I’m a fan of homemade soap, and I’ve done research and actually made my own liquid soap using several different recipes over the past year.
Even though I enjoyed the process, and the results were great, I found on several occasions when I was running out and it was really time to
grind out make another batch, I just didn’t have the initiative.
My time was more valuable to me, so I ended up just buying something and calling it good. And honestly, that’s ok. Time is valuable, and sometimes it’s just worth it to buy a commercial bottle and have a few extra hours to yourself!
Along with having more time, I also really enjoy some of the commercially available scents that I have not been able to replicate through my own diy efforts.
Last year, I was buying this really wonderful-smelling liquid hand soap at Bath & Body Works, and like so many of their products, once I fell in love with it, they discontinued it. Boo.
I happened to get 3 or 4 bottles on a super sale, and I was slowly using them, trying to make them last as long as I could, because yes… I was addicted to the smell!
I got to a point where I was adding water and then more water and so on, trying to eek out the last bit. As the soap thinned out, I actually loved it even more because it rinsed a little easier than the heavy gel consistency it was when I first bought it.
When there was nothing left to pump, I didn’t want to throw the bottles out because they still smelled amazing, and I also didn’t want to just go buy another kind. I just wasn’t willing to keep going through the cycle of finding something I loved, only to be crushed when I couldn’t find it.
And to be honest, I like to recycle or re-use commercial packaging if I can.
Then, one day I remembered a post about making liquid soap at home. That gave me an idea. And that idea led me to finding my all-time favorite hand soap! Here are just a few reasons why this is my new go-to for hand cleaning:
- cost savings
- re-use commercial packaging
- water conservation
- effective cleaning
- diy satisfaction
1. Cost Savings
Feeling defeated but still needing hand soap, I went ahead and bought some Ivory soap bars. I like Ivory for cleaning my hands: The ph is a bit alkaline, so it does a good job. And since the cost of the bars was like $0.16 each versus about $4.99 for the BBW hand soap, I was pleased about saving money.
But… The messy bar on the sink is not my favorite thing. And lathering up a slippery bar. And running water the whole time. And the bar getting itty bitty and breaking into pieces. All these were negatives for me.
2. Re-use Commercial Packaging
As I was cleaning out under my sink, I found one of my empty-but-still-amazing-smelling hand soap dispensers that I had saved, unable to toss that delicious smell into the trash bin.
I took one, filled it up with as hot of water as I could get out of the tap, then I dropped in the broken pieces of Ivory bar soap that were piled up on the sink and in the shower, probably about half a bar altogether.
And then I walked away.
A few hours later when I needed to wash my hands, I came back into the bathroom and remembered that I had left it sitting there. I shook it up a bit and then pumped some into my dry hands.
3. Water Conservation
The pump worked great, even though it was made for a much thicker liquid. The soap was watery, but for me that was a PLUS. It means that I could start washing my hands right away without running the water. Two pumps gave me enough soapy liquid to puddle in my cupped palms and then I just did my 20 seconds of rubbing and scrubbing to make sure my hands were good and clean. Then I turned on the water and WOW!
I only had to use a trickle of water to get them clean! This is really important to me both because of the cost of water, and because I always try to conserve water.
4. Effective Cleaning
My hands rinsed clean immediately! No rinsing and rinsing to get the slippery feeling off. The soap just slicked off, and my hands felt squeaky clean with zero residue. After I finished rinsing my hands, the water beaded and dried off quickly and easily, so even the hand towel I use was less wet.
Usually when I wash my hands, it’s a matter of wanting to clean off bacteria, versus actual visible dirt. So I did kind of wonder if the soap was as powerful as the bar after I put it into water.
My hubs works with hydraulic fluid and other black, grease-heavy products and we share a sink and a hand towel. He’s also been using the hand soap and guess what? I’m not seeing streaks of black on the towel, so I know it’s working for cleaning even really dirty hands.
5. DIY Satisfaction
I saved the best for last: My super clean hands didn’t smell like Ivory soap when I was done; they smelled exactly like the super-awesome smelling hand soap that had been in the dispenser!
Finally I had found a way to replicate the experience of washing my hands with the scent I loved, but without the heavy, slippery feeling that required tons of water to rinse off.
So, here are my top 5 reasons why this is my favorite hand soap:
- I re-used a container I purchased commercially
- I get to diy and save money (bar soap $0.08 a bottle vs $4.99)
- I get to save water
- I get squeaky clean hands that feel good
- I get to keep using a scent I love that’s not available
So, going forward I plan to keep using my dispenser to hold dissolved Ivory bar soap as my bathroom hand cleaner. If my hands ever get dried out, which could happen over time, I plan to use a drop of olive oil to restore them. That’s what I do whenever I have to use harsh cleaners around the house, in the yard, or on the vehicles.
As I have continued using the hand soap, I thought that this method would be a great way to use up any bar soap. If you have a bar soap that you love the scent of, try putting it into a clean dispenser full of really hot water, and leaving it to dissolve over time. Just don’t cap it until it’s cooled off!
I hope my idea gives you an idea too!