I recently had a request from a reader that I do a post on our DIY soap (foaming hand wash) recipe that my family uses for a natural and non-toxic solution in our home. As a matter of fact, I really love what we use for hand soap, so I was happy to oblige and share this information with you all!
About 10 months ago, you would have found me bragging that I had only spent $0.35 a bottle on a name-brand soap after spending hours of my precious time clipping coupons and painstakingly going through weekly ads figuring out just the right time to buy to get the best deals. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed it, and I was good at it… the problem was, once I started down this path of no return in natural, non-toxic living, I realized that, at least in this avenue, my coupon-clipping was in vain.
Why, you ask? Because this name brand soap, and pretty much every other one like it on the market, is doing a really good job of killing us.
Sound a bit dramatic? Maybe. But I’m just speaking the truth people.
Here is a list of the ingredients of my once-beloved hand soap:
(Taken directly from the company website)
Active Ingredient: Triclosan
For your sake, I’m not going to go crazy breaking down every ingredient on the list. Just for reference though, I’d like to note just a few, so you at least get my point here… You can find all of the information listed here on the EWG skin deep database. (a seriously invaluable resource!)
Let’s start with the head honcho on the list…
Here’s what an article from the FDA last November (2013) had to say about triclosan…
“Several scientific studies have come out since the last time FDA reviewed this ingredient that merit further review. Animal studies have shown that triclosan alters hormone regulation… Other studies in bacteria have raised the possibility that triclosan contributes to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics.”
In case you don’t already know this about me, I’m kind of a stickler for reducing our risk for creating antibiotic-resistant super bugs… call me crazy! I touched a little more on the topic in my post on Natural Antibiotics.
Although the FDA states that they do “not have sufficient safety evidence to recommend changing consumer use of products that contain triclosan at this time.” I think I’ll be playing it safe and passing on the triclosan, thank you very much.
Ok, let me just pick a couple more random from the bag of ingredients we’ve got listed up there…
…come on doooooown!
This chemical isn’t necessarily a bad one in and of itself, however, it does carry a risk for releasing or being contaminated with carcinogenic formaldehyde. DMDM Hydantoin actually works as a preservative in products by releasing formaldehyde. Besides having the risk of potentially being responsible for promoting cancer, it can be a strong irritant and trigger immune responses within the body and, of course, on the skin. Hmm… no thanks.
Alright, one final one… how about the ever popular, and always vague…
This one always trips me up. “Fragrance” sounds absolutely harmless, and honestly, it sounds like it should be something good… we want to smell pretty right?! Here’s the problem… “The word “fragrance” or “parfum” on the product label represents an undisclosed mixture of various scent chemicals and ingredients used as fragrance dispersants such as diethyl phthalate. Fragrance mixes have been associated with allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress, and potential effects on the reproductive system (and/or also hepatic (liver) system)”. (source, with the addition of information listed by the CDC)
Glad we’re on the same page now 😉
I’m sure there are several other great recipes out there to make your own hand soap. I happened to find and try this one early on, and we like it, so I see no sense in fixin’ somethin’ that ain’t broke, right?
DIY Soap Foaming Hand Wash
Recipe adapted from this one by Homemade Mommy
Ok, so first off, you’re gonna need a really cute container/dispenser for your new awesome soap… or you could just reuse an old, slightly beat up plastic one that you tried to peel the sticker off so it’d be less revealing of you’re more, ehem, frugal side.
Anyways, back to this new dispenser business.
I absolutely fell in love with these super cool Foaming Soap Dispenser Lids for Mason Jars I found on an etsy shop I stumbled upon.
I already had several small blue mason jars left over from our wedding that were longingly waiting in the closet to be put to good use! I could hardly resist, and I have not been disappointed! You can also purchase a complete mason jar dispenser with lid for a little bit more through Found Beauty Studio on Etsy. (check out the Found Beauty Studio shop here, she also has some other cute & quirky things you may like!)
Here are a few other options I was considering before I happened upon the mason jar ones…
Now that you’ve got your foaming soap container… here’s what else you need.
~ 1/3 cup Dr. Bronner’s liquid castille soap (here’s the one we use)
~ 2/3 cup filtered water (we filter all our water through our Berkey filter)
~ 1 tspn fractionated coconut or almond oil, optional (but helps to preserve your dispenser pump)
~ Essential oils. Also optional, but highly recommended for the benefit of scent and adding therapeutic value
1. Put Dr. Bronner’s liquid castille soap into your container
2. Add in essential oils. I particularly like lavender, lemon, and On-Guard (during flu season)
3. Mix in your liquid oil if you choose to do so
4. Add filtered water and give it a little swirl
5. Put the lid on top and get to washin’!
That’s it!! Easy-peasy, right?!
If you find that your hand soap is too liquidy, you can just add a little less water, but this has proven to be a good ratio for us.