NEW!! Until recent months, it has been about 12 years since I have made liquid soap. I am happy to tell you…I have been at it again!
If you are close enough to attend the Snellville Farmers’ Market this Saturday, you will be able get some for yourself and see how wonderful it is to use liquid soap that does NOT give your skin a “chemical bath”. Real. Liquid. Soap. Before the birth and use of detergents and surfactants became commonplace.
A note about viscosity. Commercial liquid soaps can be quite thick and produce lots of lather. It’s something that pretty much all of us are accumstomed to. Handmade liquid soaps are generally thinner than their commercial counterparts. Why? Because you won’t tend to find the viscosity builders and other synthetics in the handmade versions. A lot of people making handmade liquid soaps are not going to want to put a bunch of chemicals in their otherwise all-natural products.
I happen to have a bottle of commercial liquid soap in my possession. <Gasp!> It’s okay. It was a gift. No blasphemy here.
Here is their list of ingredients:
- Water (No explanation needed here. We all know what water is.)
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate (This is a surfactant, cleanser, and foam/lather booster. A surfactant is a wetting agent, which means that it decreases the water’s surface tension so that it can spread out and penetrate, or “wet”, more easily. Since it softens the water, you can still get a lather if you have hard water. Also known as SLES, it can be can be a skin and eye irritant. Despite some claims that SLES, and it’s chemical cousin SLS, can cause cancer, the American Cancer Society states that they are known irritants, not know carcinogens.)
- Cocamidopropyl Betaine (This is a surfactant, foam booster, antistatic, cleanser, and thickener. It has mild antiseptic properties. It is derived from coconut oil and the chemical dimethylaminopropylamine. Can cause some irritation.)
- Sodium Chloride (Common table salt. Sodium chloride is used as a thickener if the main surfactant is SLS.)
- Fragrance (No explanation needed.)
- PEG-150 Distearate (This is used as an emulsifier and thickening agent. It is the polyethylene glycol diester of stearic acid, a naturally occurring fatty acid.)
- Maltooligosyl Glucoside/Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate (Basically sugar and corn starch. Used as a humectant, which helps to retain moisture.)
- Methylchloroisothiazolinone (Preservative. It has a reputation of being an allergen for some.)
- Methylisothiazolinone (Preservative and biocide. Used to prevent bacteria and fungi.)
- Magnesium Chloride (Occurs naturally and is used as a viscosity builder in aqueous solutions.)
- Magnesium Nitrate (Man-made product, used as a preservative.)
- Citric Acid (Used as a preservative and pH adjuster. It is derived from the citrus fruit by fermentation of crude sugars.)
- FD&C Red No.4
- FD&C Yellow No.5
Wow! Now that is quite a list of ingredients! You wanna know the ingredients I used in my dog shampoo? Here ya go:
- Saponified oils of: Olive, Castor, Neem, and Coconut.
- Essential Oils
Liquid soaps high in olive oil are very mild and moisturizing. This is obviously not a castile soap (100% olive oil soap), but it is high in olive oil content. Castor oil is also moisturizing and helps to impart some bubbles. I used neem oil because it is great for skin conditions and also contains natural insect repellent properties. Perfect for a dog! And finally, I used a small amount of coconut for cleansing and bubbles. Also due to the olive oil content, this soap with not have a ton of lather, but the addition of castor, coconut, and even the glycerin (also moisturizing) should help boost it some. You will get a lather, but it won’t be so foamy. The essential oils used have some insect repelling properties as well.