Friday, March 2, 2012

how to make liquid castile soap from a bar

Ever since I started making my own laundry soap I have been investigating how to make my own everything. Careful people, laundry soap is the gateway detergent. 

I decided the next project would be dish soap or hand soap and since both had castile soap as an ingredient I went to Walmart to find some. Well I didn't find any and to my surprise I had a very dedicated Walmart worker trying very hard to find some for me. (Thanks dude wherever you are, I really appreciate the good customer service, especially when I find it at Walmart.) The guy did tell me there is bar soap at Kroger so I went there and sure enough there was a 3 pack for 3 dollars. But the problem is that for any liquid soap recipe it is going to call for liquid castile soap. So I looked more into it and I found Dr. Bonners soap in stores (like fresh market and whole foods) and online ranging anywhere from 4-25 dollars after shipping costs for 8 oz. 

Well that would just not do for me so next I looked up how to liquefy the bar soap. It turns out the only other ingredients you need other than the bar soap are vegetable glycerine at water so I took a shot at this rather easy quick fix. I also chalkboard painted my spaghetti container again and named it Dr. powers' castile soap, after all he is the financial backer behind all my money saving ideas. :)
 Here's the recipe:

- 1 4oz. bar of Castile soap ($1)
- 6 cups water
- 1 tablespoons vegetable glycerin ($3.47 for an 8 oz bottle so 0.43 an ounce 1 TBLS= 1/2 oz so 0.21 a tablespoon)

*I got the glycerine at Hobby Lobby and if you bring a 40% off coupon it's even cheaper than that. (I used mine on a bar of beeswax instead though for future projects!) This I believe is the cheapest easiest option.


- Grate the bar of soap with a cheese grater. 

*The smaller you grate your soap the quicker it dissolves when you have to constantly stir it so pick how you want to exercise your forearm here.

- Set water over low heat in a saucepan, add the grated soap while stirring constantly until dissolved and no floaty bits remain. It should look pretty clear. If you aren't patient here then you may end up with chucky looking soap.

* stir constantly and always attend to it.

- Add glycerin. Once dissolved, transfer to a jar and cover tightly.If it starts to separate out after it cools a little I gently shake it to blend it better. Don't shake so much it gets sudsy, just mix it a lil. Add essential oils if you want it to smell pretty. This makes honey like consistency soap add more water until desired consistency is reached. I filled 2 old spaghetti jars with it. I spray painted the lids silver so they match and I put some chalkboard paint on so I could doodle on it whenever and whatever I felt like.

There ya go. 52 oz of $1.21 liquid castile soap. You're welcome. :)

What can you do with it now? I plan on using it to make dish soap, hand soap, and gifts like bubble bath soap and other soaps for people. You have options. Now that I gave you the recipe if you want to stay for the boring part about what castile soap is you can or you can go make your soap. Either way.

Castile soap is so named because of the country side in Spain that it came from. It is often popular because it does not use animal fat as an emollient as other soaps do. It's base is a mix of oils making it rich and smooth. It uses olive oil--the most abundant and traditional oil included , soybean oil, and coconut oil. 

* I wonder if vegetarians know that other soaps have animal fat in them? 
* Another thought the dude in fight club totally did not need to steal the people fat to make his soap. But I guess then the movie would loose some sort of weird symbolism if you took that part out and he just went to Hobby Lobby and

You can make your own liquid castile soap in a crock pot with these ingredients, potassium hydroxide, and beeswax but that is for later days for me when I don't have toddlers in the house because KOH is caustic stuff. take you to the how to on that.

And now I hear tornado sirens so I'm going to go ahead and bid you adieu so I can go find my "place of safety"

Love and prayers from Alabama


  1. This is great! I'm going to be doing this. I buy a gallon of Dr. Bronner's liquid baby mild soap from my local organic store for $45, but I'm thinking that I can do it even cheaper now! I use castile soap in my recipes for: Shampoo, foaming hand soap, shaving cream, dog shampoo...and I'm sure I'll find many more uses for it! Thanks a bunch for the recipe! By the way, does this produce the consistency that you would find if you bought the liquid Dr. Bronner's soap?

  2. It is not as thin as the liquid Dr. Bonners soap. I have been messing around with it to try to get it better but this stays a little thicker so the soap pump has to have a bigger straw through it. My next move is to make it in the crock pot with the KOH (I bet that will be closer to Dr. Bonners) but I'm still trying to find time to do that without toddlers around.