Let’s talk about liquid hand soap. My family goes through a lot of hand soap with all our cooking, gardening, bike repair, art, play and backyard chickens, not to mention plain old bathing. But liquid soap is expensive, in land-filling disposable containers, frequently loaded with “anti-bacterial” chemicals and a laundry lists of additives. After my recent experience making rendered fat lard and tallow bar soap, I took the leap and made my own liquid hand soap. All you need is a bar of soap and a cheese grater. What could be easier?
1 bar hard soap (think French Milled, Ivory-Type or Castile Soap)
4-8 cups water
Start with a standard bar of hard soap, either your favorite brand or a bar of your own making. Grate the soap on the fine side of a cheese grater or microplane. You’ll have a giant, fluffy pile of soap shavings. Add your shavings into a 2 quart container and add 4 cups of water. Mix with a spoon and allow to sit over night. The next morning you should have a solid gelled mass of soap. At this stage the soap will be to stiff to use in a dispenser, so add 2 more cups of water, stir, and again allow to sit overnight. Keep adding water until you get it to the desired consistency. It should be thick enough to stream. Be sure to stir it first. My single bar of soap took a full 8 cups of water, yielding over two quarts of liquid soap.