Homemade Non-Toxic Liquid Hand Soap

I have something to say.

Commercial non-toxic liquid hand soap is way, way too expensive. Since switching over all of our household products to chemical free varieties, purchasing liquid hand soap is something that always makes me choke. We need easy access to soap at our sinks, but good grief all the options I found to order were crazy expensive -like around $5.00 for 12 ounces. Ouch.

Shame on them.

Do you know how much it cost me to make an entire gallon of non-toxic, all natural, organic liquid hand soap?  Three dollars and fifty cents. Total. For an entire gallon. (A gallon, by the way, is 128 ounces. That’s some awesome savings!)

This may have been one of the easiest items I’ve ever made. It took hardly any time. And it only cost me $3.50. (Pardon my redundancy. I’m hung up on the fact that it only cost me $3.50 for a gallon of the healthiest hand soap ever. $3.50. $3.50!)

Because of this, I plan to get on a soap box (ha!) and encourage all of us to save a bunch of money by making homemade liquid hand soap.

Other recipes I’ve seen call for several ingredients I didn’t feel safe to use. Then, my friend BryAnna told me she’d been playing with making soap and had found these simple directions. She’s a genius. I love her.

Homemade Liquid Hand Soap

Homemade Non-Toxic Liquid Hand Soap

4 ounce bar of natural soap (I used a bar of coconut oil soap from Tropical Traditions. Any natural bar of soap would work. I think the bars from Victorian Rose Soap Company would be great!)
1 gallon of water

First, heat the water in a pot, just long enough to steam:

In the meantime, grate your bar of soap.

Take the steaming water off the heat. Immediately pour the grated soap into the water. Stir the mixture, then let it sit for about 15 minutes.

Use a hand mixer to blend the soap and water mixture well. Let it sit overnight.

The next morning, use the hand mixer again to blend well. Done. You have a gallon of non-toxic liquid hand soap!

When my friend BryAnna made her batch, she found that it was quite thick and almost gel like the second day. My batch, on the other hand, was still quite runny. If your soap is too thick, you may want to blend in a little extra water. If your mixture is too runny…it doesn’t matter. It works just fine!

I had some extra pump bottles around the house which I filled and put by each sink. The remaining liquid soap, I funneled into a gallon water jug for storage.


If you’ve never tried making your own liquid hand soap, you’ve got to give this a try. So simple. So safe and pure. And so, so, so much less expensive.

Like, only $3.50 for a gallon. Or did I mention that already?

Ever tried making your own soaps? Which kind(s) have you tried? Hand soap? Laundry detergent? Bar soap?

 

Comments

  1. says

    Could you add some essential oils to make a scented soap?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yes! You definitely can. I forgot to mention it because I’m so focused on “unscented” around here because of our son’s eczema. :)

    [Reply]

  2. Melissa says

    I have watered down Dr Bronner’s castile soap to use in a foaming hand soap pump. That has worked well…I haven’t figured out the actual cost, but your recipe sounds much cheaper.

    I least expensive laundry detergent I have tried is soap nuts. I’m not sold on their cleaning ability…I may try grinding them and using as a powder to see if that works better. I would LOVE a good laundry detergent recipe that works!

    [Reply]

    Sarah Manlupig Reply:

    I found a laundry soap that does 50 loads at Lowes home improvement store, it has all natural oils and soap nuts in it too. it’s liquid I think I paid six dollars. I like it so far. There are recipes online for making your own laundry soap, it calls for a bar of soap and borax and washing soda. I think it makes like ten gallons. Haven’t tried it though. I’m trying this new one I found at Lowes. It says Organic on the front it is in a pouch. Can’t remember the name right now. I like it so far.

    [Reply]

    Ginny Reply:

    I have a good laundry soap…
    see my blog post about it. I’ve been using it for almost 3 years now. My Hubby has sensitive skin
    and it does great with his skin.
    It works on cloth diapers, poop stains, etc.
    Here’s the link…
    http://ginnyrecipes.blogspot.com/2009/01/homemade-laundry-soap.html

    [Reply]

    Sarah Manlupig Reply:

    I’m not comfortable with Felths Napa soap… seems like a super chemical bar. I am interested in biogdegratable. I not only removed chemicals from my home for my children but for the earth too.

  3. says

    I make my own laundry soap, body lotion, deodorant, and I can’t wait to try this hand soap. Can you wash dishes with it?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Shucks, I don’t see why not. Thanks for mentioning it – I never thought of that!

    [Reply]

    Natalie Reply:

    Can you please share the deodorant recipe?

    Thank you,
    Natalie O.

    [Reply]

    DorthyM Reply:

    Lori, please share recipes for those. My email is duckigrrl@gmail.com. Thanks.

    [Reply]

    Lori Reply:

    My deodorant recipe is on my blog http://www.lorialexander.blogspot.com. It is absolutely the BEST deodorant ever. You NEVER smell. My body lotion recipe is more complicated but it is a fabulous recipe and my very favorite lotion. I will email it to both of you with my laundry detergent recipe which is so easy and works great. I will get it to you hopefully tommorrow.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I’d love your lotion recipe! laura.hojnacke@gmail.com

    Amy Reply:

    i would also like the lotion recipe too please

    Shawnie Reply:

    I would really like to try your deo, lotion and laundry det recipes too! My email is shawniejoy@comcast.net. Thank you sooo much!

    Jennifer Reply:

    I’d love your lotion recipe, too, Lori! elysesmama@yahoo.com. Thanks!!:)

    jenn foy Reply:

    me three! jennprickett@gmail.com :) sorry to jump on the bandwagon and make it more complicated, but it just sounds so exciting!

    Heather Lei Reply:

    Lori, perhaps you should blog those recipes. It seems that many of would love your assistance. But just in case I’ll throw out my e-mail, hlambos@cox.net.

    Laura Reply:

    Lori has these recipes on her blog – http://www.lorialexander.blogspot.com
    :)

    Dione Reply:

    Me too!!! proverbs31dls@aol.com Thank you:)

    Jami Reply:

    Would you be willing to share your recipes with me also Lori? My e-mail is jnjregan@gmail.com. Definitely interested!!! Thanks.

    [Reply]

    Lori Reply:

    My deodorant recipe is on my blog http://www.lorialexander.blogspot.com. It is absolutely the BEST deodorant ever. You NEVER smell. My body lotion recipe is more complicated but it is a fabulous recipe and my very favorite lotion. I will email it to both of you with my laundry detergent recipe which is so easy and works great. I will get it to you hopefully tommorrow.

    [Reply]

    Rach Reply:

    Can I have your recipes too? mtrunnertoo@yahoo.com Thanks!

    Laura Reply:

    Here’s a link to Lori’s blog which has her recipes! http://www.lorialexander.blogspot.com

    [Reply]

    Lisa K Reply:

    Me too? leeloe@hotmail.com. Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Rebecca Reply:

    Oh, me too?!!! I would love to try making lotion!
    mcpeanut7@yahoo.com Thanks!!

    [Reply]

    Sarah Manlupig Reply:

    We use arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch.

    Laura Reply:

    Lori has her recipes on her blog: http://www.lorialexander.blogspot.com

  4. Jill says

    Here is another idea: I buy a Castile type liquid soap (at a good price through a buying club), combine with water (about 5 parts water, 1 part soap) and put in a foaming pump. Cheap and easy.

    [Reply]

    Katie @ CookGardenSew Reply:

    We do the same with the watered down castile soap in foaming pumps and it works great as hand AND dish soap, and the castile soap by itself works wonderfully as a pre-treat for stained laundry items.

    [Reply]

  5. Melodya says

    Awesome! I do this for body wash as well. A few drops of some kind of naturally antiseptic/antibacterial essence oil adds more benefit and scent.

    We make our own laundry soap, which I think the basic recipe is pretty common now. I’ve made it for a 1cent/load before! Depends on the bar you use.

    When we go out of town and have to stay in a motel, I always bring a few things they don’t have. Air freshener, liquid hand soap, starch… you get the idea. I dislike the little bar they give you after it’s been used a few times by little dirty hands..lol Well, one day I stopped by target and grabbed a bottle of handsoap that I had never tried. It was “Method” brand name. The soap itself is no big deal but the pump is awesome! It’s one of those foaming pumps. What is cool about this is that you need such a small percentage of soap to water ratio. It foams it as it comes out and you are left feeling like you got a whole bunch of clean. Funny how we equate suds for clean. I have been reusing this bottle for a while. I only need to add a bit of liquid soap and the rest water to refill.

    We make our shampoo and conditioner too. Honestly, cause it saves me SO much money, I can’t hardly justify not doing it. I use a GREATLY diluted with water amount of Bronners liquid castille soap. I’m talking like a quarter cup for a 32oz. size shampoo bottle I refill.

    Our conditioner: apple cider vinegar. No your hair doesn’t smell like vinegar, but a hint of apples. Rinsing with warm water takes care of the smell. Vinegar naturally restores the PH balance to your hair. How awesome is that! I use about 1 cup vinegar for a 32 oz bottle. You can tweak it how you like. My hair is past my bum so my ends need that PH balance. :)

    Can’t wait to read other’s recipes!

    [Reply]

    Melodya Reply:

    wow. I left and came back to finish this post only to see a bunch of other ladies doing the same exact things! I love it! Guess my post is a little redundant though..lol

    [Reply]

    jenn foy Reply:

    I thought it was very helpful!

    [Reply]

  6. Tracy says

    I am totally adding this to my list! I have done the duggar recipe for laundry soap and it works fine, but smells a little gnarly. We are currently using Ecos from Costco that is made from coconut oil and smells great. I have all of the supplies to make bar soap from goat’s milk, but I will have to wait until the kiddos aren’t around to experiment with Lye for the first time. I love reading your blog. It’s so nice to find like-minded mamas out there.

    [Reply]

  7. says

    I tried this exact method to make some liquid dish soap, but I didn’t know to use the hand mixer. The texture was inconsistent… Some runny parts and some thick clumping … I just didn’t think of using the mixer. the soap wouldn’t cling to the dishes… It would immediately run off them… So I am definitely going to try making this again both for hand soap and for dish soap and try using the hand mixer. Thanks!!

    [Reply]

    Melodya Reply:

    I have had better luck for dish soap by filling a dish bottle half way with the soap after it’s gelled. I usually add a bit more of washing or baking soda, I’ve even added some liquid castile soap. Then fill the rest of the way with water and shake. Helps with the consistancy.

    [Reply]

  8. Kim says

    What constitutes ‘natural’ soap?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Good question! I try to purchase soaps that have very few ingredients, and only ingredients I trust like Coconut Oil, goats milk, olive oil, things like that.

    [Reply]

    Kim Reply:

    Right, but what ingredients are safe/natural, but make the soap effective at killing germs/removing dirt?

    [Reply]

    Jessica Reply:

    This would probably be helpful to you:

    http://biology.about.com/od/microbiology/a/handsanitizers.htm

    Laura Reply:

    I don’t know all of the them for sure, but the soap I buy has only one ingredient: saponified organic virgin coconut oil.

    The soap from Victorian Rose Soap Co. includes more ingredients, but I recognize them all: coconut or olive oil, goats milk, shea butter or cocoa butter.

