If you’ve got guests coming to stay with you this holiday season I highly recommend whipping up a jumbo-sized batch of this hand wash so you can all have clean, holiday-scented hands in the midst of this busy season. Out of everything we’re making for this holiday season this recipe might be the easiest—it requires no heat, and can easily be made in about ten minutes. It’s easy to scale up, too, so if you want to really stock up on hand wash before the insanity hits, this recipe gets you.
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Our surfactant blend is gentle and simple. It’s a combintation of non-ionic Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside and amphoteric Cocamidopropyl Betaine. We blend surfactants with different charges to create milder blends, so by combining two gentle surfactants with two different charges, we get a nice, gentle blend. Both these surfactants have very skin-friendly pH values as-is, so we end up with a final product that doesn’t require any pH adjusting. Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside is also a good solubilizer, so it helps disperse our fragrance or essential oils in our product—yay for multi-tasking!
On top of the surfactants we’ve got some moisturizing glycerin, and some new-to-me hydrolyzed rice protein. Windy Point has recently started stocking a few new hydrolyzed proteins (quinoa, rice, and baobab!), so I obviously had to grab a bottle of each of ’em. While rice protein is supposed to be amazeballs for hair (I can’t wait to start playing with it in hair products!), it’s also a good moisturizer for sensitive skin.
I’ve got two options for you for scent; an essential oil/hydrosol option, and a fragrance option. Option one is including some white spruce hydrosol for the tree note, and some peru balsam essential oil for a vanilla note (surprise! Peru balsam doesn’t smell like trees.). Option two is using all distilled water, and including a tree-like fragrance oil (I used balsam cedar) to scent the hand wash. Both options work, both are lovely—it’s up to you! I made the essential oil one for the blog post photos, and the fragrance oil one for the video.
The final hand wash yields all kinds of rich, soft bubbles—perfect for your incessant winter hand washing needs!
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Christmas Tree Foaming Hand Wash
13g | 5% Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside (USA / Canada)
20.8g | 8% Cocamidopropyl Betaine (USA / Canada)
26g | 10% vegetable glycerine (USA / Canada)
2.6g | 1% hydrolyzed rice protein (USA / Canada)
1.3g | 0.5% balsam cedar fragrance oil or peru balsam essential oil
1.3g | 0.5% Liquid Germall Plus™ (USA / Canada)
195g | 75% distilled water
or 39g | 15% spruce hydrosol & 156g | 60% distilled water
Weigh the Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside and Cocamidopropyl Betaine into a small heat-resistant glass measuring cup. Stir gently to combine. Add the vegetable glycerin, rice protein, fragrance or essential oil, and preservative. Stir gently to combine—you want to make sure there aren’t any big blobs of surfactants sitting at the bottom of the measuring cup or bowl.
Now, slowly start adding the water (and possibly hydrosol, depending on which version you’re making), stirring between additions.
Once you’ve incorporated all the water, you’re done! Transfer the hand wash into a bottle; I used a pretty 250mL red-capped foamer bottle from Windy Point Soap Making Supplies. You will need to use a foamer top bottle for this recipe. If you don’t have one you can try thickening the hand wash with Crothix™ Liquid (USA / Canada) so it’s normal-pump compatible.
Shelf Life & Storage
Because this hand wash contains water, you must include a broad-spectrum preservative to ward off microbial growth. This is non-optional. Even with a preservative this project is likely to eventually spoil as our kitchens are not sterile laboratories, so in the event you notice any change in colour, scent, or texture, chuck it out and make a fresh batch.
As always, be aware that making substitutions will change the final product. While these swaps won’t break the recipe, you will get a different final product than I did.
- As I’ve provided this recipe in percentages as well as grams you can easily calculate it to any size using a simple spreadsheet as I’ve explained in this post. As written in grams this recipe will make 260g.
- You can use Coco Glucoside (USA / Canada) instead of Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, but you will need to adjust the pH of the end product as the pH of coco glucoside is much higher. You may also want to consider including a solubilizer to keep the EO/FO dispersed as Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside is a much better solubilizer than Coco Glucoside.
- You can use a different hydrolyzed protein instead of rice—silk and oat are good choices.