Wednesday, September 28, 2011

WFMW: Gentle, Semi-Homemade Hand Soap

Ok, so it's not really 'homemade' if you just add water. But it is economical and good for you!

A while back I bought Dr Bronners Baby Mild Soap at Target to use in my homemade disinfecting wipes. A friend of mine mentioned to me that she thought that the sulfates and parabens in her hand soap (and mine too!) were causing a rash on her hands. So, I set out to see what I could find on the internet about healthy hand soaps. Isn't the internet amazing!? Sometimes I hate it because it can suck up all your time but it is a wonderful wealth of resources as well!

As I was reading about the different methods and products others use I thought, "Dr. Bronners!" I first mixed some with water in a normal soap dispenser but it was watery and while I didn't mind, it did make a mess. So, I thought some more and then read somewhere about using a foaming soap dispenser for homemade soaps.

I went out and bought the cheap Wal*Mart foaming soap ($1.97) and dumped it down the drain (I know, wasteful!) I then replaced it with an ounce of Dr. Bronners (which is concentrated) and filled the rest up with water (totals 8 oz). It worked perfectly! The only downside that I have read about is that sometimes the oils in the soap will clog up the pump. I'm thinking that running hot water through the pump every once in a while may help with this!

I am soo pleased with this method. Here is the breakdown in pricing:

Dr. Bronners 32 oz @ $18 = $0.56 per bottle of soap ~ Target

If you ordered this on Amazon, the price right now is $16.49 and qualifies for free shipping (when you add $8.51 of other eligible items). I plan on doing this the next time I'm stocking up on coconut oil, maple syrup or rapadura. So, the price per bottle would be slightly less.

So, why is this so much better for you?

1. It doesn't contain parabens and sodium lauryl sulfates (click the links to read some of the concerns of these ingredients) .

2. It is NOT antibacterial.

"Numerous studies show that antibacterial soap is no more effective than ordinary soap in cleaning your hands. Either kind lifts off germ-laden dirt. But antibacterial soap kills helpful bacteria on the skin, freeing up valuable real estate so that harmful bacteria can move in later. " Read the full article here.

Check out this post about the evils of Triclosan which is in numerous antibacterial soaps.

3. This is a personal result that for some reason I didn't expect! I have terribly dry hands because I wash them often during the day! I can hardly believe how in just a few days of switching to this soap how good my hands look! I even made the Hubs feel them a few nights ago to see the difference! No more rough, cracking skin! It's smooth and soft!

So, if you're looking for a healthy, inexpensive hand soap... give this a try! It works for me!

Just a little side note: I know that articles you read on the internet can be swayed one way or the other (though several are not blog posts but medical journals). Either way, there are gray areas in some of the information available on these subjects. But obviously there is research out that that has caused some concern, so I choose to err on the side of caution until scientific evidence is fully established.


Anonymous said...

I do that, too. It makes such nice soap! You are right that hot water run through the pump when you're refilling it will prevent or remove clogs.

Instead of dumping out "bad" soap to get the foamer, at Target you can buy Method foam soap which is supposed to be natural (although all the fragrances smell ultra-fake to me!) and isn't antibacterial. Then refill with Dr. Bronner's.

Another option is to use a small trigger spray bottle. Most stores have them in the health & beauty section for misting your hair with water. They turn soapy water into a nice foam. But you have to label the sprayer because guests will think it's some kind of cleaning product rather than hand soap.

Camille said...

I LOVE Dr. Bronners and I need to try the mild baby soap because the peppermint soap gives me a rash! I may not be diluting it enough, either.

Anonymous said...

What a great idea! We are trying to avoid parabens and phthalates in our house and this sounds like a healthy, economical way to enjoy the convenience of hand soap. Thanks for sharing!