For Christmas this year, my Beloved made me soap.
A lot of soap.
Over a quart of heavenly-smelling liquid hand soap.
(Precious foresight that was, as the lemon scent is perfect for those pregnancy nausea days!)
As a treat, he purchased a natural lemon verbena bar of soap to begin the project. (But any bar of soap would work just fine.) He diligently read through stacks of books on soap-making during our snowed-in days, searching for the perfect gift. They were full of inspiration, but in the end, Google
led him to the answer: Homemade Liquid Soap
This recipe allowed for the shortcut of not having to make soap from scratch (anyone have potassium hydroxide on hand, in the middle of a snowstorm?), not to mention the week or so of letting the soap cure.
So, he grated away on this lovely bar of soap. He used water in his soap-making, since the soap was already scented, but herbal tea would have been lovely if the soap had been a plain, unscented bar.
He used this portion of the directions:
“For a simple liquid soap that uses bar-soap as a base, grate one full-size bar of your favorite soap and add it to 1 cup of boiling water [or herbal tea]. Add this mixture to a heat-proof blender and whip it until the soap has disintegrated completely. Next add 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 teaspoon of glycerin to the mixture and blend it again thoroughly. Now add enough water to the mixture to bring it up to the six-cup mark and allow the mixture to cool, occasionally mixing it in the blender. When the mixture has cooled and is thoroughly blended, pour it into a bottle with a pump top.”
He mentioned that the bar of soap he chose ended up being rather foamy; so he just kept adding water until it reached the proper consistency (which probably ended up being more than the 6-cups recommended). If you’re not using a scented soap or tea, a few drops of essential oil would work nicely to scent your soap, if desired.
We prefer not to use the “antibacterial hand soaps” that are so widely available. Regular antibiotic use is really not necessary, and can cause antibiotic resistance, among other scary things. You just want clean; not medicinal.
However, a liquid hand soap is often preferred by many over a slippery bar of soap at the sink.
This recipe stretches one bar of soap into enough liquid soap to refill a few pump dispensers! It works for me!