For good or for ill, it’s Bath & Body Works season, L’Occitane season, Anthropologie season, Savon de Marseille season. It’s fancy-soap-with-fancy-smells season, and even my normally bare-bones, ascetic sensibilities when it comes to home and self care can loft a bit to the girly side. But not $32 plus $6 shipping for a 2 cups of hand soap girly. I mean there’s girly and then there’s just plain stupid.
You probably go out of your way to use environmentally friendly hand soap. I know some readers make their own, and others love Dr. Bonners in bulk or brands like Method. Using stuff you probably already have on hand for the obligatory cookie decorating that also marks this time of year, you can turn less-inexpensive bulk liquid soap into fancy-pants, seasonal-scented hand soap.
- big ol’ bulk bottle of unscented dish or hand soap*
- food flavoring extract (vanilla, peppermint, almond, cinnamon, etc.)^
- food coloring
Basically, you just mix a bit of extract and coloring into your soap. But here’s a few tips. First, figure out what volume of vessel you’re filling. You don’t want to end up with 8 cups of soap and nowhere to put it. My squeeze bottles hold 16 oz. – 2 cups and I’ll be diluting the soap 1-to-1 with water.
My toddler wants that green blob from tinting the peppermint soap:
Here’s a drop of red for some cinnamon-scented soap:
Stir gently and check the scent and color. If you prefer that either be stronger, add another tablespoon of extract or another drop or two of coloring. Here’s the coloring being incorporated into the cinnamon-scented soap.
Dilute the soap to a hand-happy strength. The dish soap I use needs to be diluted by about half, so I add a cup of water gently to the soap mix and bottle. The base soap you start with may need more or less (or no) additional water.
You can bottle in commercial plastic squeeze bottles (here’s the cinnamon):
Or reuse an old glass bottle fitted with a pour spout (here’s the peppermint):
^A note about flavoring extracts: vanilla extract is the best known, and will work, but will limit your color choices to something in the amber range since it, itself, is brown. Light colored or clear extracts like peppermint or cinnamon or almond leave the soap clearer and give you more options for color.