on their ingredients. It’s important to note that the EWG does not endorse any products or brands. I am not associated with them but I really like the work they do.
Here’s what Environmental Working Group says about….
*Triclosan & Triclocarban: Antimicrobial pesticides in liquid soap (triclosan) or soap bars (triclocarban), very toxic to the aquatic environment. often found as contaminants in people due to widespread use of antimicrobial cleaning products. Triclosan disrupts thyroid function and reproductive hormones. American Medical Association and the American Academy of Microbiology say that soap and water serves just as well to prevent spread of infections and reduce bacteria on the skin. Overuse may promote the development of bacterial resistance.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post and have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC’s guidelines.