Store-bought antibacterial soaps are loaded with chemicals that put your health and the environment at risk. The Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) advises consumers not to use antibacterial soap. Chemicals such as triclosan and triclocarban may contribute to long-term health problems and antibiotic resistant bacteria. Antibacterial soap made from essential oils is a simple and effective alternative. Cinnamon bark, tea tree, clove, thyme, lemon grass and lavender oils provide antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal protection. With a few household ingredients, you can replace the chemical ingredients for a more natural, plant-based soap in either a traditional liquid or foaming pump.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Cheese-type grater
- 4- to 170gr. bar natural soap
- 1 tbsp glycerine
- Distilled water
- Tea tree, cinnamon bark, lavender, lemon grass, thyme, clove or other antibacterial essential oil
- Empty liquid or foaming soap dispenser
Finely grate the soap and set it aside. Bring one cup of distilled water to a boil.
Add boiling water, glycerine and the grated soap to the blender. Remove the centre piece from the blender lid and cover loosely with a kitchen towel to avoid being splattered by the hot liquid. Blend until light and fluffy.
Let the mixture cool for 20 to 30 minutes until thick. This mixture is the soap base.
Add four to eight drops of essential oil to soap base and blend.
Add enough distilled water to the soap base to achieve the desired consistency for traditional soap dispensers. For best results, do not add more than four cups of water. Blend to mix. Pour into a clean soap dispenser.
For foaming soap dispensers, pour approximately an inch of soap base into a clean foaming soap dispenser. Leaving a slight head space, fill the remaining portion with distilled water. To blend, tip from side to side rather than shake the container.
Tips and warnings
- Cinnamon bark is one of the most effective oils against pathogens such as influenza and E.coli bacteria. People with sensitive skin should handle cinnamon oil with care; do not use more than two drops per ounce. Tea tree oil is commonly preferred for its ability to heal acne, athlete's foot and dandruff as well.
- Most commercial soaps contain foaming agents; natural soaps do not produce as much lather but are just as effective.
- Prior to use, always apply diluted essential oil on a small area of skin to test for an adverse reaction.
- Research essential oils for appropriate use and qualities.
- Treat essential oils with the same caution as commercial cleaners. Keep them away from pets and children.
- Consult your physician or midwife before using essential oils if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
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