Friday, December 18, 2015

Make Your Own Thick Liquid Hand Soap

GREAT liquid hand soap recipe....BUT...when I made it, it was way too watery.  So, when I put it into a dispenser, it was messy.  If you at all squeezed it, out came the liquid (not that I would, but the younger kids might).  Also, it separates, so you have to gently tip it upside down and then back up again a couple of times before using.  Booo....

But, I fixed it!  I googled "how to make hand some thicker," and saw a comment on a blog where someone had added some (didn't say how much) guar gum and that it worked wonderfully.  Eureka!  I was thrilled.  Bought some right away on Amazon. I just wasn't sure how much to add.

Now, I quadrupled this recipe below (before adding the guar gum) so that I'd have a great big I figured I'd have to add at LEAST 1/2 cup of the guar gum (which I have never used before....I imagined it being like corn starch).  Mistake.  It made it waayyyyyy too thick...and clumpy.  I fixed it by 1) Putting it through a colander to get out the big chunks; 2) Adding water until it was at the consistency that I wanted; 3) Adding more castile soap because it was no longer sudzing up after adding more water; and 3) Adding more lavender oil, because I just love the smell and calming feeling it gives me.  :)  Took a little work, but it was worth it, and now I have a great hand soap that I don't have to worry about separating or dribbling all over.

My recommendation for how much guar gum to add?  Well, if you quadruple the recipe, as I did, I would start with about one tablespoon and go from there.  Just keep stirring it (I used a whisk in a large bowl) until it's at the consistency you want.

If you plan to just follow the recipe below, maybe start with 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon and go from there?

I'm going to just cut and paste from the original recipe, which I found here:  Live Simply - DIY Liquid Hand Soap (these are affiliate links) and then mention adding guar gum at the end.  Thank you, Kristin Marr for your awesome recipe!

DIY Liquid Hand Soap

My additions:
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. guar gum (I haven't perfected/don't know for sure how much to add, as I have only done this once, but wow, did it make a difference!  Nice and thick like the store liquid soap.  

1. Put all ingredients into a bowl and whisk.  Add the guar gum last.  Start with the smallest amount and whisk until well blended.  Add more until at consistency you want.

* Note:  If you want to quadruple this recipe (our family of 7 uses a LOT, so hopefully it won't go bad before we use it all) like I did, you will end up using the whole 4 oz. bottles of Vitamin E and Sweet Almond (I bought that one because it was cheaper than the Jojoba, lol) oils, and about 3/4 of the castile.  Just so you know.  :)

** Another note:  Not sure what to keep a quadruple-sized recipe in?  :)  I took an old store-bought large (about 90 oz) empty liquid fabric softener container (I know...I should make my own...I plan to...but at least this was free & clear!  :p ) and am keeping it in there (of course, I rinsed it out a bunch of times first).  I like how it pours well right into the soft soap containers I put my homemade soap in.  :)

Let me know what you think!  :)


  1. Really appreciated this tip Tracey, found it under comments on Live Simply. The watery consistency was the only factor holding me back from making my own soap. My daughter makes it, and I was very interested but reluctant due to that one issue. Bernadette

  2. Good luck! I still have a "little" trouble (I've only made two batches, so, can't complain)...I might try another recipe I found.

  3. I love this recipe also but I didn't like the fact it was so watery either. I read about the guar gum on another site but it didn't say how much to use. I will try the 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon. It also said to mix it with the oil first then add the water.

  4. Good luck! Let me know how it turns out! That batch lasted forever, but was SO "glumpy."