It would seem I cannot get enough of all things rose and lemon these days. I’m ok with it 😄This foaming hand wash smells delicious, foams up into a wonderfully silky lather, doesn’t use too many fancy ingredients, and requires no heating! You can just measure everything into a single beaker, mix, and voila! Hand wash. With how much hand wash I seem to go through these days I love how quickly this comes together—it means I’m less likely to end up washing my hands with shower gel for a couple weeks. I mean, it still happens, it’s just less likely to happen 😆
Our surfactant phase is small (just 3%), with an active surfactant matter (ASM) of 1.2%. This is pretty dang low, but you’d never know it judging by the stream of rich lather your foamer bottle will pump out! I find it does a perfectly lovely job of getting your hands clean, but is also pretty gentle, which is always appreciated when you wash your hands all the dang time (like me).
All of our ingredients are liquid, or very readily water soluble, which is the key to it being quick and easy to make. Just go ahead and put everything in a beaker and stir to combine—seriously!I used my MicroMini™ Mixer from Lotion Crafter (which is a Badger Airbrush Co. paint mixer, for anyone outside the USA), taking care to keep the whizzy head well below the surface to avoid whipping up a bunch of lather. A milk frother would be a decent alternative, but they are obviously designed to froth, which isn’t really what we want, so be careful. Some milk frothers come with interchangeable heads—see if you can switch to one that doesn’t have ruffly bits (like a coiled spring) that are designed to whip air into milk.
Just a reminder that you will need a foamer bottle for this recipe to work out! The end product is very thin (basically indistinguishable from water in terms of viscosity) and we need one of those special pump mechanisms to transform the thin liquid into a bounty of bubbles. The one you’ll see in my photos isn’t great—it’s sort of like a can of hairspray and really doesn’t dispense the bubbles very conveniently, but I bought about a dozen of them before I knew that. Dang. YellowBee and Windy Point have some really nice ones that dispense like a proper pump, and Windy Point even has pretty coloured ones!
Ok—let’s get sudsy!
Lemon Rose Foaming Hand Wash
140.6g | 70.30% distilled water
30g | 15% rose hydrosol
Weigh everything into a small heat-resistant glass measuring cup or beaker. I used a scale accurate to 0.1g with a maximum weight of 2kg for this part. Using a small mixer, blend to combine, taking care to keep the mixing head below the surface of the mixture so you don’t work up a bunch of lather.
As I made it, the pH of this hand wash is ~5.5, which is right where we want it. I’d recommend checking the pH of your cleanser and adjusting it if necessary before bottling, especially if you make any substitutions.
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 200g.
- You can coco glucoside in place of Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, however please ensure you test the pH and adjust as required as the pH of coco glucoside is much higher than that of Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside. I’d also recommend adding ~2% polysorbate 20 (removing that amount from the distilled water) to ensure the essential oils solubilize as I’ve found coco glucoside is not as effective of a solubilizer as Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside.
- You can use a different hydrosol instead of the rose, just keep in mind how it’ll pair with the lemon essential oil. You can also use more distilled water instead of a hydrosol.
- You can use a different essential oil or scent blend, but I’d recommend keeping the total amount around 0.5%. I did find not all essential oils solubilized at this rate with the small amount of Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside as the solubilizer, so keep an eye out for that and consider incorporating some polysorbate 20 (removing that amount from the distilled water)