DIY Foaming Hand Soap

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Back in 2014, I shared a DIY recipe for hand soap. Today, that post has over 290 comments and is internet famous. One of the most asked questions on that post is “How can you turn this recipe into a foaming hand soap? I love this soap but don’t love the thin consistency.” Today, I’m going to answer that question with a DIY foaming hand soap recipe.

Can you make your own foaming hand soap?

Yes!

It’s incredibly easy to make your own foaming hand soap. If you’re new to the DIY cleaning world (if so, I highly recommend downloading my free crash course), this recipe is a great one to start with because of how easy it is to make. Making your own foaming hand soap only takes about 5 minutes, from start to finish, and doesn’t require any fancy ingredients.

By making your own foaming hand soap, you’ll be able to use a non-toxic product to clean your hands and also save a ton money in the long-term.

DIY Foaming Hand Soap

Ingredients needed to make DIY foaming hand soap

Only 3 ingredients are needed to make your own foaming hand soap…

Adding water to make hand soap

Ingredient 1: Water

Distilled water is best for longevity and safety. Distilled water (or water that’s been boiled for 15 minutes and cooled) removes the bacteria, impurities, and contaminants. If you choose to use tap water, you’ll need to use the soap very quickly, within a week or two. For this reason, I recommend going with distilled water as the soap will safely keep for about a month.

Adding castile soap to hand soap dispenser

Ingredient 2: Castile soap

Keep reading to learn more about this key ingredient.

Adding oil to hand soap dispenser

Ingredient 3: Oil (optional)

Any kind of nourishing skincare oil: olive oil, grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, or sweet almond oil. This is optional, but I find castile soap can be a bit drying on its own so I like to add some nourishing oil for the moisturizing benefits. Stay away from virgin coconut oil (the stuff used for cooking) since it will cause issues. Alternatively, you can use vitamin E oil.

DIY Foaming Hand Soap

If you’ve read my post on how to make hand soap, you’ll notice these ingredients are the exact same. The only difference between DIY hand soap and DIY foaming hand soap is the bottled used to store the soap.

DIY Foaming Hand Soap

When making foaming hand soap, a foaming soap dispenser must be used. You can reuse an old foaming hand soap dispenser, like a Mrs. Meyers bottle (a brand that I don’t recommend), or buy a new bottle off Amazon or a home store. Either option works, just be sure it’s a foaming soap dispenser.  Here are my favorite foaming hand soap dispensers:

How to make foaming hand soap

Once you have the ingredients and a foaming soap dispenser, here’s how to make your own foaming hand soap…

DIY Foaming Hand Soap

  • First, add 1/2-1 cup of water to the dispenser. I prefer to go with 1 cup of water when using a 16-ounce dispenser, but if your bottle is smaller (8 ounces), use 1/2 cup.
  • Next, add an equal amount of castile soap (1/2-1 cup).
  • Finally, add the oil of choice (optional) and if you’d like a scent, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Place the top on the dispenser and give the jar a shake.

Your foaming hand soap is now ready to be used.

Using the hand soap to wash hands

Using castile soap to make foaming hand soap

Castile soap is the main ingredient used in this recipe. Castile soap is a plant-based soap made from vegetable oils (olive, coconut, palm) and plant oils. There are several reasons why castile soap is awesome…

  • Super Versatile: You can make cleaning and body products with the same soap.
  • Inexpensive: A 32-ounce bottle of castile soap will cost $17. Yes, this is more expensive than a bottle of hand soap, but it will last you for months! Castile soap is highly concentrated so a little bit goes a long way.
  • Non-Toxic: Castile soap is made with easy to recognize, simple, non-toxic ingredients. This is why you can use it on your skin and the surfaces in your home.

DIY Foaming Hand Soap

Castile soap isn’t a new fad. It’s been around since the 11th century and was first made in the Aleppo of the Levant region (modern day Syria). The Crusaders learned about this soap which was, eventually, duplicated in Europe without success. That is, until a region in Spain (called Castile) was able to get the recipe right and successfully made what we know today as “castile soap.” The soap became popular with Spanish royalty and eventually by the 1500’s made its way to England.

DIY Foaming Hand Soap

Today, there are many different brands available. I personally use Dr. Bronner’s brand which is widely available in stores and online.

You can also use castile soap to make cleaning products and other beauty products. Check out this list for more ideas using castile soap.

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DIY Foaming Hand Soap

Can you make your own DIY foaming hand soap? Yes and you only need a couple of ingredients to do so! Easy, non-toxic, and super effective!

Keyword DIY hand soap, foaming hand soap, homemade hand soap
Servings 16 ounces
Author Kristin Marr

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water distilled water is the safest
  • 1 cup castile soap any variety of castile soap, scented or unscented
  • 1 TB olive oil almond oil, grapeseed oil, or jojoba oil (optional) or vitamin E oil

Special Equipment

  • 1 foaming soap dispenser see more recommendations below, if you'd like to make regular soap (non-foaming), use a "regular" soap dispenser and the recipe above

Instructions

  1. To a foaming soap dispenser, add the water first (to prevent bubbles) then the liquid castile soap followed by the oil. Shake the ingredients together.

  2. Shake the soap dispenser before using, then squirt a small amount on your hands as needed, rinsing with water.

  3. If you use distilled water, the soap will last at least a month. If you use tap water, use quickly within a week or two.

Recipe Notes

The idea is equal parts water and castile soap. Adjust the amounts according to the size soap dispenser you're using, reducing the oil as needed. 

What type of soap dispenser should you use? 

When making foaming hand soap, a foaming soap dispenser must be used. You can reuse an old foaming hand soap dispenser, like a Mrs. Meyers bottle (a brand that I don't recommend), or buy a new bottle off Amazon or a home store. Either option works, just be sure it's a foaming soap dispenser.  Here are my favorite foaming hand soap dispensers:

DIY Foaming Hand Soap

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7 Comments

  • Hi Kristin. Like Sue, I also use a 3 to 1 on the soap and water but then adding in the oil. I have found that a 50/50 clogs up my foaming dispenser. But love making my own hand soap and other cleaners. Thanks for all you do to inform us.

    • Distilled water. You could use a hydrosol, too. But even at that, I wouldn’t stretch it longer than 6 weeks. I’m just on the cautious side

      LS Team

  • Hi Kristin, do you have to shake up the soap dispenser bottle before every use so it mixes together again, or is it just the one time when you first make it?
    Thanks 🙂

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