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I am happily married to an amazing military man who spent 9 years enlisted and is now an Officer in the US Army. We have two little boys who infuse every moment of every day with creativity and energy. I was educated at home, and am now teaching our children - second generation homeschoolers! I try every day to become more like Jesus Christ, and to love like HE does. If you want you can try and catch me at bethylovesandy@yahoo.com

My Blog Title Verse

"For the Lord gives wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding." Proverbs 2:6 NKJV 
The Message translation puts it this way "God gives out Wisdom free, is plainspoken in Knowledge and Understanding."

Verse of the day

Friday, January 22, 2010

Homemade Bodywash

We are becoming more "Hippie" by the day it seems. Truly, it is not all my fault. Andy contributes too.

I may have been known as "Captain Planet" back in college, for starting the campus recycling drive, and for harping on my roommates constantly to turn off the lights, and tv, and water. But I married my equal.

Andy was the one who pushed through and actually made the homemade laundry detergent. I may have been the one who heard about the idea, talked about the idea, actually uses the detergent, dries the clothes on the line rather then the dryer, etc.... but he was the one who went to the store, bought the ingredients and made the laundry soap one weekend while I was out doing other things.

Ever since then he has been talking about making our own body wash. Canaan has terrible eczema- terrible. We spend a fortune in lotions, sensitive skin body washes, shampoos, etc. We kept reading that Tom's all natural soap was supposed to be really gentle. The problem is that it is almost $4 a bar, and our six year old doesn't seem to be able to keep a bar of soap for longer then about three baths. He simply destroys them.
So, Andy occasionally does a search for homemade organic body wash. Last week he finally found a recipe that sounded do-able. So, he made it. Just like that! Really, should I be surprised?

1/2 gallon distilled water
Minerals, colors and scents as desired

Melt 2 cups grated soap in 1/2 gallon distilled water (we doubled the recipe which is why it looks like so much more then 1/2 gallon in the pot)

Along with 2TBSP of Vegetable Glycerin oil

Add scent or color if desired, which it wasn't for us - the simpler the better for poor Canaan's skin!

Mix well.

We poured it into mason jars and let it cool.
It solidified into a fairly thick substance, which scared me at first, but after shaking it up a bit, it is the perfect consistency. One jar at a time gets poured into an old Johnson and Johnson baby wash bottle and seems to be working wonders so far.

I do love being one of the Planeteers, and raising little junior Planeteers too!

Good for C's skin, good for the environment, science lesson for the kids...and, to top it off, it was really pretty cheap:
One gallon distilled water - $1
Vegetable Glycerin -$6, but we used less then 1/3 of the bottle
Two bars of Tom's soap - $7.20
Total made - 10 18oz jars of body wash.
Total spent - $10.20
Not bad for 10 jars of body wash~

If we had shopped around, we could have gotten the Tom's cheaper. Andy was just impatient. Once he gets an idea in his head, he wants to do it NOW. Rite Aid is not the best place to buy soap, especially when it is not even on sale. I found it on Amazon for $0.99.

Hippie life is good. Now I just need a daisy chain to wear in my hair.

**Update, November 2011. So many of the comments of those planning to use the bodywash are suffering from eczema. One thing we discovered recently, after reading around, was that eczema is often made worse by certain foods. We have removed all citrus and strawberries from Canaan's diet and it has helped immensely. Now that he has removed citrus from his diet, it is amazing to see the immediate repercussions when he does consume some by accident. Just a squirt of lime on some fish was enough to double his rash in 24 hours. So, eczema sufferers, read around and consider banishing certain foods. Blessings, Bethany**

***Yet another update. Feb 2012 - I have now added Discus - I am still learning how to navigate and moderate, but I think commenting will be easier now. Please have patience with me as I try to keep up with questions!*** 


autumnesf said...

When my shampoo and condition run out I'm going to try making some. Ditto with the deodorant...with a back-up on hand (snicker). Love our homemade laundry soap. For soap I use Great Cakes Soapworks but it is expensive...but both girls skin is doing great with it.

