Nourishing Homemade Body Wash

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Nourishing Homemade Body Wash. So easy to make. No complicated ingredients and no toxic chemicals.

2016 Note: This post was first published back in 2013 as I was just learning how to DIY in my bathroom. Since that time I’ve learned a lot about making homemade products, including the safety side of ingredients. While this recipe is extremely gentle and luxurious, and many folks have loved this body wash, it must be used very, very quickly due to the coconut milk. This is a fun DIY to make and freeze, and pull out in a small batches to use “in the moment.” You can find my current body wash recipe over here

Being a mom is dirty business.


Within a few hours minutes I can go from fresh, clean and smelling fabulous to, “When’s the last time she bathed?” How is it that every piece of dirt, marker, food crumb, and well,  you know what else, ends up being worn by mom? I truly cherish the dirt and whatever else happens to find its way onto my skin, clothes, and hair, each day. Let me rephrase that. I truly cherish the little people who lovingly adorn me with such well-earned souvenirs. This OCD (or is it CDO?) woman is truly learning to embrace the dirt that comes with the role of mommy-hood.

While I truly am learning to love this stage of dirtiness and fun, I am all for a good scrub down. You’re welcome, honey.

This past year I have been challenged to “clean-up” the non-food items in our home. I’m talking about the products we use on our bodies: soaps, toothpastes, lotions, deodorants, and make-up. Anything that comes in contact with our skin and within seconds our bloodstream.

Nothing like a super clean system filled with pastured, organic meats and good fats, organic fruits, and veggies, soaked organic whole grains, fermented and proboitic goodies and then adding in a large dose of daily toxins.

As I have shared in the past, I have fallen in love with developing my own recipes for toothpaste, lotion, lip balm, and laundry soap. I’ve even ventured down the road of making my own make-up. I’ve also found a local lady who makes wonderfully nourishing homemade soaps. Life has been good.

NNourishing Homemade Body Wash. So easy to make. No complicated ingredients and no toxic chemicals.

My beloved soap lady went on vacation last month. I intended to order lots of back-ups, but life got the best
of me, and I forgot.  After a few days of grieving and wondering how I would survive a month, inspiration came knocking on my natural door. I decided to try making my own soap, more of a body wash to be exact.

I have a great love for Dr. Bronner’s Soap. If you haven’t tried Dr. Bronner’s you really must. No toxic ingredients and a thousand and one uses (okay, maybe more like ten) for just one bottle of soap. This body wash uses Dr. Bronner’s as well as coconut milk as the main ingredients. Please buy real coconut milk , usually found in a can, not the coconut beverage sold in cartons.

Nourishing Homemade Body Wash. So easy to make. No complicated ingredients and no toxic chemicals.

This soap is gentle enough I have also been using it on my children. The lavender is perfect for a nighttime bath!

5 from 21 votes

Nourishing Homemade Body Wash

 I decided to try making my own soap, more of a body wash to be exact. homemade-body-wash-recipe. This soap is gentle enough I have also been using it on my children. The lavender is perfect for a nighttime bath!

Course DIY, Homemade
Cuisine Beauty, Body
Keyword Homemade Body Wash
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 12 oz
Author Kristin Marr



  1. Combine all ingredients in a bottle. Shake and use on a washcloth.
  2. This body wash has a very short lifespan since it lacks preservatives and contains coconut milk, so it's best to keep this body wash in the fridge and use it within a week. If you don't think you'll use this body wash quickly, reduce the recipe, or freeze the extra in an ice cube tray to defrost in small batches. See the 2016 note below. The glycerin may be left out if you don't have any on hand. As an alternative, you can use a nourishing oil, like jojoba, almond, or olive oil.

Recipe Notes

The “where to buy” links provide links to the actual products I use. As always, I recommend shopping around online and at local stores for the best prices and products you love.


*This recipe needs to be used quickly due to the coconut milk. If you’re looking for a body wash that can be stored at room temperature with a longer shelf-life, I recommend use this recipe.

2016 Note: This post was first published back in 2013 as I was just learning how to DIY in my bathroom. Since that time I’ve learned a lot about making homemade products, including the safety side of ingredients. While this recipe is extremely gentle and luxurious, and many folks have loved this body wash, it must be used very, very quickly due to the coconut milk. This is a fun DIY to make and freeze, and pull out in a small batches to use “in the moment.” You can find my current body wash recipe over here.

