In a lot of the forums I am in online and some of the facebook groups, many of the same questions get asked over and over of professional soapers, moms, and DIY selfers. However, the most common question I come across is: How can I reduce the amount of soap my family uses?
Today’s blog post will cover handsoap and shampoo as well as dish soap but a later post will cover laundry soap, floor soap, and dishwasher soap.
Basically handsoap and shampoo as well as dish soap are identical If you look on the list of ingredients you will see common names such as: sodium laureth sulfate, sodium dodecyl sulfate, and other common surfactants like cocamidopropyl betaine. I will discuss the differences between these in another post as well. If you buy from local soap makers you will see the words: soap, saponified oils, or Lye and a list of oils. Either way it boils down to just soap regardless if it is synthetic or saponified oils.
Many DIY selfers swear by buying a very famous dr’s soap at store then “cutting” it with water; however, this is a very bad idea for many reasons. Dr. Bronner’s soap does not contain any preservatives and if you “cut” the soap further then you must add a preservative because then it will be so dilute that it can not really be considered true soap. According to FDA rules soap does not need a preservative, but this becomes untrue when the dilution is so great there is little soap left. Not only that but you actually end up using more product and not really saving yourself any money by diluting the soap.
So then how can you actually save money and soap for your family?
#1. Buy a good foamer bottle. Foamers are interesting little soap bottles. There are many different kinds and the one I chose for my products is quite powerful. Basically you can think of it as pulling both the liquid that contains the surfactant or soap and air in through a tiny nozzle with a nylon mesh. This creates enough dispersion of the surfactants with the air that you get lather and lots of it. (Depending on which foamer you have) Starting with amazing lather lets you cut down on the actual amount of soap you use; therefore, you may be only likely to pump once not 3 to 4 times to get the amount of soap that you not only need but want.
Here is my favorite foaming soap product that I have:
If you wish to purchase my favorite foam soap dispenser here is the link to the product. The price includes shipping; however, it will NOT be filled with product you are ONLY buying the foamer.
Lather is what is created when agitating a surfactant or soap with air. It is formed when you increase the surface tension of water in the presence of the surfactant. Basically the air is mixed with the soap creating pockets of air. These pockets of air are surrounded by the soap and water. It’s a simple explanation that really can be a quite complex process. The more lather you create the greater the ability of the soap to do its job; therefore, it is not necessarily the amount of soap you have, but the amount of lather you have. Some people will continue to add soap to their hair while shampooing and the truth is you need to add more water. You must have water, soap, and air to create lather.
Pour a small amount of soap in your WET palms and rub together vigorously then rub from scalp to root of hair or continue to rub hands together if you are just washing your hands. The dirtier your hands are the less lather you will have. This is true of hair too, so don’t get discouraged. You may need to “lather, rinse, repeat.”
The dirt molecules as well as other oils and sebum from the skin are competing with the soap molecules; therefore, less lather is made. This would mean using a small amount of soap on the hair, rinsing it, then using an even smaller amount of soap is more effective than a large amount of shampoo at one time. This would be true for hand washing as well.
What about solid soap compared to liquid? The premise still applies. Wet your hands thoroughly and rub the solid soap on both palms of your hands in circular motions under the water. Place the soap on a dish to conserve the soap when not in use. Rub your hands together vigorously as before. Add water as needed.
I hope you enjoyed this little bit of fun information on soap.
It may seem like silly info but conservation can mean quite a few things for different families. Soap is a necessary family product especially when one has dirty taco smelling kids! Too much soap can actually dry the skin and worsen skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis. It’s important to get a good lather then rinse. Repeat ONLY as necessary and use a moisturizer after to prevent water loss of the skin.
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