Although I’m not really a germophobe (my husband can vouch for that), I am an ingredient-phobe when it comes to the products we use in our house, on our bodies, and in our bodies.
No where near perfect, I do my best to stay away from any ingredient that is hard to pronounce and that I can’t physically buy at a store. Some of the ingredient names I stay away from include: Maltodextrin, tri- and di-glycerides, parabens, phthlates, and triclosan.
Triclosan, in particular, is a common ingredient found in antibacterial hand soap. This chemical has been in U.S. households for more than 40 years, used for cleaning kitchens, people’s bodies and clothing but now the FDA is going to test it’s effectiveness and safety. (source)
Personally, I’m not waiting around for the FDA to decide whether or not triclosan is safe — especially considering their track record with determining the safety of GMO’s through testing NOT provided by the companies who make them. Another reason I’m not waiting around for them to make a decision is because making homemade non-toxic germ-fighting hand soap is one of the easiest things I’ve ever done in my never-ending journey to a more natural lifestyle.
I know the words “soap” and “homemade” can seem a bit daunting in the same sentence together, but mixing up a batch of hand soap is nothing like mixing up a batch of body soap (although I’ve heard it’s not that hard either). For hand soap, you can either make a liquid-type version like my peppermint hand soap using a pump dispenser and castile soap or you can actually make a foam soap.
I have found the foam soap to be much easier on little people’s hands in regards to pumping it out of the bottle and getting it on their hands versus all over the counter and sink. It’s also a great way to get your little ones involved in natural living since pouring and measuring out the soap/water/essential oils is really easy.
There are two ways you can go about making your own foam soap: castile soap and water or Branch Basics soap.
I honestly don’t have a favorite one because I use both in my home with great success. I personally keep the Branch Basics foam bottle in our master bathroom (unscented) and use it for hand washing and makeup removing. I have the other bottle with castile soap in Andrew’s bathroom and that one is filled with a KidSafe Germ-Destroyer essential oil blend.
How to Make Germ-fighting Foam Hand Soap with Castile Soap and Water
With this option, you’ll need: an empty foam soap dispenser (this is the one I have), water, and castile soap. Castile soap comes in various scents so you can opt for one that is already scented or you can choose the unscented version and add in your own essential oils for germ-fighting properties and to add fragrance.
How to: Simply fill the castile soap to the bubble line. Then fill the rest with water. Add essential oils if you’re using them. Give it a good shake (and on occasion in the future) and it’s ready to go!
How to Make Germ-fighting Foam Hand Soap with Branch Basics
How to: Fill the foam bottle up with purified water to the water line. Add the concentrate to the indicating line. Add essential oils if you’re using them. Give it a good shake (and on occasion in the future) and it’s ready to go!
Good essential oils to use: Tea tree, Germ Destroyer (KidSafe), Germ Fighter, and Lemon.
As you can see, both options are incredibly easy to make. Which you choose is totally a personal preference.
The bonus to going with the Branch Basics’ method is that you can buy a medium starter package which includes the concentrate and empty spray/foam bottles and you can use the soap for many different applications around your house (and it works!!). I’m a huge Branch Basics fan — I whole-heartedly believe in it’s versatility and absolute necessity in every home.
See also: Why I Don’t Make Cleaning Products from Scratch (includes breakdown pricing of Branch Basics compared to other “green” and “non-toxic” cleaning products on the market)
That being said, castile soap is also a great one to have on hand in the house so really it’s up to what you want or what you want to invest in.
Happy non-toxic hand washing!