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Natural Year Challenge: Household - Month Ten

Make Liquid Liquid SoapSoap

Welcome to the final month of our Natural Year Challenge! Whether you have taken big steps or small, no doubt you've experienced some of the many rewards of more natural, less toxic living. We hope this series has inspired you to continue the journey!

Our last step together involves making all-natural liquid soap. If this process seems overwhelming, consider making your own liquid soap by simply grating castile soap and mixing with boiling water (see our Month Three Household Challenge: Make Household Soaps). But if you're adventurous and want to give this a try, we think you'll be surprised by how simple soapmaking really is! There are a myriad of uses for liquid soap, which makes the effort well worth your time investment.

True liquid soap uses potassium hydroxide rather than sodium hydroxide. Potassium hydroxide creates long strands as opposed to sodium hydroxide's crystalline structures, so the soap mixture remains fluid and the end product remains clear. Caution is required when using either. If this is your first attempt, Cranberry Lane offers an excellent article on basic soapmaking.

Supplies needed:

  • Slow cooker
  • Immersion blender
  • Coconut oil
  • Castor oil
  • Filtered water
  • pH strips or phenolphthalein
  • Safety goggles and gloves

Recipe:

The following recipe is adapted from The Everything Soapmaking Book by Alicia Grosso.

  • 22 oz. coconut oil
  • 4 oz. castor oil
  • 1 oz. jojoba oil
  • 16 oz. distilled water
  • 6.25 oz. potassium hydroxide (Bramble Berry is one recommended source)
  1. Turn slow cooker to low setting. Place oils in the slow cooker. Cover and melt the oils.
  2. Place water in heatproof container. Wearing appropriate safety gear, sprinkle potassium hydroxide into water. Stir until dissolved.
  3. Add the hydroxide/water mix to the slow cooker. (Use extra caution to avoid splattering.)
  4. Blend the mixture with an immersion blender. You will be watching for the mixture to thicken. This is called "trace" and it will happen suddenly, but may take up to 20 minutes to occur.
  5. Allow the paste to cook for 3 hours until it becomes translucent. Stir to neutralize every 30-60 minutes. Keep the slow cooker covered tightly, except for the brief stirring.
  6. Test for neutrality, using pH strips or 2 drops of phenolphthalein. See Testing Your Soap pH Level at the Soap Made Easy website for more information.

Store the liquid paste in the refrigerator and scoop out to make liquid soap as needed. Boil 1 part paste with 1 part water and allow to simmer until dissolved.

Use your liquid soap for shampoos, hand soap, dish soap, even laundry soap! Proportions will vary; for example, foaming liquid soap requires less soap than pump dispensers.

Have fun using this pure, all-natural soap made with your very own hands!


Making your own liquid soap is easier than it seems! Join Andrea as she demonstrates the process of combining potassium hydroxide with healthy oils to make a versatile liquid soap.

Quotes

"We had some water leaks in our home... we never thought we needed to clean out and remove the floor, the ceiling, or the drywall... my two small children and I have remained constantly sick for years in this home."

– Mia

"I was skeptical at first that these (natural cleaning) products would work, but they work better than the stuff I buy at the store! We will soon be moving to the personal care products as well!"

– Jennifer

"I've been living in a mold-infested home for 13 months... I was going CRAZY! Finally figured it out... Just a few days of recovering in a mold-free home and I feel AMAZING!!!"

– Lauren

"We all suffered from headaches, hormonal body temperature fluctuations, brain fog, fatigue, difficulty breathing, thrush, rashes, and yeast infections... we vacated our home two weeks ago."

– Anonymous

"I started finding myself sitting on the floor in rooms of my house and not remembering how I got there, what I was doing before, or how long I had been there."

– Brenda

"My symptoms persisted and eventually turned into lethargy and depression. At the age of 26, I required a nap every evening after work."

– Jennifer

"My daughter started having digestive problems... heart palpitations... coughing episodes... muscle/joint pain... asthma/allergies... Her doctor finally advised me to check for mold in our home."

– Anonymous

"The entire time we lived in our (mold-infested) house the kitchen sponge would get musty smelling within 3-4 days. It was so strange. I had to buy a pack of sponges nearly every week."

– Anonymous

"I knew it was mold, but doctors kept telling me I had anxiety. I was sitting in my office and could not remember who I was talking to, or what we were talking about."

– Brenda

"Our family has been out of our home for 9 months due to mold... I am so scared and weak from all of this. We have lost friends; family members don't understand."

– Anonymous

"In my moldy home if I left the wet clothes in the washer they would get musty very quickly and I'd have to re-wash... Sometimes I'd run a load, go to work, and they'd be musty when I returned that evening."

– Anonymous

"I'm new at this, but today I cleaned my bathroom with baking soda and vinegar. It's much better not having those strong chemical smells afterwards."

– Anonymous

"...at age 35 or 36 I started to become allergic to everything, and I got asthma at age 36... I went to doctor after doctor after doctor and was desperate for help, but nobody could help me."

– Mia

"My daughter has had many blood samples taken to test for everything imaginable and her doctor just seems puzzled. Everything comes back normal."

– Anonymous

"The ERMI mold test as well as your helpful articles and Toxic Talk Tuesday programs have helped us avoid a terrible mistake in purchasing a new home."

– Angela

"Both of my sons went downhill quickly and coughed for months... They both lost their ability to read, had profound vision disturbances, and had phenomenal gastric issues."

– Lee

"I had been struggling with headaches, head fog, breathing difficulties (unable to get a full breath), constant scalp tingling, migraines, nausea, feeling spacey/detached, and severe itchy skin."

– Anonymous

"I have been sick for almost 6 months now and doctors were not able to figure out why. I finally put it all together after going away for vacation for a week and suddenly my symptoms were going away."

– Anonymous

"We were having a lot of health problems and had been to the doctor countless times... we had large circles of slimy greenish-black mold on the bathroom ceiling, where it had caved in a few months before."

– C.

Dedication