Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I Tried It - Homemade Liquid Hand Soap

The other day I decluttered in my bathroom cupboards and found lots of  slivers of of half used soaps and little, wrapped hotel soaps.  We prefer using the liquid hand soaps as they are much less messy and easier for kids to use.  I had recently run out of a giant 4 Litre container of hand soap, so I figured this was a great opportunity to try making my own.

There seems to be a shortage of detailed liquid soap recipes on the web for me to follow.  I'm thinking soap-making is a rather imprecise science!  Especially when you're dealing with someone like me, who isn't very precise to begin with...

I grated up all those little soaps with my cheese grater.  This was super easy, and took just a couple minutes.  I ended up with quite a lot of soap!  I guessed it was about 16 oz (2 cups).  I filled a pot with about 8 cups of water and brought to a boil.

I stirred in the soap flakes and turned it down to a very low boil and continued to stir until the soap was totally blended.  I added a teaspoon of glycerin and a couple tablespoons of my Homemade Orange Oil and then turned the heat off and removed the pot from the burner.

Hmmmm....seemed pretty watery, but all the "recipes" I found said to let it sit and it would thicken.  I made the mistake of pouring it into the repurposed 4 L soap container and and left it with the lid off overnight.

When I came back the next morning it had turned into one solid, squishy mass in the bottle.  Ooops!  I should have just left it in the pot!  So I squeezed and pulled and pried the goop out with my fingers....it was a rather gross process as you can imagine.

Back it went into the pot, poured a bunch more boiling water onto it, stirred it up and simmered it till all was nicely blended, and this time let it sit in the POT overnight again.

Next morning it was the same deal - a slightly less solid, gelatinous lump.  I had to actually dump a bunch of it out in order to fit more boiling water into the pot.

By this point my family was having great fun poking  at Mommy's science experiment on the stove.  It looked like lemon custard.  They were pleased to be the first to check it out in the mornings and report back, "It's gotten all custard-y again, Mommy!"

Anyway, after a few days of this we woke up one morning to find that the soap had actually stayed in a liquid form.  It was rather like the muscousy consistency of snot (sorry - gross but true!).

I poured the whole gloopy mess of it into the container (and all over the counter as well!) and it sits under the sink waiting for it's first chance to fill a soap dispenser.

Would I make this homemade soap again?  I have to say the process itself was really simple.  Grate soap.  Melt in water with glycerin & essential oils if you wish.  Wait.  Try adding more water.  And so on.  (A rough guess would be 8 cups water/cup of soap flakes?)  Anyway, I'll have to give my final verdict after I actually get to try the soap in my dispenser.

On a simpler, soapy side note...want to know the best frugal liquid soap tip I have every received?  Buy a foaming soap (like Kandoo) and when it's used up just keep the container.  Refill with half water, half regular liquid soap & shake.  It's the special pump that makes it foamy, not the soap.  You use half the amount of soap, and it helps little ones with hand washing.
Kandoo Funny Berry Soap - 8.4 oz

Or there's nicer dispensers out there (wish I would have known that before I spent the money on that bright purple Kandoo bottle!)

Cuisipro Foam PumpRSVP Acrylic Foaming Soap PumpFoaming Liquid Soap Dispenser

Linking up to:
All Things Heart and Home
The Thrifty Home - Penny Pinching Party
Someday Crafts - Whatever Goes Wednesday


  1. Lol... I can barely boil an egg - don't think soap making will turn out for me!

    There's an award for you over on my blog


  2. I actually refill my foam soap dispensers with a squirt of liquid dish soap and the rest water. It works out great, and the kids actually use it! :) I'd love for you to link up any ideas you have at DIY Thrifty Thursday every Thursday at Thrifty101! :) http://thrifty101.blogspot.com/2011/03/diy-thrifty-thursday-9.html

  3. Seriously brilliant! Love this idea!
    All Things Heart and Home
    (I'd feel so smart if I made soap!!!)

  4. i have tried this too, without great success. :( i've switched to Ivory soap with aloe (in bars) - all natural, and super cheap.