DIY: Liquid Hand Soap

You use it every day to wash your hands, a liquid soap that not only cleanses but moisturizes as well as leaves your paws smelling fresh and rejuvenated. There's no substitute for washing hands with warm water and soap, not even anti-bacterial gels or wipes; washing your hands the good ol' fashion way for about 20 seconds can vastly decrease the spread of germs and pathogens. So, no doubt, we all need to wash our hands, now the only question is what type of soap should we use?

Many liquid soaps contain detergents and emulsifiers (which give an even consistency) such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and ammonium lauryl sulfate and even the type of preservative known as parabens. A growing number of people have begun to distance themselves from these substances in order to live a more natural life (to whatever degree that is possible).

In this tutorial, we'll make our own liquid hand soap from barred soap, adding no further ingredients except the optional vegetable glycerin. Any barred soap can be used for this project, so the type and quality of your liquid soap is completely based upon the type of barred soap you choose.

Let's get started!


4 Bars of soap: I used three different "flavors" of soap which are organic, plant-based and naturally derived. They use pure essential oil fragrances, gentle preservatives, and non-petroleum ingredients. I mixed three different bars of soap: goat milk, coconut oil, and honeysuckle, because I couldn't decide which one I liked best. However, you could absolutely stick to using only one type of soap, just buy three bars of it or reduce the amount of water that this recipe calls for.

4 tsp vegetable glycerin (optional)

A cheese grater

A large pot

3 1/2 litres of tap water (if you have hard tap water you may need to filter it)


Grate your soap bars.

This process proved quick and easy. Grate your soap bars so that they will melt faster and more evenly when boiled. I had fun getting fancy using different grating sides, but this isn't at all necessary.

Bring it to the boil.

Bring 3 1/2 L of water to a boil in your pot, then add in your soap shavings along with 4 tsp glycerin and any essential oils you want (optional). Place on medium heat and stir every couple of minutes to make sure the shavings are dissolving well. After about 10 minutes, or whenever you notice that there are no more shavings, take off heat. There's no fear of burning this, so if it takes you longer to get to the stove, don't worry.

The texture of the boil substance may surprise you: it'll be completely watery. But don't worry, this is natural. We'll have to let it cool and thicken overnight in order to achieve the right texture of liquid hand soap.

Your kitchen will smell divine!

The morning after.

It'll be hard wait, but the next day your liquid hand soap will be ready for use! It may not be easy to tell from the first image, but my soap is nice and thick! I actually had to stir it around to ensure it wasn't too thick to go through my soap dispenser!

With the help of a funnel, I poured my newly made hand soap into a dispenser. It's ready for use!

Place anywhere you need dirty hands to be washed.

Did I mention that this process proved not only easy but cheap as well?? Each bar of soap cost $2, that comes out to about $7 total for over a gallon of organic liquid hand soap!

Clean and cheap.

My clean hands applaud.

This Instructable was originally posted by Amalkhan, it has been shared under a CreativeCommons license. You can check out her blog here.

1 Million Women has edited the original post.

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