Handmade Liquid Hand Soap Tutorial

Have you noticed all the blog posts lately about making your own laundry soap, dishwasher detergent, dryer sheets, etc.?  I have, and I confess that I have been a little slow to hop on the “make it yourself” bandwagon, at least when it comes to home cleaning products.  It’s not that I’m adverse to the handmade aesthetic – I love to sew, I love to make homemade bread, and I really, REALLY love a good home-grown tomato!  I confess that I have enjoyed the laziness ease of driving to the store and picking up a bottle of liquid soap.  Done.  Just like that.  Don’t have to worry that it’ll fit, taste right, or be perfectly ripe.  Another deterrent has been my affinity for messing up even the easiest of craft projects.  (Just ask my girls – they think I should start a blog called “Kathleen’s Krappy Krafts”.  Sadly, I think I have plenty of content for such a blog.)

What moved me to finally try making my own liquid hand soap was the idea that I could control what goes in it!  Yes!  No worrying about products that will dry my skin, no more worrying about soaps that contain so many weird ingredients that it takes a biology major to figure out what’s in that little bottle.  Plus, I can fragrance it with whatever delectable scent I want (limited only by which essential oils are in my cupboard)!

So I finally did it – I made my own liquid hand soap!  And I have to say that I’m sorry I waited so long!  It was easy-as-pie to make, cost me about $2.00 to make over two and a half quarts, and because I used all-natural soaps to start with, I know it’ll be good for my skin.

Now that I have you thinking about making some yourself, I’ll share with you the super easy directions:

Gather up your ingredients.  This is all you’ll need:

  • 2 bars of soap of your choice (about 4 ounces each).  I used Yardley Almond and Oatmeal and  Kirk’s Coco Castile soap because that’s what I had on hand.
  • 2 tablespoons glycerin (you can buy it at Walmart or Target.  Ask at the pharmacy counter if you can’t find it.)
  • 8 cups of water
  • Essential oil of your choice.  I didn’t show this, because it’s really optional.  If you don’t use it, your soap will smell like the soap bars you started with, which is still pretty nice.

And then you’ll need these supplies:

  • a grater
  • bowl
  • large pot
  • a spoon (which I neglected to take a picture of)
  • something to store your extra soap in (like this lovely recycled milk jug)

Okay – here we go!  Start by grating your 2 bars of soap:

It’ll look like this when you’re done.

Pour 8 cups of water, the 2 grated bars of soap, and 2 tablespoons glycerin into a large pot.  Stir over medium heat for a few minutes until the soap dissolves completely.

At this point, I got a little worried because my “liquid soap” was basically soapy water.  I thought for a minute that I had created another post for Kathleen’s Krappy Krafts.  I tried pouring some in the blender and whipping it up for a minute or two to see if that would help.  Bad idea.  It instantly turned into a mass of foam and erupted out the top of my blender.

So don’t try that.  Be patient (I know – it’s hard!).  At this point, I walked away (in frustration) and didn’t come back for a couple of hours (so there, soapy water mess!).  But when I did come back, lo and behold, it had thickened A LOT!

It was thick, but it was gloopy, not smooth and creamy, as liquid soap is supposed to be.  So I braved it one more time and poured some in the blender.  After just a few quick twirls, this is what it looked like:

Ha!  Success!  At this point, I added a few drop of lemon essential oil.  Only thing left to do was give it a test run.

There it is in all its creamy, lemon-y goodness.  I’m so excited – healthy, non-drying, sweet smelling soap for pennies a bottle.  Hooray!

And I had lots left over, so I poured it into a recycled milk jug to save for later use.

So there, Kathleen’s Krappy Krafts!  Try it yourself, and let me know how yours turns out.