How to Make Liquid Soap at Home During Confinement

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Soap is the best ally to prevent COVID-19 and perhaps for this reason it is not as easy as before to find its liquid version in pharmacies.

Liquid soap is becoming scarce in pharmacies throughout Spain, although it is not technically possible to speak of a shortage of the product, since from time to time they replenish stocks, which run out in a few days. The fact is that since the confinement began, and in the previous days, this product, like other sanitary products, is more difficult to find than other sanitary products.

So it may not be a bad idea to learn how to make liquid soap at home, since the idea of ​​using dish soap as a substitute seems a bit aggressive for frequent hand washing. It can be done starting from a bar of soap, or from more primary components. In any case we will need a few utensils and a series of reagents that we can easily find in pharmacies and drugstores, both businesses considered essential for the moment.

If we already have a bar of soap
In the case of having one bar of soap per home, the process to obtain the liquid form is greatly simplified, since it will be enough for us to have a pot, a grater and glycerin, which is sold in pharmacies for multiple uses. We will also need a liter of distilled water, or spring water, low in calcium.

The first step will be to heat the water in a pot without allowing it to boil; on it we will grate the soap bar and we will remove it in sections to facilitate the dissolution of the soap in the water. Once we have dissolved the whole pill, we will keep the heat of the pot while adding a tablespoon of glycerin, or two, depending on the thickness of the mixture.

We will remove well so that the glycerin binds the solution and we will wait for it to cool down a bit before distributing the mixture in cans. If we want the soap to have color, we can add some colorant for sale in drugstores, or essences or essential oils such as those used in humidifiers, etc.

If we don’t have soap bars at home
We may not have soap bars and we do not want to go shopping or we will not find in the pharmacy now that the perfumeries are closed. We should not worry, since if we have a drugstore nearby we can buy caustic soda in dry balls, which we will use to mix with water and vegetable oil, so that a saponification reaction is generated, in which the fatty acids of the oil will react with the sodium from soda.

We will visually check that the oil becomes somewhat pasty and opaque. Then we will use the liquid soap making machine, not without before, with the arm off, stirring as if it were a wooden spoon, gently so that the mixture is complete. Once the contents of the two jugs are properly and homogeneously mixed, we will activate the mixer arm to give it a normal use, as if we were linking a chantilly cream, for example.

liquid soap making machine

We will see that during this smoothie the mixture thickens with the consistency of sauce and after puree. When it is at the mash point, we must stop. Next we will put a table on a surface and a towel on top. On top of the towel we will place molds, if possible of silicone, and we will fill them with the paste of the mixture until the edge.

Then we will wrap the set with the towel and, taking it by the wood, we will take it to a place where it can rest a whole day, so that the saponification is completed. After 24 hours, we will remove the soaps already formed from their molds and leave them outdoors or wrapped in kitchen paper to dry completely. Then we can use them as specified in the first point to obtain liquid soap.

We must be careful, however, when handling the soda, since it is very corrosive and in contact with water it gets very hot and emits toxic vapors. So for saponification we will use a long-sleeved shirt or polo shirt, cleaning gloves, surgical ones are not worth it, and if we have swimming or diving goggles better, although any lenses can be useful, since the objective is to protect the eyes from splashing

The basic ingredients and tools are:

A pair of wide-mouth glass jugs.
A mixer.
600 grams of vegetable oil, preferably olive, although it can also be mixed with coconut oil, which is aromatic, for example.
80 grams of caustic soda in granules, which is bought in drugstores.
200 milliliters of water (it does not need to be distilled or spring).
First, after putting on gloves and glasses, we take one of the jugs and pour the 200 milliliters of water; We will do it under the kitchen hood and turn on the extractor to the maximum. Then we will be adding, previously weighed, the 80 grams of caustic soda with great care, manipulating them with a ladle.

We will add them in a very gradual way, so that the mixture reacts; We will see that it takes heat and the soda dissolves. The fumes will go through the extractor. Before returning to add another bit of soda, we will wait for the already poured to dissolve. If we do not have a kitchen stove, we can put a wood under the jug to absorb heat. A very important clarification: we will never do the operation backwards. Pouring water over the soda is extremely dangerous.

The next step will be to rest the mixture of water and soda until the temperature of the jar drops to approximately 40 ºC. We will use a thermometer to measure it, as long as it is made of glass. Once the soda is diluted and the mixture has tempered, we will add 600 grams of oil to the other jug, which we will have also heated to 40 ºC. In this jar we will then pour the soda and water solution from the first one.

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