This recipe for homemade liquid hand soap couldn’t be easier to make.
It’s so ridiculously simple that you’ll wonder why you’ve been spending so much on soap all these years. And, of course, my recipe is organic and free of all bad things (parabens, chemicals, crap).
I never thought I’d venture into making my own soap or cleaning products. The thing is, I try so hard to buy local and organic foods that it just didn’t make sense to continue purchasing chemical-laden soap and cleaning products. Why would I spend so much money on organic produce when I’m going to put it on top of counters that I’ve cleaned with Lysol?
These days, we stick to buying natural cleaners. Unfortunately, they can get pretty pricey and I don’t always recognize all of the ingredients. I like to know exactly what I’m eating, so it makes sense for me to know exactly what’s going into the products that I’m using in our home.
I plan on sharing more tutorials for homemade cleaning products, but today, I’m focusing on hand soap. It’s something we use several times a day and I’m guessing that most of us don’t really know what’s in the soap we’re using.
Before starting this journey to better health, I used stock up on antibacterial soap.
The antibacterial soap I used to buy had triclosan in it. Triclosan, an antibacterial agent found in soap, cleaning supplies, toothpaste, etc. is an extremely controversial additive. Here’s what the FDA has to say about it on their website:
“Triclosan is not currently known to be hazardous to humans. But several scientific studies have come out since the last time FDA reviewed this ingredient that merit further review. Animal studies have shown that triclosan alters hormone regulation. However, data showing effects in animals don’t always predict effects in humans. Other studies in bacteria have raised the possibility that triclosan contributes to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics.”
Yeah. But don’t worry, it’s still safe… until the FDA decides to change their mind. And THAT is why you can’t trust what’s being sold in stores. While a lot of companies ARE voluntarily removing this ingredient from their products, who knows what other questionable ingredients are in their products. (By the way, you can read the FDA’s latest press release about the topic here).
I can tell you exactly what’s in my homemade soap: castile soap and distilled (or boiled) water.
There are a few other ingredients you can add to make your soap a little more luxurious, and I’ll get into those in just a minute.
First, let me tell you about castile soap. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a vegetable based soap that’s three times as concentrated as regular soap. I use and recommend this brand of castile soap (nope, they are not a sponsor – though, it’d be nice if they were…). Castile soap is made up of several ingredients: water, coconut oil, olive oil, hemp seed oil, jojoba seed oil, and vitamin E (from sunflower seeds, not soy). There are also two ingredients that you may not recognize, but they are natural: glycerin and citric acid. In this instance, the glycerin is a natural co-product of the saponification process (the triglycerides in the coconut and olive oils are converted into soap and in that process, glycerol or glycerine is released). The citric acid in the brand of castile soap that I use is from fermented tapioca. The most important thing about pure castile soap is what’s NOT in it: no foaming agents, thickeners, or preservatives.
The second necessary ingredient is distilled water. You can find this it in the grocery store, or you can use boiled water.
Now, for the extras.
You can also add different scents to your soap. I love using rose water for my bathroom soap – it has a beautiful perfume-like scent. For the kitchen, I stick to citrus – usually lemon essential oil. You can also use peppermint, tea tree oil, or another oil of your choice. If you’re wondering where to buy essential oils, you can find them at any drug or grocery store. If you can afford it, I suggest buying organic or wild crafted essential oils (not the “therapeutic grade” that so many MLM companies promote. It’s an unfortunate marketing ploy). I purchase organic oils from Mountain Rose Herbs. Do your research and choose what works best for you.
Another bonus about making your own soap: it’s environmentally friendly. Think of the many soap containers you throw out each year. They all end up in landfills. By making your own soap, you’ll waste less. I use an old (recycled) foaming soap container, but you can buy a foaming soap pump on amazon if you prefer. Make sure to use a foaming container – it’s much more luxurious than watery liquid soap.
I’m excited that you might be joining me in making your own soap. The skin is our largest organ and it protects us. We should protect it too.Print
basic soap ingredients
- water, distilled or boiled
- 2 tablespoons liquid castile soap
optional for more luxurious soap
- rose water
- lemon, citrus, peppermint, lavendar, tea tree or essential oil of choice