The basic liquid soap is used in multiple other formulas. There are four choices with varying degrees of effort in creating a basic liquid soap.
Choice 1: Make liquid soap using vegetable oil(s) and potassium hydroxide. The advantage of making your own liquid soap from scratch is its purity. The disadvantage is that it takes 4 to 8 hours to make soap.
Choice 2: Make liquid soap by grating a bar of pure soap and mixing it with boiling water until the soap has dissolved. The advantage of this method is it takes far less time than choice #1 and less expensive than choice #3 or #4.
Choice 3: Purchase pure soap flakes and mix with boiling water until the soap has dissolved. I haven’t found any local establishments who carry soap flakes but I have found a couple on the internet – but they cost more than I was willing to pay. Proctor and Gamble stopped making Ivory Soap Flakes in 1993.
Choice 4: Purchase a liquid soap, such as castile. The disadvantage of this choice is that these can be a bit pricey.
Unless you’re already a soaper (slang for someone who makes soap) choice #2 (or #3 if you can get the flakes at a decent price) is the easiest and cheapest for most people. Making soap flakes is easy. Just grate the bar of soap with your kitchen grater just like a vegetable. It won’t hurt your grater – just be sure and wash it well and rinse in a mild vinegar bath (3 tablespoons of vinegar to a gallon of water) so the next veggie you grate doesn’t taste like soap.
To turn your pile of soap flakes into liquid soap mix 1 cup of soap flakes with 3 cups of boiling water in a wide mouthed container with a tight fitting lid. A large quart jar (save the earth and reuse an empty one!) works wonderfully. Now just imagine you’re south of the border at a fiesta and the jar is a maraca and shake, shake, shake! You could even put on some spicy Latino music and burn a few extra calories while you’re making soap. Multitasking FTW!