Liquid Castile soap is considered by many the liquid gold of cleaning products because it is the base for so many other low-chemical products, from shampoo to laundry and dish detergent. It is totally purchasable online or at an organics store if you have one near you. I didn't want to pay for shipping and I don't mind making it, so here it is.
LIQUID CASTILE SOAP
1 c. Shaved Soap
4 c. Water
2 tbsp. Glycerin (you can get it at most pharmacies, though it may be kept behind the counter)
Essential Oil, if you like
If you recall from "My weekend, the FAIL Blog", I haven't had so much luck making liquid soap straight from lye, oil & water, so I did it the long way just to see what all the hype was about. I used Crock Pot Hot Process Castile Soap (Castile, in this instance, meaning 100% Olive Oil). This was the first time I had made an all olive oil soap and after all the hype I heard about it, I was disappointed. The bars were dry and crumbly and the soap had little to no lather. Some of this probably could have been avoided if I had been patient enough to make cold process soap instead, but it actually came in handy. The first step in turning it into liquid Castile is to shred it. If the soap had been hard, I would have grated it with the small side of a cheese grater. If you do this, be careful! the soap easily becomes aerosol. Since my soap was crumbly, already, I chopped it up and put it in my food processor. It worked beautifully. Don't worry if you have extra soap shavings, they're also really useful!
Bring your water to a boil and slowly add glycerin, essential oil, and soap shavings. The soap shavings will probably clump no matter how slowly you add them. Stir (with a spoon you don't mind loosing or that's plastic) and cook until everything is completely dissolved.
Transfer to a heat-proof container to cool. Don't worry if its watery, it'll gel up as it cools. Wash your pot immediately. While the soap is very mild, cooking it can be hard on pots (especially if there is a lot of aluminum in them). It makes a great hand soap as is, but I'll post a bunch more recipes including this stuff!
POWDER LAUNDRY DETERGENT
1 c. Borax
1 c. Washing soda (it took a while, but i found it at Shop'n'Save in Washington & country fresh market in Richeyville)
1 c. (or 1 bar) shaved soap
Mix together and store in an air-tight container so it doesn't clump. Use 1-2 tbsp. per load, depending how soiled.
POWDER DISHWASHER DETERGENT
1 c. Borax
1 c. Washing soda
1/2 c. Salt
1/2 c. Citric Acid (lemon kool-aid mix, fruit fresh, or powdered citric acid if you can find it)
Mix and store. 1-2 tbsp per load. This one clumps easily so keep the humidity away! Put vinegar in the rinse-aid slot if you find the dishes to have a white film on them.
1 tsp Borax
1/2 tsp Washing Soda
2 tbsp Lemon Juice
1 c Hot Water
Citrus Essential Oil, if you like
Pour into spray bottle, shake and go at it!