Handwashing is still one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of germs and infection.
This foaming liquid handwash recipe is such a winner that I get asked by family and friends to make it for their birthday and Christmas gifts.
I hope you enjoy it too.
500ml distilled water.
500ml coco-olive liquid soap.
20ml peppermint essential oil.
10ml lemon myrtle essential oil.
2-litre glass measuring jug.
5ml and 20ml metric stainless-steel measuring spoons.
1-litre glass storage container.
Soap foamer dispenser.
This recipe is easy to make.
Pour 500mls of distilled water into a two-litre glass mixing jug.
Add 500mls of coco-olive liquid soap base.
To avoid creating bubbles galore, gently stir the soap and water with a wooden spatula until they combine.
Add 20mls of peppermint essential oil (2% essential oil content).
Add 10mls of lemon myrtle essential oil (1% essential oil content).
Stir thoroughly and lightly until the essential oils disperse into the soap.
Using a funnel, fill your foam soap dispenser to the recommended level.
Pour the rest of your hand hygiene soap into a glass storage container.
Use within 12 months.
Lemon myrtle (backhousia citriodora) is more ‘lemonier’ than lemon yet softer and sweeter. Plus, this potent antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, antifungal essential oil is more powerful than tea tree oil.
Because it is so potent, use a maximum of 1% lemon myrtle essential oil in liquid soap recipes.
Lemon myrtle is a super-effective disinfectant that cleans away dirt and kills bacteria to leave your skin hygienically clean. I combine it with peppermint essential oil.
Peppermint (mentha arvensis) is a very versatile essential oil, used for healing, cleaning and natural pest control. With its powerful antibacterial properties, and the ability to remove grease and grime, peppermint essential oil is a perfect handwashing ingredient.
I use coco-olive liquid soap for the hand wash base, which I buy online from Aussie Soap Supplies in Western Australia. It’s palm oil free and contains no parabens, sulphates, mineral oil, phthalates, formaldehyde, or PEGs. And it’s cruelty-free too – no animal testing.
Coco-olive soap has a thick consistency which I dilute with distilled water because I use soap foamers. Foaming pumps require water-thin liquid soap, making it economical because it goes further, and there’s less waste.
Davis & Waddell make an eco-friendly ceramic foam dispenser that is perfect for this recipe, and Jarmazing Products make gorgeous mason jar foam dispensers.
I make a litre of hand wash at a time and store the excess in a glass container. And I keep liquid hand wash at my kitchen sink and in the bathrooms, so it’s right where it’s needed.
Twice as much is not always twice as good. Essential oils are highly concentrated substances. Do not use a higher level than this recipe recommends, which is a total of 3% of the volume of soap you make.
Don’t use your cooking utensils for making soap. Essential oils can leach into spatulas and plastic storage containers. Buy a wooden spatula and keep it aside just for making hand soap.
It is better to be safe than sorry. If you have a skin condition, or you are pregnant, check with your health practitioner before using essential oils.
Do not turn soap foamers upside-down once they are filled with liquid or you will flood the foaming chamber and destroy it. If you need to shake the contents, keep the dispenser upright and agitate, using a side-to-side action.
Store your excess soap in a cool dark cupboard. If the essential oils rise to the top, give the container a gentle swirling shake. It shouldn’t occur, but you never know. If it does happen, you know what to do.
If you can’t get coco-olive liquid soap, use Dr Bronner’s Castile liquid soap as the base, which is widely available from health food stores and healthy living websites. You won’t need to dilute Dr Bronner’s soap because it already has a thin texture. Just add the essential oils and gently stir until they dissolve into the soap.
special note for pet owners
Essential oils can be toxic to animals. Please check with your vet before using essential oils near your pets.
special note for you
If you suffer from allergies, you’re pregnant, or you take prescribed medications that are sensitive to interactions – please check with your health practitioner before using essential oils.