Lately, it seems more and more people I know are going “chemical-free” in their skincare and household products. The term “chemical-free” doesn’t mean much to me, since technically, everything is made up of chemicals. However, I too, am embracing more “natural” skin and cleaning products and even opting to make many myself. I’ve been making the switch not necessarily because I find the store-bought, conventional products overtly harmful (although maybe they are, who knows), but because I find that some of them irritate my skin and I find the powerful scents added to them to be way too strong. One such product that I’ve switched from store bought to homemade is Foaming Hand Soap.
Store bought foaming hand soap is one product in particular that I found drying on my skin, even the so-called “natural” products. However, I prefer the foaming soaps because they don’t drip and make a mess of my sink and vanity area like other liquid soaps. When I explored making my own, I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it looked. And then I was pleasantly surprised again when I actually tried making it and found that it worked like a charm.
The ingredient list for foaming hand soap is very short: only water, oil, liquid castile soap and essential oil, which is optional. The only ingredient I didn’t already have on hand was liquid castile soap. It was an ingredient I had seen in the natural skin care aisle, but wasn’t all that familiar with. The ingredient list of unscented liquid castile includes water, coconut oil, potassium hydroxide (which is used to make the soap, but gets used up so that it isn’t actually in the finished product), palm oil, olive oil, hemp oil, jojoba oil, citric acid and tocopherol (vitamin E). All ingredients that I wouldn’t hesitate to use in my own homemade products. Liquid castile is easy to find in any big box store – I’ve even seen it at Costco. I bought a one liter bottle – which will make 64 batches of foaming hand soap – for about $16. Buying 64 bottles of foaming hand soap would cost a lot more than that! Plus you can use liquid castile to make other products like face wash and shampoo.
The other thing you do need to make your own foaming hand soap is a foaming pump. I simply re-used one from a store-bought soap. I just washed it out really well until I could no longer smell the lingering perfumes. However, if you don’t have one, you can buy a reusable one in the bathroom decor section of a home goods store.
When you have all your ingredients, all you do is add water to the pump leaving about 2 inches at the top. Then pour in the liquid castile, oil (any liquid oil will do – I used olive oil) and essential oils, if you want your soap to be scented. The only difference between this homemade foaming hand soap and store bought is that the ingredients do separate out after sitting for a while, so each time you wash your hands, pick up the pump and give a light shake to mix them up.
- 2 Tbsp unscented liquid castile soap
- ½ tsp liquid oil (eg. sweet almond oil, jojoba oil or olive oil)
- several drops essential oil of your choice (optional)
- Fill a clean foaming hand soap pump with water, leaving about 2 inches of empty space at the top. Add liquid castille soap and oil. Add enough essential oil to scent it to your preference, if desired (I used 7 drops rosemary and 4 drops peppermint essential oil for a lightly scented soap)
- Shake lightly to mix with each use, as ingredients will separate over time.