Thursday, November 18, 2010

Foam Here to Eternity

When I first learned I was pregnant with twins, I started looking into ways I could save money. I started serious couponing with the help of many review blogs and frugal blogs. I signed up for various discount programs and found freebies offered by companies. I also started looking into ways to create a healthier home for my family. That has been the hardest part to change our unhealthy habits. Buying more natural and organic items has really put a strain on the budget but that just meant I had to find other areas to cut costs.

When the boys began attending daycare, we started showing them how to wash their hands at the sink. I tried to find soaps that were not antibacterial as they contain triclosan. The natural, organic or kid friendly soaps are not cheap. I looked into ways I could stretch the soap and lo and behold, I found recipes to make foaming hand soap. I was never a fan of foaming hand soap because it didn't feel like I was getting clean with so little soap. I have since become a convert and love foaming hand soap.

Here is a video on making foaming soap.

This concept can be used to make foaming dish soap or body wash and will work with any kind of soap. I used these instructions as a guideline to making my soap.

I started with a bottle of dial foaming hand soap. Buying a pre-filled bottle can run anywhere from 1.66 (what I paid on sale) to 3.99 (fancier bottle). You can also get empty bottles at Bed, Bath and Beyond and online stores. I bought a bottle of Mrs. Meyer's clean day apple scented hand soap at Target for 2.99 (with coupon). I filled the empty bottle with about half an inch of soap, then slowly added warm water to the fill line in the back of the bottle. Put the cap back on and gently mix to distribute the soap. For your first batch, I suggest filling with water a little less then the fill line. This gives you some wiggle room to add more soap if needed. Test the soap to see if it is the consistency you like. Adjust accordingly. You want the consistency to be watery so that the pump can mix the liquid with air to create the foam.

I barely put a dent in the bottle of Mrs. Meyer's. If I use 1 fluid ounce with each batch, this one bottle will make 12 batches of foaming soap. This comes to $.25 per batch, not counting the initial cost of the dial bottle.

You can add food coloring to soaps too. There are all kinds of soaps out there. Some good, some bad and some very bad. If you want to check on the toxicity of the soaps or want to find a non-toxic soap to make your own foaming hand soap, check out the Cosmetic database. That is how I found Mrs. Meyer's to be not so good.

If you are interested in getting handmade soaps with natural and organic ingredients, my friend Sarah makes wonderful soaps. Her web site is Sarah's Soap. She sent me a yummy package containing soap and lip balm for my baby shower and I passed it around for all to smell.

If you find a bar soap that you like and want to make foaming hand soap, you can grate bar soaps. Here is Sarah's recipe for making liquid soap from bar soap.

5 ounces grated soap
30 oz water
½ teaspoon powdered pectin (same pectin used for canning)

Grate soap into small slivers. Combine the grated soap with the water and pectin in a stainless steel pan. Eliminating the pectin will cause it to separate. Heat until the soap slivers have completely melted. Remove from heat and add a few drops of an essential oil. When cool, pour into a dispensing bottle. You may have to play around a bit with the amount of soap vs. water depending on how thick you want it.


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