gritty homemade handsoap

Gritty Homemade Hand Soap

A Recipe from Gougeon Brothers’ Kitchen

Here is a handy formula for gritty homemade hand soap for removing epoxy resin. We often use it around our boat shop. You can make it in the kitchen blender from common household supplies. The beauty of this stuff is that it’s easy on you, easy to make, and easy to clean up. This is a recipe sure to please the whole family. Percentages are provided so you can easily customize batch sizes for a small job or a big work crew.

Ingredients for Gritty Homemade Hand Soap

  • 6 ounces (35.7%) liquid dish soap (Dawn, Joy, etc.)
  • 4 ounces (21.1%) vegetable oil (corn, canola, peanut, or extra virgin olive oil)
  • 5 ounces (30.0%) shortening (lard, Crisco…)
  • 1 ounce (7.2%) corn meal (for grit)
  • Dash of water (5.2 %) water (to “taste”)

Fully blend the ingredients, using a mixer at medium speed.

This gritty homemade hand soap formula was developed by one of our chemists who decided he didn’t like the various soaps available. He reasoned that the detergent would act on the hardeners and the oil and shortening would emulsify the epoxy resin and help to reduce skin dryness. The cornmeal helps on hard-to-clean slightly cured epoxy. The water is added to bring the stuff to the right consistency.

Don’t make huge batches of this because it can go rancid. If the mix is left to stand for a very long time, it will separate. You can store the soap in the fridge if you like cold soap, but make sure that no one mistakes it for a dessert topping.

We have a tub of this mixture at the wash-up sinks in our plant. On some big lay-up jobs, our folks will set up a washing station at the worksite. This is simply a tub of soap and a large pail of water for rinsing. The rinse water looks pretty bad by the end of the shift, but the arrangement does help our folks stay clean.

Waterless skin cleaners may dissolve the resin/hardener mix, but some of it remains on the skin along with the cleaner when you wipe it off with a paper towel. You must rinse with water to remove residue left behind. We recommend our gritty homemade hand soap as an effective soap, and if you use the rinse bucket, it’s every bit as easy to use in a garage or shop without running water.

Further reading: Check out Captain James R. Watson’s article on how to get epoxy off your clothes.