It's easy to find healthy organic bar soap, and at a great price. Liquid hand soap? Not so much.
Sure there are a buffet of options at the local health food store, but I'm sorry. I'm not spending $8 bucks on 12 ounces that will only last Mr. Husband & I a week (if that!).
And while bar soaps are plentiful and cost just a few coins, there comes that issue of um....sanitation.
Bar soaps serve as breeding grounds for all sorts of goodies you probably don't want near your hands.
And then there is that pesky longing for the luxury of a hand dispenser....what's a girl to do?
Make your own, of course!
(sorry for the poor quality pics. Camera and I are not on speaking terms).
Step one: Gather
1 bar soap (the better quality soap, the better end product. I used Trader Joe's Tea Tree Bar Soap. I think it was $1.99 for two.
Organic Raw Honey (optional)
3-5 cups of Water (distilled, preferably).
If you have glycerin (I did not!),
use 1 tablespoon as well.
Step Two: Grate away!
Bar of soap? Meet shredder. You'll be surprised how easy this is. It's a quick affair! I found the zester side of my grater worked best. It created a fine powder, which later melted beautifully. The larger grating chunks took longer to dissolve, which was fine. I was just annoyed.
Step Three: Melt
After you have shredded your entire bar (I actually did 2 bars to make a large batch), throw shreds into a pot on the stove with 3 cups of water (since I did two, I put in 6 cups). At this stage, I actually put in 1 tablespoon of raw honey (and if you have glycerin, now is the time to add a tablespoon or so). Honey is anti-fungal, smells lovely, and is my favorite skin cleaning product- so I highly recommend it!. This is an optional step.
Bring to a boil, and stir occasionally. Turn off burner once it has boiled, and let cool. If you still have large chunks of soap, keep on low until everything has melted. Once everything has melted, turn everything off, and let it cool for several hours.
Note: If your soap becomes solid again later during the process, you can always return to this step and start over. Just add a little more water, and melt away!
Step Four: Whip!
Here's where things get a little interesting. My batch did become solid again while it cooled in the pan. It became a gelatin blob of .....the strangest textures ever. Which is actually the best thing that could ever happen because it had me reaching for my hand mixer-- and whipping the mixture was quite literally the highlight of my week. It creates this strange frothy texture- Mr. Husband and I literally spent 15 minutes just playing with it, full of laughter and hand bubbles. If your mixture becomes solid, hand mix it, and keep adding water. I added up to 2 more cups of water. Don't mind the foam-texture. It will delight you, I promise.
Step Five: Store!
I managed to fill up three empty dispensers we had. I used an empty bottle of Volcanic Mineral Water bottle (which is quite literally the best water ever) to store extra, and while I'm still drinking the other Volcanic Mineral Water bottle in the fridge, we're temporarily using 2 tupperware-like containers.
Do not store your soap until is completely cool.
If you store your soap and find that the mixture had solidified in the bottle (thus rendering the pump as useless), don't fret. Fill up your kitchen sink with hot water and let the dispensers soak. The mixture will melt. Once the mixture has melted, return it to a pot and start at the whipping stage again.
**I highly recommend you try this. I had my ups and down with this project (for awhile I was pretty distressed over the gelatin mess I had made- but whipping makes all things better). As a girl who coupons and loves saving a pretty penny, this was a great alternative to buying hand soap. It can be used as body wash as well. Get creative. Add some of your favorite essential oils. Enjoy!