Tricia said...

That sounds like something I might try. I spend a fortune on soap for FigNewTon.

Carrie said...

Ooooh! I wanna do this too...for Katie. She gets bad irritation in her more "sensitive areas" with grown up soap, but she needs a little something more than the baby soap these days. I am definitely gonna try it! Where do you buy vegetable glycerin or whatever that is?

The Unlikely Homeschooler said...

too funny. My sister and I have been venturing into making our own laundry soaps, etc!! Will have to do this for sure and pass on to her!!
THANKS so much for passing on the recipe he found!

Southern Wife said...

Hey, post an update if you will on Canaan's skin. Liam gets eczema in the wintertime too, and I spend a lot of time and money battling it also. If this helps Canaan's clear up, I'm SO going to try it!

njrickman said...

Glad you liked the body wash recipe from my blog !

Stop by for more recipes for bath and skin care products.

You might also like this post on making your own shampoo at home.


Jackson Fam said...

Tried this today and my mixture never thickened up. Any suggestions?

Andy's Bethy said...

Jackson fam: It won't let me reply to you personally so I hope you check back. Sorry it took me so long to reply. We are in the middle of a move.
Ours never really "thickened". It remained a liquid with chunks of gel. I haven't actually loved the consistency. It has worked well for his skin, but has remained an interesting mass of gel the entire time. I'm not much help, am I?
I just this week threw away the last bottle. It had half a bottle left, but I decided not to move it, again. Third move was just too much. I have him on a plain goat milk bar soap right now anyway.
Good luck!

Christopher's Journey said...

Made this last night. We like it.

Marley & Me said...

LIFE-SAVER!! I randomly came across your blog from a post on pinterest. I hadn't even been looking for remedies for my daughters eczema, but when I saw this- I knew it was meant to be. In all honesty, I had given up hope thinking there really could be a soap that worked. I will definitely be doing this tonight! THANK YOU!

April@ Natural Nester said...

Just saw this on Pinterest, too! I'm going to try it...my skin gets SO dry in the winter and I've never found a natural soap that works for me. I'll give this a shot, though I may try a quarter of a recipe to start.

Tammy said...

I read on another site for making homemade liquid soap to use a mixer and maybe add a little water to get the desired consistency. Maybe that would help with the 'chunks'??

Ange said...

GLYCERIN is in the supermarket. Here in Australia, it is kept in where the soap and calamine lotion, etc is. It is used in it's basic form as a skin softener. If your supermarket doesn't have it, try the chemist/drug store.
Have the laundry liquid and I use the EcoStore Lemongrass soap. Making this bodywash with the EcoStore Goatsmilk soap....with Lavender and Camomile Oil added - next weekend. I think it's gonna make excellent Xmas pressies!

Chris said...

I look forward to following your blog. I came to your link about liquid body soap and was so please to find that you boldly proclaim you love for Christ. Thank you!

Sara said...

I'm excited to try this! My daughter has eczema as well, and we use bar soap made by Neste Danti (not sure where it comes from, my dad sold it and gave it to us to try, its made with olive oil)... it seems to work well with her, and when she gets out of the shower we use a spray oil on her too. We are down to about 3 bars left, this might help stretch it a bit more, and also keep her from going thru it so fast ;)

I was going to buy some body wash for me & hubs, as we are almost out, but I think I'll buy a few bars of soap and try this first ;) Whats lost if it doesn't work? A few dollars & a bit of time? To save idk how much money in body wash, I think its worth it ;)

Crystal said...

My 12 year old daughter suffers from eczema too. It gets really really bad in the winter. We have bought some home made soaps and it burned her. I will try this especially since I know what will be in it. I hope this works. I have tried so many things.
God Bless you all.

Anonymous said...

i was wondering how long a batch would be good for, and what is the best storage option.

Michele said...

Love this blog! I get to read and learn all these great ideas all at the same time worship my Lord and Savior!! Thank you!

Jill McCall said...

