For those of you who are trying to get away from harsh chemicals in all areas of their life, liquid hand soap might be one of those last few holdouts. It is hard to make/sell anything in liquid form without adding preservatives to keep nasties from growing in it, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make the soap ourselves in small batches as we need it.
All you need is a bar of your favorite natural soap, small pot or crockpot, water and a grater (alternatively a knife and submersion blender will work). Depending on how thick you want your soap to be, you can use more or less water in your recipe. For ours I used one part water and one part chopped soap chunks (I had some extra ends from a few batches of soap, waste not want not). I simply added the soap and water to a mini crockpot and let the mixture heat up. I then mixed it with a submersion blender… since I am not a very patient person. I COULD have grated the soap and avoided this, but laziness got the best of me. After things were fully incorporated, I let the mixture continue to cook for a few hours and poured it into a ball jar (it was still mildly frothy at this point).
The half soap / half water mixture produces a liquid soap with the consistency of a thin syrup. It works well in one of the handmade ball jar pumps and I’m sure would be awesome in a foaming pump as well. If you prefer a thicker soap you could do two parts soap to one part water. I might try that route the next time I have a few more soap scraps to spare. If you used an unscented bar of soap and want to scent your hand soap for the season, essential oils are a wonderful route to go – just make sure you check with your doctor first if you are pregnant, nursing or have any other health issues since some of them might effect the body in different ways.
Another quick note of caution – soap projects need their own set of tools that are not used for food… the dollar store is a great place to find cheapie bowls and graters. If you don’t want to invest in a separate stainless steel pot just for this, you could place it in a microwave safe bowl and warm it in 30 second intervals until the soap melts.