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 refill...so 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
- ½ cup Castile Soap, such as: Dr. Bronners (where to buy)*
- ½ cup water (distilled or boiled if you don't plan to use the soap within a few weeks)
- 1 TB vitamin E oil (where to buy)
- 1 TB nourishing oil, such as: sweet almond or jojoba oil
- 15 drops tea tree essential oil (where to buy)
- 5-10 drops lavender or peppermint essential oil
- 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! :)