Whenever I go to our local thrift store, I’m always drawn to the room with the big basket FULL of wonderful smelling toiletries that come from fancy resorts and hotels in the area. (There are a lot around here!) The little bottles of lotion are the perfect size for keeping in your purse, the shampoos and conditioners are great for traveling, and the soaps, I have discovered, are perfect for making great-smelling liquid hand soap!
Truthfully, when I’m in the kitchen I usually just use a drop or two of dishwashing liquid because it’s what’s “handy”, but it’s not very gentle on my hands. They tend to get dry and itchy if I don’t follow up with a moisturizer, but the hand soap I’ll be sharing with you today is much gentler. After all, the little hotel bars of soap are usually labelled as “facial bars”, so if they’re gentle enough for your face, they’ve got to be nice for your hands too, right? That’s my logic anyway, and I’m sticking to it!
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The method for making your own liquid hand soap couldn’t be easier.
Liquid Hand Soap Recipe
- (8) 1 oz bars of soap, grated (or equivalent amount)
- 2 tablespoons glycerin
- 1 gallon distilled water
The first thing you’ll do is grate the soap. The easiest way to do it is to stick it in your blender or food processor, but you can also do it by hand using your box grater. (Or you can stick the soap into your microwave for a minute or two, let it cool, and then crumble it into smaller bits with your hands. Cool, right?)
Pour the gallon of distilled water into a large pot and place it on your stovetop to warm up. You don’t want it to be boiling hot, but it needs to be warm enough to dissolve the soap.
Once the water has heated through, dump the grated soap in and stir. Keep stirring until the soap has dissolved into the water, and then mix in the glycerin.
Transfer the mixture into a large container and let it sit overnight.
The next morning, you’ll want to whisk it up a bit, because it will have thickened quite a bit overnight. I like to use my stand mixer for this step.
Finally, transfer the finished hand soap into a soap dispenser. I like to use a mason jar with a soap dispenser top! (You could also transfer the soap into many soap dispensers, if you want to give them as gifts!)
I did a bit of quick math out of curiosity, and I paid about $7.65 for the supplies I used to make all this soap. (About $2 for distilled water, $1.25 worth of glycerin, and 8 bars of soap at $0.55 each, if you’re curious.) The recipe yields about a gallon of soap, which I distributed between 9 pint-sized jars. That’s about $0.85 of materials for each jar of hand soap. Quite the bargain, I’d say! Plus, it smells and feels so luxurious!