Nourishing Homemade Body Wash. So easy to make. No complicated ingredients and no toxic chemicals.

With the cleaning power of Dr. Bronner’s and the antibacterial properties and hydrating moisture of coconut milk mixed with the antioxidant powers of Vitamin E and Essential Oil, this body soap is a perfect combo for both fighting the dirt and helping this mom relax at the end of a fun, messy day.

More DIYs You May Like:

Homemade Honey and Aloe Facial Cleanser

Homemade Honey and Aloe Facial Cleanser

DIY Facial Cleansing Wipes: The simple way to clean your face and remove make-up naturally! Reusable, affordable, and all-natural!

DIY Homemade Facial Cleansing Wipes

Homemade Foundation Powder Make-Up

Homemade Foundation Powder



More from Kristin Marr
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This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn...
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    1. says: Kristin

      I use it within a few weeks of making (2-3 weeks) between using it on myself and my kids. You can also cut the amount in half for each ingredient as it is so easy to make and takes just a couple minutes to shake together and store the extra coconut milk in the fridge till it’s time to make a new batch.

      1. says: Andrea

        I have 400 IU Vitamin E capsules but I see the one you are recommending is 32,000 IU. What is the difference and will mine be an effective preservative seeing it’s less? Will I need to use more than the recipe states?

        1. says: Kristin Marr

          Hey Andrea, I prefer the vitamin E listed for DIY recipes (due to consistency), but I’ve used many different IUs with great success for skincare. The IU levels, to my understanding and research, apply to how much someone should take internally as a supplement. Here’s a chart: As long as the vitamin E is not synthetic, it will work great in this recipe.

        1. says: Sheila

          Hi there. As a nurse, I see a lot of infections, as you can imagine. I have boys and understand how icky they can be. I would suggest avoiding products like this for several reasons. Alcohol is very drying, and can irritate the skin, making it even more prone to infection. Harsh chemicals and anti-bacterial products are part of the reason we have things like MRSA to begin with. You can make homemade wipes similar to the cleaning wipes on this blog that would do a fabulous job of cleansing and balancing your son’s skin. I would use a weak apple cider vinegar solution with aloe, witch hazel, a nourishing oil like coconut (which has antibacterial properties of its own) or Tamanu oil (Great for skin and BO) and essential oils designed to manage microbes. Tea tree, lavender, cloves, and many others would be good choices. You can experiment and come up with a nice smell that does the job. Just remember that they are not all ideal for every skin type, and it doesn’t take much. They can irritate the skin if it is too concentrated. I like orange, cloves, Rosemary, and frankincense on guys, with maybe a drop or two of cinnamon. I made a nice aftershave with those for my guys. Look up thieves oil and play with that. It is highly anti-microbial, and you can make it yourself to add to your wipes. I use it around the house in my all purpose cleanser, and it leaves things smelling like cloves and lemons, plus it kills the germs. Maybe Kristen can help us out! Good luck!

  1. says: Susan

    I am excited to try it as well. Not a huge list of ingredients and seems simple – so great! Wonder if it will bubble up for bubble bath for my 3 year old? That would be a perfect mix for him instead of what I use now – slowly trying to find other better choices for everything, but it can be overwhelming to say the least!

  2. says: s

    I like Dr. Bronner’s, but I can’t use it in a facewash bc it makes the inside corners of my eyes itch like crazy! Is anyone using a good recipe they made and are happy with?

    1. says: Kristin

      I am very happy with this body wash. The diluted Dr. Bronner’s doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin at all. I even use it on my kids and in their hair! If it bothers your eyes it may be the oils in it? They can be strong. I use just coconut oil for cleaning my face. I only use this on my body (and my kids’ hair).

      1. says: FLOR

        Would you recommend this for hair too?
        I saw you use it on your kids hair; these ingredients look like they would be great on hair.

        1. says: Kristin Marr

          Hey FLOR, My kids do very well with the kid-version body wash recipe as a shampoo (which is very similar to this recipe minus the coconut milk). Personally, my hair always turns out very greasy when I use this for shampoo. I think everyone is probably different. My hair is naturally pretty greasy, so maybe that’s the reason castile soap doesn’t agree with it.

