February 4, 2013

DIY Natural Hand Soap


Some things are not as pretty as others.  It's a fact of life, I suppose.
But just because something is not as pretty on the outside doesn't mean it's better on the inside.

The oranges on our tree are a good example of that.  They aren't shiny and perfect like store bought oranges.  They aren't all the same size either.  But oh those oranges!  They are the best oranges.  So good in fact, I'm willing to sit here and say I will never buy a grocery store again as long as I have that tree in my backyard.

This DIY hand soap is another example.  When I saw it on Pinterest I was intrigued.

Via
























A gallon of Mrs. Meyer's for about 5 bucks?  Well OK!  So what if it's in a recycled milk carton, right?

Beyond being less than $5 for an enormous amount of soap, I also liked the fact that it was not anti-bacterial.  Why is all of the soap anti-bacterial now?  We prefer to not use anti-bacterial soap for a variety of reasons, most of which are noted here, but also because, it's just really not necessary all the time.

Unfortunately, I could not find Mrs. Meyer's in the bar form in my local area.  Instead, I headed to the co-op to see if I could find a way to make this recipe in an even more natural way.

I found a yummy smelling lemon verbena soap ($3.99) and a vegetable glycerin (about $3) in the co-op's beauty department.  The helpful beauty lady told me the vegetable glycerin is a natural version of the liquid glycerin used in the recipe from Pinterest/The Farmer's Nest.


Another nifty thing about vegetable glycerin - you can add it to your everyday moisturizer to make it into a winter moisturizer, pretty nifty.  P.S.  Either "glycerine" is spelled wrong on that bottle or my spell check (glycerin) is wrong - you choose!

Anyway, back to this soap.  I mentioned earlier some things aren't as pretty as others.  Well, this soap is one of those things too.  I'm probably just being a bit picky but here are the things that make it not as pretty as store bought liquid hand soap:

  1. The Farmer's Nest says it has a snot-like consistency.  This is kind of true, but I found it has set up a bit better over time.  It does work just fine though.
  2. If you re-use a plastic soap container (like I did) it kind of sticks to the sides.  This is really not a big deal and could be easily fixed by buying a ceramic soap dispenser.  I've just spent years paying too much for liquid soap so I don't have one.  The sticking-to-the-side phenomenon is nothing crazy either, it's just that you can see some soap residue on the clear container.  No bigs.
  3. Sometimes you have to shake it.  I noticed this more when I first made it, but not so much anymore.
But here are some other things:
  1. This soap smells GOOD.  Plus, you can make it smell like whatever you want - have fun picking out your bar of soap!
  2. The find on vegetable glycerin was worth it alone.  My skin looks really good even with dry winter air, but the soap is great too.
  3. You still get a gargantuan container of soap for like $5!!
  4. It's natural.
So how do you make the soap?  There are full directions at The Farmer's Nest, but I'll give you my own description here:

Ingredients
2 Tablespoons vegetable glycerin
1 8oz. bar of soap (find a good smelling one!)
1 gallon of distilled water

Other Stuff
Cheese grater
A big pot
Electric hand mixer

How To

Grate the whole bar of soap










Pour the gallon of distilled water into your big pot and add the grated soap










Add 2 Tablespoons of vegetable glycerin.  Turn your heat to medium high and stir frequently until soap dissolves.
At this point I transferred mine from my good big pot into a couple of old big bowls - this step is optional.
Let the soap cool for 10-12 hours.
After it is cooled completely it will harden.  At this point mine was pretty hard, like thicker than normal Jell-O.
So, if yours is like mine was, get out your beaters and add a little bit of water* at a time while blending until you reach the consistency of liquid soap.
You're done!
*Because I added water I ended up with more than a gallon.

So, enjoy this soap!  And remember even though it might not be as pretty as what you can buy in the store it is:
  1. A whole lot cheaper
  2. Works just as good
  3. Smells better
  4. Is natural
  5. You know what you put in it!
Happy Soap Making,
TCW

**Here's where I'm sharing....
New Life on a Homestead











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