I’ve had a recipe in my stash for a while now for homemade liquid hand soap. Having made several batches of homemade liquid laundry soap, I quickly recognized the familiar method for the hand soap recipe. You grate up a bar of soap and then melt it into some hot water. Once the mixture cools down and gels up a bit, you have your homemade liquid soap.
I could see right off the bat that the hand soap recipe used much less water than a laundry soap recipe, which made sense. For a hand soap you want a thicker creamier soap.
So a few weeks ago I gave the recipe a try. I grated up a bar of lavender scented Yardley soap, which smelled really nice and made me feel all happy about how lovely my new soap was going to be. Plus I was cutting the recipe in half so I only needed about one third of the bar grated up. I paid 69 cents for the Yardly soap with a coupon so using only a third of the bar brought the cost down to only 23 cents. Yeah, I was pretty jazzed up about my soap. It looked pretty and made a big enough batch that I put some in an extra container.
And then I used it.
I was hoping this could also be used as a body wash. I put some on my bath pouf in the shower the next day. Not one bit of suds or lather! Nothing! I felt like I was not even using soap at all.
So I squirted a whole bunch onto my bath pouf. A little teeny bit of lather appeared and that was it.
In most cases I am willing to be quite frugal and creative about things, but when it comes to my morning shower, doggone it, I want a nice soapy refreshing experience. The homemade stuff just did not perform.
Was I expecting too much of the homemade liquid soap? After all the recipe did not say “homemade body wash”. Well I tried just setting it by the sink for washing my hands, but it was the same feeling. I got almost no suds or lather and felt like I was really just washing my hands with water.
The homemade liquid hand soap was a disappointing experience for me. I felt that the soap was watered down too much. If I want to save money on hand soap, I’m going to stick with my Homemade Foaming Dish Soap and Hand Soap that uses a similar strategy of watering down liquid dish soap, but the foaming dispenser gives you nice sudsy lather.
I will still print the recipe for the liquid hand soap below. If someone else has had good success with this strategy, please comment below and educate the rest of us.
HOMEMADE LIQUID HAND SOAP
1 cup soap flakes
10 cups of water
1 Tablespoon of glycerin (optional)
Grate the bar of soap to make your soap flakes. Heat the water in a large pot. Add the soap flakes and stir to dissolve. Let the mixture cool and then put into containers.
A few notes on what I did:
- I cut the recipe in half as I have a small household
- I used Yardly lavender soap and omitted the glycerin
- I used really hot top water instead of heating the water on the stove and the soap still melted quickly. (we have our hot water heater turned up pretty high)
- It took about four hours for the soap to be thick after cooling down.