Thank You So Much for Sharing this Recipe! My poor Daughter developed Eczema when she was only Months old and is now 20. We have not found really anything that has worked for her poor skin. We are definitely giving this a Try. Thank You!
Warm Regards

Andersen Girlie said...

Thanks for the info! I've lived with eczema my whole life (I'm only 23yrs old) but it can get pretty severe. I can't remember one time when I havent needed lotion so I could even touch a piece of paper. Hopefully I will be able to try this soap and hopefully it will help. Thanks Again!

Anonymous said...

Everyone who is suffering or has a child suffering from eczema should look into possible yeast infections. Go to www.nzymes.com and do some research, look at the connection between the skin condition and yeast. You don't have to be a certain age or gender to suffer from yeast. Please read, nobody should have to suffer from this.

The No Wonder Mom said...

Just found you on pinterest. Love the info and the fact that you love Jesus! My 3 kids and I all have eczema and all have our different times of the year that affect us. We use unscented, dye free soaps and detergents, but I am going to try this.... It's always nice to have an alternative that works--especially if it's less expensive!! Thank you! God bless.

Anonymous said...

HI! I have enjoyed reading your blog. I have had eczema all of my life and I am almost 50! You are right about certain foods causing breakouts. Tomatoes are the worst for me because of their acidity, also certain fragrant smells will cause me to break out. I have used everything known to man and that is the truth. Aveeno oatmeal helps so much, but I am going to try your recipe. Steroids too, but who wants to live with steroids? Good luck and happy blogging!L)

Skittles said...

Mine turned out like water! WHAT?

Abbie said...

Hey I've been looking for a doable recipe. I like yours although I may do liquid castille soap instead of grating a bar- even Tom's has some preservatives and gentler chemicals in it. You might consider looking at adding some essential oils. There are certain ones that are highly effective in treating and healing eczema.

-K said...

Regarding the consistency, it helps if you whip at with your hand beaters once it has cooled a bit, and then again once it has cooled all the way.

JJ Martin said...

Mine thickened up PERFECTLY, and here's what I did. I boiled it all until it was good and mixed, cooled it slightly and put it in an old vinegar jug with a good tight lid. I left it open on the floor for about an hour to cool, then I moved it to the fridge. After a few hours, I checked in and it was getting thick. I shook it up real good and it got pretty runny again. So back in the fridge it went. A few hours later, I took it out and shook it real good again. Now it is the perfect consistency. It just needs to cool to "set". Thanks for the recipe!

Andy's Bethy said...

I wanted to thank everyone for their comments, and advice on how to make the recipe better. With this last move I thought we had used the last of it, but after a stop at my parents I found two bottles that had been lost under the sink in their bathroom. So, to answer the question of how long it lasts before going bad... at least a year! How long it lasts before you use it up, well, that is all up to you! We have supplemented with other things throughout, so I can't say that one batch has lasted two years, but it was Canaan's primary cleanser for all of 2010 and several months of 2011.
Happy cleaning and many blessings, Bethany

Tara said...

Have you ever tried pro-biotics for eczema. I know several people who began using pro-biotics and found out that the eczema was actually a result of too much yeast in their body. FYI sugar will feed yeast so you may want to consider having him lay off that as well. Hope this helps!

Eliz said...

I really enjoy your blog. I am a Christian, homeschooler and in the process of adopting also. I was amazed to find we have so much in common.

Jus Wing It said...

on the eczema..Hulda Clark, The Cure for All Disease~ homeschooling mom of 5, still two to go...grandchildren are now that second generation being home schooled too...it is wonderful to see the fruit of our labor. Good for you for keeping the vision that your parents had in this "pioneer" life. I began in the mid 80's when no one knew what it was...Don't give up! I have graduated 3 all the way from start to end...

Tiffany Shanks said...

This sounds great, I am going to have to try this, thank you Captain Planet :)

Becky said...

Doesn't it need some sort of preservative since it is water-based?

Jenn said...

