DIY Homemade Liquid Hand Soap. This is the best homemade soap and so easy to make!

If a prize were to be given to the “world’s greatest dad,” I know just the man to win.

Okay, so maybe I’m a tad bit biased, but my father would certainly be a top qualifier. While not perfect (I’m sure he’ll agree), he’s the kind of man that makes the word “father” a warm, cozy feeling of nostalgic memories.

Growing up, my mom worked the weekends at the local hospital which meant my dad was on mommy/daddy duty every Saturday and Sunday. He did his very best to provide me with the weekend adventures every young girl dreams of: trips to Home Depot and the dump yard. (Seriously, I enjoyed every moment of our weekend trips.) And he always made Saturday mornings extra special with Bisquick pancakes and syrup (we didn’t know about real food just yet).

One of my most vivid memories of our weekends together will always be hand-washing. Silly, right? But, it’s true.

DIY Homemade Liquid Hand Soap. This is the best homemade soap and so easy to make!

My dad was all about hand-washing! In the early 90’s little bottles of on-the-go soap weren’t available, but that didn’t stop my dad. Hand-washing was a habit he intended to instill in me. Along with flossing and brushing my teeth (probably due to his large investment in my pearly whites). Braces are not cheap, folks!

I still have happy thoughts when I look at a bottle of yellow Dial soap. Nostalgia!

DIY Homemade Liquid Hand Soap. This is the best homemade soap and so easy to make!

Life is different from when I was five. I’ve learned pancake syrup isn’t real (sorry!), but maple syrup is pure heaven. I’ve also discovered pancakes can still be enjoyed every Saturday, made from a delicious homemade recipe versus a yellow box. Of course, with a switch to homemade, I’ve also discovered that orange soap is far from “healthy” or enjoyable (desert-dry hands anyone?).

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not all about natural perfection. But when a natural alternative is as easy as mixing a few simple ingredients in a jar and calling it a day, I’m all over it!

DIY Homemade Liquid Hand Soap. This is the best homemade soap and so easy to make!

Homemade liquid hand soap is one of the simplest natural recipes you can make. In fact, it really doesn’t even need a recipe, but I’ll give you one. Homemade hand soap is a bit different in consistency (watery) from the orange thick soap my dad regularly squirted on my hands, but it does the job just the same, if not better.

DIY Homemade Liquid Hand Soap. This is the best homemade soap and so easy to make!

So, suds up the kids and share the hand-washing love. My dad will thank you!

DIY Homemade Liquid Hand Soap. This is the best homemade soap and so easy to make!

How to Make Homemade Hand Soap Video

DIY Homemade Liquid Hand Soap
4.74 from 79 votes

DIY Liquid Hand Soap

Homemade liquid hand soap is one of the simplest natural recipes you can make. In fact, it really doesn’t even need a recipe, but I’ll give you one.
Kristin Marr
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course DIY
Cuisine Body



  • In a mason jar or recycled soap dispenser, add the water first (to prevent bubbles) then the liquid castile soap, followed by the oils. Shake the ingredients together.
  • Shake the soap dispenser before using, then squirt a small amount on your hands as needed, rinsing with water.



You don't have to use the essential oils. You're welcome to skip the essential oils or experiment with other options (lemon, grapefruit, peppermint, etc.). 
The oil and vitamin E are added to moisturize the skin. You're welcome to skip these ingredients. Any oil will work: olive oil, avocado oil, skincare oils, etc. The oil won't blend with the water, so you'll need to gently shake the soap before use. 
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 all-purpose cleaner, 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.
When you introduce water into a product without a preservative you always run the risk of introducing bacteria, so use water-based products quickly. If you don't have distilled water, use filtered water and use the soap quickly. 
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

The “where to buy” links provide you with information on the products I use to make this soap and many other DIYs.

DIY Homemade Liquid Hand Soap. This is the best homemade soap and so easy to make!


  1. Hi I’m exploring recipes for DIY castile soap, and I was just wondering why do you add oils to the soap if it’s already got so many good plant-based oils in it already?

    1. Because the soap itself can be very drying. The oils are used in the soap making process when making castile soap.

      LS Team

  2. Yay I have all of these ingredients on hand. I thought I read one time that you’re only supposed to use essential oils in glass jars. Could you share your thoughts on this? I have to make a recipe for my littles and will need to use a plastic bottle for them (lol kids + glass not gonna work). I also have a glass foaming bottle like yours and love it!

