Liquid soap and a soap update

After my last post I had several people ask about liquid soap so thought I’d do a very quick post on the easiest way to make it. I also had some comments which I will expand on at the end of this post.

When making liquid soap I will give the usual exhortations to use the freshest products available to you, use rainwater or, if you use tapwater, let it sit for 24 hours for the impurities to evaporate, and make sure everything is clean.

Believe it or not, the quickest way to make liquid soap is to use your previously made hard soap. To make this batch I simply took the lumpy soaps which I had overprocessed and grated them up until I had a cup of soap. I also save all the soap crumbs that come off my soaps when I unmould them and add them to the mix. Waste not, want not and all that.


I then add a cup of boiling water and mix until I have a gooey paste, a bit like clag glue or flour and water mixture.

Add a teaspoon of plant based or organic glycerin (for moisturising, optional) and stir in well. Let the mixture cool down by going for a walk or having a cup of tea or checking in on IG!


After it’s cool add some water and keep mixing to get a pouring consistency.


At this stage I add a bit of honey to increase the moisturising effects


You can also add a couple of drops of essential oil if you need to, some natural (not synthetic) food colouring if you want it coloured and mix it in well – I don’t add anything except glycerin and honey. I then have a dedicated funnel and pour it into a pump action bottle which I’ve saved from landfill by reusing.

Et voila! You have the world’s easiest liquid soap! If you want to make it from scratch it’s a little more involved and you will need to change from sodium hydroxide to potassium hydroxide. There is a recipe on Aussie Soap Supplies website if you want to give it a try.

An update on my last post: Grace, one of my followers sent me this email, which I’ve edited slightly, but for which I am very grateful:

As a former chemist, I have to cringe at some of the stuff about Dove promulgated by some so-called natural living gurus.  Please don’t fall for it or spread it.

I recommend the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database.  EWG is a non-profit that I support with my $ and recommend for detailed info from independent expert scientists.

Products are rated on a safety scale of 1 (safest) to 10 (most dangerous) and the Dove Sensitive Skin I use is a 2.  It’s one of the safest soaps around.

EWG scientists reviewed Dove Beauty Bars Sensitive Skin, 2 pk for safety according to the methodology outlined in our Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. We assess the ingredients listed on the labels of personal care products based on data in toxicity and regulatory databases, government and health agency assessments and the open scientific literature. EWG’s rating for Dove Beauty Bars Sensitive Skin, 2 pk is 2.

Scroll down and look at the ingredient breakdown.

I want to point out that fragrance is often the most harmful ingredient so I always buy fragrance-free options.  Lavender oil may be natural, but it would trigger eczema and asthma for me if it even got inside my house.  

There is a dramatic difference in safety between the fragrance and fragrance-free versions of Dove.

Scientists now have to take classes to learn the rhetorical tricks used by people who would slander us.  I recognize one device in her description of Titanium Dioxide.  Link it with something that is not safe to put on your skin, like house paint.  Yes, TiO2 is sometimes used in house paint, but it would be very expensive house paint.  It’s the safer and brighter white alternative to lead.  You can also accurately call TiO2 the active ingredient in chemical-free baby-safe sunscreen.

EDTA is a perfectly safe preservative.  Your soap is safer with it than without it.  In fact, we eat it all the time as a food preservative rather than eat rancid food.

All those salts of fats are the moisturizers.  They serve the same function as the olive oil in your soap.

Finally, be careful with Lye or caustic soda.  Use gloves when handling it.  Wear a particle mask whenever you are near it in powder form.  It can really mess up your lungs if you inhale the powder. [thank you for reminding me of this Grace, I do wear a mask usually but actually forgot it when I was making this particular batch of soap]

Lye has a high pH and so do  lye-based soaps.  Your natural skin is acidic, and the ideal acidity is below 5 so as to preserve a healthy skin flora.

One reason for using detergent-based soaps is because they are formulated to be the same pH as healthy skin.

You can lower the pH of your lye-based soap with citrus.  I do enjoy lemon or orange soaps, but I do not expect them to be healthier for me or the environment than Dove Sensitive Skin fragrance-free soap.

I have made citrus soap and love it and I have also made fragrance free soap, but just don’t enjoy it as much. I note that many of the handmade soaps bought from markets have a much stronger perfume than my own soaps, and so I do prefer the ones I make. I found Grace’s comments to be really useful and they might be quite heartening for those of you who love Dove soap (and there were a few of you who said that this was the only soap you find suitable for your skin). I have to say that I had looked at several websites talking about this soap and none of them were complimentary. It may be the search string I entered into my browser, or I may have been looking at the fragranced Dove soap,  but Grace’s comments and links are very compelling, so you might want to do your own research.

I also had this very interesting comment from Hélène which I thought many of you might like:

About five years ago, I gave up facial cleansers as I was allergic to every product and my skin was prone to rosacea. I then started using a simple mixture of pure honey, olive oil, lavender essential oil and fine ground almonds. I prepare a week or month supply of this cleanser and emulsify it with lukewarm water before patting it on my skin very gently. It’s incredibly effective, cleansing, exfoliating and hydrating altogether.

I have now made my own shampoo. I have the worst hair in the world and tend to buy (expensive) shampoo and conditioner from my hairdresser, but thought I’d try one of the organic shampoo kits from Aussie soap supplies, which took no time at all to make and was considerably cheaper. I note that they also have a shampoo bar kit for those of you wishing to eliminate packaging and plastic. If you don’t live in Australia you may be able to find something similar in your own area. The jury is out on my new shampoo but I shall let you know in a couple of months how I’m finding it.



8 thoughts on “Liquid soap and a soap update

  1. Interesting conversations about soap, cleansers and shampoo. I’m impressed you made your own.
    I’ve never made soap, only moisturiser.
    I started washing my face with soap instead of using a cleanser a few years ago. It doesn’t seem to have made any difference to my skin’s condition. It’s organic and the shop pops it in a little paper bag for me so i hope I’m doing something right. Not scientific though…
    My moisturiser is shea butter and almond oil and it takes a while to sink in but does the job well.
    It’s probably a case of what suits the individual best???

  2. Thanks for your tips on liquid soaps and for including my facial cleanser recipe Sue! If you ever try it, please let me know if you like it. Actually, my beauty regiment consists in washing my face with this cleanser at night. I apply no moisturizer before going to bed. This is the Dr. Hauschka’s method, this way your skin develops its own moisturizing mechanisms and regenerates itself. In the morning, I first spray my skin with blueberry water or rose water (whichever I have on hand) and then massage my face for about two minutes with a good natural oil (olive oil or chia seeds oil). I found this tip in an Ayurvedic book from Deepak Chopra. Later on, I just wipe up the excess with a cloth and that’s it. I am so proud of my skin now. Plus, I save a lot of money (for fabrics!).

    As for the toxicity of products, Benjamin uses an app on his cell phone called “Think dirty”. He just scans any product bar codes at the drugstore and gets their toxicity rate. Very smart!

    1. I am definitely going to try it! I love the app, so please thank Benjamin. I am having to enter lots of products as we have different stuff here in Australia.

  3. Interesting post and conversation Sue!! I have absolutely nothing to add but is interesting to read and follow along with what others are doing too.

    1. In the interests of all our well being. If you read down the comments you will see that Hélène points me in the direction of an app called “think dirty”. I’ve been walking round all morning scanning things!

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