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Discussion Starter #1
Thankfully there is still a lot of bar soap in stores (so we really won't run out of soap), but I enjoy using liquid hand soap... and for a while, it became pretty hard to find. So I started looking at ways to make my soap stretch further.

Currently, I'm experimenting with a foaming soap pump containing diluted soap. The idea is that the foaming soap dispensers use a very liquid, watery soap. They are NOT meant for thick, viscous soap. I used these instructions to refill it:
How to Refill a Foaming Hand-soap Container

I started with a normal, viscous hand soap refill, diluted with 1 part soap + 2 parts water. The article suggests diluting it even more, but I think this depends on the specific soap.

So far it it seems to work beautifully. There is a nice foam coming out of the soap dispenser and it still feels like soap on the hands. And I recently had a big score ... 250 mL soap refills at Walmart for $1 each! There was a huge display of them and nobody had touched them, which was funny considering the shelves were stripped bare.

As an experiment, I'm going to record the date I start using this $1 soap refill, diluted, in the foam dispenser. I want to see how long 250 mL of liquid soap can last. My initial estimate is that I can reduce my soap usage, even with frequent handwashing, to 8 mL per day for a single person.
 

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That sounds like a reasonable goal. I never measured how much I'm using but I suspect it is no more than that on average. I only use a small drop unless my hands are very greasy. The only time I give the dispenser a full squeeze is when I've had my hands in ground beef. That usually requires washing twice. No foaming dispenser here and even the kids are surprisingly good at not pouring tons of soap all over the place.

Liquid soap does vary a lot. The stuff from Costco is almost as thick as molasses. The stuff from the drugstore tends to be runny, almost like cream. I have no idea if they actually differ in how "soapy" they are though. It would be an interesting experiment to do. I wonder if there's an easy, objective way to measure how much fat they can bind.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Good points, and yes, I suppose the thickness can vary. It would be good if there was an easy way to evaluate whether my diluted mixture is sufficiently "soapy".

I would encourage everyone to try the foam dispensers. It seems to me that the foam does a better job coating large amounts of the hands than regular soap dispeners.

Once I run through my 250 mL experiment, I will report back on the results. Currently I am mixing 1 part soap + 3 parts water, so I've diluted it down to 1/4 soap.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It turns out that 1/4 soap was too diluted. Here's a test I'm using: one pump on the hand. Rub the hands together and lather, try to coat both the front and backs of the hands.

I'm finding that my diluted soap doesn't keep enough lather to coat all surfaces of the hands. So I'm going to revise to 1/3 soap which is what I tried originally, and which was better.
 

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@james4beach Don't know about the dilution. The hand washing procedures I had to go to at the senior's home was

Wet hands, squirt and lather well, rinse, squirt TWICE, lather and rinse. All while singing for 20 seconds. They were quite adamant about the order and that the second time I had two squirts. They had regular soap though. Don't know if that is the best practice, but I was surprised I had to sign that I took the hand washing while visitors were still allowed.
 

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Here are a few reasons to choose bar soap over liquid soap:

Better for the environment
Bar soap creates less plastic waste and has a smaller carbon footprint than the liquid alternative.

Save money
On average, bar soap costs about 1 cent per wash, while liquid soap costs 3.

It can last longer
Comparing by volume, bar soap lasts 3-5x as long as the same amount of liquid soap.

Great for travelling with
Bar soap doesn’t leak and is easy to pack. No travel restrictions either as it isn’t a liquid.

Less chemicals
Bar soap is most commonly made from saponified animal fat and/or plant oils (like ours!). Liquid soaps are petroleum based and require emulsifying agents and stabilizers in order to maintain their consistency.

Bacteria
Contrary to popular belief, bacteria from a used bar of soap does not transfer to the skin. And If you don’t want to share, you can just use your own bar!

Cheers, Max
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This soap experiment is going really well. I really think the foam dispenser is a good method for liquid soap. I still haven't depleted the original 250 mL in over one month!

This might be important going forward, because stores around here (even Walmart) still have limited liquid soap. We're months into the pandemic, and I'm shocked by this.
 

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Thankfully there is still a lot of bar soap in stores (so we really won't run out of soap), but I enjoy using liquid hand soap... and for a while, it became pretty hard to find. So I started looking at ways to make my soap stretch further.

Currently, I'm experimenting with a foaming soap pump containing diluted soap. The idea is that the foaming soap dispensers use a very liquid, watery soap. They are NOT meant for thick, viscous soap. I used these instructions to refill it:
How to Refill a Foaming Hand-soap Container

I started with a normal, viscous hand soap refill, diluted with 1 part soap + 2 parts water. The article suggests diluting it even more, but I think this depends on the specific soap.

So far it it seems to work beautifully. There is a nice foam coming out of the soap dispenser and it still feels like soap on the hands. And I recently had a big score ... 250 mL soap refills at Walmart for $1 each! There was a huge display of them and nobody had touched them, which was funny considering the shelves were stripped bare.

As an experiment, I'm going to record the date I start using this $1 soap refill, diluted, in the foam dispenser. I want to see how long 250 mL of liquid soap can last. My initial estimate is that I can reduce my soap usage, even with frequent handwashing, to 8 mL per day for a single person.

I'm going to try this one out. Kids wash their hands frequently and even more with the foaming one compared to just the regular soap. 😊 Thanks for sharing!
 

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Over the last couple of years we have been using foam dispensers and found most stop working after a period of time for various reasons like becoming clogged or the little skinny nozzle breaking etc. The best we have found is this one.

Any with the following kind of top fail pretty quickly.

Usually, after a while, your constantly pressing upwards against the nozzle to remove the 'drip', breaks off the nozzle.

With the first one, you press down the entire outer shell of the dispenser and the nozzle is more robust and more firmly attached.
 
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