DIY Hand and Body Wash

Liquid hand soap is expensive. Liquid body wash is even more so. Sooooo…let’s try to make it ourselves.

What you need:

– 8 oz bar of soap (or 2 bars at 4 oz. each)
– 2 Tablespoons Glycerin (found in the bandaid section at Walmart and Publix)

Directions: Heat 1 gallon of water in a large pot on the stove. While it’s warming up, grate your bar(s) of soap. Once the water is steaming (not quite boiling) add in your soap shavings and glycerin. Stir it until all the little soap pieces are dissolved.

Ok, here’s the hard part – you move the pot to the back of the stove (or wherever it’s convenient and off of heat) and let it sit there. For like 12 hours.

That’s it. Melt the soap, let it sit. Simple. After 12 hours or so, stir it really well. I used a hand mixer. The top will be too hard for liquid soap and the bottom will be too runny – once you incorporate it well it should stay at a “hand soap consistency”. Pour it into an old (cleaned) milk jug and please clearly label because from the outside it does kinda look like milk.

Does it Save Money:

Yes. A fortune. I used Mrs. Meyers bar soap because that’s what the recipe I found online used. However, I think you could use about any kind of soap as long as you use 8 oz – most regular bath bars are only 4 oz so you’d need to use two bars. I found Mrs. Meyers for $4.50 a bar so it was on the expensive side, as soap goes. A bottle of Glycerin is $2-3 depending on where you find it. Altogether, I made a 24 oz bottle of bath wash for about 88 cents. Even a cheap bottle of bath wash would cost a couple dollars in the store so this is a significant savings. If you used a cheaper bar soap, you’d save even more.

A note about the soap – make sure it’s actually a “soap” you use and not a “moisturizing bath bar” such as Dove. Dove contains lots of extra oils and moisturizers so it wouldn’t work with this recipe. You’d have to significantly reduce the amount of water to get it right.

Is it Quick and Easy:

Well, it does have to sit for 12 hours. So, don’t plan on using your pot for a while. But it’s fairly simple. Melt the soap, let it sit, stir. Not a lot of effort.

Is it Effective:

I mean…it’s soap…so…yes. The consistency was right for what hand soap or body soap should be. It lathers. It cleans, or at least seems like it cleans. I’m not swabbing my hands to check for germs or anything so I can’t say for sure.

I will note that it is soap and soap feels different on your skin than a moisture rich body wash would feel. Don’t expect to step out of the shower feeling like an Oil of Olay commercial. But, for me this is a very small sacrifice when compared to the savings. Experiment with different bar soaps to find one you like.

If you tend to have sensitive skin, make sure you use a bar soap that you know doesn’t cause negative reactions.

I’m very happy with this DIY project and plan to keep making my own liquid soap. Any one else want to give it a try?


One response to “DIY Hand and Body Wash

  1. Pingback: Hand & Body Soap – UPDATE « Chrystal Murphy

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