    I looked up Ivory bar soap ingredients: The Ivory soap bar (classic) had contained: sodium tallowate, sodium cocoate or sodium palm kernelate, water, sodium chloride, sodium silicate, magnesium sulfate, and fragrance.[7] The soap bar had a determined pH value: 9.5. [2]

    New varieties of Ivory soap contain altered ingredients, such as in “Simply Ivory” (or “simplement ivory”): sodium tallowate and/or sodium palmate, water, sodium cocoate or sodium palm kernelate, glycerin, sodium chloride, fragrance, one or more of the following: coconut acid, palm kernel acid, tallow acid or palm acid and tetrasodium EDTA.[3]

    I don’t know what most of those are, and while they might be effective in killing germs, they also add a lot of unknown chemicals to my skin.

    I wish I understood more on this subject – I really feel that (based on the fact that the soap we buy has only one ingredient) it doesn’t take much to clean the skin effectively and safely.

    Hope that helps a little!

  9. Amy says

    We make our own fabric softener…1 part favorite liquid fabric softener to 2 parts water and cut a few sponges in half…mix all into a 3-5 gallon bucket and add the sponges. When you dry a load of clothes toss a sponge in and the clothes come out smelling good and no static and you do not have that stinky little dryer sheet that gets caught in a pant leg or stuck to your micro-fiber rags. Also we make our own body wash…1 grated bar soap (your choice) and 4 cups of water, add together and let sit over night. stir and pour into whatever you use for body wash. if it is too thick add a cup of water at a time mix well and let it sit over night. for about $.50 i made enough to fill 3 18oz. containers.

    [Reply]

    Melissa Reply:

    For the dryer, a more natural option is white vinegar with sponges. Again, the heat takes care of the smell, but mine come out soft and static free! I’ve made both the powered and liquid laundry soaps from the Duggar’s, and some stains need work, but I’m willing to spend the time. My husband though doesn’t seem to think the clothes are getting clean, but I think it’s the same as the previous poster – we Americans equate the level of cleanliness with the amount of bubbles.

    [Reply]

    Melodya Reply:

    This is an awesome idea! I tried a similiar thing with a wash cloth and a few drops of essence oil on it but my husband didn’t care for the only oil I had on hand was lavendar… lol

    [Reply]

  10. Sami says

    I have been wanting to try this. I saw another recipe that added glycerin and said it made it smoother and less clumpy. Do you think it’s worth the effort?

    [Reply]

  11. says

    Like others have said, I use a foaming soap pump. I am currently buying regular hand soap (without Triclosan/anti-bacterial ingredients) and using that. It lasts so much longer! I fill it 1/3 soap and 2/3 water and we seem to actually use less each time we wash our hands :)

    [Reply]

  12. says

    What about dish soap. I’ve been wondering if I could make that, but I sure do love my Dawn…

    [Reply]

    Jill Reply:

    Dawn is fairly cheap, widely available and biodegradable…I mix about 5 parts fawn with 1 part water and put in a foaming container. It is great and I will never go back to just using it straight out of the bottle. I think it last a lot longer this way and is perfect for washing one dish.

    [Reply]

    Jill Reply:

    Dawn, not fawn.

    [Reply]

  13. says

    I make my own laundry detergent, fabric softener and dryer sheets. I have a recipe – a very easy recipe – for dish washing detergent and just now tonight I was trying to come up with a liquid dish soap recipe. We’ll see how successful I was in the morning. And then I just happened to see your post!! I would love to link over here to this post so my readers can see your hand soap recipe if you don’t mind.

    [Reply]

  14. Melodya says

    Oh, I forgot to add. One thing I learned is that when our bodies have a BO that basic soap doesn’t seem to get rid of, it’s due to A: ingesting strong things like an abundance of garlic. or B: it’s a bacteria that has spread, basic soap sometimes doesn’t rid this. SO many essence oils would naturally take care of this w/o messing up your body.

    [Reply]

  15. says

    Do you know of any way to make a clear soap?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I’m not sure, unless you find a clear bar of soap? I’m hoping to keep learning more about homemade soaps!

    [Reply]

  16. Danielle B says

    I’ve made my own laundry detergent… didn’t work at all (clothes didn’t come clean, I used a dry version). And also I heard Borax is toxic, so I that was it for the detergent.

    For shampoo, I don’t use conditioner at all, don’t need it. And neither does the fam. None of us have long hair, we keep our hair at a reasonable length, easier to tame, and keep tidy.

    We currently use the brand “method” for our hands, cleaning stuff, and dishwashing stuff.

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    I have a housekeeping business and I only use “method” brand for my cleaning supplies.

    [Reply]

  17. Vicki says

    Maybe you could put a nontoxic cleaning product recipe share (or something like that)on your long list of things to do for during the winter months? I’d be especially interested in dish soap and automatic dishwasher detergent. I’ve tried several homemade recipes of automatic dishwasher detergent but all have left little bits of food on our plates and glasses. I’m also interested in homemade shampoo and conditioner. We tried shampoo bars and I gave them a three month trial but our hair always felt greasy.

    I have learned so much from you! You have changed our lives for the better in ways you’ll never know. Thank you for all of your tireless efforts to help us all live healthier, cleaner, more natural, more environmentally friendly lives.

    [Reply]

    Lori Reply:

    The only dishwasher detergent I have found that works wonderfully and is natural is Maleleuca brand. I love it. I tried the homemade stuff and it was terrible. I also tried the shampoo bars and they didn’t work at all.

    [Reply]

    Lana Reply:

    I use Seventh Generation dishwasher powder. I have found that only 1-2 teaspoons will do the job and one box lasts for months. So many cleaners work just as well whenI use much less. I also only use one tablespoon of laundry detergent with the same results.

    [Reply]

    Abbie Reply:

    Natures Sunshine has dish washer fluid too. They have wonderful products!

    [Reply]

  18. Jesse says

    this recipe looks interesting and definitely cheap. i, like one of the other commenters just use about an inch of Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild (unscented) mixed with water. if you put this in a foaming pump bottle it goes extremely far. (even with a three year old :) I also use the Dr. Bronners to make my laundry detergent and have found it extremely good at removing stains including newborn poop stains! We all know how hard those can be! Not to sound like a paid endorsement :) but the Dr. Bronners is a pure soap and is extremely versatile and cost effective!

    [Reply]

  19. says

    I am so thankful for this recipe. We have 11 people under one roof and this would save money. I will give it a try.

    I use soap nuts for laundry. I had to make myself NOT watch the load since it does not make suds. I also have a He washer. I have two teenage boys who play outside hard and it gets them clean. I have a tub next to the washer and can see what comes out and I am here to tell you the water is filthy until the last rinse and they come out clean. BTW with soap nuts it is a natural fabric softener so you do not need anything in the dryer. I LOVE my soap nuts. If it can clean two teenage boys clothes then it can clean anything. I keep a bar of fels naptha near by for serious stains..

    [Reply]

    JanaC2 Reply:

    We use soap nuts with great success as well. When my little one (now 2 yrs old) started developing skin irritations (hives, eczema and hypopigmentation) we began researching all sorts of natural beauty products and tried homemade recipes for everything from lotions and calming salves to sunscreen and shampoo. Some of the products were successful and others we will not try again because of the cost/time involved (our experiences are recorded here – http://wp.me/p1BPh9-7e).
    I am eager to try this simple recipe for hand soap as we are now using diluted Castille soap and I’m up for a change!

    [Reply]

    Rebecca Reply:

    Ditto on the soap nuts!! Works great and no need for fabric softener. About half our our laundry is work/play clothes that are VERY dirty and sweaty. The clothes are fresh and clean, no scent!! Best place to buy is Ebay. Buy the NaturOli brand. You can buy the 5# ‘pieces’ for $45 and it does 800+ loads. (they guarantee that 1# will do 160 loads AT LEAST. In my experience, you get more like 200 loads, so the 5# should do 1000 loads!!)

    [Reply]

  20. says

    I am SOOOOOOO going to try this!! I hate buying liquid hand soap because your right it is RIDICULOUSLY expensive!!

    Thanks for sharing this!!

    Dana

    [Reply]

  21. Laurie Plath says

    I raise dairy goats and make my own goat milk soap. It has coconut oil, palm oil and olive oil in it. I have quite a few customers and some good testimonials too. I’ll have to try it in a liquid form though, sounds interesting and less messy than a bar.

    [Reply]

  22. Heather in Michigan says

    Wait. You mean I can have handsoap that smells anyway I want it to? My favorite bar of soap in liquid/gel form? Larua, you are AWESOME!

    [Reply]

  23. Barbara says

    You must have been eavesdropping on conversations I’ve been having with my husband – the ones where he asks me if I can find healthy, non-toxic hand soap (in a dispenser) or figure out how to make it!

    THANK YOU for sharing this with us – and to BryAnna for sharing her recipe with you! I’m off to make non-toxic liquid hand soap :)

    [Reply]

  24. Alyssa says

    This is exciting…I agree with another poster…you need to have a recipe share or something! I’ve tried homemade dishwashing detergent and it was a joke…although it did ok for a bathroom scrub. Really would like to make these kinds of things at home!

    [Reply]

  25. Cindy says

    I make bar soap with coconut oil, canola oil, and castor oil. I just tried a new version with added honey and oatmeal. I’ll see how that turns out in a few weeks.

    In the summer when I’m not teaching, I make my own laundry detergent and hang the clothes outisde to dry on the line. I do use the Fels Naptha soap in the recipe, which isn’t all natural, but it’s inexpensive and has many uses. If you wet it and rub it on your stains, it works really well to remove them. Also if you get into poison ivy, just wash with Fels Naptha and it clears it up quickly.

    I also experimented with dishwashing soap and made a recipe that had vinegar, tea tree oil, lemon juice and liquid castile-which I made by grating a bar of Kirk’s and mixing with water. For me, it worked pretty well for a few weeks, and then seemed to be leaving a film on the dishes. If you alternate it with regular detergent, it works and saves money–it just doesn’t work well over a long period of time.

    I made my own deodorant this summer as well–equal parts of baking soda and corn starch mixed with coconut oil and a few drops of tea tree oil. It works quite well!

    [Reply]

  26. Joan says

    I love this recipe for hand soap. If it turns out too thin or runny then use a foamer bottle. If you buy foam hand soap just save the bottle and fill with this recipe. I have saved huge on hand soap by adding water to about 1/3 liquid hand soap and 2/3 part water to top off the foamer bottle mix well and it lasts 4X longer that way. If you get bar soap on sale with a coupon the cost is lower than $3.50 per gallon. I got ivory bar soap free with coupons. so with this recipe I could just make my own hand soap for free.

    [Reply]

  27. Connie says

    Thanks for the hand soap recipe! I love using anything w/no chemicals and I have 12 grandkids that always are washing their hands. (thank goodness!) This is a great money saver! Will be making a batch today. :o)

    [Reply]

  28. Emily says

    Great idea! Thanks for sharing!

    BTW, you wrote “hand mixture” a few times… did you mean “hand mixer?” :)

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Oh DUH. Thanks for letting me know of the typo that I wrote not once but TWICE!!! Fixed it! :)

    [Reply]

  29. Lisa says

    Laura, thank you so much for posting this! I was wondering, what about at the kitchen sink. . . .does it kill germs from say, raw chicken or eggs. Those are the things that I get a little nervous about getting washed off my hands, counters, dishes, etc. . . because of the dangers of getting sick. Would this soap be reliable to kill those germs after handling raw chicken or eggs?

