Making liquid soap from solid soap – using Ecostore Coconut Soap
Here’s another thing probably everyone else does, but in case you want to and you don’t know how, here’s an easy way to make liquid soap.
I like liquid soap – it doesn’t crack and harbour bacteria in it like hard soap can, so I prefer it for handwashing. My kids also like the liquid soap: they pump that bottle until there is soap EVERYWHERE. I assume they will stop this, sooner or later. They’ve been told. The older has outgrown it, I’m waiting for the younger to learn. However, I don’t like most of the liquid soaps I can buy: they dry my hands out, cause my skin to crack, and are full of chemicals I just don’t want around. I do like Ecostore hand soap, but.. although they’re not expensive, they are out of my price range on a weekly basis. So, here’s what I do.
I buy a liquid soap (I didn’t want to have an Ecostore bottle here to confuse anyone – and tried to hide the label I did use. Badly, but I tried) – and then use it up. Ta da, a bottle for soap! Clean THAT and you’re good to go.
I use Ecostore solid soaps, always, for these. I’m loving the coconut one – it smells very sweetly coconutty, and I like to walk around the house pretending I’m on a tropical island somewhere when the kids go nutty. Coversations go like this: “muuum! Mum! MMMMUUUUUUUUUUUMMM!” and I say “boola bula booola..” (thats me, in my head, dancing on the sand on a tropical island, ok, its not good but I don’t know any good songs to sing!) and it drives my monkeys crazy. (To any concerned citizens: if you have children, you will know the difference between a “mum!” that means “I need help, right now, my brother has a good grip on my eyeball” and the “mum!” that means “I’m really bored and trying to wind you up and everytime you say ‘yes, dear?’ I go ‘blah blah BLAHAHAHAH!’ and run away.” I’m talking about ignoring the latter ‘mum’.)
So.. here’s the deal with the liquid soap. Find a container (in this case an old yoghurt container. Save them. They’re great for storage, planting plants in, all sorts). Grate some solid soap into said container: you can also use a potato peeler, it’s easier to clean, and you are less likely to start frothing at the mouth after eating your next cheese dish. Top up with water. You’ll need a really small soap/water ratio…
And fill 9/10ths to the top. Play with the ratio – you’ll find what happens is that it seems fine at a higher soap/water balance, but then when it cools the soap sets, and you have a jelly that can’t be pumped through the bottle.*
Now, put the container with soap flakes and water into a pot (or frying pan, yes) with some water in it.. and put the element on. Its not a true bain marie, but it means as the water in the pot heats it heats not only the container at the bottom, but also up to the water level on the sides. Just a bit quicker. Stir until the soap flakes have dissolved.
Pour into the cleaned soap pump bottle – and done. If the soap is hot, wait until it has cooled a bit before you pour it into the bottle or do the lid up, otherwise the bottle will crumple in on itself. Not pretty, but still functional, usually.
And done! Leave the rest of the liquid soap in the container until you run out, then pour more in. The amount I make usually lasts us a good month, unless my youngest child has got at it again, in which case we could be talking days. Sigh.
I find this doesn’t dry my hands out, plus I get a good months (normally!) soap from 1/5 of a cake of soap – which itself cost half of what the liquid soap does. Usually the coconut soap sells for $3-ish, I’ll be using say 60 cents worth for a month, so 15 cents a week. MUCH cheaper, and nicer on my hands. Here’s the ingredients for the Ecostore coconut soap, as always you can get their products at most supermarkets, or online here.
(p.s I’m not saying this is better than the Ecostore liquid soap, I’d prefer that one if I could! But.. this works for me, and my family)
*If your soap solidifies in the container, add more water, put the lid on, and shake-shake-shake like you’re at a dance party on a tropical island. If it solidifies in the pump bottle, take the lid off, put the bottle into a pot with water, and reheat until it liquidises again. Remove some of the soap, add more water. Shake-shake-shake. Exercise AND problem solving, could it get any better?!