  3. says: mary marshall

    I am just curious as to finding any “natural” body wash that does NOT include coconut oil. I am allergic to all variations of it and I find that everything that is considered “natural” has it included as an ingredient. Do you have a suggestion?

      1. says: mary marshall

        I have yet to find a Dr. Bronner’s product that doesn’t include coconut oil, milk, hydrogenated, cocomide MEA/DEA, or cocamidopropyl betaine. Any suggestions, if the Dr. Bronner or any product eliminates the coconut oil derivatives all together?

        1. says: Kristin

          I am sorry I misunderstood your question. Here are the ingredients on my bottle: Water, Saponified Coconut-Hemp-Olive Oils (with retained Glycerin), Olive Fatty Acids, Lavandin & Lavender Oils, Rosemary Extract.

  4. I can’t wait to try this. I make one similar to this but without the coconut milk. I bet this will smell amazing. My husband likes when I use Dr. Bronner’s Almond Castile soap. I am getting low, so I will try this and I have all the ingredients.

    1. says: Kristin

      I love this question! Great idea! Here are a few suggestions: Bergamot, Sandalwood and Patchouli and you can also throw in a little pine needle essential oil. 🙂

    1. says: Kristin

      You can store it in the bathroom, no need for refrigeration as long as you are using it and it isn’t sitting for months 🙂

      Edited November 2015: This body wash has a very short lifespan since it lacks preservatives, so it’s best to keep this body wash in the fridge and just pull out a little as needed. I use this within 2 weeks and freeze the extra, if needed. If you don’t think you’ll use this body wash quickly, reduce the recipe by half or make this recipe: (which doesn’t require the extra handling precautions).

      1. says: Gennifer

        5 stars
        Hi Kristen,

        Is there a “shelf life”? I’ve tripled the recipe (because I LOVE it SO much!) to put in an extra Dr. Bronner’s bottle and I’m wondering if I should be concerned about bacteria growth.

        Thanks for an awesome recipe!

        1. says: Kristin Marr

          Hey Gennifer, I’m so glad you love the body wash!! The vitamin E works as a preservative, but I’m not sure for how long. If you make extra I’d probably keep half the body wash in the fridge (using the other half) until needed.

      2. says: linda

        first, i want to say i enjoy your blog. 🙂 i tried making this body wash as it sounded great, but it was thin and i was also concerned that i couldn’t keep it in the fridge because it solidified when i tried that (i made liquid castile soap from kirk’s coconut bars which probably caused it to solidify).

        i started thinking more about the shelf life of a product with water, not even considering that milk is also problematic. from all the info i am reading 1-2 weeks is okay for products with water or milk *if they are refrigerated*. unrefrigerated would be quite a breeding ground for (invisible) bacteria which the vitamin e oil doesn’t address (it only helps oils to not become rancid.) i think if you can keep this body wash in the fridge it will be okay for 1 to 2 weeks. i may try making a true liquid castile soap from only olive oil soap and see if that will keep it liquid in the fridge.

        here is a great article on shelf life of homemade products and using natural preservatives:

        this article will probably scare the socks off you like it did me, but i think it is important info. note that some folks ended up in the ICU with a deadly bacteria from using a moisturizing body milk. the article itself reviews a bunch of preservatives, both natural & synthetic by a cosmetic chemist.

        as for me i think i am staying away from using anything with water (including milk, aloe vera, etc) or a hydrosol (floral waters) unless it can be refrigerated. i love making my own products but it can be quite the learning curve.

        1. says: Kristin Marr

          Hey Linda, It’s so great to hear you’re enjoying Live Simply! And thank you for sharing the info!

          While this product doesn’t contain water, like you said, anything using tap water is best used within a couple of weeks. The liquid in this recipe is coconut milk, which should also be used quickly (this isn’t a long-term body wash recipe, unless you freeze the extra). When making a body wash with water (, distilled or boiled water is a great alternative since tap water already contains bacteria (mostly good, but some can be bad and breed future bacteria growth).

          I think there’s a lot of scary info out there–including scary information about green onions from a grocery store, eating out, meat handling, etc. Even the baby food pouches (the ones with fruit puree/applesauce inside) have been found to contain mold/bacteria in rare cases. As long as you’re handling the products safely and using homemade products quickly (when using fragile ingredients or tap water), I believe they are definitely not something to be feared.