My son suffers from food allergies and severe eczema and his allergist told me the most gentle pure soap out there is the dove sensitive skin bar (must be the bar the sensitive skin body was has added chemicals) so if you really dont like to use bar soap or if its for a young child (my son goes through bar soap very fast also) You may want to try making this with to dove bar soap

AggieAdd05 said...

I tried to click on the link for the recipe, but it's not working. Do you still have the recipe?

I tried going directly to that website, and I can't get that to work either. Anyone else having this problem?

Meesha said...

The difference between tom's and the regular stuff is that it's pure soap rather than a detergent based soap. Detergents cause the skin to soak up impurities and toxins and the eczema is the body's way of flushing them out. My daughter's eczema was awful but went away over night once we made the switch. Check out solveeczema.org for the best explanation. I recommend Burt's Bees for bathing/shampooing bc they have a tear free version. We use tom's or South of France brand (I find it it publix) for hand washing. We use Zm brand laundry soap from Whole Foods. dr. Bronner's is also good for all-purpose. Stay away from anything with sulfate (or anything sounding like sulfate on the label). It's always a good sign to see an natural oil listed first on the label since real soap is made from oil. And yes, the good stuff costs a lot more. But just like buying organic is better, so is soap.

Anonymous said...

I found this on Pinterest and will eventually try it! Some advice on the eczema: I had it so badly as a child that I almost lost an ear. Although cutting out certain foods helps, the only thing that saved my skin (and my 3 sisters') was sea water. It's best to use water from an actual ocean/sea but you can buy sea salt and make your own. We used to bring back water in containers when we visited the beach. It cleared everything up. Warm it up, dab on, try to sit in some sun as well. You'll notice it will start clearing!!

Sally from Pure Snickety Vegan Body Care said...

I began my little business after making a sugar scrub for a friend. Her niece tried it and her eczema cleared up on her feet after one use. So, I researched the ingriedients that I used more closely and found that the Helichrysum Essential Oil that I used does wonders for eczema, among many other skin conditions. There are also many essential oils that calm the skin.

Soap can be very drying and can unbalance your skins natural PH levels. I have written about it in my blog under "Soap Suds" if you want to read more. Be careful to chose a more PH neutral soap, especially with eczema. Try adding essential oils, just a drop or two, into the mixture. Helichrysum is a bit expensive, but with only 1-2 drops per mix, it will last a very long time. The same goes for Roman Chamomile, Rose Absolute, and Indian Sandalwood, all great oils for irritated skin. On the cheaper range, you can never go wrong with Lavender!!!

You may also want to look into Benzoin Resin/Tinctire/Essential Oil. It has been used for centuries on skin.

I get my oils from a few locations. You can find good prices and quality at Edens Garden Essential Oils.

Best of luck!!!

Anonymous said...

Lots of good thoughts here! Found a wonderful help for everything! Kangen Water...when you Drink it in the right amount will help from the INSIDE! For problems OUTSIDE We would start w/ 2.5pH water made by the same machine. It works on the Eczema areas...then let it dry. Lastly, spray the skin with it's preferred pH water which the Japanese named "Beauty Water" or Sansei water. The Skin should be a bit Acidic...it is the First Protection from outside attacks so it should be about 5-6pH. Love how my skin feels...soft! This marvelous water is used in over 300 hospitals in Japan. Taken Internally for the drinking water and used Externally to treat conditions and burns using 2.5pH and finishing with the Beauty Water.
Sensitive skin also reacts to the Laundry Soaps, right? From the same machine, I make Strong Kangen Water which I use in the washing machine...and NO SOAP PRODUCTS! NO need for fabric softeners, etc.
It takes stains out of carpets, removes the Pesticides from fresh fruits and veggies and a myriad of other uses.
Machine life expectancy: 15-20yrs. Not having to use or buy any of those nasty cleaning products and not drinking the nasty stuff in tap water: PRICELESS!
check out the Free e-book at my website: www.moreinfo.renewingwater.com
and you already know that you can't believe the folks who try to dissuade you from going against the "normal" so ask me what questions you may have! :-)
Mary Wright RN