So as part of my quest for natural, simple, and sustainable living, I have been trying to cut out unnecessary chemicals from the home. You can't (or at least I can't....) cut them all out- you would go insane! But I figure every little step helps :)
Most commercially made liquid hand soaps (as well as body washes and shampoos) contain at least one if not all three of these potentially harmful chemicals: phthalates, parabens, and DEA.
phthalates- Probable human carcinogen. Endocrine disruptor that can cause girls to develop earlier (along with many other factors and hormones in our food I wonder if this could be contributing to young girls hitting early puberty??) and reduce testosterone levels in males.
parabens- (includes any methyl-, proply-, butyl-, and ethyl- prefixes) Endocrine disruptors that have been found to be linked to reproductive disorders, developmental disorders, learning disorders, and immune system dysfunction. They have also been found in breast tumors.
DEA- (diethanolamine and derivatives) Has been shown to interfere with normal brain development in mice and the International Agency for Research on Cancer recommends it be treated as a carcinogen in humans
Just for the record I am NOT a scientist nor doctor and am not making any health claims. These are just things that I have found in my own personal research and quest for healthy and natural living.
There are many more natural brands of soaps that do not contain these ingredients, but two that I like are Mrs. Meyers and Dr. Bronner's. As with most natural products, these soaps are not cheap. And if you haven't noticed the liquid soaps are significantly more expensive than their bar counterparts. We prefer liquid hand soap at our house. Actually I don't mind bar soaps, but Chris does not like and will not use bar soap at the sink so liquid soap it is!
So enter DIY liquid hand soap! You simply make liquid hand soap out of bar soap. It is SUPER easy and took me all of 15 minutes hands-on time.
I choose Dr. Bronner's Tea Tree Oil Soap. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the smell of tea tree oil. And it is not a feminine scent so men won't mind using it as well.
Grate 4oz of bar soap with cheese grater (Note: my bar was a 5oz bar. I think I will try to use the whole bar next time. I only used 4oz because I was concerned about my liquid soap getting too thick. The consistency turned out great, but I am going to try 5oz next time to see how that works)
Combine 1/2 gallon of distilled water with soap shavings in large pot on stove
Add 1 Tbs liquid glycerin and heat on med-high heat until soap is dissolved. (You should apparently be able to find this in the band-aid section of your local drug store. I had some difficulty. I ended up finding it at Whole Foods and therefore probably paying twice as much for it...)
Go away; leave alone for 8-10 hours or until completely cool
After completely cooled it will harden and look like liquid soap. You might need to take some beaters to it to get it to the right consistency for liquid soap.
Funnel into soap container to use and store remainder to re-fill later! Wash hands and enjoy the savings! You now have 64oz of liquid hand soap that costs about $5. A 12-16oz soap pump or refill bottle of Mrs. Meyers or Dr. Bronners typically costs between $4 and $10 respectively. Not a bad deal...
* This soap does have a little bit different texture or consistency than typical liquid soap, but it still cleans just fine and is not clumpy at all. I have read that it doesn't always create a big lather. Lather does not correlate to cleanliness. My soap lathers quite well, but apparently others have not always had the same results.
Speaking of lacking lather and bubbles- if you're into this sort of thing or just like saving money check out my homemade laundry detergent recipe and savings. You can easily make your own laundry detergent free of enzymes, dyes, and perfumes for a fraction of the cost.