          1. says: linda

            hi kristin. thanks for responding. 🙂 yes, using distilled water does help some and i’d always recommend using it over tap water in homemade products. your coconut milk does contain water as one of its main ingredients. i’ve checked a bunch of websites (among them,,, and the books EcoBeauty and The Green Beauty Guide), and they are pretty much in agreement that the 1-2 weeks for products containing water is to be stored in the refrigerator. some actually recommend less time and for perishable food items it is 3-4 days or some say up to 1 week in the fridge. if you have different info from other sources i’d certainly be willing to take a look as i admit i’m still learning about all this.

            think of it this way: it isn’t much different than consuming perishable foods or water. just as you wouldn’t open that can of coconut milk, pour it into a jar, leave it sitting on your counter for 1-3 weeks and then drink it, it really isn’t safe to slather it on your skin when you’re actually trying to get clean. there is just too much bacteria in it now even though yes some of it will be good bacteria.

            products that get taken into the shower like body washes and body scrubs get mentioned in particular as being easier to contaminate despite our best efforts because of the water & bacteria in the shower and on our wet fingers. i’m not suggesting anything like using parabens but just pointing out what seem to be general shelf life guidelines for homemade beauty products.

            i do encourage you to do some more research on all this, especially if you are selling any recipes in your ebook with water or perishable food items. all the sources i mentioned above recommend at a minimum being much stricter in your guidelines, and usually using at least natural preservatives when giving away products to friends or when selling them, because others won’t generally be as diligent as the person making the products in using them safely.

            sorry, for the essay. i just would hate to see you or anyone else get sick from using a contaminated product. God bless.

          2. says: Kristin Marr

            Thanks so much, Linda. I appreciate the words of caution and research. Safety and research are always my top concerns when it comes to making homemade products for my family (and sometimes those are shared on the blog after use, research, and retesting) or purchasing products. The cleaning ebook contains an entire chapter on safety and storage.

    1. says: Kristin

      Yes, you can. I add the essential oils just to give it a great smell, which is pretty much already there from the Dr. Bronners.

  5. says: Keri

    In what sort of bottle do you store the wash? I’ve read that plastic is a “no no” with products containing essential oils. I’m a newbie to homemade body care, so all suggestions are welcome!

    1. says: Kristin

      I haven’t heard about the plastic before. I have been using a plastic bottle and it seems to be working just fine. You could use a mason jar and find a pour spout to attach to the top.

    2. says: Debra

      The only time plastic is bad is if you are using citrus oils…they leach out the toxins in the plastic…as long as they aren’t citrus plastic is fine!

    1. says: Kristin

      I would avoid getting it in their eyes. It wouldn’t be pleasant, however, I use it on my kids nightly and they love it and haven’t had any burning eyes.

      1. says: Sarah

        I’m just worried about it dripping down when washing their hair… or when the baby is having a splash-a-thon in the tub!

  6. says: Che

    As a skin care specialist and certified aesthetician, I know that our skin has an acid protection of about a 4.5 pH. Anything alkaline strips this protective natural mantle and leaves our skin open to anything until it can replace a new one. Dr. Bonner’s Catsille soap is the most extreme alkaline ingredient you can put on the skin or hair. It turns a litmus strip the darkest purple black immediately.

    1. says: Kristin

      Dr. Bronner’s is composed of essential oils and other oils which have been used traditionally. I feel much better using such a product on my family and myself than any store-bought soap. I would love to here your suggestions for a good, natural, healthy soap alternative. Please share. Thanks 🙂

      1. says: Linda

        5 stars
        I’m late to this party. But, I love your body wash/shampoo! I also just pH tested it and mine came out at 7, which is neutral. The Dr. Bronner’s might be very alkaline, but the coconut milk fixes that nicely. I’ll take a product that should be just a tad bit more acidic in order to avoid the chemicals. This is a great recipe that won’t damage skin or hair. I’ve been trying to go no poo and natural for all personal care products and this recipe just gave me a big boost. Follow with a vinegar/water rinse for perfect hair. Thanks!

    2. says: Emily

      How does it compare with commercial body washes? Are they pH balanced and if so, how? If some kind of citrus acid was introduced to this would it improve the pH balance?

