Homemade Liquid Hand Soap

This past week we ran out of our beloved Mrs. Meyers geranium scented liquid hand soap. I may or may not have shed a tear or two. Not just because I absolutely love the stuff, but because of the dent it makes in my budget when I buy it. The way it’s priced, you might think the ingredients would have gold listed somewhere. Sheesh.

Since I’m sort of on a kick of making my own home goods (see how I made laundry detergent here), I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try my hand at making my own liquid hand soap! One of the best ideas ever! We recently started a pretty strict cash based budget which is making me pay more attention to every single dollar that I’m spending. I’ve been paying attention to the per ounce or per unit pricing of things, and wow…things are expensive, especially in this part of CA! I figured out that per ounce of store bought Mrs. Meyers Liquid Hand Soap we were paying $0.32/oz. when I could be making my own for about $0.08/oz! The store bought type is four times as much as what I could make at home! SOLD!

Just so you know, you’re going to end up with a gallon of liquid hand soap.  Enough to share with a neighbor or hoard for yourself- both perfectly respectable ideas!

Ready to try? It’s very easy!

Supplies Needed:

  • 1 bar of soap (Mrs. Meyers is  an 8 oz. bar)
  • 1 Tbsp. liquid glycerine (I found mine at our local natural nutrition store, I think you may be able to find it in the first-aid section of your pharmacy)
  • 1 gallon of water
  • Cheese grater
  • A large pot (big enough to hold a gallon of water)
  • A large container (big enough to hold a gallon of soap :) )

Step 1: Begin by grating all of your soap. Like I said with the laundry detergent, be prepared- your arm will get tired. But keep going, it’s so worth it!

Step 2: Place your gallon of water into your pot and add the soap shavings and glycerine.

Step 3: Heat on medium/high heat and stir until all of your soap is melted. Once it has all melted it will basically just look like soapy water. Imagine that! (p.s. your entire house will smell AMAZING while you’re heating this up! Bonus!)

Step 4: Let sit for 12ish hours or until soap has thickened up. After a few hours it will start to separate. After 12 hours it will be kind of a weird slimy semi-solid texture- not quite like jello, but not a solid. It’s weird.

Step 5: Using a mixer or immersion blender, break down the semi-solid stuff until it resembles liquid hand soap.

Step 6: Pour some into your dispenser and the rest into an air-tight container to store.

Step 7: Wash your hands and be proud- you just saved a few bucks! :)

A few notes about this soap:

  1. The store bought version is clear, but the homemade is white. Its okay, don’t worry.
  2. It may have a different texture that you’re used to. It may be too slimy for some. If this bothers you, then don’t use it! If you’re okay with it, perfect!
  3. It doesn’t foam or bubble up the same as other hand soap might, but it still does the job VERY well!

Budget Breakdown:

  • Mrs. Meyers All Purpose Soap Bar: $6.49
  • Liquid glycerine: $3.79
  • Gallon of water: Free
  • Total: $10.28 ($0.08/oz.)

With great smelling clean hands,
Mrs. Edwards

7 thoughts on “Homemade Liquid Hand Soap

  1. Roxanne Johnson Reply

    I just bought all of the ingredients to make this online plus I even got the exact same container as you have. This looks so fun. Thanks Terra. Hugs.

  2. Melissa Burns Reply

    Terra..this is amazing. i am wondering though if i can use any brand of bar soap? i have a few nice ones just sitting around because im not a fan of the bar soap texture. im also thinking that if the bar soap starts out a clearish color it would end up a more regular looking liquid hand soap…is that a safe assumption?

    Thanks for the good idea!

    1. Mrs. Edwards Reply

      Hi Melissa! Yeah- it should work with any type of bar soap! You might have to experiment with the water/soap/glycerine ratio, but I’d say try it! Maybe start by grating half of a bar of soap, a tablespoon of glycerine and half a gallon of water. That way you can always add more soap shavings and glycerine if it’s too liquidy or more water if it’s too thick. And I think you’re totally right…if the soap starts out as a clearish bar, it’ll probably end up like regular soap :)

      1. Mrs. Edwards Reply

        One more thing- my bar was an 8oz bar, so keep that in mind when making yours. If yours are smaller, you’ll want to adjust the amount of water :)

  3. Roxanne Reply

    I finished up my Hand Soap yesterday and put it in 1/2 gallon containers just like yours. It is awesome. I was afraid that it might harden up over night. NOPE…it’s just as silky smooth as when I used the mixer. This was so fun to do. Thank you for your great idea. I haven’t tried the homemade Laundry soap yet. Good idea to put it in some hot/warm water to dissolve. I have had trouble with even Borax and oxy Clean not dissolving in hot water in a cup. I must be doing something wrong. Maybe I need to use my Immulsion Blender in the hot water. I just thought of that. I think I’m going to go try it now. Have a bunch of Don’s dirty work shirts to try it out on. Love you. Roxanne

  4. Roxanne Reply

    Oh……your mom told me that she has a batch of Lemon Verbena made up. That will be next scent when I run out. Yum !!!!

    1. linda Reply

      cant make this until next week. will be fun

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