February 3, 2014

Soap...Really, Really Cheap Soap

Hello all. Thank you for your kind regards and understanding while Kristy was attending her grandpa's funeral. We both greatly appreciate it.

So sorry for the break, but it seemed like an important time to spend with family rather than writing. But as grandma says, now the rest of need to keep living... it is what grandpa would want. So we have a full week of posts lined up.

And now with a seamless transition...

Soap. Liquid soap in particular. It is ridiculously easy to take a bar of soap and turn it into a lot of liquid soap. It is fairly painless and can save quite a bit of money. Who could ask for more.

There are probably dozens of other posts on blogs about this already. We have found that some are better than others. Some are too thick, others are too stringy, and some don't foam at all. After playing around with the ratios, we have found a version that we like. It still doesn't foam very much, but enough to feel like you are getting clean.

If you really want a liquid soap like the ones you might buy in the store, you would actually need to use a different process. Liquid soap is made from potassium hydroxide while hard soap is made from sodium hydroxide. The potassium hydroxide soap is softer and can be diluted with less water...leading to a soap that foams better. (But you would probably have to make that soap yourself to do this since I have never seen it in the store... and that is one adventure on our to-do list that we haven't tried yet.)

Here is all that you will need to make our version of easy homemade liquid soap:

Easy Homemade Soap

2  Five-ounce bars Dr. Bronner's All-One Hemp Tea Tree Pure-Castile Soap
2 tablespoons Mountain Rose Herbs Vegetable Glycerin
1 gallon + 2 cups water
Cheese grater
Large pot

1. Fill the large pot with the water and place on a stove burner. (Note: make sure you have a big enough pot to stir without spilling...not that I would know anything about that...)

2. Grate the bars of soap (with a cheese grater) and pour into the water.

The grated soap or the best April Fool's day mozzarella ever...

3. Turn the burner onto medium and stir the soap/water mixture until the soap is dissolved. It will get increasingly frothy as it dissolves, but be sure not to heat it to boiling (unless you want a bubbly mess). 

4. Once the soap is dissolved, turn off the heat and move the pot off the burner. Then let it sit for several hours (I made it in the afternoon and let it sit over night) until it solidifies.

What the soap looks like after sitting out overnight

5. The soap will seem solid at first, however it will liquify if you stir it vigorously. Stir the soap however you see fit until it reverts to a more liquid texture. Using egg beaters works well.

6. Transfer the liquid soap into your dispenser/recepticle of choice. And that's it. You're done. Be aware that the texture will probably be different than what you are used to. But the soap will clean just as well.

10 ounces of bar soap...

...Becomes 177 ounces of liquid soap

The cost comparison:

Mountain Rose Herbs vegetable glycerin $8.50 for 16 oz
     2 tablespoons/1 ounce = $0.55

Dr. Bronner's Bar Soap $3.00 for 5 oz
     x 2 = $6.00

= $6.55 for 177 ounces

= $0.04/oz

And here is how that compares with some other soaps out there.

Softsoap Hand Soap: $2.50 for 7.5 oz = $0.33/oz
Softsoap refill: $5.00 for 56 ounces = $0.09/oz
Dr. Bronner's Liquid Soap: $12.00 for 32 oz = $0.38/oz
Dr. Bronner's Bar: $3.00 for 5 oz = $0.60/oz
Trader Joe's Hand soap: $21.00 for 34 ounces = $0.62/oz

So as you can see you get a larger supply of soap for less cost per ounce than even the bulk Softsoap refill (without it's added chemicals). Booya!

As I mentioned before, I would like to acknowledge that there are many articles and blogs already out there that explore this subject in a thorough and thoughtful manner. Here are two articles that we found helpful as we began making our own soap. They are both very useful and well worth checking out.


  1. Great post. This week over on Wildcrafting Wednesdays we’re hosting a special Hygiene Edition and this post would be perfect in the carnival. I’d love it if you would pop over and share this post with our readers.

    1. Thanks for the tip Kristin! I will be over there shortly!

  2. I love saving money by making my own personal care products, like soap and laundry detergent. Hello from HomeAcre Hop.

  3. Thanks for sharing at the HomeAcre Hop. Looks like a great recipe!

  4. This will be my featured post tomorrow on the HomeAcre Hop!

  5. We go through liquid soap in our house like it's candy! Thanks for this recipe! I look forward to saving a lot of money this way! BTW, can you put a scent into the soap? I'm thinking something like lavender or mint.... maybe even lemon!

    1. Hi Vickie, we usually use one of Dr. Bronner's tea tree, peppermint, or lavender soaps so it already has a slight scent to it. However, I don't see why you couldn't add extra essential oils at the end (after it has set up) to make the scent stronger.

    2. Yes - good idea! I love the scent of lavender, so if I use the Dr. Bronner's Lavender and add a little Lavender essential oil, then it should really smell good in the bathroom. Then maybe tea tree with lemon in the kitchen! Oh, I am so excited for the possibilities! Thank you so much!

  6. Hey Kristy and Nathan! So I have been making my dish soap for a bit and not happy with it! Here is the recipe: http://naturesnurtureblog.com/2013/06/17/homemade-dish-soap-that-actually-works/

    So, I am going to switch over to this recipe! My question is, where are you finding the Dr. Bronner's soap for $3.00? I cannot find it under $6.00. Thank you for the recipe! :) Miss you!

    1. Hey Nicole! I am not sure that I would actually like this for dish soap. We use it mostly for washing our hands/as a body wash which is really nice since it is pretty gentle on the skin. But for the same reason that it is great for skin (i.e. that it doesn't strip all your oils) I don't think that it would be great at cleaning dishes.

      I often find it cheap at Amazon (which is great since we have Prime) such as this one http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001ET77O8?ie=UTF8&camp=213733&creative=393185&creativeASIN=B001ET77O8&linkCode=shr&tag=natnurgro-20&linkId=FYKNOIDSOD4UEHL7&qid=1410134659&sr=8-1&keywords=dr+bronners+bar+soap.

      Or at Vitacost (looks like it is more like $4 right now... although if you use this link: http://goo.gl/JSd40W it should give you a $10 off coupon...)


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...