      No attack on what you’ve just said because I think it’s completely legitimate, but I feel like every “natural” body/hair/etc treatment I’ve read about includes someone commenting on how, due to pH, it is actually really bad for your hair/skin/etc but what we don’t know is, is it worse than commercial products?

      1. says: Kristin

        I find this body wash suds just like store-bought without the yuck factor of all the questionable ingredients. I would not be concerned about the PH balance issue. Commercial products are not ideal, IMO. If you don’t feel comfortable using homemade products, sticking with store-bought products is probably your best option.

        1. says: Keri

          5 stars
          It’s definitely different than most store bought washes. My skin doesn’t necessarily feel stripped, but if I try to shave with it on my legs, it almost feels as though the razor is “catching” on my skin. It doesn’t glide smoothly. The wash seems to leave a sort of sticky film. It’s hard to explain. I’m still using it. As I said, my skin doesn’t feel stripped, which is LOVELY 🙂 Thank you for sharing the recipe.

          1. says: Shauna

            I make a shaving gel that makes my skin feel better than before I shaved. I mix 1/4 cup Aloe Vera Gel, 1/4 cup Liquid Castile Soap, unscented, 1/4 cup distilled water, 1 Tbs Olive Oil, and a few drops of Vitamin E. I keep it in a glass jar, and put some in another container when heading for a shower and shave.

          2. says: Alison

            5 stars
            For shaving, this is my all-time favourite natural shaving butter! It goes on smoothly, is great for sensitive skin, and can even be used for body wash and covering body in the final wash in shower and keeps skin soft after! I have yet to figure out how I can make this on my own. I love theirs so much I just buy it and it lasts a long time! Pink Sugar is a scrumptious fragrance!


    3. says: Erin

      I’ve added raw honey to homemade shampoo to balance the pH and I bet that it would help with the alkaline pH of the Dr. Bronner’s in this recipe too.

  7. says: Adria R

    5 stars
    I made this today for my 5 year old & myself (hubby isn’t into it), but we love it. It was quick, easy & of course all natural. Thanks so much!!!!!

  8. says: lunta42


    With the coconut in this recipe does it need to be refrigerated? That would be a pain to have to remember to get the soap out of the fridge. It does sound luxurious!!! If we can keep it in the shower, how long will it last?
    Thanks for so many great ideas on how to live a chemical less (impossible to be free) life!!!

    1. says: Kristin

      Glad you found the answer 🙂

      Edited November 2015: This body wash has a very short lifespan since it lacks preservatives, so it’s best to keep this body wash in the fridge and just pull out a little as needed. I use this within 2 weeks and freeze the extra, if needed. If you don’t think you’ll use this body wash quickly, reduce the recipe by half or make this recipe: (which doesn’t require the extra handling precautions).

  9. says: Nichole

    This recipe is just what I’ve been looking for–natural, hydrating for winter, and frugal (I love Dr. bronner’s but need to make it stretch). I want to make this tomorrow but don’t have Vitamin E. Would almond oil work? I do have that on hand. Thanks in advance!

    1. says: Kristin

      Hi Kate, The coconut oil will leave your skin very oily vs. the coconut milk which won’t leave any oily residue. I think the coconut milk really needs to be used. 🙂

    1. says: Lori

      I purchased my Dr. Bronners from Walgreens and also found it at Woodman’s grocery store and Target. Look around, you might be surprised where all it can be found.

  10. says: Remy

    5 stars
    Simply love it! I wish I have all the ingredients to do this. I live in Germany and just trying to get them will take me for ever.

      1. says: Stephanie

        As far as Dr. Bronners, I find that the only one that doesn’t leave hair oily is their Sal Suds. I started using this every time a recipe calls for dr bronners. It cleans and degreases like no other with no film! Can I use sal suds in place of the lavender Dr Bronners? If so, this could possible make a great shampoo because sal suds will not give you oily hair! 😉

  11. says: Amber

    I know this will sound crazy…but I’m a breastfeeding mom and have a child with eczema. I have heard that applying breast milk directly on the eczema would help to relieve it. Now since your recipe has a form of milk in it…do you think I could add my milk to it (for personal use only of course) and it would keep as long? Should I refrigerate it?

  12. says: Beth

    Hi Kristin,
    I’m really enjoying your site! I’m trying out many of your recipes, and loving them! 🙂
    I don’t have vitamin e oil or almond oil on hand, and wanted to know if any other oils (olive, maybe?) can be substituted in this recipe. Thanks!

