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Make Your Own Hand Soap

June 20, 2011

When we bought our home a few years ago (egads, almost 5! Where did the time go?) I, feeling all domestic and very adult for the first time in my young adult life, went out to the store to look for hand soap to go in my new, adult bathrooms.  There were lots of choices, and I admit I found myself leaning towards the pretty pastel ones, of peach and lavender.  But even despite the dozens of choices, I noticed that the one thing they all had in common was that they were antibacterial.  I actually couldn’t find one that WASN’T antibacterial.

In the world of today, where hand sanitizer can be found on everyone’s desk and there are dispensers on every wall (they are at work, I swear) it’s hard to remember that antibacterial is not the cure-all for everything in life.

Triclosan is the main ingredient in antibacterial items, which include not only soaps, but also things like cutting boards, cosmetics, and even childrens’ toys. The problem is that antibacterial properties are intended to inhibit (or destroy) the growth of other microorganisms, but people forget than some microorganisms are good for us.  Probiotics anyone?

Ever since I bought those hand soap bottles years ago, I’ve been refilling them with castile soap in an effort to reuse the bottles but use non-antibacterial soap.  Castile soap isn’t the cheapest, but I buy in bulk and dilute with water and it lasts a long time.

An old hand soap bottle, labels peeled off and washed out.

I buy my castile soap in bulk to cut packaging waste, but I’ve had this batch for years now, and it’s started to crystallize.  No worries.

Castile soap doesn’t go bad.  Just give it a stir to mix everything back together.

You can put as little as 2 teaspoons of castile soap per bottle and fill the rest with water for a soapy squirt whenever you need. It’s a little too liquidy for me though, so I put about 1/3-1/2 castile soap with the water.  I also buy unscented castile soap, so I add some lavender oil for a lovely smell.  It lasts a very long time and I’m not bringing triclosan into my house!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. June 20, 2011 11:42 pm

    I started doing this after our discussion on cleaning without chemicals. My castile soap is peppermint scent so it’s fantastic!

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