I still remember the first time I tried a foaming hand wash; I was a kid (maybe 10?), and visiting some American relatives. They always seemed to get the groovy new tech things first (not to mention all the cool kinds of candy they got that we didn’t! It took what felt like a good decade to get peanut butter M&M’s in Canada. Hrumph.). Anywho, there I am, washing my hands, and I go to get some soap and BAM! There’s a floofy cloud of Disney-scented bubble fluff in my hand. What was this sorcery? I was pretty taken with the entire thing, but my parents didn’t particularly care, and as such the foamy magic never made its way into my day-to-day life. Until now. Enter this oh-so-lovely Green Tea Foaming Hand Wash!
If you’ve been paying attention you’ll have noticed a bit of a green tea theme on the blog as of late. This is the last green tea recipe of the series, so now you’ve got a Green Tea Facial Lotion, a Green Tea Cleansing Oil, a Green Tea & Roses Facial Cleanser, and now this Green Tea Foaming Hand Wash. They all make a pretty lovely gift set if I do say so myself 😉
The foaming part of a foaming hand wash is pretty much entirely in the bottle. Put something with an ability to lather in one of those and you’ll be pumping out bubbles pretty quickly. When you’re concocting something to put in a foamer bottle the main consideration is making it a very thin liquid, which is kind of wonderful as it seems like we spend quite a lot of time trying to do exactly the opposite with most other liquid surfactant concoctions. Making these sorts of thing super thin is delightfully easy given they are almost entirely water.
I used three surfactants in this wash, and decided to switch up #3 a bit from my Orange Cloud Foaming Hand Wash. That one used Bioterge AS40 as surfactant #3 for some good flash foam, but this time I thought I’d try some coco glucoside instead. The difference is definitely noticeable! I find this hand wash has a much richer, silkier lather, while the Orange Cloud was lighter and fluffier. It’s amazing how changing out 10% of the recipe can make such a big difference!
As I’ve noted in my other foaming hand wash post, the foamer bottles I used are sort of like an air horn, and I am not keen on that design. The foam shoots straight out the front of the foamer, meaning it’s a two-handed operation; one hand to pump, one hand to catch the foam. I also find the foam tends to accumulate in the dispenser since gravity isn’t working in its favour. So, all in all, don’t get a foamer like the one in the photos if you can avoid it—they aren’t very good.
Alright! Let’s get foamy!
Green Tea Foaming Hand Wash
127g | 4.48oz distilled water
20g | 0.71oz coco glucoside (or another liquid surfactant)
6g | 0.21oz vegetable glycerine (USA / Canada)
2g | 0.07oz hydrolyzed silk (USA / Canada) (wondering about substitutions?)
2g | 0.07oz powdered green tea extract
2g | 0.07oz panthenol powder (vitamin B5) (USA / Canada)
1g | 0.03oz Liquid Germall Plus™ (USA / Canada) (or other broad spectrum preservative of choice at recommended usage rate [why?])
Prepare a water bath by bringing about 3cm/1″ of water to a bare simmer over low to medium-low heat in a small saucepan.
Weigh the SCI and Cocamidopropyl Betaine into a small heat-resistant glass measuring cup or beaker. Place the measuring cup in your prepared water bath to melt everything through—this will take at least an hour. It’s not done until you have a thick, uniform, white paste.
While the SCI mixture does its thing, combine the water, coco glucoside, glycerin, and silk in another beaker. Stir the green tea extract, panthenol, and preservative together in another.
Once the SCI mixture is uniform, add the water mixture, and heat through until the SCI paste dissolves into the water mixture. This will also take a while; I covered my beaker with a piece of cling film to reduce water loss as it was taking so long. Periodically stir and mash the paste around, and you will slowly notice it start to vanish into the liquid.
When all of that is uniform, remove it from the heat and let it cool until the outside of the beaker is only warm to the touch. Stir in the tea extract mixture and decant into a 250mL (8oz) foamer bottle. Enjoy!