    [Reply]

    Carrie Reply:

    I would like to know the answer to this as well!

    [Reply]

    caroline Reply:

    Use vinegar for your surface cleaner. My sister is a dialysis nurse and this is. What is what they use to clean machines in between patients.

    [Reply]

    Lisa Reply:

    Thanks! I guess I was hoping to see if this soap really would disinfect my hands after handling those items. I have also heard about the benefits of vinegar as a cleanser!

    [Reply]

    Caroline Reply:

    Wow, I was typing on my phone earlier and I’m embarrassed at my degree of typos. HOW you wash your hands matters more. Check this link http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Health/story?id=1213399&page=1

    Carrie Reply:

    Do you use the vinegar to disinfect dishes too? (i.e. the knife I use to cut raw meat, the cutting board, etc)

    [Reply]

    Caroline Reply:

    I heat-sani most dishes in my dishwasher. I know I shouldn’t run my knives through the washer but I do aanyway :) The washer is suppose to be more earth friendly than hand washing anyway. I do have a spray bottle of vinegar for cutting boards surfaces that don’t fit in. I wash and then spray down. Since with hand washing a good scrub matters more than what you use, I would assume that surfaces would be about the same.

  30. says

    Good post!! As a veteran soapmaker and a generational medicinal herbalist, I can not emphasize enough the need to clearly LABEL everything homemade. The soap dispensers are easy enough to figure out, but someone could confuse the recycled gallon jug for something else.

    [Reply]

  31. Rebecca says

    Thanks so much Laura! I’ve been slowly but surely switching over to making things myself instead of buying products with chemicals and ‘who knows what’.

    DEODORANT- Lindsay @Passionate Homemaker’s recipe with my own modifications so it can be in a ‘stick’ form , works GREAT!! http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/2010/02/homemade-all-natural-deodorant.html (probably where Lori got the recipe)
    IMMUNE BOOSTER- based mine on this: http://www.bulkherbstore.com/Double-E-Immune-Booster_Organic
    HEALING SALVE-(like a triple antibiotic ointment) based mine on this: http://www.bulkherbstore.com/Eden-Salve_Organic (also works for diaper rash)
    BUG SPRAY- works GREAT!! Bought this mix to make my own: http://www.bulkherbstore.com/The-Vinegar-Of-The-Four-Thieves
    HAND CREAM – whipped shea butter and coconut oil – recipe from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0mkatyC74c (the lady from MadeOn – thanks Laura!)
    DIAPER RASH OINTMENT – same recipe as the hand cream, with zinc oxide powder added (find on Amazon)(I did 20% by weight, so 4 ounces cream to 1 ounce zinc oxide)
    LAUNDRY SOAP – Made by God – Soap nuts!!!! Works great and no need for fabric softener. About half our our laundry is work/play clothes that are VERY dirty and sweaty. The clothes are fresh and clean, no scent!! Best place to buy is Ebay. Buy the NaturOli brand. You can buy the 5# ‘pieces’ for $45 and it does 800+ loads. (they guarantee that 1# will do 160 loads AT LEAST. In my experience, you get more like 200 loads, so the 5# should do 1000 loads!!)

    Next on my list – hand soap, shampoo/conditioner, lip balm, and sunscreen (lotion with zinc oxide powder?).

    You can’t do everything at once, but do one thing at a time. :) A recipe share sounds GREAT!!

    [Reply]

  32. Erin Lowen says

    I make my own laundry soap and bar soap. Bar soap is used to make laundry soap too. Cheap and easy. Just use shortening, lye and water. A great school lesson on how just touching lye water will burn you, but you can make soap and not hurt yourself. If you want the easy, cheap recipe let me know.

    [Reply]

  33. Cammie says

    Love this – I just discovered this same trick a few months ago and I was shocked how easy and inexpensive it is. I sometimes add essential oils and I have started using this soap for everything – hand soap, body wash (my husband hates using bars), washing dishes, and shampoo. So inexpensive and so healthy!

    [Reply]

  34. Kathie says

    We also use foaming soap dispensers and just put in a ratio of 1/7 or 1/8 soap to water. It works just fine and costs very little–I’d love to try this recipe and see if it works in the foaming dispenser, that would cut the cost by even more!

    [Reply]

  35. says

    With out a preservative, how long does this keep before growing mold? It seems a gallon would take a LONG time to use. My understanding is that is the biggest drawback to any water based soap or cosmetic product. I make and use my own bars for about $1 each and this would be great for me other than I fear growing bugs. Any ideas on a natural preservative? As far as I understand vitamin E, which first comes to mind, isn’t truly a preservative that will stop bacterial growth in solution.

    [Reply]

    Heather in Michigan Reply:

    Wow, good point. No one wants MOLD in their soap. Thanks for mentioning. (could simply make a smaller batch instead of a gallon…)

    [Reply]

    Nicola Reply:

    I make my own liquid soap from scratch. I use 100% organic ingredients which I saponify (basically adding the lye) & cook & then add water to dilute the soap gel. I do not use a preservative & have been told that handmade soap is good for 3 years without a preservative. I do not have a batch of liquid soap that I have made that is 3 years old but I do have some that is over a year old & it is still good to use. I can’t really comment on grating a soap bar to use but I imagine that as long as it is all natural ingredients you will be fine for as long as it will take to use up the batch.

    [Reply]

  36. Jeanne CS says

    Home made laundry soap: 2 cups 20 muleteam borax; 1 bar grated laundry soap such as Zote or Fels Naptha; 2 cups washing soda (I’ll tell you how to make your own washing soda at home at the end)1 cup any version of powdered oxyclean(I buy mine at the dollar store-it makes a double batch) Blend the grated barsoap with all the other powdered ingredients in a huge bowl. Add any desired essential oils at this time they are optional 10 to 20 drops. Place by small cups full into a blender and blend well until powdery and store in a plastic flip top lid. The scoop cup from the dollar store version of oxyclean is perfect for a washer load! Add about two rounded tablespoons per washer load. Use cold water(saves more money). TO MAKE WASHING SODA AT HOME: Washing soda is simply baking soda that has been heat processed to cause a chemical change in the ingredients. I buy mine in a huge bag from the club discount stores. Measure it& spread it out placing it into a pyrex type glass baking dish and bake the baking soda for 30 minutes at 350 or an hour at 250. You can see like tiny heat streams rising from the baking soda as it bakes. It is undergoing a chemical reaction.Wash all your preparation equipment out by hand because something in the dish soap reacts with the zote soap and it leaves a film in the dishwasher(no there won’t be any buildup on your clothing. Can’t find Zote soap? Check out your local Mexican grocery store (Mercado), the older women in Mexico(they use washers now) washed their clothing in the river with a scrub board and Zote soap. If it can clean clothing in dirty river water, think what it an do in a washing maching! HOMEMADE electric dishwasher detergent recipe: 2 cups washing soda; 2 cups 20 mule team borax; 1 cup any cheap coarse salt; 2 packets of generic unsweetened lemon flavor only koolaide…Yes Koolaide, it is citric acid! Of course you can go buy some plain citric acid from any whole food store…but you’ll also pay an arm and a leg! Walmart carries it for 12 cents a package last I knew. I had some left over store bought detergent and threw that in with my first batch… but this stuff works much better than any store bought detergent I ever tried…. Why lemon? It has a nice scent and it won’t stain anything tupperware or otherwise. BTW FYI Borax is not boric acid which is dangerous and can be toxic. Borax is found in the desert and is a natural element that just happens to be a good dirty fighter. The instructions for this detergent is a heaping teaspoon per detergent cup but I use a little bit more: adjust up or down per your water’s hardness. You know those hard tro remove silerware scratches on plates and bowls…it removed the majority of them just when I thought I was going to have to spring for new dishes!

    [Reply]

    Lori Reply:

    Wow! I never heard that you could turn baking soda into washing soda. I have been using the washing soda for years now and it works great. When I run out of it, I will try the baking soda. I use almost the same recipe but make it into a gel since I wash almost everything in cold water.

    I have tried many different homemade dishwasher detergent recipes and none never worked well at all. I love Malaleuca’s but it is expensive. When I run out, I will have to try your recipe. Lots of great ideas. Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Caroline Reply:

    Has anyone ever tried turning baking soda to washing powder in a crock pot? I’m feeling tempted.

    [Reply]

  37. says

    Thank you so much for this!!! I’ve got a couple bars of natural soap that I just didn’t know what to do with, because we don’t use bars…

    [Reply]

  38. says

    THANK YOU! I am SO OVER spending 5.50$ per 12 oz of hand soap! Especially when my 4yo uses 3-5 pumps every time he washes. Looking forward to making some of this! THANK YOU!

    [Reply]

    Janet Reply:

    ps. I used to make my own laundry detergent, but I switched to soap nutsbecause we felt the homemade stuff wasn’t doing the best job. Soap nuts on the other hand, are great! And, I bought 5lbs of pieces for $50 and it has lasted my family of 5 six months with over half left!!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Do you know if soap nuts work the same in hard and soft water? We have very hard water and it is difficult to get stains out with any detergent or stain stick.

    [Reply]

    Jaimie Reply:

    In my experience (we have very hard water here in the desert of CA)
    soap nuts do not work. :(

    Holly White Reply:

    Have any of you tried using a Tablespoon of salt in your wash water with your soap? We did this and were able to cut our soap use by 2/3. We live in Phoenix and have super hard water.

    Laura Reply:

    I will have to try salt then!

  39. Thayer says

    Can you find natural soap bars in places like Sprouts or Whole Foods? What makes the soap “natural” exactly? I saw some goats’ milk soap today- but was not sure it would work for this purpose.

    [Reply]

    Kimmie in Fort Worth Reply:

    Yes, you can find them there, or you can get Kirk’s Castile Soap at Kroger and Albertson’s stores. It’s made from coconut oil. You could even use Ivory Soap.

    [Reply]

  40. Shannon says

    Awesome! I make my own bar soap but would have never thought to try it in hand soap. Looks like I’ve got a new project to try soon.

    [Reply]

  41. says

    I just made a new batch of handsoap Monday! So funny that you posted this :D
    I have some Olive Oil/Coconut Oil/Castor Oil soap that I made a few months back and I have been making bodywash and hand soap out of them but will run out soon. To make mine I used this tutorial http://www.savvyhousekeeping.com/how-to-turn-a-bar-of-soap-into-liquid-hand-soap/

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Hi Candice. Can you share how to make body wash? Thanks! Shananon

    [Reply]

    Candice H Reply:

    I just use the same batch I made for my hand soap since it comes out thick enough. I’ve also watered it down for the foam pump but my husband refuses to use it that way :(

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Thanks so much. So easy! I could add a drop or two of essential oils. Thanks

  42. Krista says

    I’ve only turned regular hand soap into the foaming soap variety. It’s really easy, and you could probably do it with this recipe, as well. You take 1 part hand soap and 2-3 parts water (either one works, but I’d try 2 first, and then add more water a little at a time to stretch the hand soap a little farther), mix and pour into a foaming soap bottle. This would stretch your gallon of hand soap for $3.50 into 3-4 gallons of foaming hand soap for $3.50!! :-)

    [Reply]

  43. ELENA MARSHALL says

    This is great! :o) Thank you! I’ve only made my own foaming soap with liquid castile. Thank you for sharing!

