I'm not into switching things up in our home just because it's the most popular new trend. I mean, why bother? It can be expensive, and we might not even like the new "normal". It would be fun to be trendy . . . but I don't think we'll ever really be that kind of family.
Sometimes, though, trying something new is absolutely necessary. Here's our story of why we started using castile (olive oil) soap instead of the everyday regular soaps found in the local stores. We noticed the change almost immediately - meaning within 2-3 days! I recommend doing this, if you are having any redness, dryness, or itching on your hands or skin.
Why we started using liquid castile soap
Our family switched to castile soap about five years ago. Why? It's harder to find, or at least it was five years ago, w-a-y more expensive, and did I mention that it costs a lot more than the typical soap in the grocery stores?
My husband, Elmer, and I were finding that during the winter months here in the Pacific Northwest, our hands were becoming dry and chapped. Then, our oldest daughter, Kelsi, began to have horribly red hands whenever washing with soap.
I'm talkin' beet-red hands!
We figured it must have been the anti-bacterial chemical added to the liquid soap that was causing the problem, so we switched to "anti" anti-bacterial soap. :)
Basically, regular liquid hand soap not containing the anti-bacterial chemicals, in case that was difficult to follow.
Her hands improved some, and so did ours - but not well enough.
I couldn't figure out why our hands weren't improving like I thought they would. What was wrong?
Thankfully, my friend Wardeh, from www.GNOWFGLINS.com, suggested that we try castile soap.
I learned from her that the traditional method of making soap (the saponification process) is done so that the soap is generally very gentle to the skin. However, modern commercial soaps usually don't go through the saponification process, so they are basically "detergent" rather than true soap. Chemicals are added to make the "soap" firm, have a pleasant fragrance, have a nice color, and make lots of bubbles. But most regular, commercial soaps should be considered as "detergent", not actual soap. Real, actual soap has very few ingredients.
Yuck! Do I really want to be washing my hands in detergent throughout the day? No wonder our hands were a mess!
What in the world is castile soap?
Oh. Olive Oil? Olive oil soap? Hmm. Interesting! Coming from Spain and the Mediterranean? Hmm. It's amazing what I can learn when educating my children at home. We actually studied this region in Spain during our Middle Ages/Renaissance and Reformation studies!
Guess what? Castile soap was exactly what we were needing! Literally within several days, my daughter's hands went from brilliant red to a healthy pink. Elmer and I noticed that our hands weren't cracking and feeling overly dry anymore. Wow!
When Trader Joe's stopped selling their own brand of liquid castile soap, we decided we didn't want our finances to go toward Dr. Bronner's company. If you've read the label on his liquid castile soap bottle, you may have an understanding of where their company comes from. After watching the movie made about Dr. Bronner's company, we both felt uncomfortable about purchasing their soap. Now, if you're okay with buying soap from Dr. Bronner's, that's fine. Millions of people have done this and love it. Each to their own. We've chosen to vote with our dollars.
But I was out on a quest to find another source for liquid castile soap! And I wanted to try to pay as little as possible for it.
Last summer, I found a homeschool graduate who said that while she hadn't made liquid castile soap herself, she was very comfortable making both bar soap and liquid soap that contained goat milk, coconut oil, and other natural oils. She agreed to give castile olive oil soap a try! I bought 10 quarts of liquid castile soap from her ($100 for about a year's worth) and a year's supply of castile bar soap for another $100. See? This is not cheap soap. It works out to be about $10 per quart of liquid soap, and about $4 per bar of castile soap at 2011 prices.
We enjoyed using Graceful's homemade castile soap, but the problem is that the price of the oils has risen significantly over the last year. The price of Dr. Bronner's liquid castile soap went from $10 per quart to $16 or more for the same amount of soap, all within about one year! And Dr. Bronner's bar soap went from $3.75 per bar to about $5 per bar, in the same length of time. If I was paying for the ingredients as well as for someone to spend time making the soap, this was going to get expensive quickly - as if it wasn't already.
So, after doing quite a lot of research on the internet this summer, I decided to try to make my own soap. I cheated, though. I'll admit it - I went to a friend's house, and she taught the girls and I how to make our own bars of soap! This time, they were made with goat's milk, olive oil, coconut oil, and maybe palm oil? I'm not sure. I still need to ask her to send me the "recipe" via email.
Our skin has liked this soap, too, and it was quick and easy to make the bars of soap, enough to last a year - at least. And at 75 cents per bar, this is much less expensive.
We now use bar soap in the shower, but I really don't prefer to have messy, slimy bar soap next to the bathroom and kitchen sinks. I was determined to learn how to make some liquid castile or goat milk hand soap, and now I have!
Want to learn how to easily make your own liquid hand soap, at a fraction of the price you pay for even commercial liquid hand soap?
Stay tuned tomorrow when I share with you how you can easily do this at home! You can even do this with $1 bars of Yardley of London soap from the Dollar Store or Amazon.com. You won't need to make your own bar soap or specifically use castile or goat milk soap in order to do this.
Hi! I'm Julieanne!