Monday, May 7, 2012

Home-made Liquid Hand Soap

Home-made Liquid Hand Soap is simple to make, comes in your favorite scent and will save you money. However,  I  started out with another goal in mind that was actually the most important one for our family: dirty farm hands that never smelled clean.  I like to be frugal where I can but if a product doesn't do the job it's not worth the money.  I had been buying the massive jugs of cheap liquid hand soap because I had priced them out by weight and found them to be the best value for my money.  Soap is soap right?  Apparently not.  Since I don't have a sense of smell I didn't KNOW it wasn't working very well until my son mentioned that he would wash his hands and then use hand sanitizer to get rid of the lingering-odours.

I think hand sanitizer has it's place in this world but using it everyday was overdoing it in my mind.  so - what to do?  Well one day my son used the laundry sink to wash his hands - probably because the bathroom was busy and he used the bar of Linda soap I had on the counter for rubbing on stained clothes.  He was quite happy to find his hands smelled CLEAN - no sanitizer required.  We brought the Linda soap into the bathroom thinking we had found the answer but it created another problem - yellow gunk all over the counter top from the wet bar of soap.  If it was the only problem I had in life I'm sure I could live with it - ha - but then I had an idea!

...Make my OWN liquid soap.  A quick search around the internet and I had dozens of choices for how-to and so I mixed and matched until I came up with this one.  I used my laundry-making-pot and grater to grate 1/2 a bar of Linda Laundry Soap - found in the grocery stores isle for less than $1.50 a bar.  I added 2 1/2 quart sized canning jars of water to the pot (about 8 cups) and set it to simmering until the soap bits were all melted.  Then I added 2 tablespoons of liquid glycerin found in the band-aid section of a drug store (it's apparently used for the relief of chapped skin...)

Let the whole pot cool down and use an immersion blender or hand mixer to mix and get rid of any chunks.  When cool - but not before because it forms a skin as it cools - pour into a used soap pump container.  

Cost breakdown: 
* Linda soap 1/2 a bar - .50 - .75 cents
* Glycerin 250ml bottle is $5.99 - 2 tablespoons per recipe (8 total per bottle) .75 cents a recipe.

So for $1.50 max I have three jars of hand soap and very clean hands.

The great thing is this works with any bar soap so if you have a favorite bar soap - you can use it instead of Linda soap.  Since every soap is made of differing amounts of fat - you did know there was fat in soap right? - the recipe may need more or less water but this can be adjusted after the melting and cooling stage.  

It took about 20 minutes total to make this while I was cleaning up the kitchen - worth it?  I think so.


  1. Hmmmm...I wonder if it would work with goats milk instead of water?

    1. That's a good question...I think the milk might go bad but I'm not sure...

  2. Another friend emailed me to say that if you have stains that you can't get out of your laundry you should try rubbing the stain with used coffee grounds. Now I wonder if we could make hand soap outta used coffee grounds - the ultimate recycle! (I would suspect the answer is no)

    1. I have handmade kitchen soap that uses coffee grounds as an exfoliant as well as a deodorizer. (gets rid of the onion smell like nobody's business) I don't know how well the grounds would work in a liquid soap though, it might clog the pump.

    2. That sounds like something worth trying! I haven't made bar soap from scratch YET.

  3. Where did you get your lid & soap pump that fit the mason jar??


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