How to make Sustainable Liquid Soap

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Did you know that, with used cooking oil, it is possible to make liquid soap? Check out the recipe on how to make homemade, natural liquid soap – this is a much better alternative than inappropriate disposal in the kitchen sink. You will be more sustainable and, in addition, you can save money by not having to buy more liquid soap.

It is possible to substitute washing powder for washing clothes and detergent for cleaning dishes with this liquid soap recipe. Both have oil derivatives in their formulation that can be harmful to the environment, especially when dumped into sewage systems that do not have proper treatment (see more about soaps, detergents and their impacts on the environment).

Heat the water until it is warm. That done, pour it into a bucket and slowly put the lye in the same container. Never add water over the soda! This can cause a strong reaction and cause accidents;
Stir with the wooden spoon until diluted. Do this away from the fire;
After removing the impurities from the oil (it is possible to do this with a sieve), heat it up a little (at a temperature close to 40 ° C) and add it to the bucket that will be used to put all the other ingredients. Then, insert the soda very slowly, in small portions and mixing continuously. This care increases your safety, since the reaction with the caustic soda releases a lot of heat;
Mix for 20 minutes, and in the meantime, prepare a pan with 4 liters of boiling water. When the dough is homogeneous and more consistent, place it in the pan with water gradually and continue mixing. Turn off the heat, add the alcohol and vinegar. Light the fire again and stir. If you want, at this stage, you can add extra ingredients such as dyes and essential oils;
Mix for another five minutes and turn off the heat. Let cool for a day. After cooling, pour into the final container.
Once the process is finished, it is possible to measure the pH of the soap. Use litmus paper, or make a homemade pH meter yourself.
Understand more
In the manufacture of homemade liquid soap, there is a concern about caustic soda, as it is very corrosive and it is feared that it may be harmful. However, after the saponification reaction with the oils, it loses its alkalinity, since the alkalis react with the oils and become the soap (understand more about the soap’s reaction). For now, the liquid soap making machine is available in chemicals industry manufacturing.

Alcohol is used in the formula because it is the soap solvent and therefore accelerates the formation of the trace, in addition to guaranteeing a preservative property. Vinegar, which is already known for its health benefits, plays an important role in lowering the final pH of soap. Thus, the soap does not dry the skin as much and is more ecological, as the final product does not impact water bodies as much.

Addition of dyes and essences depends on the use
For washing clothes do not add the dyes, just add the essential oil of your choice. Certain dyes can stain white clothing;
For use as a detergent, beware of essential oils. You may find the smell of the essence unpleasant in utensils;
For home cleaning, you can use both.
For your liquid soap to be even more sustainable, use as little dye and essential oils as possible and always keep an eye so that essential oils do not have parabens and phthalates in their composition. In order not to take that risk, you can still make your own essence and substitute in the recipe. If you want a more practical alternative, you can use the fabric softener instead of the essential oil, but that way your recipe will lose in sustainability.

Note: like any cleaning product, keep liquid soap out of the reach of children. It is also important to show in the containers what it is about to prevent the soap from being confused with other products that previously occupied the packaging used.



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