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Hi there, nice to have you visiting! I'm Heidi and this is the blog for Heidi Bears. Here is where I post all the happenings in my work and daily life. Here and there you'll find info on things that have caught my attention as well as the odd tutorial. I hope you enjoy your visits. I love to have feedback, so leave me a comment!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Heidi's Liquid Handsoap...easy as pie!

I spent yesterday morning experimenting with making liquid handsoap...yes, I was distracted by the allure of mixing and whipping and pouring and generally making a mess of things, and didn't complete the editing for my Happy Hexagon Crochet tutorial...so I am sorry dear readers, and will get on that asap in the new week...BUT, I think I have unvented (don't you just LOVE that word? Thank you EZ!), a very easy, all natural method of making liquid handsoap, without having to use lye and long cooking times... As you all know, I am totally smitten by the cold processed soap that I had learned to make from Rhonda's lovely blog, and since that, I have only made soap, never bought commercially available soaps again. My kids and husband love it, and Gerry even uses the soap to wash his hair...so all-round a big hit!

I really like liquid soap next to the basin in the kitchen, because it's so easy to just squeeze out some from a pump dispenser when you want to wash hands, and it stays clean and contained...however, the daunting prospect of making liquid soap in the traditional way with cooking in a crockpot, and watching it, and having to use KOH lye etc led me to trying to make the liquid soap using just my cold processed natural soap that had been "curing" for around 3 months.

I have seen many references on the web to using commercially available soap, grating it up and melting it in water and adding some glycerine to thicken...I went through the whole process of trying this method, but using my cold processed soap instead, and it failed completely! I even tried whipping the liquid with a a hand-held blender and it didn't thicken at all...
This made me wonder what they put in commercially sold soaps that makes it thicken with just water and a bit of glycerine? I guess it may be the same basic process as making the liquid laundry soap...if anyone knows, let me know what the "thickening " ingredient is :)

After much experimenting and some messed up batches, I have come up with the following process, and it really made the most beautiful, moisturizing liquid soap I have used :)

Heidi's Liquid Handsoap Recipe


240g of grated cold processed soap (made with olive oil and coconut oil)
2 Liters of water
1/2 cup of coconut oil
1/2 cup of beeswax

Handheld blender
Large stainless steel pot
Glass bowls
Double boiler

Start by grating your cured cold processed soap. I arbitrarily used 240g of soap as my starting amount.
Pour 2L of water into a large stainless steel pot and place on low to medium heat. Add the grated soap flakes and stir until all the flakes have melted.

The mixture will make some foam, so try not to whisk it, just stir gently ...above you can see the clear golden liquid that results.

In a double boiler (or in my case, a Pyrex glass bowl suspended on a steel pot with some boiling water in it), melt the coconut oil and the beeswax pellets. Use low heat...you don't want it to get super-hot...just hot enough to start melting the beeswax.

Above you can see the melted mix...when I see the beeswax pellets beginning to melt, I turn off the heat. The rest will melt in with some gentle stirring.

Let both mixtures (the soapy water and the beeswax/coconut mix) reach around 60 degrees Centigrade (I am not sure if this is critical...I usually make sure that any mixes are at the same temperature...).

Pour your beeswax/coconut mix into your soapy water, slowing adding all of it while blending with a handheld blender (I used the high speed setting on my stick blender). It won't thicken, just mix all of the ingredients very well...

You will now have a milky coloured watery liquid. I poured it into a large glass bowl and put it in the fridge to cool. Over the next couple of hours, I checked in on it and found that the mixture separated out into a clear golden liquid at the bottom, and a white layer on the top.

I gently mixed it back into an all milky colored liquid using a hand whisk. Next time I checked, there was less of a separation, and I again gently swirled the lot with a whisk. I mixed twice in about two hours then left it in the fridge.

When I got up this morning, I found that it had gelled into the most wonderful, thick milky liquid! It is really lovely stuff...it didn't leave my hands dry as I think the coconut oil is probably adding a moisturizing element...

I decanted the liquid soap into a pump dispenser and it works well...no clogging or blocking up...

Please try this out and let me know if it works out well for you?

Next week, the promised Happy Hexagon Tutorial!
Have a lovely Sunday folks :)



Anonymous said...

Oh wow that's great. I might just have to get some beeswax and give it a go. Could you melt copha for the coconut oil?

Unknown said...

It looks good enough to eat

Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

That looks fantastic!!! Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

unfinishedquilts said...

Thank you for posting this! I make my own bar soap and have everything here for liquid, but have been nervous to try it. Your tutorial looks so much easier, am going to have to try it this week. Thanks again!

mette b said...

I want to try this. Coconut oil is a very good moisturizer.

If you have dry hair, coconut oil goes into the hair and really works. You don't need expensive products from your hair dresser.

I look forward to following your blog.

mette b, Denmark

AC said...

You are a full-fledged scientist! Love the experimentation!

Dann white said...

Thank you so much. Indeed a classic way for making liquid soap.
Dr. Bronners

Sassy said...

Is there any problem keeping it at room temp for a few weeks? My family loves my soap, but one child prefers liquid, so I'll be giving this a try for sure. I like that I can grate this while I'm grating the soap that gets turned into laundry soap. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

hi, i make liquid soap by just adding a teaspoon or two pure soap flakes to boiling water in a mug (we have a brand in the uk called "granny's" soap flakes) they are sold to wash your delicates and wool sweaters. You don't need much - i have it in a pump dispenser in the shower 'cos i prefer soap to shower gel. Each time i make a batch i add a few drops of essential oil - which I vary each time so it seems like i'm getting a new product. I use a couple of tablespoons in the washing machine to wash woollies on the wool cycle - the essential oil is also supposed to deter moths. You are also supposed to only wash waterproofs in pure soap not detergents so when my kids come back from scout camp i wash their coats and over-trousers in it too. I love your blog, i have just started one too and I will add you as one of my faves.