Antibacterial soap is one of the less glamorous health and beauty products on the shelf, but you can turn this utilitarian item into a chance to pamper your hands with an all-natural, homemade alternative. In addition to saving money, do-it-yourself antibacterial soap cuts out the common and controversial hand soap ingredient triclosan, a known hormone disruptor which had been linked to antibiotic resistance. With a bit of natural soap and a few essential oils, you can customize your antibacterial concoction to ideally suit your tastes.
Fill a soap dispenser about 3/4 full with distilled water. Fill the remaining quarter with liquid castile soap, leaving just a bit of space for additional ingredients. Castile soap is a fully plant-oil-based soap and serves as the foundation of your DIY soap, giving it the ability to cut through dirt and grease.
Mix in about half a spoonful of grapeseed oil. Although not an antibacterial agent, grapeseed oil's vitamin C and antioxidant content adds skin-brightening capabilities.
Add the essential oil of your choice. Any essential oil gives your homemade soap antibacterial qualities, but peppermint, lemon balm and coriander seed oils are among the most potent. The choice of oil also affects the scent of your soap; lavender, orange and rosemary oils make for particularly pleasant smelling soaps. Use about 20 drops of essential oil per cup of water.
- David Suzuki Foundation: Avoid Antibacterials with Triclosan: Make Your Own Soap
- TotalBeauty.com: Nine Best Oils for a Perfect Complexion: Grapeseed Oil
- Care2: 12 Great Ways to Use Castile Soap
- Mother Earth Living: Citrus Liquid Hand Soap Recipe
- Gaiam Life: Herbs Gone Wild! Antibacterial Alternatives
With a diverse professional background and a decade of experience as a freelance writer, Dan has contributed lifestyle content -- from fashion to travel to fitness and more -- to publishers including Chron, Fortune, Sony, GlobalPost, ModernMom, Moviefone, Salon.com, Techwalla and dozens of others.