Monday, March 5, 2012

Sudsy Savings: Two Homemade Hand Soaps

I'm going to risk sounding a little odd: I get pretty excited over homemade cleaning concoctions. Some vinegar here, some baking soda there, a few drops of essential oils, maybe even some castile soap, and I'm in a state of nerdy, frugal-girl nirvana! Homemade cleaners are a great and easy way to be thrifty. Store-bought cleaners, whether they're for your home or for your body, often contain questionable (even toxic) ingredients and so many of them are watered down. Plus, there's something just so satisfying about making them yourself. Really.

So today's post is all about homemade hand soap. I wish I would have found these two homemade solutions years ago. They're both so easy and they are big money-savers.

Solution #1
I wrote a post about how to make homemade foaming soap last August (a few months after first reading about homemade foaming soap from the blog, Live Renewed). I'm only mentioning it again because my post on it has been pretty popular on Pinterest this past week. But with good reason -- homemade foaming soap is beyond simple to make and it's so economical.

It's almost silly how easy it is to make this stuff. All you need is a foaming soap dispenser (I just reused the one we had once it was empty), liquid castile soap (I like all of Dr. Bronner's soaps -- the one pictured above is almond scented), and water.

Fill the dispenser almost all the way with water then add 1 tablespoon (you may need more or less than that) castile soap. I don't even measure anymore, though. I just fill it mostly up, eyeball the amount of soap I put in, and then I test it out. If it doesn't spread well on my hands, more soap needs to be added; if it takes a while to rinse off and it feels too slippery, I'll add more water. That's it. It literally costs just a few cents to make a bottle of foaming hand soap. To think I used to spend $3-5 for a single bottle of the Method foaming soap...yikes.

Solution #2
This next solution is something I've been wanting to share with you all for a while. Again, it made me more excited than it probably should have. But here it is: how to make your own liquid hand soap.

I saw the tutorial on how to make liquid hand soap from a bar of soap on Pinterest a few months ago and I was instantly interested. I clicked over to the blog post, looked through all the steps, and I had to give it a try. I mean, with one bar of soap, a little bit of glycerin, and some water, you can make a gallon of hand soap! A gallon!

I won't give you the in-depth step-by-step here -- the blog where I got the tutorial does a great job explaining it.  Basically, you grate up a bar of soap (I used a bar and a half of Dr. Bronner's rose-scented bar soap since the bars are smaller. Smells sooo good.), add the soap to a pot with a gallon of water in it, add a couple tablespoons of liquid glycerin (I bought my bottle of it at Walmart for like a couple bucks. It's just over by the bandages and hydrogen peroxide.), and cook it until the soap dissolves. That only takes a few minutes. Then you just leave it alone for 10-12 hours.

After the 10-12 hours, the mixture gets all thick and hard like liquid hand soap. I had to add a little extra water and give it a good stir with the hand-held electric mixer. Once the consistency is slimy and gooey (she actually said it takes on the consistency of snot. It's gross, but true.), it's ready to use.

Just like the tutorial illustrated, I put all of my liquid soap in a washed-out milk jug and labeled it. That's it. For just a few minutes of actual hands-on time, I got a gallon of quality hand soap for around five bucks!

Make these. Try to tell me you don't feel a hint of self-satisfaction when you're done. Pretty soon, you'll be feeling a little giddy over homemade concoctions, too.

Note: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. 


Ashton said...

I have started using homemade just about everything when it comes to cleaning, but I haven't tried this yet. I have to do it!! Thanks for convincing me it really is as easy as it seems :)

Kim HB said...

Would adding a little more glycerin cause it to get all sudsy? Mine doesn't give any suds at all but it cleans well. I know there are moisturizers in the bar I used (Lavender & Chamomile from Trader Joe's- yum!) but could that have killed ALL the suds?

Heather said...

From what I've read, the glycerin is more about keeping the soap from drying out. Glycerin retains water and works as a moisturizer. I believe it also helps with the texture of the liquid soap, keeping it from getting all clumpy. My guess (and this is coming from a soap-making novice) is that it's either something to do with that particular kind of soap (certain oils and fats in soap make them lather more or less. Like if a soap has olive oil in it, it will lather less) or your water (it's harder to get suds with hard water). I'm with you on wanting more suds, but I'm not sure that more glycerin is the key. We have really hard water where I live and my hand soap lathers and gives off the suds, but not a ton.

Anyway, I wish I could offer more help. And let me just add that I'm jealous about your access to Trader Joe's. I think they're FINALLY building one in my state, but I won't want to go because it'll be crazy-crowded. Sigh.

Crystal said...

Love it. I'll have to try the liquid soap. We make our own foaming the very same way. I always at tea tree oil because it is suppose to be antibacterial. I am obsessed. Like giddy when I get a new castile soap. I made some cute printables for homeade castile and other soap on my blog a while ago. Check it out

suzieb said...

Can you make the foaming soap using the liquid soap you just made?

Heather said...

You know, I've never tried. Part of me doesn't think so, though -- the consistency of the homemade liquid soap is totally different than the castile soap I use in my foaming soap.

A. said...

Do you think with that small amount of castille soap in the foaming soap that it is cleaning well enough? Do you know if it would work well enough to you in a regular non-foaming dispenser as is? Thanks for the recipes!

bev dowdy said...

Hi I tried this but for some ungodly reason my soap isn't foaming, any suggestions please would be greatly appreciated. Do you have to have some special pump dispenser for it? Sorry I have no clue when it comes to foaming soap.

Thank you

Heather said...

Sorry I haven't gotten to this sooner -- yes, you have to use a dispenser specifically for foaming soap. At first, I just reused a bottle of foaming soap from the store, but then I got a foaming soap dispenser at Bed, Bath, and Beyond that works great. Hope that helps!

CanDoAttitude said...

I have taken small left over bits of soap from washing in the shower and put them into a non-foaming dispenser with some hot water and switched that around... instant hand soap to use. I can refill the dispenser a few times before the soap is completely gone. Most of the time though I just keep adding more soap bits and water. Never having to buy or make my own. So simple!
What types of fragrances have you experimented adding to laundry soap or this hand soap besides rose? Is it just oil drops your using?

Heather said...

I've used a few different scented soaps -- I like the Dr. Bronner castile soaps and use those. The Dr. Bronner rose soap is my favorite, but our hand soap right now is made from the citrus liquid castile. I also like the almond scented ones. I haven't tried making my own with essential oils, though.

Penny Peterson said...

You can get foaming pump bottles at Dollar Tree now. Just buy the $1 brand and you'll have a bottle. Also Big Lots carry them too, pretty cheap. Cheaper than BBB. Love the article - love using homemade products for cleaning and beauty. I use quite a bit now!! Thanks for the post!!

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