Monday, May 9, 2011

Operation: Making Hand Soap.

Soap Making Saga Continues.

So maybe you're tired of reading about my attempts to cut the financial corners down a bit. But. I'm writing about it anyway. Because it's important. Because it matters. And because I want to.

As you know, I've met with some success with trying my hand at making Laundry detergent. It's fun. It's cheap. It works. Cannot complain about it. Makes me feel a distant kinship with our pioneering ancestors, (their use of boiling lye compared to the relative ease of my dumping a few pre-made ingredients together not withstanding).

Riding on the wave of that glory, I decided to try my hand at another soap making endeavor when the last drops of liquid hand soap slowly eeked out of the soap dispenser. What a sad moment that is: empty bottle, needy hands. Ah, what to do.

I was fed up with buying jug after jug of refill soap when I knew darn well that I could make it for a fraction of the cost. I just never wanted to. But now....Ha! I've had laundry soap success! Let's add this to the list.

After some research, I gave it a shot.

Here's the How To part, for your appreciation.

Take 4oz of your favorite bar soap and grate it. (You'll get exercise AND soap. A winning combination as ever there could be).

Bring 1 jug of water to a boil. (Distilled water is good for this).

 Remove from heat and add the grated soap.
Stir until melted. (At this point, you'll have liquidy stuff. But do not despair! You're not done yet. The magic has yet to happen. This is a lesson in patience.)

Allow to sit for 15 minutes and give it another stir. Now let it set quietly for a few more hours to overnight so it will thicken. (Mine was ready after about 2 hours).

Once it thickens, and believe me, you'll know when it is...decide if you're happy with it. You can adjust it as needed. Too liquid-y? Reheat and add more soap. Too thick? Reheat and add more water. If you want it smooth it out a bit, take a moment to run an immesion blender through it.

When cooled, you can add a few drops of essential oils (if you want it to smell so 'purdy'), and some coloring, (if you want it to look so 'purdy' too). Fill your dispensers and wash away, friend; wash away.

As an added bonus, you pour the rest of the soap back into your jug, which now becomes a handy soap bottle. How great is that?

The exciting news is that it keeps for a long time, so you can make a big batch several times a year and have your soap when you need it.

My verdict is....
I am happy. I am. I added some lavender oil, which smells nice. I also used my immersion blender on the cooled soap to make it velvety smooth and nice.
We have automatic dispensers, so I wasn't sure how this stuff would feed out of it. It's been fine though. I like the stuff. It's true. And what I like even more is that a quart of it cost me a whopping 45 cents. That's right. 4 dimes and a nickle. Or 9 nickles, if you'd rather.
And before you say it, I know it's cheap at price clubs. That's where we've gotten it for the last few years. This represents a freedom from Da Man. I'm starting a thumb-on-nose revolution at our house whereby we don't buy stuff we can make.

Because I can.

Because it's just as good.

Because, darn it, I'm not falling victim to the mighty ad-men any more than I have to.

And because, it turns out, sometimes it's just as easy to save money as it is to spend it. (My first GALLON of soap cost a mere .78; the cost of the water).

So there ya go.
Give it a try. Let me know what you think.

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