Friday, February 24, 2012

DIY Liquid Soap Making {with Mrs. Meyer's}



I'm a bit of a germ-a-phobe, y'all. I'm the mom at Chick-fil-A hosing her kids down with Purell when they come out of the play area. Once when my kids were very little, I had a one come out of a play area with a half-licked lollipop in his mouth...and he didn't go in with one. Pretty sure that incident scarred me for life.

But, as a germ-fearin' mom, I was curious about all of the DIY posts I was seeing with people making their own soap. Especially the Mrs. Meyer's ones. Because I love me some Mrs. Meyer's Basil Soap (but, being a tight wad, I kind of get annoyed at the price). 

I really worried about introducing water to bar soap to bring it back to its liquid consistency. Because introducing water can also introduce lots of germies. And that sent my germie-radar on full alert. 

So after lots of research, I concocted a recipe that works well for me and my family. I did not add any type of preservative, so using the soap within a month is the key to avoiding germs. I split the final bottle with my mom so we can make sure it is gone by the end of March (and start the fun over again). Using purified water is another factor...soap making really needs to use purified water...don't turn on the tap for this one. Using tap water for soap making is like taking the bus to germ city. ;)


You'll need half a bar of Mrs. Meyer's soap (her bar soap is not readily available in my area, I purchase mine from soap.com...if you spend at least $25 on their site or their sister sites, they give you free shipping), 1 tablespoon of Glycerin (this is at any grocery store in the first aid area...trust me, if my grocery store has it, so does yours), 1/2 gallon purified water and a cheese grater (I bought a cheapie for this project, I wasn't going to use my micro ones from Pampered Chef for this).


Put your water into a clean pot (I used my oldest one that I never use anymore...although this is just soap we're making...probably okay to still use it for cooking).


After you grate the half bar of soap, add it to the water.

 Be sure to save the unused half for next month's batch. 

Add one tablespoon of glycerin.

Heat over medium-high heat while stirring constantly to prevent clumping. It will take about 10-15 minutes for all of your soap to dissolve. Congrats! You've now turned bar soap back into it's liquid form. Once all soap is dissolved and you basically have a batch of soapy water on your hands, remove your pot from the heat and let it sit undisturbed for several hours. 

Between 4-6 hours later, you'll get a thick version of what you had before. So thick, mine didn't even jiggle.


Just grab your hand mixer and whip it right up.


This lotion-y consistency is about what you're looking for.

Transfer to your bottles. I leave a bit of space at the top so I can shake it every once in awhile if it gets too thick. I also (on my big bottle only) use a dry erase marker to record the date the soap was made. DON'T USE IT LONGER THAN A MONTH...it can start to grow bacteria at that point. The reason I didn't use a preservative (common ones are grapefruit seed extract, rosemary extract, vitamin E oil, Germaben II, Optiphen Plus) is because the cost would come close to the cost of just going and buying a bottle of Mrs. Meyer's liquid soap straight off the self (about $4 a bottle in my area). That just defeats the point to me. A lot of the preservatives are close to $20 for a 6-8 ounce bottle. You won't use the whole bottle, but still....just sayin'. ;)

As far as storage choices, I would use something sturdier than one of the plastic gallon containers. This is a well-washed and disinfected 2 quart juice bottle that I used. Also, thoroughly clean your soap dispenser when you switch out your soap each time.


To compare costs, a bottle of Mrs. Meyer's (in my area) is $4.
The supplies used for this project include the Glycerin (4 ounces for $2 about $.40 per tablespoon), the purified water ($1 for a gallon, $.50 worth used for this project), and the bar of soap was $5 (and only $2.50 was used for this project and the rest will go to the next batch I make).
So, $3.40 for 1/2 gallon of the soap...compared to the $4 for the 12.5 ounce bottle from the store. Not too bad for about 20 minutes worth of work.

I do have to add a side note regarding my husband's reaction to this project. When I told him I would be making soap, he was like "really? making your own soap?" with a joking eye roll and slight chuckle.  That being said, he hasn't really noticed the difference in the soaps since I added the homemade version to his dispenser on his sink in our bathroom. Even the fact that it's white and not clear hasn't thrown him off. But, he did mention his hands feeling softer not realizing the connection (glycerin!)...heehee!








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13 comments:

  1. I am with you on the germaphobe thing. Great tutorial!

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  2. This is great!!! I can't wait to try this!!! By the way, I added your button to my blog! :)

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  3. Hello! Visiting from Serenity Now linky party! This has awesome written all over it. I will be trying this out, thank you for the tutorial : ) Newest follower!

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  4. This is great! I am sure I would get the same reaction from my husband...like "really?" But he knows I will DIY anything. Is lavender oil a preservative? I have some left over from cloth diapering.

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    1. Kate, I'm really not sure. Let me do a bit of research & I'll get back to you!

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  5. I tried this before and was freaked out by the consistency of the soap. Did yours seem gooey like egg yolk? Mine was so gooey like it had a mind of it's own. I must have done it wrong or something.

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    1. Mine has been thicker than I expect each time I make it....but not exactly egg yolk consistency. I would say more along the lines of conditioner. Gooey would probably freak me out, too!! I would play around with the amount of glycerin you use.

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  6. Have you ever used this as a body wash?

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    1. I haven't. This may be TMI, but I easily get UTIs, and I have to be super careful with soaps in the shower. So I will probably only use it for a hand soap. :)

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  7. I love Mrs. Meyers products, use so many of them. I will be making this, anytime I can save money is a great to me. Thanks for sharing how to make it. Thanks for sharing your creative inspiration over at Sunday's Best Par.tay

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  8. Kristi,

    I'm curious if you are willing to share the research that you found regarding the preservatives. I really want to make my own body wash/hand soap and the only thing holding me back is the lack of preservatives and the risk of bacteria. Even after reading this, I am skeptical that preservatives aren't necessary and that it will keep for 30 days. Would you mind providing your sources?

    Thanks!!

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  9. I am just wondering if storing the soap in the refrigerator would slow the bacteria growth, thus making it last longer. Any thoughts on this?

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