    [Reply]

  44. says

    THANK YOU FOR THIS POST! Liquid hand soap was one of the last cleaning items in our home that wasn’t healthy but I couldn’t justify spending so much money on good options. Can’t wait to make this!!! :)

    [Reply]

  45. Becca Webb says

    OR you could just do what I do. I buy liquid baby soap on sale and combine with a coupon = very cheap! Stock up. I reuse foaming hand soap pumps, like from Bath & Body Works, add 20% soap to 80% water. Then shake well. It’s cheap, it’s easy, it lasts longer and it’s a lot better than the alternative!!

    [Reply]

  46. Nikki says

    One quick idea for the grating part, is to use the food processor. It is worth the hassle to me even for only one bar… It’s super easy to clean the food processor afterwards too!

    [Reply]

  47. Sara B says

    I dilute Dr Bronner’s liquid castile soap in a foaming pump dispenser – it just takes a tiny amount and smells great! (lavender, peppermint etc….. )

    [Reply]

    Thayer Reply:

    What is your soap to water ratio? I tried this and the results were not good-

    [Reply]

    Jean Reply:

    I use this method and the ratio is about 1 to 9. If you have a 10 oz. dispenser, use 1 oz. soap and 9 oz. water. Saves a lot of money!!! I use Dr. Bronner’s liquid Castile soap and my sister saves me her empty Bath and Body Works foam soap dispensers. Works great!

    [Reply]

    Sara B Reply:

    I used to measure it out, but now I kind of eyeball it – maybe 1/2 an inch (or less) of soap in the container and then fill the rest with water.

    [Reply]

  48. Jennifer Greer says

    Laura,
    Your so A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!! I am humbled every single day when I get your emails, I just don’t know how you do it! Do you sleep?? :) Your example makes me strive to be a better mother and wife and I just can’t sing your praises enough to all my friends. My boys and I will be making soap this weekend! ;)
    Thanks and God Bless!
    Jennifer

    [Reply]

  49. Margie says

    Laura, this is awesome!!! I love this recipe! Do you think a bar of castille soap would work? I just found it at the store, but I’ve never seen castille soap in solid form… I have been making all-purpose cleaner, window cleaner, and laundry detergent. I have made the powder and liquid laundry detergent, and I’m happier with the liquid version. I also make my own baby wipes from paper towels. I’m trying, and I’m always learning…especially from you! Thank you!
    Margie

    [Reply]

  50. Julie Haak says

    One of our daughters was born with severe eczema. After years of going the conventional route and seeing a pediatric dermatologist it finally occurred to me (since eczema is systemic) that I was “sealing” in the toxins on her skin with all of the prescription creams and petroleum-based products. Her liver was struggling to break that all down. It’s a long story, but one of several things we did was switch her soap. She now uses a pure bar soap we purchase from Cal-Ben Soap Company. I’ve always wondered how to get her a gel and so this might be something I will try in the future to see how it works. By the way, she is going to be 12 this fall, has still not outgrown her eczema, but has very little left on her which we manage naturally.

    [Reply]

  51. Julie says

    One of our daughters was born with severe eczema. After years of using conventional treamtments and seeing a pediatric dermatologist, it occurred to me that what we were putting on her skin to help was more than likely partly causing the problem. Since eczema is systemic, I suspected her liver was probably struggling with breaking down the prescription creams and petroleum-based moisturizers we had been thinking should help and actually trapping those toxins next to her skin. It’s a long story, but the first of several things we changed, was her soap. We switched to a pure and natural soap made by the Cal-Ben Soap company. I think I will try to make this into a gel for her as she would love to be able to try that especially for traveling. By the way, she will be 12 this fall and while she hasn’t outgrown her eczema completely she certainly is able to manage it naturally.

    [Reply]

    Trudi Reply:

    Hi Julie,

    Which soap do you use from Cal-Ben? My daughter has excema too, from the time she was born. We just keep buying baby wash, but I don’t like the chemicals in it, either. We use an herbal salve that actually works very well on the eczema, but I want a natural soap that won’t irritate it or sting. Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Julie Reply:

    Cal-Ben sells a bath bar called Pure Soap. Last time I purchased it I bought 100 bars and split it with 3 friends, making it a dollar per bar. We also replaced the Aquaphor she had been using for years with an all-natural moisturizer that I mixed from organic expeller-pressed sunflower oil and lavendar essential oil. I just mix those two things together and keep them in a small bottle and she uses it instead of lotions or creams. Relatively inexpensive since it takes a long time to use a bottle of lavendar oil.

    [Reply]

    Trudi Reply:

    Thanks!

  52. says

    I’m working on this right now! :) I make my own laundry soap out of bar soap, washing soda and borax. I use the dry version so I can make several months’ worth in about 15 minutes for under $10.

    [Reply]

    Trudi Reply:

    Hi Tara – I’ve seen the liquid versions. How do you make the dry version? Thanks!!

    [Reply]

    Tara Reply:

    Trudi, it is MUCH easier than the liquid version. One step, well
    sorta two steps.

    Grate a bar of soap. I use Fels Naptha or Castille but have used Zest
    or Ivory.

    Stir the grated soap with 1 cup washing soda and 1 cup borax.

    Use 1 Tablespoon per load of laundry.

    Yes, it’s that easy. Yes, I mean 1 Tablespoon. Yes, it’s safe for HE
    washers. :)

    [Reply]

    Trudi Reply:

    Thanks Tara! I do have an HE washer. I’ve been using 7th Generation liquid for years (also about a tablespoon), and I’ve used Fels Naptha for years, too, as my spot remover (it takes out EVERYTHING!). A friend told me a while ago she used to make laundry detergent using the Fels Naptha, but couldn’t remember what else was in it. What a fabulous CHEAP, EFFECTIVE laundry detergent! Thanks so much for replying so quickly to my post!

    Jean Reply:

    I used the liquid version of this detergent which had the same ingredients mixed with water to form a gel. I love the concept but we have hard water (Northern Ohio) and after a while, my clothes were turning gray. With the hard water, it wasn’t cleaning my clothes. I am sad about this because I would love to use homemade detergent, but I just can’t. And let me also caution you if you have hard water, do not use bleach with this detergent. My whites came out orange!!! :o( If anyone has encountered this and come up with a solution, I would love to know!

    Emily Reply:

    Do you know what is used to make Fels Naptha soap? The ingredients
    listed are really vague: things like “cleaning agents” and
    “fragrance”. Since I’m looking for a healthy, non-chemical option
    as well as a cheap one, I’m a little nervous about that. What do you think?

  53. Colleen says

    Hello Laura and Readers!

    I have two questions…. Does the soap and water separate in the bottle requiring a shake before using? The reason I ask is that I have several built-in, under the counter soap dispensers that would make shaking impossible.

    Question two, what are the benefits of the foam-type dispensers? Can you buy them empty?

    Thanks ladies!

    [Reply]

    Tara Reply:

    Colleen, I’ll jump in here with my two cents. :)

    I know you can refill the foam type dispensers you buy in the store.
    You can buy them empty, we used them in a MOPS project once, but I’m
    guessing the price would be better to just buy the one in the store and
    refill it with your own concoction.

    They use less soap (a reason lots of public restrooms are going to them).

    I don’t know if you would have to shake this soap before use. Maybe try
    a little batch to see?

    [Reply]

    Rebecca Reply:

    No, you don’t need to shake them. I fill about 1/4 with liquid soap, then the rest with hot water. Then shake till dissolved. I never need to shake again.

    [Reply]

    Babs Harrell Reply:

    You can get those dispensers at Pampered Chef. We love ours :)

    [Reply]

  54. Jean says

    Just a little warning from my own experience. If the gallon water bottle you used to store the leftovers is biodegradable,it may eventually leak for you. I make homemade window cleaner that I stored in a biodegradable 1 gallon jug in the bathroom vanity and one day it leaked all over the bottom of the cabinet and onto the bathroom floor. I now use a well-washed old bleach bottle to store my window cleaner. It’s not biodegradable so it won’t leak eventually. :o)

    [Reply]

  55. Rachel says

    Do you think an essential oil could be added to make scented hand soap?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yes, for sure!

    [Reply]

  56. Rachel says

    Genius! I have recently been on a the hunt for an inexpensive way to get safe, natural liquid soap, and this is so easy! I’m thinking of melting in some shea butter to make it creamier for a shower gel as well. I’m excited to experiment! Thanks!

    [Reply]

  57. says

    Can’t wait to try this!

    And for the above comment – I know I have seen solid bar castille soap at our local health food stores, all of them sell it, so I would think you should be able to find ;-)

    Could try soap.com too – I think I’ve seen it there

    [Reply]

    Tiffani Reply:

    I just made it with a solid bar of Dr.B’s peppermint castile soap. I’ll let you know in the morning how it turned out. Sure smells good. I’m going to fill all my guys’ body wash bottles….hopefully they’ll never tell a difference ;)

    [Reply]

    Katie Reply:

    Please let me know how the Dr. B’s soap works.

    [Reply]

    Tiffani Reply:

    Dr. B’s worked, but it’s a little thin. I used 5 quarts of water instead of 4 b/c it’s a 5 oz bar. It’s fine for liquid hand soap, but I’ll make it thicker for my boys’ body wash. I used peppermint and it smells great!

    C Dazey Reply:

    I tried this too, and I didn’t have good results. It thickened just fine, but doesn’t lather very well at all. I have to use about 4 squirts just to get enough lather to wash with. I also tried the Tom’s of Maine with about the same results. :(

  58. Amy says

    That bar of coconut oil soap looks good enough to eat! Looks just like coconut flakes…yum!

    I’m going to try this tonight. I have been buying liquid castille soap and diluting with water, but it much more expensive than this. Can’t wait to see what I get!

    [Reply]

  59. jill says

    So funny this posting since today I was wanting to write this up on my blog sometime soon, but I’m horrible at writing the recipe. I just do whatever works, nevermind the steps.
    What I do is collect soap from whereever I come across the right kinds. I save them in my drawers and it makes my clothes smell nice. When I need a new bar in the kitchen/bathrooms I dig one out of the drawer. I save all the slivers in a jug under the sink. I add water to it every time I add a piece. When it’s full I then make my liquid hand soap. Sometimes I add a tad of glycerin to it. This last time I put it into the blender with a bit of water, whipped it up until I liked the consistancy and checked it the next day. Added more water if needed. It worked great, and I will be adding it to my foaming soap pumps when the liquid castile I have in them runs out. So far this batch has worked the best. My worst batch ever I still keep and use since as horrible as it was it makes a stellar cleaner to get my kitchen counter and stove clean. And it smells like oranges. LOL!

    [Reply]

  60. lyss says

    Thanks! I will be trying this soon! I’ve been avoiding triclosan in soap, but most soaps still contain other questionable ingredients. Wanting to use liquid castile soap, but it’s SO expensive!
    I know lots of people say dilute in a foam dispenser, but when I tried that it was 1/3 gone in two days, thanks to my foam-happy 3 yr old. lol Stretching it didn’t help- she just used all the more!
    I love finding natural recipes that are also cheap! Now to find a good bar of soap… :)

    [Reply]

  61. says

    Can you use lye soap? Where do you suggest to get essential oils and how much would you add to it?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I would imagine that would work just fine. You can buy essential oils from Mountain Rose Herbs: http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/index.php?AID=116329. I’d say you would only need 2-3 drops, but that’s just a guess?? I’ve not used oils when making this.

