Homemade Foaming Hand Soap and Body Wash Recipe

DIY Foaming Hand Soap and Foaming Body Wash

Thrifty Thinking:

DIY  Foaming Hand Soap  And Body Wash


Does your family go through as much hand soap as mine? About every week to week and a half I was needing more soap in our downstairs bathroom. It’s easy to spend a lot of money on soap. It became time to learn to make foaming hand soap cheaper.

I always love learning how to create things that I originally thought I would never be able to do or that I hadn’t a clue I could actually do myself. For several years now I’ve kept my Bath & Body Works empty foaming soap dispensers and filled them with an inch of liquid hand soap and the remaining space with cool water, gently swishing as the water fills the container as to not create bubbles in the process. While this method is a great money saver (as you can get A LOT of use out of a 64 oz. bottle), the store-bought liquid hand soap contains many unneeded chemicals along with the controversial anti-bacterial triclosan and can irritate sensitive skin.

My friend Katie shared with me her recipe, and I decided to give it a shot. She say, “this recipe is excellent for sensitive and problem skin. Requires only a few minutes of time, and takes pennies to make!!!!!”

The Ingredients (check the **update below for my 2 ingredient version):

  • 1 cup distilled or boiled water, cooled
  • 1/4 cup Liquid Castile Soap (I used Dr. Bronner’s which I found for $9.99 at Trader Joe’s. You can also find it at Fred Meyer, Target, Amazon, etc. Cost is from $10.00-15.00 for 32 ounces)
  • 1 tsp. Glycerine or Vegetable Glycerine (I found my bottle in the band aid area at Walmart for $2.99-thanks for the heads up, Nadene.  You can get it organic at Mountainroseherbs.com: $8.75 for 16 ounces, but you can find it cheaper on Amazon,  etc.)
  • 15-30 Drops Essential Oil, optional (you need a lot in order for the aroma to come through)

The Directions:

  • Mix all together.
  • Pour into a foam soap dispenser (You can recycle foaming hand soap dispensers like the Bath & Body Works foam dispensers).

The Verdict: After letting the water cool, this was a SUPER FAST recipe to put together!! I have looked at different soap recipes and this definitely seems the easiest! No grating of a soap bar. There is PLENTY of castile soap and glycerine leftover to make SEVERAL batches in the coming months; I wouldn’t be surprised if I had enough to make batches for 6 months. I used lavender essential oil for a batch and tea tree oil for another, and it was great!! I will totally do this again. My hands feel smoother. Thanks, Katie, for the heads up!

**Update 9/14. DIY Foaming Hand Soap and Foaming Body Wash: the two ingredient version

Foaming Hand Soap or Body Wash


I got lazy, but I still use this recipe as the base. All I do is use the Liquid Castile Soap with tap water. It still works great for us the last couple of years and is such a money-saver.

Have you tried to make your own deodorant?

3 Natural Deodorant Alternatives | practical-stewardship.com or liquid or powder dishwasher detergent?

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent


Have you read…?

Featured @ Simply Natural Saturday, & Wednesday Adorned From Above Link Party.


  1. Heidi says

    I just use 10-12 drops of castile soap and then water in a foaming soap container. Too simple and works great.

  2. says

    I love using Dr. Bronner’s peppermint castile soap for my foaming hand soap. Sometimes I break open 1-2 vitamin E capsules and add that instead of glycerin. It works just as well.

  3. says

    Goodness, I never thought to add glycerin or anything like that. I just use 1 part Dr Bronners’ to 3 parts water, shake it up, and voila! Pour it into a foaming soap dispenser, and you’re done. Love it.

    • says

      Rebekah, it’s nice that it works both ways. Recently, I’ve been leaving out the glycerin to make it even quicker. Thanks for visiting!

  4. Jaime says

    I live in Medellin, Colombia and can not find Castile liquid soap or Dr. Bronner’s, any suggestions for a substitute?

    • says

      Hola Jaime, I will look into it and get back to you. First, can you buy a bar of castile soap since you don’t have the liquid there?

  5. says

    I should try. I’m a new follower ( email) from the bloghop. I have to flick through your blog because there are some recipe that I’m very curious to try 😉

  6. says

    Hi, You are a featured blogger tomorrow at Adorned From Above’s Blog Hop. Take a look. Debi Bolocofsky Adorned From Above http://www.adornedfromabove.com

  7. Are Hall says

    I get Kirk’s Castile soap from the Lehman’s catalog (catalog # 201-0001), it’s 2 – 16 oz. bottles for $12.95, which is a great price. The website is http://www.lehmans.com. I hope this helps!

  8. Elisa says

    I’ve seen many recipes calling for just dr bronner’s soap and water. Can I ask the reason behind the glycerin? Does it soften your skin?

    • says

      Hi Elisa, The glycerin moisturizes your skin. Now I don’t always use it. Some times I just make the soap the super fast way with just the Castile Soap and water. Thanks for visiting!

  9. says

    What a great idea. I have several of these Bath and Body works pumps hanging out under my sink, all but empty. Thanks for sharing your recipe. **Just found you through Raising Arrows

    • says

      Hi Cammie, I haven’t done it, but I would guess it wouldn’t be as efficient since the frugality lies in the foam. The foam dispensers help create the foam and the regular dispenser doesn’t create that foam. Thanks for visiting!

  10. NurseByTrade MotherByCalling says

    I have been doing this for several months now. I use the citrus scented Dr. Bronner’s (for my bathroom only, the kids get the baby mild), and instead of water I use aloe vera juice (the pure, unflavored kind you buy by the gallon). I like adding tea tree as well for the anti-bacterial properties.

  11. Jen says

    I found NON soy, non-gmo, organic Vegetable Glycerine at http://www.bulkherbstore.com. It’s Palm derived so as to avoid the estrogenic effects of soy products.

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