Neater, tidier and easier than a bar of soap, especially for tiny slippery-when-wet hands, liquid soap can be cheap enough to buy.
Even cheaper is to make your own. And it doesn’t need to involve boiling bubbling cauldrons over a hob...
Take a plain bar of soap and grate approximately ¼ of it on a medium grater into a measuring jug. Stir in 200ml boiling water straight from the kettle, stirring all the while. Stir for a minute until all of the soap has dissolved. Stir in 100ml of cold water. Pour into soap dispensers and leave to cool.
If you like to use a moisturising handwash, you can add baby lotion or, our favourite, a little olive oil to the soap mixture before pouring into the dispensers.
Olive oil is an easily available and relatively inexpensive source of vitamin E, which is good for your skin and will help chapped dry skin. Bringing up a family in the home means that my hands are often in water - doing dishes, laundry, washing hands after changing nappies or generally getting sticky somehow - so the olive oil goes a little way to combat the damage to my hands from that.
You might find some recipes recommend adding essential oils. There are some certain oils that can be irritating to the skin so I do not want to risk it. I also find that some essential oils can have an overpowering scent. I rather like the nice clean smell of plain soap.
This soap will gel when it sets so you get a nice consistency for washing hands. Please do bear in mind that the consistency the soap sets at will depend on how hard or soft your water source is, so you might want to adjust the quantity the next time you make it to get the texture you prefer.
As this is simply soap, you can safely use it as an all-over body wash. It is great for babies because it is so gentle.
And just a cautionary, if a little bit of a state-the-obvious, tip: to protect oblivious hand-washers from scalds, please do not put the dispensers back by the basin until the soap has fully cooled.