    [Reply]

    Rachel Reply:

    If I understand right, all solid soap is made with lye. That’s what makes it harden up. (Someone, please correct me if I’m wrong.) So I guess the answer would be yes?

    [Reply]

    Monica Reply:

    Yes, all soap is made with lye.

    [Reply]

  62. says

    I have been pondering this very idea! My husband and I use bar soap but find the kids do better with body wash (1 daughter only had use of one hand so something she can pump is much easier for her). The natural body washes are SO expensive! I can do this and just quit worrying about if they use a little too much. Wonderful!

    [Reply]

  63. Margie Kersey says

    My daughter posted this link and it’s nice to see so many young moms making their own natural products. (I’m a greatgrandmother)My grandmother and her generation used to make bar soap and used it for washing everything from themselves to the clothes. They used lye and bacon grease. They all had cans under their sink to collect bacon grease after cooking. Don’t know the recipe but I’m sure it’s online somewhere. As for getting spots out of clothes, I keep a small bottle of dish soap near my dirty clothes basket and pre-treat as I take the clothes off and put them in the basket. That soap sits on the spots until I do laundry. Almost every spot I’ve ever had has come out in the wash.

    [Reply]

  64. says

    I love this idea! I LOVE soaps and I can’t use them all, but I can make them into liquid soaps and give away as gifts for Christmas this year! Yippee!

    [Reply]

  65. Trudi says

    Hi Laura – First,THANK YOU for this great website!

    I do have a question. I made the soap yesterday using Dr. Bronner’s unscented and lavender bars. The first one (unscented) I mixed for about 3-4 minutes (on the last mix) and it’s stayed foamy for the last couple hours since I put it in the gallon jug. It also made an extra quart! The second (lavender) I decided not to mix as long, maybe 1.5 – 2 minutes, and it has separated in the jug (seems to be just foam on top with soap on the bottom). It made an extra 1/2 quart. Is more or less mixing better? I’m thinking I should skim the foam off and tend to think less (and therefore less foam) might be better? I’d appreciate your thoughts. I plan on making this from now on!

    [Reply]

  66. Trudi says

    Hi Laura–never mind. It’s a few hours later and I just realized everything is gelled up the same consistency, whether it looks foamy or more translucent. I LOVE THIS! Thanks for all the work you do!

    [Reply]

  67. Allison M. says

    Hmmm..what did I do wrong?? I made a batch this afternoon around 2pm it is now 8pm and is still as runny as water…looks like milky water in fact. Will it thicken overnight??

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    No, it takes all night for it to thicken. However, mine really never did thicken much, and it still works great!

    [Reply]

    Tanya Reply:

    Mine looks like milky water, too. It never thickened at all. :( I ordered and used the soap from Tropical Traditions. :(

    [Reply]

  68. Babs Harrell says

    Can we use that Coconut Soup in our homemade laundry detergent too instead of Fals Dapha ?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yes, I would imagine so, although I have yet to attempt making laundry detergent!

    [Reply]

  69. Leanne says

    Question, all this talk of making our own soaps sounds great but has anyone tested them compared to other antibacterials to see if they really do the trick? I have a friend whose daughter did a scientific experiment and found that the no name antibacterial soaps did better than any other. So…I’m just wondering how effective these soaps are at getting hands clean and if anyone has actually had it tested? Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I suppose if you start with an antibacterial soap, your liquid soap would still be antibacterial. I don’t actually use antibacterial soap, but I still feel like we are getting clean this way.

    [Reply]

    Stephanie Reply:

    If you wash your hands for 20sec (like you’re supposed to) it won’t matter if the package says antibacterial. What you’re doing with soap is rubbing the dead skin cells off which contain the bacteria. Typically if it says antibacterial then it means that it contains some sort of alcohol in it.

    Nursing student – learned this in class.

    [Reply]

  70. Jessica says

    I’m having a hard time finding empty pump bottles for purchase. Where would you recommend getting some? I can’t wait to try this! Thank you!

    [Reply]

    Debbie Reply:

    You can recycle old soap pump bottles or hit up one of the big box
    stores and look in the bathroom decor section for new ones.

    [Reply]

    Rachel B Reply:

    The dollar store is a great place to get soap containers
    if you do not have any spare empty ones laying around.

    [Reply]

  71. Debbie says

    I was referred to this recipe by ThriftyMama. Thank you for putting this up! I finished making it today.

    I used a 5 oz bar unscented Dr. Bronner’s and 1 gallon water. At first it was really watery but after it set overnight, it was gel like. I mixed it with hand mixer until it started to foam. This turned it into, sorry to say, a snot-like consistency. LOL! But since I made it and know there’s no snot in it, for a savings of over $50 per gallon, I’ll be using this wonderful snot-like soap!

    Next time I will use a little less water as I feel I am using more pumps of soap than before to get the sudsing effect I’m looking for.

    TIP: When you go to put this into bottles you might want to ladle it into a funnel instead of pouring it. I lost a good cup or so down the drain when I tried to pour from the pot into the bottle – it all came out at once due to it’s snot-like consistency.

    [Reply]

    lyss Reply:

    I used Dr. Bronners as well- the 5 oz bar with 1 gallon of water.
    At first it was very thin, but after 24 hours, it is very thick.
    But like yours, it’s a gloppy, snot-like consistency.

    Also, it doesn’t suds. At all. Is that just the nature of all
    castile soaps? I know it still cleans, but most people expect
    hand soap to suds and lather a bit. Going to try diluting it in a
    foaming soap dispenser to see if it makes some suds. We’ll see.

    Can anyone recommend a natural bar soap that suds and lathers?
    Would like to try this again, but not with Dr. Bronners.
    I would imagine something like Dove or Ivory would lather, but
    I’d prefer to use something “healthier”.

    [Reply]

    Debbie Reply:

    Well when I used to use Dr. Bronner’s bar soap to wash my hands it
    did suds, so I think it’s because we diluted it with possibly too
    much water this way. Next time if I use Dr. Bronner’s to make the
    liquid, I will use several cups less water. I too would like an
    alternative to Dr. Bronner’s because I’m not a fan of the snot
    texture, but like you I would rather not use something full of
    chemicals. My husband has already given me his bottle of liquid
    back, said he can’t use it due to the texture which is creeping
    him out! LOL!

    [Reply]

    Erin Reply:

    I just made a batch with Dr. Bronners with one gallon of water and got that gloppy consistency with my hand mixer, so switched to my immersion (stick) blender. That seemed to do the trick! It only took a minute or two for it to change to creamy liquid hand soap! When transferring it into plastic jugs, I thought it looked good, but might have be benefited from just a few more seconds of blending, however I think it’ll be good as it is. If you have an immersion blender, give it a try. If you don’t have one, consider getting one (holiday wish list?) I use mine all the time for scrambling eggs and pureeing whole, canned tomatoes. Glad to have found another great use for it! :)

  72. Carrie S. says

    My first batch came out “snotty” also! :-D Since I had other natural soaps and wanted to experiment I made another batch with another soap (Sappo Hill Almond soap…smells sooooo good!) and it came out nicer (I will use this for body wash). I made a third batch last night with yet another soap (Goat Milk soap from Trader Joe’s) and it came out still watery. I will use all the soaps I made because no matter what consistency, they’ll still work and save me lots of money. It seems that the outcome will vary depending on the type of soap used.

    [Reply]

  73. jill says

    For those who don’t like the “snotty” consistancy I think it’s all in the way it’s melted and whipped up. Another alternative, although a bit more costly is the liquid Dr. Bronners, (get it on sale and stock up) and I dilute it into a foaming pump and it works great. I don’t think it really matter the kind of soap. We use bar soap and I save all the ends up, and then make my liquid hand soap from those. They do suds, but take a bit more work, (hand rubbing) which I don’t mind, plus encourages the 2 yr old to rub, rub, rub.

    [Reply]

  74. Tara says

    I made this recipe and it worked great….for about a week. Then the soap just stopped coming through the dispenser. It’s watery, so the thickness is not a problem. I did re-use foam dispensers, but they are different brands and they have all stopped working around the same time. What could be the problem??

    [Reply]

    jill Reply:

    Sometimes the dispenser will get a little plug. Usually it can be pumped out but sometimes running hot water on it will work also with a bit of pumping. I’ve been thinking about working on a better recipe for my hand soap. Not sure if I should add glycerin or what? I’m not sure what soap you’ve been using. I don’t have problems if I use diluted Dr. Bronners, but I do with my old soap slivers formula. If anyone has come up with anything please do share. Maybe I should quit being “lazy” ha ha and cook it first.
    Also, sometimes you might have to take the pump out and run hot water through the whole thing. I think a lot of it has to do with whether your water is hard or soft, which can affect how the soap reacts.

    [Reply]

    Tara Reply:

    I think you are right. It did work better after I ran hot water
    through them.

    [Reply]

  75. jill says

    So, this topic got me kickin’ around the web earning swagbucks and there were so many variations on this. A couple things did come up repeatedly. A tablespoon of honey and a teaspoon of glycerin. I put glycerin sometimes, it didn’t really help with that ‘gel” thing. Other additives were coconut oil will add extra suds, aloe vera, any kind of milk such as goat, cow or coconut which would be used to replace some of the water. Borax and washing soda were both mentioned, but I would think more for the mechanic soaps/creams. Soap is also made from yucca and of course, soap nuts.
    Seems the boiling process may make a difference. Blend soap with a cup of boiling water, add your honey, glycerin, whatever, cool and whip again., add more liquid whether it be tea, water, milk, aloe vera or a mixture to make six cups, whip again, let cool.
    Just enough to confuse us all, but it does add a lot of ideas for our own testing. Around here it’s okay, we’ll use it whether it comes out odd or not. Just make sure you research or know about the ingredients your using.

    [Reply]

  76. Erin says

    Oh my word!! This is amazing!! Thank you!!! I’ve been making my own laundry detergent and dishwashing powder, but like you, I was sick and tired of expensive soap and I was done with anti-bacterial soap. THANK YOU SO MUCH!! I’m going to try it now!

    [Reply]

  77. Gretchen says

    Just made it, used Tom’s of Maine soap because I already had it, though will try to get something more natural next time. It too turned out “snotty”, but it works!

    [Reply]

  78. Christa says

    My aunt made this last night with Melaleuca and I am making it right now with some locally made natural soap bar soap. It smells really good :-)

    [Reply]

  79. Tracy Compaan says

    Trying this right now! Do you feel like it should be covered when standing overnight, or does that matter?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I think I did cover it when I made it – just to keep out bugs!

    [Reply]

  80. Tara says

    So my soap continues to clog up the soap pumps, now that the weather is colder, it’s happening at least twice a week and I have to run hot water through them. Any ideas on how to keep it from clumping? My batch starts out very runny, so thickness is not a problem, but after a couple days, it coagulates and clogs the pump.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Bummer, I’m not sure why this is happening. I’m new to making this soap myself – mine hasn’t clumped but is instead pretty runny. I use a soap from Tropical Traditions – I’m sure the type of soap does make a big difference.