    1. Hi Alyssa,

      If you’re going to store the mixture for a long them, glass is best since the plastic could leach. But for a hand soap, you’re going through it quickly so I’m cool with plastic. That’s what I use because I can’t find a foaming hand soap pump in glass.

      LS Team

  3. Palm oil? Why when it is so detrimental to the environment & wildlife? Sustainable you might say, yes if that can be guaranteed. And if so was it not rainforest or beautiful countryside initially? It’s a cheap product but never a good one, ask an orangutan or any other poor struggling animal..

    1. Hi Sue,

      Not all Palm oils are harvested in a destructed way. Please do your research on this. There are sustainable producers. I would contact dr Bronners and ask them about their supplier and their harvesting methods.

      LS Team.

  4. 5 stars
    I made this recipe for my kiddos and they all love it! They’ve learned to shake the soap prior to using it. I wanted to ask, if it’s normal for some residue to be left in the sink? It seems as if there is a light oily coat after a days usage. Thank you for all the recipes!

    1. Leslie, that’s awesome! That can happen, I haven’t had the issue but it’s definitely possible. I use baking soda to clean my sinks each week and it cuts away any grease or oily residue from anything.

      LS Team.

  5. Bronners is the worst drying ‘Castle’ soap I ve ever used. It’s horrible! Ruined my kitchen and bathroom metals, leaving rings too even diluted to the max. I use an other brand now called Green Beaver, far better at all levels. Bronners is a scam, he’s not eve a ‘DR’!! So many better brands out there I don’t get it why people stick with that shitty brand!!!! Their SUDs one has SLS as in Sodium Lauryl Sufate, wow, seriously??!!

  6. 5 stars
    Hey, I am just getting into oils and I made your recipe and put it in a bottle with a foaming pump. I love it!

  7. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for this recipe! I fight eczema on my hands all winter, and the more I wash them, the worse it gets. I’ve been using this for only two days and the gnarly patch that flared up on Saturday is almost gone. This isn’t just not exacerbating it, it’s actually healing it. I’m hooked!

  8. I made the recipe with just the soap and water. I did not add any moisturizing oils or essential oils. However I find that the soap makes my sink “dull” which I think may be from the oil in the soap? Anything I can add to make it less greasy looking in my sink after I wash my hands and less work of having to scrub out my sink to get the shine back in the basin?
    Thank you!

  9. As soon as I posted my message to you, I realised that hydrosol IS distilled water. I live and learn. thanks for getting back to me. I think your site is excellent Will keep checking in to your updates and everyone’s ideas.

  10. Hi you recipe sounds great and easy to do. I have lots of lavender hydrosol. How can I use this instead of essential oil . Do I use it instead of distilled water in your recipe?

  11. 5 stars
    I love this recipe, I’m using it as hand soap and also shower gel/body wash.

    Do you believe this would be a problem? to use as hand and shower gel?

    What about using it for hair?

  12. Hi,

    I read some of the comments, and you mentioned that with filtered water this soap should last about 2 weeks, but in another post you mentioned this should last about a few months. Does this mean if we use distilled water the soap should last longer?

  13. I have lavender-scented castile soap, and when I tried a variation of this recipe, I found that my hands were still very dry. It was just my first attempt, though. My question is: Can I add something to this soap to exfoliate (like brown sugar, ground oatmeal, etc.?

  14. 5 stars
    I just made this DIY recipe and LOVE the minimal ingredients, the smell, and the health in it (with the oils & Vit E Oil). Thank you SO much for promoting a CHEMICAL-FREE lifestyle and for sharing this wonderful recipe for others to choose that lifestyle too! I will definitely be doing this for a long time! <3

  15. This will be my first attempt at a DIY soap.. and I’m a little confused. Can I choose any type of Castille soap/essential oils? I see there are kinds with all different scents/oils.

  16. Hello…I am curious what the thought is on using organic witch hazel in place of the distilled water is….it would work as a preservative correct? KB

  17. 5 stars
    Hi Kristen, and thank you for your blogs, I love them. I am a newbie at this, but determined to have a toxin free home, to the extent that I am able. I have been making toothpaste, mouthwash, body wash, laundry soap, all purpose cleaners, etc. I love using natural products and love not paying those high prices for the toxic stuff in the stores. I appreciate what you are doing for all of us! Just wanted to give thanks.

  18. I am really enjoying using my homemade hand soap. I am down to about 1/4 of my ball jar left and I noticed there is condensation on the inside of my jar near the top and a little down the sides. Is that normal? Is that a sign that the soap needs dumped and remade? I only used Dr. Bronners and water for mine.

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