How To Make Liquid Hand Soap

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.

Homemade Liquid Hand SoapAll 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).

How To Make Liquid Soap From a Coldprocessed Bar of SoapThe 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. :)

Ball Jar Soap Dispenser Tutorial

DIY Ball Jar Soap Pump What you will need:

Ball Jar
Soap Pump (I bought a dollar store soap dispenser and just used the pump)
Glue (Some people use heavy duty dishwasher safe glue, I hot-glued mine)
Scissors, drill or xacto knife

 

 

 

 

 

Take the flat ball jar lid and draw a circle in the center where you want the pump to go through the diameter of the pump (you can eye-ball this). You have a choice now as to how you wish to cut the hole. I started mine with an xacto knife (really watch your fingers if you choose this option) and finished it off with scissors. Others have had success drilling a hole through the lid. Whichever way you choose to go about this, just use caution.

Once the hole has been cut, slide the soap pump through and center it on the lid in the direction you want it to face. Hold everything together with one hand while you glue around the base with the other. If you want things to be extra secure, you could place some glue around the top of the pump before sliding it through the hole as well. I found it easier to put a few dabs of glue around the base to help hold things in place so I could seal it all the way around with glue using both hands.

Ball Jar Soap Dispenser Tutorial Once your glue is dry, just add your favorite soap to the jar, place the lid on top and twist on the band. Done!

I was able to get a pack of 12 Ball Jars for just 8.59 (with tax!) and the soap dispenser at the dollar store, so total cost was right around $1.81 for this cutie.  Not too bad considering these can cost upwards of $20 if you buy them premade.

Happy DIY!

Dishwasher Detergent Tutorial

How To Make Your Own Dishwasher DetergentI’ve been on a mission lately to figure out how to make things myself using only natural ingredients. Commercial dishwashing detergent can be pretty expensive and honestly it hasn’t been working that well for me. I’m pretty sure that I am not the only one tired of having to re-wash things like stained tea mugs by hand after they come out of the dishwasher. Not to mention the chemicals that might stick behind and end up in our food. No thank you!

I was able to find many homemade dishwashing detergents using borax, but I wanted to make something gentler using only natural ingredients. After a little bit of experimentation, here is what I came up with. I made this recipe for a small batch, it makes approx 8 tablets so you can try it out. Once you have tried it and want to make larger batches, just increase the amounts in the same proportions.

Ingredients:
30g (1/8 cup) of Citric Acid
1/2 cup Baking Soda
30g (1/8 cup) of Kosher Salt
Water in spray bottle
White Vinegar per directions

First put on some vinyl gloves to protect your hands, measure and mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl.

Dishwasher Detergent RecipePut some water in a spray bottle (makes this easier) and do a few sprays of the water into the bowl. Mix quickly to incorporate.

 

 

 

DIY Dishwasher DetergentContinue to spray and mix until the mixture reaches the consistency of ever so slightly damp sand and holds together as shown. Don’t over water or you risk losing some of the chemical reaction.

 

 

 

Homemade all natural dishwasher detergentQuickly pack mixture into whatever molds you have. Ice cube trays will work just fine if you don’t have any decorative molds to use. I am a craft-dork, so of course I have to use the pretty ones. It is important that you only fill the molds about 1/2 – 3/4 full in case you added too much water (they will expand if this happens).

 

Let the mixture sit undisturbed for a few hours so it can dry and harden. You can then unmold them and they are ready for use right away.

I usually put these dishwasher tablets in the cutlery compartment and add about 1/2 cup of white vinegar to a measuring cup placed in the center of the top rack. I also ditched the jet dry and put white vinegar into the rinse compartment as well.

If your dishes turn out cloudy (with an almost powdery substance on them) you probably have hard water. Try increasing the amount of citric acid to twice the original amount. If you have already made up your dishwashing tablets, instead of throwing them away and starting over just add the extra citric acid to the detergent compartment when starting the cycle. This is why I made up a small amount of tablets at first – gives us a chance to figure things out and get them perfect. Once perfected, they can be made in bulk! You can also add more vinegar for a spot-free rinse.

Store tablets in a dry place – ball jars and swingtop containers work great for this and look cute too!