Have you been caught up in the panic-buying of COVID-19 and can't find any handsoap anywhere? Do you know someone who is just about to scrape by on their sliver of a soap bar?
We have a really (REALLY) simple recipe for your own liquid handwash. You can make it smell how you want, you can add any beneficial oils or moisturisers if you want. You can even reuse your old hand-soap bottle! And you can share it with your fellow humans! This batch will make quite a lot and can only be used for a month or so; spread the love!
Soapberries are a natural, hypoallergenic, grey water safe, palm oil free and vegan too! Sustainable and helping you destress whilst the world goes into lockdown: bonus?
Most of these ingredients you can also order online, so if you're quarantined and are scraping by, go through the provided links and get stocked up!
Here's what you need:
50g Soapberries (We use That Red House Organic Soapberries)
1 L Tap Water
Large bowl or jug
Guar Gum (or another thickener, optional)
1tsp Citric Acid (or another preservative, optional)
Olive Oil (or another moisturising oil, optional)
Rose Water (or another scent, optional)
Powered blender (optional)
How to make DIY handsoap when the coronavirus has exhausted your local's soap supplies
Start by adding the soapberries and water into the large saucepan.
Bring to a boil and continue to boil for 20 minutes. *Be cautious if you have a lid on, the saponins will sud up and overflow!* This mixture, we admit, does not have the most pleasant of odours. We suggest you cook with the windows open!
Take off the heat and strain the shells from the liquid, reserving the liquid in a large bowl.
Stir in the preservative of your choice, we recommend citric acid or tea tree oil. This is called a soapberry 'mother broth' as it can be used for a whole range of cleaning applications! As this is 100% natural, it is best to keep this in the fridge for longevity (up to 1 month). Without storing in the fridge it should keep for around 2 weeks.
Once this mixture has cooled, you can add the guar gum. We recommend blending in a powered blender for a similar consistency to traditional handsoaps, add a teaspoon at a time until you get the desired feel. *We omit this step as we don't mind it being quite watery, but if you want that authenticity, definitely do it!*
Once it has reached your desired solidification, you can add a teaspoon each of olive oil and rosewater for the moisturising and scented properties (adding more as you feel necessary). Again, this is optional but does give it a better scent and moisturises your mits!
Finally, transfer to a container of your choice. Use as you would with a normal handsoap (with warm water and rub a dub!)
Ensure you use this within 1-2 weeks, or keep it in the fridge for it to last up to a month. If you're anything like us you'll stay stocked up with the ingredients for months and continue to make easy and sustainable handsoap!
That's seriously it. It's perfect for home use and ensuring your household stays stocked up on soap until the COVID-19 panic dies down.
The boiled shells of the soapberries have other applications too! Check out our article on how to make DIY shaving cream! Otherwise, they are just boiled nuts, so you can compost them in your home.
We hope you are staying safe, smart and healthy during this COVID-19 pandemic. Remember to be kind to your fellow humans! Offer some of your homemade soap to your neighbours or friends, don't freak out if you haven't got access to your usual grocery items, there are alternatives out there!
Lots of love, Billy.