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    add glycerin!
    this is actually the first recipe for liquid soap from a bar that hasn’t required glycerin.

    [Reply]

  81. theresa says

    I have seen a similar handsoap recipe. The only difference is to add 1 tbsp of natural vegetable glycerin. It keeps the soap from clumping! Also is good for sensitive skin. Both of my smaller children have really sensitive skin and I use this soap for them with NO problems: no break outs or rashes or reactions.

    [Reply]

  82. Vicki Alessi says

    Where do you purchase the Tropical Traditions soap?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Tropical Traditions has a website, which is where I get it: http://tinyurl.com/3zdze4o

    [Reply]

    Sheena Reply:

    Hi, I made this soap a few weeks ago. Mine does not lather very well. Has anyone else had the same problem, any suggestions?

    [Reply]

    Stephanie Reply:

    It’s not supposed to lather. I make a laundry soap that doesn’t lather. It’s really all about how you wash your hands. I mean – soap is good…don’t get me wrong. Lathering is not required.

    Wendy Reply:

    The lathering we are all so used to when using “traditional” soap is from ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulfate or other similar ingredients. They do not actually do the cleaning. It is more of a visual “aid” to help you see that it is being cleaned, but doesn’t actually clean.

  83. Karen Sexton says

    I am going to try this soap today with a bar of Dr. Bronner’s. I once made my own body olive oil soap for the shower. I wish I could share a recipe, but I just experimented and it turned out great. It was with a Dr. Bronner’s bar, olive oil and water and some herbs. I have had to keep on adding water to it, especially when it clogs. This is great though because it is lasting longer. Also I shake it around a bit in the bottle and that helps prevent clogging.

    [Reply]

  84. Jodi says

    I just tried this recipe and can’t wait to see how it turns out. It was a fun to make with my kids. I’ll let ya know in the morning : )

    [Reply]

  85. Nanci says

    I’m so excited to see this recipe! I’ve been getting frustrated at the high cost of liquid soap, so I was hoping to find a way to make it at home. I didn’t realize it would be so easy! My daughter works in a quilt store in town that carries some locally made natural soap which is what I’m going to try (plus the glycerin). Thanks so much!

    [Reply]

  86. Bernice.Hannah says

    I love this Idea.I sure will try it.For those of you that are having problems with the pump clogging up why not try a squirt bottle or a hand cream jar.Just a thought.

    [Reply]

  87. Marcia says

    I have made homemade pet shampoo, laundry detergent and recently hand soap. Unfortunately, my hand soap has been a fail. It was too runny at first but as the weather has gotten colder it thickened to the point of clogging the pump(s). It, also, was very stringy/ slimey. It would hang string-a-ly from the pump. When I made mine I used glycerin. I wonder if a combination of dish soap, bar soap and glycerin would work better…

    [Reply]

    Jen Reply:

    Glycerin will thicken up your soap, if it is clogging try it w/o glycerin. You could probably
    also dump the soap back into a pot, reheat and tweak.

    [Reply]

    Rita Reply:

    Hi Jen,
    I am new to all of this, and its very interesting reading all the posts.
    I was curious, what your pet shampoo was…..
    Thanks !!!

    [Reply]

  88. Jenna says

    I can’t wait to try making this tonight! My son is athmatic so i have been researching safe, non-toxic alternatives all day! Thank you!

    [Reply]

  89. blink says

    Can ANY type of bar soap be used or does it have to be all natural? I love the smell of Irish Spring. I’d love to have a lot of that in a liquid form.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I believe any bar of soap can be used to make this. :)

    [Reply]

    Linda G. Reply:

    Yes, you can use your Irish Spring but there is a lack of lathering. I’ve tried this with another bar soap but I couldn’t get used to the no lather thing so I used the rest for my homemade laundry soap instead.

    [Reply]

  90. Laurie says

    My teenaged daughter and I made this last night. Likely the easiest recipe ever! We’ve just filled a bottle, it’s a bit thin and a bit stringy, but amazing! We used a bar of Ivory soap, so a gallon of soap cost me .50!!! Crazy amazing. A bit of stringiness is something I can definitely put up with to get that incredible price! I’ll be making soap for the rest of my life now!! Many thanks!

    [Reply]

  91. Angie says

    I’m excited to try this recipe. I was only wondering if it is safe to use a pot, blender and cheese grater that I also use regularly for food?

    [Reply]

    Kathy Reply:

    Yes it safe to use your normal every day kitchen appliances for this. (grater mixer, pot etc.) after after all.. its soap.
    Just wash everything afterwords as usual, and rinse well,
    just as if your cleaning up after a batch of chili.
    I havent tried this yet, but I do make a laundry soap that I just love.
    Ive been researching hand soaps and shampoos recently.
    This is by far the easiest I have found so far.
    Toothpaste is another one I would like to find.

    [Reply]

  92. Dawn says

    You really must add glycerin. I found a bottle at Wal-Mart for under $3 in the band-aid section (and it will last for several batches.) Use 2 tablespoons per gallon of home-made hand soap. Just add it to the water when you add the soap. It will prevent clogging and is great for softening you hands.

    [Reply]

  93. anurag chaudhary says

    i just to made about 1 kg liquid hand wash with table spoon glycerin and some lemon drops in it seeing on other website and it made well too thick and gel type even hard to fill in bottle well i liquify it more but first what about preservation what is shelf life of such homemade no preservative soap allthough i made it from normal bathing bar soap available over the counter that may have some preservatives in it but i dont think that even this handwash may have shelf life more than a month as i see some biocide manufacturer website that show the product testing in handwash without preservative a handwash merely survive 25 days from contamination if u find any alternative to preserve this liquid homemade handwash email me also canurag@rocketmail.com

    [Reply]

  94. Erin says

    We add a little extra water and put in one of the bottles that make the soap into a foam. That helpped with the stringy problem.

    [Reply]

  95. Raynika says

    Where did you find those pump dispensers? I’ve made laundry soap in the past and this is similar. Thank you, I’m going to try the ivory soap as suggested by another reader.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I just used some that I had on hand from purchasing pumps filled with soap previously. :)

    [Reply]

    Janet Crain Reply:

    Walmart has these pumps in colored glass; white,
    dark brown, etc. They are with the bathroom
    accessories and cost $1.99.

    Love this recipe!!!

    [Reply]

  96. says

    I made the Laundry soap and it came out perfect…tried making liquid hand soap, so far a flop…I think it may be the type of soap. I used Kirt. I am going to add irovy to it today and see if that work Right now it just looks like a pot full of water,

    [Reply]

  97. Traci Zellner says

    My local dollar store has Yardley’s natural soaps (different scents, too)for $1 a bar…I think I will snag a couple to try this recipe!

    [Reply]

  98. Lynn says

    I have small pieces of left over Dove soap. Would they work in this recipe?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    As far as I know, that should work just fine.

    [Reply]

  99. Crystal says

    I have been making homemade laundry soap now for quite a while, and I love it! Not only has it saved us money (with 5 kids, we wash quite a bit of laundry…) costing only a penny per load, but it cleans our clothes well! Can’t wait to try handsoap! Thank you for the recipe.

    [Reply]

  100. Sandy Hartley says

    I would like to try a soap like this in our school hand washing sink, the kind with the large dispenser that hold about a gallon of soap. Has anyone ever tried this? It would be a drag if it clogged up the little dispensing holes.

    [Reply]

  101. Chelsea says

    Does it matter if the water is distilled, tap, etc? Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    No, I don’t think it matters.

    [Reply]

  102. says

    I recently made homemade laundry detergent and thought, “I think I’ll find a recipe for hand soap, too! THANK YOU! Sounds great.

    [Reply]

  103. annette says

    What can I do to thicken this soap? It’s very runny.

    [Reply]

    Juan Reply:

    Try heating and adding more soap…

    [Reply]

  104. Stacey says

    I make my soap from bar soap also & love it. However I do not grate it, just pop it in the microwave & it melts & puffs up. So much easier than grating.

    [Reply]

    Linda G. Reply:

    Is this from a bar of Ivory? I’ve heard Ivory will do that. This is good to know since I am needing to make another batch of hand and laundry soap. Thanks in advance!

    [Reply]

    Stacey Reply:

    Yes, Ivory bar soap is what I have had the most luck with melting in the microwave. I usually cut it in half or thirds cause it does puff up pretty big. Just pop it in for 30 second intervals & you’re good to go.

    [Reply]

  105. Abby says

    I add 2 TBS glycerin to mine.

    The 1st batch I made I used Burt’s Bees soap. This is a harder soap and was kind of a pain to shred, but the batch turned out great. I compare it to the consistancy of snot. (Sorry, I have kids, this is what popped in my head).

    My second batch I used a rose scented Caress and it’s super runny, like water. I have added a bar of lever 2000 (that’s what I have on hand) and hoping for the best.

    I wonder if it’s because Caress and some of these soaps like Dove have added moisturizes in them and they don’t set well…..?

    [Reply]

    Erika Reply:

    Dove and Caress, keep in mind, aren’t natural soaps. They have all sorts of additives in them, many of which are not good for the skin.

    [Reply]

  106. Stef says

    Hi Laura!

    Thank you so much for posting this! If I knew it were that simple, I would’ve tried it a long time ago. I have a suggestion: if you have old bottles of hand soap, rinse them out and use them instead of buying new ones! Saves money and room in the landfil!
    I have been making my own laundry detergent for about 2 months now and I absolutely LOVE it! I use Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap, borax and washing soda! :) My son has eczema and any type of “sensitive skin” soap is still too strong for him. I also switched over to making my own dish washer detergent as well. I use borax, washing soda and citric acid. This one was a little tricky.

    [Reply]

    Kat Reply:

    Hi Stef,
    when you have some time to spare could you tell me how you make the laundry soap and washing up detergent please! I’m very interested in making those. Cheers, Kate.

    [Reply]

    Miempie Reply:

    Hi Stef, I would really like to have your recipe for the dishwashing and laundry detergent. Will you pls mail me. I’ m staying in the Free State in South Africa.

    Kind Regards
    Miempie

    [Reply]

    J fellows Reply:

    Hi Stef,

    When you have a chance would you kindly give me the directions for making laundry detergent and dish washing detergent? I would appreciate it greatly. Our family of four also has sensitive skin. Thank you!

    Jane

    [Reply]

  107. kathy says

    I am making this to use and to trade at our neighborhood food/homemade item swap we are having. I have bought mango/pomegranate bar soap, am wondering what you think if i added some grapefruit zest in and strained it out after it has cooked. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Great idea – let us know how it works!

    [Reply]

  108. Alba says

    Just finished making my first batch of handsoap. (well, it’s still setting) So far,so good! Dial has a glycerin soap that is 94% natural, hypo-allergenic and no added phthalates. Comes in a 3 pack for $2.24 at Wal-Mart.

    I started with 1 bar of soap and only 6 cups of water. ( just being cautious since I hadn’t tried it before) After cooling for about 3hrs it was very watery. I poured most of the solution into a large Pyrex cup, leaving about 2 cups in the pot and added the other 2 bars of soap. As it thickened, I slowly added the watery solution back in. (I used a wire whisk instead of a mixer,seemed easier for me) I had to microwave about 3 more cups of water and add it in, as it was now TOO thick.

