So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90.12

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Frugal Hand Soap

I wanted to share a frugal success story with you!  I've had some "frugal dismal failures", so every success is very encouraging.  I don't like using a lot of harsh chemicals in my house, so I've been making my own household cleaners or buying "greener" cleaners (when the price is right!).  Over the last three years or so, I have successfully made my own laundry soap, glass cleaner, all purpose cleaner and scrubbing powder (like Comet).  Today, I decided to tackle liquid hand soap!

I had previously looked for ideas online.  There were recipes for making your own soap right from scratch, which didn't really appeal to me and would require some special equipment/ingredients.  Then I found recipes that simply used bar soap as the base.  That's what I decided to go with.

Any bar soap can be used (I think), as long as you like the smell of it.  A lot of the recipes I found called for Ivory soap.  I decided to use a glycerin soap for my first attempt.  What I had on hand was a strawberry scented glycerin soap from The Body Shop (mine was in a heart shape).  I forgot to take a photo before I started.  By the way, I can't remember the last time I bought something at The Body Shop for myself.  This soap was a gift! :)

The first step is to grate up your bar of soap.  I used my cheese grater to do this.

 Once the soap is all grated, measure is to find out how much you've got.  I had about 2 cups of soap shavings.  Next, I dumped the soap shavings into a pot and added 4 cups of hot water.  Stir it a little and put it on to heat on the stove (using medium heat).  Do not let it boil!  Stir occasionally to make sure the shavings are melting.

  When everything is melted, remove from heat and stir.  Let the soap sit in the pot to cool a bit.  After it has cooled down somewhat, you can transfer it to a bowl or container, but I just left it in the pot.

  As it sits, it will get thicker.  You can stir it every now and then while it's sitting to make sure it doesn't get lumpy.  When it has cooled, it will form kind of a gel.

Stir it a bit and then pour some into your soap dispenser.  I would recommend you only fill your dispenser half full, so if it is a little too thick, you can dilute it some more with water.

Here is the finished product:

This recipe made enough liquid soap to half fill my dispenser and fill a 907 g (2 lb) margarine container.  So, I figure I can probably half fill my dispenser 10 times.  That's quite a lot from one small bar of soap!

I know you could just as easily put your bar of soap in a soap dish and use it like that, but I kind of prefer liquid hand soap for communal use :)  Also, my kids tend to make a mess with the bars of soap (leaving it floating in water, squeezing it when it's wet, etc).  Next time I make this, I'd like to try Ivory soap to see if it gives the same results.

I hope you've enjoyed my post today.  Thanks for visiting!

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