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Easy Foaming Handsoap

Easy Foaming Handsoap

Just one magic ingredient (or two), plus water and some oils. Doesn't get much easier! And, you can customize it based on the season, or whatever essential oils you have on hand.

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"To DIY, or not to DIY." That is the question I ask myself more and more frequently.  Some examples of my musings:

Emergency Target run for soap before the guests arrive: 30 minutes start to finish (MINIMUM, even if I avoid the $ bins and clearance aisles). 

DIYing it: 3 minutes, start to finish. And since it foams, it lasts...FOREVER, compared to regular soap. Fewer soap refills = even more time saved.

But I love Target's packaging. At $8.99 for a mere 10oz, it better have that effect.

I can love my own packaging too. Printable labels on Pinterest! Or...not. Seriously- it's just hand soap after all.

DIY wins.

What's in Your Hand Soap?

For 2 years I had placed an expensive hand soap in my bathrooms and kitchen, solely because it made my bathroom look elegant and smelled great. Last year I decided that this luxury purchase was not sustainable, especially when they upped the price and shrunk the container size. 

A much cheaper option I had considered, at $3.99, was an extremely popular "alternative" to regular chemical-based soaps. A brand that starts with "Mrs." and ends with "eyers".  I never purchased it (solely because I liked my pricey soap's packaging better, not because I checked ingredient lists back then).  As it turns out, on the EWG (Environmental Working Group) app,  this supposedly "natural" hand soap doesn't make the cut for a perfectly safe product, no matter how green-ly the "Mrs." company markets themselves.  Why? The subtle ingredient name "Fragrance" is slipped into the list, a word which typically is a cover-up for a whole set of chemical cocktails that are known to be hormone disruptors and significant allergens.  And that ingredient is what gives it a bad rating in terms of safety.

(As an aside: The EWG app is a must-have if you're trying to make a dent in health issues by cutting back on the disrupting chemicals daily added to your system!  Totally takes the guesswork out of shopping for better household products and food. Just scan a product, view the rating, and pick the safer choice! I highly recommend it!)

So if even just one dirty ingredient gave the "green" soap a bad rap, what's wrong with good old Softsoap?  (Or how about the blue-triclosan-bead-studded Bath & Body Works Antibacterial Soaps that I loved to stockpile during the Semi-Annual Sale in my teen years?) Well...to name a few:

  • Fragrance - again - an umbrella term for a combo of toxic chemicals
  • Triclosan - the famous "antibacterial" agent (but originally registered as a pesticide. It's now actually known to contribute to the production of super-strain, antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as MRSA. Plus, it's related to endocrine system disruption, immunotoxicity, and muscle function issues.)
  • DMDM Hydantoin - used as a preservative (but releases formaldehyde, one of the top carcinogens according. to the International Agency for Research on Cancer and a top allergen according to The Dermatologist Journal)
  • Ethanolamines (DEA, TEA, or MEA) - appear in most bath products and many cosmetics (and are considered possible carcinogens by the International Agency for Research on Cancer)

Why DIY?

The real question is - why not? My other options are:

  • The pretty packaging choice: $.86/oz
  • The supposedly safe (but not totally) choice: $.32/oz.
  • The totally unsafe choice: $.18/oz.

So, I'll make my own, and keep refilling my foaming pump for just $.22/oz that lasts 2x as long as regular soap. And, no more Target runs that compromise either my bank account or my carcinogen-conscience.

And as for truly "cleaning" your hands? Well - you don't need triclosan for that. The FDA has even admitted that antibacterial products are no more effective than regular soap and water, and has required that these antibacterial agents be removed from products by September of this year because of the damage they cause.

Given that we still want our all-natural soap to do its job, rest assured that:

  • Castile soap is effective when it comes to hand washing. Safe for you, not for bugs. This one is effective enough for hospitals!
  • Young Living's Purification oil blend contains Citronella, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Myrtle, Lavandin, and Tea Tree oils, all of which have extremely powerful cleansing properties.

Easy Foaming Hand Soap

For an 8oz - 12oz pump:

  • 2 Tbsp castile soap
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable glycerine
  • 10 drops YL Purification oil blend
  • 8 drops YL Lemon oil
  • Distilled/purified water
  • Optional: 2 tsp Olive Oil or Almond Oil as a moisturizer (since castile soap can be quite drying)
  • Optional: Vitamin E (pierce and squeeze a couple capsules)

Directions: Pour the castile soap, glycerine, and essential oils into the pump. Mix well. Then SLOWLY add the distilled water, leaving room at the top for the bulky pump. Voila!


Note 1 My pump is 18.7 oz from The Container Store, so I doubled the recipe.  I like it because it's glass, and I don’t have to worry about the citrus oil eroding the container. You can re-purpose a used plastic foaming pump (usually between 8oz-12oz) if you have one.  Just don't use citrus oils in it.

Note 2: I used Dr. Bronner's Baby/Unscented Castile Soap. Other scent combinations you could try with Bronner's soap solely using Young Living's Starter Kit oils are:

  • Lavender soap and Lavender oil
  • Peppermint soap and Lemon oil
  • Citrus soap and Purification oil
  • Tea Tree soap and Peppermint oil
  • Rose soap and Lavender oil
  • Citrus soap with Thieves oil (great for fall!)

Get creative with your castile soap! It has so many dollar-stretching, all-natural uses beyond hand soap. I love it!

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