    I used a 6qt pot and it’s filled to the brim.
    I HATE runny soap, so I made mine kinda like thin lotion. (can’t imagine adding a gallon of water to 1 little bar of soap)

    *** I also added 1 cup of ACV since its a natural anti-bacterial/microbial and a skin softener*** The smell fades once you mix it in.

    I didn’t use glycerin since I used glycerin soap but I suppose you could add more to stretch/thicken it.

    I’m VERY pleased!!! For $2.24 I have a lil over a gallon of nice, rich, non-drying,hand soap.

    Thanx a bunch!!

    [Reply]

  109. Alba says

    Just finished making my first batch of handsoap. (well, it’s still setting) So far,so good! Dial has a glycerin soap that is 94% natural, hypo-allergenic and no added phthalates. Comes in a 3 pack for $2.24 at Wal-Mart.

    I started with 1 bar of soap and only 6 to 8 cups of water. ( just being cautious since I hadn’t tried it before) After cooling for about 3hrs it was very watery. I poured most of the solution into a large Pyrex cup, leaving about 2 cups in the pot and added the other 2 bars of soap. As it thickened, I slowly added the watery solution back in. (I used a wire whisk instead of a mixer,seemed easier for me) I had to microwave about 3 more cups of water and add it in, as it was now TOO thick.

    I used a 6qt pot and it’s filled to the brim.
    I HATE runny soap, so I made mine kinda like thin lotion. (can’t imagine adding a gallon of water to 1 little bar of soap)

    *** I also added 1 cup of ACV since its a natural anti-bacterial/microbial and a skin softener*** The smell fades once you mix it in.

    I didn’t use glycerin since I used glycerin soap but I suppose you could add more to stretch/thicken it.

    I’m VERY pleased!!! For $2.24 I have a lil over a gallon of nice, rich, non-drying,hand soap.

    Thanx a bunch!!

    [Reply]

  110. Barb says

    Two Questions:
    1. Would like an answer to the question about shelf life for this soap. I am single and would not use it up as quickly as a family.
    2. Where can one find ACV?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I made some many months ago and it is absolutely fine on my shelf right now. Sorry I’m unsure how to answer your second question as I don’t know what ACV is?

    [Reply]

    Lyle Reply:

    A.C.V. is most likely apple cider vinegar.
    The non-pasteurized variety is available at most health food stores.

    [Reply]

  111. Lyle says

    Anyone tried using a bought-at-the-store liquid laundry detergent as a substitute for hand soap? Any known hazards or side effects?

    [Reply]

  112. Julie says

    This is awesome! I had no clue making handsoap was so easy and inexpensive. I almost didn’t “google” it because I just didn’t have much hope. Natural hand soaps cost a fortune for a family of four and aren’t even as natural as this! Thank you very much for sharing this recipe! I used Dr. Bronners peppermint bar soap and I added glycerin just because my husband is kinda picky about soap and I really wanted it to be super nice. I may do another batch without it. But I’m sharing this with all my friends and we are all in love! :)

    [Reply]

  113. Karen says

    If you are using a plain non fragrant soap such as Ivory, could you add an essential oil in the mixture?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yes, that would be fine.

    [Reply]

  114. Marjie says

    a while back I grated seemed like hundreds of little hotel bars of soap. I have 18 cups worth. Can someone tell me in CUP form how much soap to add to the gallon of water.

    [Reply]

    pattianne pascual Reply:

    I go by the general rule of 1 ounce of soap flakes for every 8 ounces of water.try making a quart as a test.use 1 quart of hot water and 1\2 cup (4 ounces) grated soap,+1 teaspoon glycerine..I use kirk’s coco castile bar.it usually comes out too thick and i end up adding a little water.I also add lavender oil.blending as soon as the initial liquid cools,and again after it sets,seems to alleviate the stringy soap problem and makes a smooth liquid soap.if this recipe test works you can go on to use the cups you have by doubling,etc,the recipe.the type of soap you use has a lot to do with how the soap turns out, so I would experiment with a small batch to see if it comes out too thick or thin.you’ll then know to use more or less water with the other batches.

    [Reply]

  115. says

    Mine is not a commet but I question do we have to used bar soap can’t I make used of liquid soap for cloth wash that I made at home

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I suppose so, although I’ve not done it this way to know exactly how this would work.

    [Reply]

  116. Dan says

    Another approach: Method makes a pump that turns the liquid soap to foam (others might have this too). They also get to sell even more water, less product, for more money. But here’s the trick: Refill. Pour in about 10% liquid soap, the rest water, shake and it’s ready. No cooking required. :-)

    [Reply]

  117. says

    Pampered chef also sells the “foam soap bottle” (with an extra dispenser) – it has a fill line for adding your liquid soap – works great! I also have saved some of the foam soap bottles from Bath & Body!

    [Reply]

  118. Sheena says

    I make foaming hand soap. I use a leftover method or dial foam soap dispenser and squirt about 2 TBSP (2 long squirts) of Dr. Bronners Castile soap into the container then fill the rest with water. A bottle of castile soap usually sets me back about $17 but making the foam hand soap the Castile soap lasts about a year maybe more.

    [Reply]

  119. Amy says

    I have been buying liquid Ivory hand soap, but it’s no longer available locally. That’s why I found your article. Until now, I put a small amount of soap into an old shampoo pump and filled the rest with water and shook. When I wash my hands, I don’t turn on the faucet until I’ve put a squirt from the shampoo bottle in my hand and spread it around both hands. Then I only run the water for rinsing. Now, I think I’ll just throw the little soap remnants in there and shake. That will be easier than sticking the remnant onto the new bar.

    [Reply]

  120. Erard says

    Good Day,

    I am in the proses to start to make washing powder, but also want to do handwash and body wash liquide soap. We do not get the same soap in South Africa, how sill I know which one is the right one to use? Does any one know what will be the best recipy for body wash or hand wash.

    Kind regards Erard

    [Reply]

  121. Christina says

    I made some home made hand soap & body wash. I followed your directions, but it’s still too runny. Not very cost effective :(
    What can I do to thicken it up a little?

    [Reply]

  122. Wendy says

    I made some the other day for the first time and it came out very watery, but it still does the job. I also bought a bar of soap for $4.99 at the health food store and it doesn’t have all of the additives the regular store brands have such as Dove, Dial, etc. It also came with different essential oils already added to it. :-) I also just tried to use it on my garden as a natural insect repellant. We’ll see how that goes.

    [Reply]

  123. says

    Hi Laura,

    I have just made a batch out of our $FJ3.26 locally made bar soap. I poured in 65ml Lavender oil only to see how it turns out. It seems to be jelling quickly and can smell lavender fragrence and the color of the bar soap is the color of the solution. I cannot wait for another 24 hrs to see the result.

    Cleaning detergents are very expensive here in Fiji in the Pacific. I intend to make dishes detergent and soap powder too but let me see how it goes with this one

    [Reply]

  124. Priya says

    If any one prefers w thicker consistency, and your mix turned out pretty runny, just try adding 1 tsp guar gum to this 1 gallon mix and stir well. Try stirring with the hand mixer. Leave it for half a day or one day outside. Now, it will not be too smooth but will thicken for sure. Use the hand mixer again and stir for 2 mins. You are done!

    [Reply]

  125. MamaFlip says

    For those of you who turned out with a thicker than wanted, clumping soap, simply add hot water and mix well. When my gallon (used Dr. Bronner’s baby mild unscented bar)was finished “setting” to it’s gel form, I only mixed one third soap to one third hot water in my pumps and body wash bottles.

    When stirred well, the consistency is JUST as close to any store brand bought product. Haven’t had any problems with clumping/clogging the hand pumps either. Some people don’t like the thought of adding glycerin to their washes. And this provides a perfect way to play around with the right “set” soap you like! You can make it as runny or as thick as you like.

    And for those of you who are kind of fond of the lather *clears my throat* Dr. Bronner’s DOES. Not to mention, if you were going to purchase a gallon of their liquid soap from a health food store or their website directly, you’d end up paying around $59.99!?!?! When made from the bar, you can pay $4.50 to have an entire gallon of ALL ORGANIC hand, body, hair, pet and dish soap! Keep your eyes peeled and I guarantee you can catch quite a few sales on them throughout the year. I picked up my bars for around $2.25 a piece!

    But enough of my excited ranting. I’m sure you all have other things to do today…like MAKE SOAP!!!

    If anyone is in the South Cackalacky area and would like to trade ideas or simply chat about healthier alternatives to things please feel free to shoot me a line @ clippingchick@live.com

    Until next time…
    Take care, be good and Jitterbug.period
    <3MamaFlip

    [Reply]

  126. MamaFlip says

    Correction:
    *TWO thirds soap to ONE thirds hot water*
    This is to be done AFTER you have initially made your soap with the gallon of water. You don’t wanna add more water before it cools or it might be runnier than you like.
    *catches my breath*

    Also, I meant to add in that when used at a diluted amount like that, it makes MORE than a gallon. I suppose it just depends on how thick you like your soap. Ok, seriously, I’m going to be quiet and leave you now.
    Thanks again!
    Now go make some soap, People!

    [Reply]

  127. says

    What do you mean by non-toxic soap?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    When I talk about non-toxic soap, I am referring to soap made without any added chemicals that could be particularly harmful. For instance, I use a coconut soup from Tropical Traditions which is so pure, it only has one ingredient! http://secure.ttpurchase.com/77402E41-1E0B-90B3-0EF90F118D9A1D68

    [Reply]

    Lisa Reply:

    I realize that this is over two years late on this but there’s no such thing as one ingredient soap. All soap has lye. If it didn’t, it would just be fat/oil.

    [Reply]

    Gemma Reply:

    Through the process of saponification and curing, the lye disappears so you are, in fact, left with one ingredient.

  128. Misty says

    Can you use tap water or does it need to be filtered? Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Misty Reply:

    Also how much water, a gallon?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yes, one gallon is what I use for this recipe. :)

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I just use tap water.

    [Reply]

  129. says

    I am new to making my own things at home. I’m worried about hand soap and it creating bacteria. What’s your thoughts? And where can I purchase essential oils that aren’t rediculously expensive?
    Thanks.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I really don’t worry terribly about bacteria, knowing that there are so many good bacterias in the air to combat the bad ones. Mountain Rose Herbs is a good source for some essential oils: http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/index.php?AID=116329&BID=674” target=”_blank

    [Reply]

  130. Sherri says

    I used the Victorian Rose Soap and it came out VERY liquidy, doesn’t ‘blend’ well, nor does it lather (at all!!) when used. Just wondering what I did wrong. :( A bit disappointed….was using this as Christmas gifts for my sons teachers. What can I do to correct? I hate to think of throwing it all out.

    [Reply]

    Leah Reply:

    Organic/natural soaps do not tend to lather bc they don’t put surfactants such as sodium lauryl sulfate in them. Some surfactants have a biproduct called dioxine that is a known cancer causer among other things.

    Soap of any kind does NOT need suds/bubbles or “antibacterial” chemicals to clean. As long as you use warm/hot water and scrub good it works just fine.

    Hope this helps:)

    [Reply]

    cookie Reply:

    A few drops of castor oil helps with lather

    [Reply]

  131. Jeff says

    I think a gallon of water is WAAAY too much. Try using half that much per 4 oz bar, and your batch will come out much better, and is still economical. At the local health store I’ve found bars of quality soap in the bargain bin for as low as 75 cents each, even at $2 a bar your getting a good deal.

