My friend Sandra over at The Sensible Mom posted a fabulous recipe for homemade hand soap, and it looked so easy, I just had to give it a try!
To get started, I gathered together all the items that I needed to make the soap: a bar of high-quality soap, glycerin, which I purchased at Hobby Lobby (with a coupon!), a large pot, measuring cup and spoon, and a cheese grater.
After grating the entire bar of soap using the cheese grater, I placed it into the pot, along with a gallon of water and 2 tablespoons of the glycerin. I used Dr. Bonner’s organic peppermint soap just like Sandra suggested.
Next, cook the soap over medium heat until it is completely dissolved. This step only took a few minutes. Turn off the heat and then let the soap sit for about 10 hours until it becomes thick. I transferred it from the stock pot to a really big stainless steel bowl, just because I needed to use my stock pot for dinner later that night, otherwise, I think you could just leave it in there the whole time.
This is what the soap looked like after about 9 hours. I stirred it throughout the day to see if it was thickening up, and was very worried when it still seemed watery. I thought it would never come together, but it finally did!
My husband helped me funnel this into an old gallon milk jug for storage. The soap was a little “stringy,” and there was some residual water on the top, which I tried to mix in using my electric beater. It didn’t really help that much, but I was still pleased with the outcome.
I filled up 2 soap dispensers with this homemade hand soap, and we’ve been having good results with it. The first day we used it, I noticed some water coming out of the dispenser, so I just pumped it all out and we’ve had no trouble since. I’m not sure if I needed to let the soap sit longer after cooking or if that is just characteristic of homemade soap. The soap in the gallon container does not have any water sitting on it, so I think it may have just needed more time to “cure.”
All in all, I’m so pleased with my big gallon of homemade organic hand soap. It cost less than $4 to make the entire gallon, which will last for quite some time. What a great-money saving recipe…thanks so much Sandra!
UPDATE: This batch of soap lasted 7 months in our household! When I made a second batch, I added an extra teaspoon of glycerin and let the soap sit for a few extra hours. This eliminated the watery-ness and made the soap much less stringy.