Saturday, July 21, 2012
Making hand soap this week was one of my only creative accomplishments and I'll be honest, it took a lot to drag myself off the couch and into the kitchen. The past couple of weeks have been draining, I won't sugarcoat it, and my energy level isn't where it normally is. But pushing myself to do at least one creative thing was cleansing [pardon the pun] and a bit of a science experiment.
Three simple ingredients: a gallon of water, one bar of soap and two tablespoons of vegetable glycerin is all that's needed.
First, choose a favorite bar of soap [I chose Trader Joe's lavender soap] and shred it with a hand grater, just like you would with cheese. One of the best parts of working with soap and water, was that it made clean up a breeze.
Once the soap is shredded, place it in a pot with a gallon of water and heat on the stove on a medium setting. It's important to note, there is no need for the water to boil. Instead, slowly stir the soap and water over the course of ten minutes or so as the soap melts. Once the soap is melted, add two tablespoons of glycerin [many stores sell glycerin for under ten dollars, especially health food stores] and stir well. Remove from heat and let sit for 10-12 hours.
By morning, my soap had hardened and needed some extra water added to it as well as a quick mix with the electric hand beaters, which helped turn it into the consistency of hand soap. If your hand soap is just the opposite and is runny, add more soap by melting it in the pot and let it reset. Repeat as necessary to get the consistency of hand soap.
With a funnel, you can ladle the soap into a gallon jug and begin using right away. And for under $10, you have enough hand soap to last a while!