Sometimes constantly buying your own dish soap and hand soap can be a waste of money and feels like a waste of plastic too. It’s easy to think that there is a better way of combining both dish soap and hand soap into one all purpose soap that you can make with a few simple ingredients. Well, we have you covered. Here is a recipe for a soap that you can use on dishes and on your hands that is organic and great for the environment as well as your purse!
You may not have all these ingredients to hand, but we promise this small investment in a few ingredients won’t cost that much and means you can easily recreate this recipe whenever you need soap, rather than buying it again and again. Moreover, other combinations of these ingredients can create dish soap, hand soap, laundry detergent, and bath soap, so it’s a worthwhile investment for the DIY environmentalist. Follow the links to find these products easily.
- 10 oz unrefined coconut oil
- 10 oz olive oil
- 3 oz rice bran oil
- 13 oz of another oil: for dish soap use soybean, for body soap go for safflower or grapeseed.
- 5.5 oz sunflower oil
- 9 oz of ‘lye’ aka potassium hydroxide or KOH
- 25 oz distilled water
- 60 oz distilled water for dilution
- 16 oz liquid vegetable glycerine
- 3 oz essential oil (Optional, but here is where you can introduce some scents or additional oils into your soap should you choose to.)
Luckily, the tools and equipment you need to make this soap is likely already in the back of your kitchen cupboards. Even if they aren’t, all this equipment has multiple uses in the kitchen and means you can make this soap again and again no matter what. Just be aware the specification of materials is often purposeful to avoid the chemicals reacting with a volatile material. We’ve included links to help you out.
There is also safety equipment that may be worth considering buying to remain safe while handling chemicals in your kitchen.
Something worth mentioning before you start anything is that it really helps to ventilate your working area before you start work. This isn’t crazy dangerous but messing around with chemicals should never be taken lightly. Just think ninth grade chemistry lessons: gloves and goggles on, safety first, be cool second.
This is especially important to remember if you have kids helping out, but they love pretending to be mad scientists so it shouldn’t be too hard to get them to wear this safety equipment. Also, keep pets away, the last thing you want to do is to drop any chemicals on the floor as your dog runs past your feet and proceeds to eat anything that drops on the floor.
Once you have bought the ingredients, and measured the ingredients, the recipe is pretty easy and leaves a lot of room for customizability and scaling.
To create the soap paste:
- Before anything we recommend pre measuring all the ingredients, this will make the process super easy down the road and also safe, you can simply pour the measured ingredient in rather than trying to balance a 32oz jug of oil on your arm while still measuring accurately. Measure everything byweight (using a scale) not by volume.
- Once you have measured all your oils out, add them to your slow cooking device. Set the slow cooker to high to melt the oils. Once everything is in the same state, start adding liquids.
- First, place the 25oz of distilled water into a bowl. Slowly pour your measured lye into the water while slowly stirring. You may hear some strange noises, but this is a normal chemical reaction. Add the water and lye mixture into the slow cooker, only once the oil is cool obviously.
- First start manually mixing the mixture together with your spoons. You will discover this mixture will want to separate, which is expected. Once the mixture separates then start using your stick blender to break up the solids into the liquids.
- Mix the mixture with the hand blender for around 5 minutes. After this 5 minutes cover and keep the mixture on high for 45 mins, then turn down to low.
- During this 45 minutes come back to stir or blend and you will see the mixture start to take shape soon after.
- After around 2 hours it will be like a vaseline texture, this will become hard to mix. Start using your potato masher to break it up more and more.
- Once the mixture is ‘cooked’ it will no longer have opaque spots, and should be pretty translucent. At this point you should test the mixture by putting a spoon in hot water and see if it starts to dissolve. If the mixture turns cloudy it still needs more cooking.
To dilute this soap paste:
- In a separate vessel, heat 60oz water till hot but not boiling.
- Add the vegetable glycerin into this water and mix, this will dissolve the soap later on.
- Add this mixture into the slow cooker. Stir the mixture well using the masher when needed.
- Leave this mixture on low heat for a few hours and return to it. Some chose to do this overnight and return to the mixture in the morning.
- Whenever you choose to return to this mixture, stir well and then let it settle for another hour or so.
- You will notice when you return that the non diluted soap will rise to the top of the separation, while the liquid soap will remain below. You can begin to extract thai liquid soap now if you wish and separate into separate jars. Then you can scent and color each jar with your essential oil as you see fit.
- The chunks of non diluted soap simply need a little more water, time, and heat, to dissolve. So there’s no wastage here.
These simple steps should get you a soap recipe that is endlessly customizable and scalable to whatever size you need. This soap is easy and can be used on hands and dishes, depending on the oils you use you can make this more suitable for the purpose you require.