Monday 28 October 2019

Make Your Own - Hand Soap

My Make Your Own Section

I found, since starting my new adventure in reducing plastics, that making products has become an integral part of making changes for the better. 

Different folks choose different methods of course to tackle the problem of single use plastics, such as using re-fillable products, going to zero waste shops with their own re-usable containers, growing their own, making their own and so on. 

Whilst reading Beth Terry's book, 'How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You can Too' I noticed a section on home made products that she has tried. Some had led to many experiments for her to get the right result - as the saying goes, 'It's not easy being green!'

Here is one of the items I have now made myself.

Home Made Liquid Hand Soap

Many years ago (I'm talking decades here) there was an advert on TV by Dove, the soap manufacturing company. They said they will, 'change the way you wash'. They offered a creamy body wash with plastic puff ball enclosed to help you lather up and exfoliate at the same time. 

I didn't buy the product but I did buy the puff and yes, it really did change the way I washed. Before I knew it, my normal bar soaps got cast aside and from now on, only body washes in plastic bottles and plastic puffs would do. 

Of course over time the puffs would start to stretch and come apart (just like those pom poms we used to make at primary school, I guess they are a bit like a pom pom!) Eventually I would look for a new one, discarding the old one without so much as a care.

These plastic pom poms aren't single use plastics, they're used for many months to years before being thrown away but I felt it high time to ditch them and 'change the way I wash' back to where it was in the first place (ie soap dishes, soap and good old fashioned flannel!)

Of course, after buying more soap I remembered the reason for hating soap in the 1st place - it makes hard water scummy, it drys my skin and I find you can't buffer it up into as good a lather without my plastic puff BUT I have found soap with jojoba oil in it which is not so drying on my skin at least. 

I recently spotted a cotton based eco friendly puff so maybe that could be something else to try too if you wanted to cut down on the plastics.

How do you Make It?

Anyway, back to Beth's book. She suggested that you can make liquid hand soap out of plain bar soap. Although I use bar soap for bathing, having liquid soap is handy for washing greasy, grimy hands at the sink (kitchen or bathroom), so I decided to give it a try.

Beth mentions a 120g bar of soap can be added to 4 litres of water. I found therefore that for each 15g of soap added to half a litre of water would give you enough to fill a 500ml bottle. I re-used an old hand wash bottle so at least gave it a second life. I can re-use it again and again and recycle it at the end of its life, once I've completely done with it.

Make your Own Liquid Hand Wash
To prepare, you first grate the soap, then add it to water that you have just boiled and give it a stir. Leave it to sit for 12 hours. Next day blend it together (blender, whisk or I just used handle of wooden spoon and gave it a good mix). 

Finally, pour it into your recycled pump action container, or if you'd rather not use a plastic one you can buy glass bottles with BPA free pumps on Amazon online or direcct via Nomara Organics site.

My Verdict?

It was good fun making something with not a lot of effort apart from doing the grating. I used old soap I'd forgotten about that had been sitting in the cupboard and it still worked fine. Great way to use up old soaps me thinks. I buy nice scented soaps for the bath and plain soaps for the hand wash.

Brilliant idea and I reckon one bar of soap could make about 8 bottles of hand wash. 

👏 Not bad huh? 👏