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    Kathy Reply:

    no kidding about a gallon being too much – I stopped myself at 3 qts when my instinct kicked in, saying, “THIS IS WAY TOO MUCH WATER!”. And it was still way too much water. Unless of course, you like your liquid soap to have the viscosity of…water. Which it does. It still works, but geez…way too much water. ;)

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  132. Julie says

    Would Kiss My Face olive oil bar soap work?

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    Laura Reply:

    I’ve not tried it, but it’s worth a shot!

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    Julie Reply:

    The first time I tried making the soap I used that particular one and it was way too watery. I used a 7 ounce rosemary mint bar from The Fresh Market this time and it turned out wonderful. I even added a few drops of peppermint essential oil before blending it.

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  133. Kat says

    I have been looking for inexpensive ways to make liquid dish soap. Do you think this recipe would work for dish soap if you used organic castile bar soap?

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    Laura Reply:

    It’s worth a try!

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    Kat Reply:

    It works! Just used a bar of castile soap – Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps All-One Hemp Pure-Castile Soap Tea Tree, 5 oz with this recipe and it worked perfectly. Only thing I changed was that I used a little less water – 92 ounces instead of 128 ounces (1 gallon). A bar of good castile soap costs around $4 and makes close to a gallon, which is way cheaper than liquid castile soap bought from the store.

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  134. Linda says

    I read this article regarding the safety of homemade liquid hand soap. Let me know what you think, please.
    http://www.greenideareviews.com/2012/07/22/diy-homemade-liquid-hand-soap-review-does-it-work/

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    Verna Reply:

    I have made this recipe with one exception, I boil the water. I have had my soap for over a year. I don’t store it in the fridge. I haven’t had mold or any thing grow in it.

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    Evon Reply:

    If distilled water is used it should not go bad (someone else said boiling the tap water but I have not tried this) but I also add lavender essential oil to mine to kill bacteria. Never had any go bad. Plus the lavender oil is a natural anti bacterial agent for your hands without the over kill of chemical ones.

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    All Allegy Advocate Reply:

    I use boiling water. It does not go bad. I am allergic to most essential oils with fragrance, so I do not add anything to my hand soap

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  135. Rachel says

    Linda,

    Maybe using some citric acid would prevent that? Citric acid is using in canning. It occurs naturally, and is often used in bath and beauty products. You can get it any where that has canning products, or I got mine at Whole Foods.

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  136. Lilly says

    I make hand soap with Dr. Bronner’s castile soap, and as you can imagine, it’s very liquid-y/runny. Any suggestions as to how to make it thicker?

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    Kat Reply:

    I just tried this out last night! I used a bar of castile soap – Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps All-One Hemp Pure-Castile Soap Tea Tree, 5 oz with this recipe and it worked perfectly. Only thing I changed was that I used a little less water – 92 ounces instead of 128 ounces (1 gallon). A bar of good castile soap costs around $4 and makes close to a gallon, which is way cheaper than liquid castile soap bought from the store.

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  137. ASHeree says

    I am allergic to citrus. What else can I use as a preservative for my homemade soap? How long will the soap be good for without the citrus?

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    Brenda Reply:

    try grapeseed oil. I use it in bar soap. never tried it in liquid hand soap but it is a preservative (natural)

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  138. Brycee says

    When you make homemade liquid soaps they tend NOT to lather. It does not affect the cleaning quality tho. For antibacterial add some lavender or tea tree essential oil. There are also no chemical emulsifiers in your homemade product sso it will tend to seperate give it a good stir or shake before each use. I make my own dish soap basically the same way plus a bit of borax it works great cuts grease and leaves my dishes and hands feeling soft to the touch. Hope this helps ya!

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  139. Jolene says

    How many hours should I let it sit? I made mine in the morning and am wondering if it would be ready by this evening.

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    Laura Reply:

    I would imagine anywhere between 8-12 hours would do the trick. :)

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  140. Aubrey says

    I am an impoverished college student, so I am always looking for ways to be thrifty. This seems do simple! I am going to try it with a bar of Dr. Bronner’s soap!

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  141. says

    I’m one of the people who makes that crazy expensive liquid soap you’re talking about. I’d like to give you a few points of information on soap that might be helpful to you.

    First of all, natural liquid soap is very time consuming to make. I have a batch cooking right now. It’s been cooking for about 5 hours. The first hour or so takes my attention, then it’s like letting bread rise. It will cook for another couple of hours before the paste is finished and tomorrow I’ll spend at least a couple of hours diluting the paste. That’s how liquid soap is made. I can only make 2 gallons at a time at home and I use premium ingredients so it can’t be cheap. However, I make the most concentrated soap that can be made so if you took a foaming bottle and put about 1/2 inch of my soap in the bottom, and filled it with water you’d have a full container of foaming soap – great for kids. Harder to waste.

    Another point: All soap is made with some kind of oil or fat and lye and water. You’re Tropical Traditions is made with one fat not one ingredient. If it were only coconut oil it would not be soap. It would be coconut oil. When a soap says 100% coconut oil (or in the case of real/original castile) 100% olive oil, it means that is the only fat used. There is still water and lye used. Lye and fat make a chemical change that produces soap so no lye is left when the soap is done.

    I’ve experimented at length with making liquid soap from bar soap (because I really didn’t want to have to make liquid soap from scratch either). How the liquid soap turns out is dependent on how the bar of soap used for it is made. I find that my 100% olive oil soap works pretty well. No soap made this way will stay in the same form indefinitely. Some will change in days some over months. My 100% olive oil lasts in consistent liquid form for about 3 months. (I don’t really worry about preservatives because soap is alkaline and acid based products will spoil faster)

    For dishes and all kinds of cleaning you can use plain old soap. If it is REAL soap and not some detergent bar or some fancy skin bar loaded with extra oils any soap will clean like crazy. Plain olive oil soap will clean dishes wonderfully. It won’t make suds in your dish pan but rub the bar on your dish cloth and wash the dishes with it and they’ll be spotless. Most other surfaces in your house will also be very well cleaned with plain old soap!

    While olive oil soap will clean most things, the properties of coconut oil far surpass olive for cleaning. I make a 100% coconut oil soap that cleans just about anything!! (So your Tropical Traditions soap would make a much more cleaning liquid soap than most other bars would make)

    Happy Cleaning!!

    [Reply]

    Diane Reply:

    Hi Bunni,

    This is a very informative article and I’m so appreciative of it. Am living on a boat now, and want to be
    conscientious about what we put in our oceans, bays, seas, marinas, etc. I am going to try some of the
    ideas from this thread and from your article. Is it possible for you to share the recipe for the natural liquid
    soap that takes you hours of cooking time? It sounds like something that would last for a very long time,
    and that’s what I need on the boat. How expensive is it, and what types of premium ingredients do you
    use?

    Thanks for your article!
    Diane

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  142. Robin W says

    Ok. This might be a silly question, but can I use just plain Ivory? We have tons of leftover Ivory from teaching Cub Scouts how to whittle. I have been searching for a way to use this.

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    Laura Reply:

    Sure, I think that would work!

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    Tar Reply:

    You can turn that whittled Ivory into laundry detergent!
    2 bars of Ivory
    1.5 cups of Borax
    1.5 cups of washing soda

    I use this and it works really well!

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  143. Beth J says

    I make my own laundry soap that I just love. I have found if I boil the mixture for a while it turns out thicker. maybe if you tried cooking this soap recipe it would thicken too? just a thought.

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  144. Penny says

    What is a pleasant smelling essential oil I could use to make the soap smell really nice? Thank you in advance. :)

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  145. Penny says

    I made the soap, I didn’t use quite a gallon of water and even tho it looks like water it has a wonderful clean feeling. The problem is everyone that has used it has had to change their clothes because it squirts all over. I am wondering what you would think about adding Aloe vera gel to it to thicken it up a bit,any thoughts would be great from anyone. Thank you. :)

    [Reply]

    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    I am wondering if that wouldn’t stay “mixed in” and if it would clog up the squirter. Is squirter even a word? Hmmmm…anyway, could you switch it to a different container?

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    Penny Reply:

    I went and bought a liquid soap foam container and the darn thing acts like its broke.You cant push down on it for the soap to come out. UGH!!!! Anyway thats why I wondered if using the regular liquid soap container and just adding something to thicken it with. :)

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  146. Robin says

    I’m going to try this. I have Celiac Disease and I am having to track down hidden sources of gluten. I can’t seem to find hand soap other than Softsoap that is gluten free and it causes dermatitis problems with my hands. Bar soaps like Ivory, Dial and Dove are gluten free, so I will definitely experiment. thanks!

    [Reply]

    Kristin Reply:

    Have you tried Method? I use their “free of perfumes and dyes” formula and it doesn’t affect my sensitive skin. I buy their hand wash refill pouches (silver & white) at Super Target, though when the run out of the unscented variety, I get them at soap.com. It is the most affordable dye/fragrance free, eco-friendly, NON-antibacterial hand soap refill I have found. Whole Foods also sells other brands of natural hand soap refills, though they cost more.

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  147. Paula says

    The amount of water you need TOTALLY depends on the soap, so don’t get discouraged if your first attempt doesn’t come out quite right. The first time I did this I used 1 bar of Dove (the one with Shea butter) & two cups of water. I also used about 1tbsp each of glycerin & coconut oil. It came out perfect!! I used it as a hand wash & my skin feels incredibly soft. Two days ago I tried again with a bar of Palmer’s Shea Butter Soap. I have added water multiple times and it is still turning into a gel after several hours. I think I’m up to like 10 cups of water now plus I mixed it well with a hand mixer. I think it’ll be okay this time but I haven’t used it yet to say for sure. It definitely depends on the soap though… They’re all different!

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  148. says

    I think a really good option for making homemade soap is to start from scratch. Later is created by various oils and not chemicals. Usually homemade soap don’t lather because people choose cheap low end oils rather than some of the quality oils. Actually coconut and palm are two of the better ones to create soap that lathers. I have always made soap using potassium hydroxide and starting from scratch. Yes its a little more expensive , but there is a lot that goes into it and a lot that comes out of it pride and knowing that it is truly pure. It is most likely why u find liquid soap selling for more is because olive oil , shea, goats milk etc and the potassium hydroxide cost. but I will tell you this once you have made a true batch from scratch and see and feel the difference in your skin, you will understand why the extra steps and extra money is worth it. It’s like buying a bottle of liquid from the dollar store and a bottle from an organic homemade boutique. Both will work but one is and will definitely be a treat for you and your skin.

    [Reply]

    Julie Lee Reply:

    Rachel … are you willing to share your recipe as I would love to follow your lead …

    JL

    [Reply]

  149. Holly says

    Natural soap can lather it depends on the oils you use to make it.rachel is right. I make my own soap. Google soap oil qualities and it will tell you what each oil lends to the soap being made.castor oil is one of the most bubbly and conditioning oils,coconut is one of the most cleansing and hard oils to make soap out of.also if you use distilled water it is less likely to grow bacteria then tap water.there is one soap qualities list at soapcalc.net

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  150. Monique Clock says

    I am going to make this and also add some drops of oil of oregano for germs…it works great at killing the bad bacteria and so simple to add to your hand soap.

    [Reply]

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