I Hate Buying Hand soap
So we’ve been low on hand soap for a while now, like down to one little bottle of it. Out of everything we have to buy for our household, hand soap is high on my list of extreme dislikes. For one, it is expensive for soap, two, people in this family use it like it’s some sort of magical, playtime substance, and last, I never used it until I married my husband, I always used the bar. So, in order to avoid spending so much on this hated substance, traditionally, I water down the regular strength stuff to about 1/4 soap to 3/4 water in the foaming dispensers. If you have yet to try this little trick, you are really missing out. Find one of the foaming soap dispensers from a friend or relative and use it for the next five years, we have and it’s never gotten old.
So let’s go to the beginning, what got me started today was this: I purchased this antibacterial liquid soap (below) from the Exchange years ago. It was on sale, then half off, and then further reduced to like $.49 a bottle. How could I resist buying it in bulk. There I was, knee deep in soap, four children and one husband in tow. My children and husband sat there aghast while I piled up bottle after bottle of liquid soap, there was the slight scent of embarrassment in the air, but how can you resist $.49?!??! Anyway, three years later, this is my last bottle. This makes me almost as sad as when I used to smoke and there was just one lonely cigarette left in the pack, rolling around all by itself. Ahh, well, anyway…What I have always done is fill up the foaming dispensers 1/4 to 1/3 of the way with regular liquid soap, then add water and shake. The foaming action is magical, it makes soap last almost forever. I have literally had the same three foaming dispensers for the last 5 years. It’s like they are part of the family. If you have some, never get rid of them, if you don’t own some, go get them, they are golden nuggets of savings.
So I Decided To Make My Own…
Any who, after realizing I was going to need more liquid hand soap, I went looking for a good deal. The best I could find was $4.00 for a moderate sized jug. Four dollars for hand soap?! You have to be kidding me. I began to wonder just how hard it was to make hand soap. Admittedly, I initially just tried soaking left over bars of hand soap in water to see how it worked. While this was o.k., it just wasn’t the consistency I needed for the almighty foamer. So I went online and found this recipe from Savvy Housekeeping for liquid hand soap from a bar. The only issue I had was I had no where to put over ten cups of liquid soap, so I opted to use only 5 cups of water to make a concentrate. Feel free to add water to fit your storage space needs, just remember that if you concentrate it as I did, you will need to add boiling water at an equal rate to reconstitute it, I use 1/2 soap, 1/2 water ratio to use it. This is what I did, and if it matters at all, my kids were really impressed. (If you want to turn this into a really cool science experiment, check out Steve Spangler Science, and Science Fair Adventure)
1. Gather the Ivory Soap Liquid Trifecta: 1 Bar of Ivory Soap ($.79 for three with a coupon), 1 Tablespoon of Vegetable Glycerin ($1.78 at Target for a bottle), and 7-12 Cups of Water (Free in most places) Overall cost for what I used, about $.49.
2. Unwrap your beautiful bar of Ivory and set it in a large, microwave safe bowl then microwave on high for 90 to 120 seconds. Don’t move from the microwave because you will a. enjoy the show, and b. want to remove it when it stops growing.
3. Open the microwave and carefully pull out the new creation, admire how it has grown in size, but beware, it may still be hot.
4. Allow the foamed mass to cool completely, then set it on a stable counter and dive in with hands, rubbing the mass between your fingers until it is entirely defeated into teeny, tiny, soft flakes.
5. Be sure to examine the crumbles for lumps. Nobody like big chunks of crumble.
6. Heat up 1 cup of water to boiling in the microwave and add 1/2 cup at a time, whisking it until it is a smooth melted mass of liquid soap foam. Boil another 6 cups of water and add it, whisking completely then let it rest and make breakfast.
7. Make breakfast…whisk soapy mess…note that breakfast kind of looks like foamy mess…eat breakfast…whisk soapy mess and continue.
8. Add 1 tablespoon of Glycerin and whisk then allow it to cool. You will find a gloopy, slimy, almost gross concoction awaits. Clean out a reasonable container and transfer gloop to container.
As I said, this is concentrated at 50% less water than usually needed because I only used 7 cups of water. After some fiddling, I found that if I mix 1/4 soap concentrate and 3/4 water in a microwave safe container and heat for 30 seconds or so, it becomes so very useable in my magic foaming soap container!!!! You will have to experiment with the ratios, it took us a few days to get them down when we were finished. My oldest daughter, Punk, reminded me that I should do it like an experiment to actually do a good job.
*As a side note, you could cook everything, water, soap flakes, and glycerin on the stove with flames and everything, but I was looking for something I didn’t have to watch closely considering my attention span isn’t all that phenomenal these days and Bubba the Baby Gorilla isn’t always cooperative with my personal plans for the day.
**If you want to make a really cool snot like soap product for kids to play with in the bathroom, only add 1 TEASPOON of glycerin and keep the water at 5 cups instead of 10. When it cools down it becomes thick and stringy like mucous, we all enjoyed playing with it while we tried to figure out what the heck we did wrong!