    1. says: Kristin Marr

      Hi Beth, So glad you are enjoying the blog. If you have tea tree oil you could use that or just skip the oil. Vitamin e oil does act as a preservative in this recipe along with added nourishment, so it may only last a week or two. You could always store the majority in the fridge and pull out a bit for a few days.

  13. says: a.paige.p

    Hey I love anything diy! I was wondering though since I have hard water would the Castile soap react and leave a film?

  14. says: Jennifer Prindle Tanner

    I’m about to try this…but I don’t have veg. glycerin tho…is it necessary? or could i use something else as a substitute? Thanks! 🙂

    1. says: Kristin Marr

      Hi Jennifer, It’s not necessary for the body wash. It simply adds suds to the wash, making it more like store-bought body wash. The Dr. Bronner’s will add a very small amount of suds by itself, so the vegetable glycerin can be skipped if you don’t have it on hand.

      1. says: Rosalea Peters

        I was going to ask something similar, since I have most everything except the Vit E oil and veg. glycerin and I think I could probably afford one but not the other until our big shopping day next month. I know that when I fill up my foaming handwash container with Bronners, I just add a bit of water to help with the “foaming” action, so I was curious if you could do that too! I’m going to head down and pick up some Vit E oil today; we use Dr. Bronner’s (straight) for our body wash but especially in the fall/winter months my skin feels really dry and itchy and so I use Weleda’s Rose Oil post shower, but I think the coconut milk and oils will do the trick! Thank you and looking forward to trying this!

        1. says: Kristin Marr

          Hey Rosalea, I do the same with adding water to Dr. Bronner’s for hand soap.

          You can leave out the glycerin and still create a wonderful body wash (it will foam, but not as much as a store-bought soap.) The vitamin E is more important in my opinion, if you’re choosing between the two ingredients.

          Thanks for the great man tip! Many readers wonder how to make this wash more masculine.

  15. says: Sarah

    For those wondering about oils to put in this body wash if you don’t have vitamin E(Dr. Bronner’s also already has it in there I think)and the like, I use 1 tsp. of jojoba oil. I also add 2 tbsp. of aloe vera(as pure as you can get or find). I think the aloe vera helps balance the ph as I’ve also heard about the alkalinity issue of Dr. Bronners. I’ve found that this combination works very well and stores for 1 month in the shower. No skin issues with me, my hubby, and my kiddos whatsoever! Hope this helps!

  16. says: Loraine

    5 stars
    I absolutely love this body wash! I have tried many others and they are mostly oil based and leave me and my tub very greasy. Not good for the skin or the plumbing. And they have really irritated my skin. This one is perfect! The only question I have is what do you do with the rest of the can of coconut milk? I do not use it in any recipes. I initially put it in a Tupperware shaker to blend it and then put it in the fridge. Unfortunately by the time I need to make more body wash it is bad. I have seen suggestions to freeze it but they also say that it will change the consistency. Any suggestions?

    1. says: Kristin Marr

      Hey Loraine, Thank you for the wonderful feedback! I’m so happy to hear you love this body wash. I recommend freezing the coconut milk. When thawed, the consistency will be a bit different (much like freezing animal milk), but you can place it (thawed) in the blender and blend for a few seconds, then use. Also, coconut milk is delicious in smoothies…I highly recommend it!

  17. says: Erin B

    I have tried many concoctions of Dr. Bronner’s and this one is fabulous! Plenty of suds and also husband approved! I’m going to use it in a mason jar with a flip top cap! Thank you!

  18. says: vee reddick

    Do you know if the Dr. B soap contains a preservative ?? With this being sold to the public I would assume so….??

  19. says: Olivia

    5 stars
    I’m 17, and have started getting really health-concious(sp?), and I absolutely LOVE this body wash. I put some in my little brothers and sisters bathrooms, and they LOVE it! Thank you so much, these products have really helped to save my family monrey, and be healthier. You are a total life-saver!

  20. says: Tamzyn Zweig

    5 stars
    Hi there, thank you for the post – sounds lovely. I am just wondering if the coconut oil will block the shower drain pipes?

  21. says: Angela

    I use Dr brohners for my foaming hand soap. I tried using it as a body wash, but it leaves a film so I am literally squeaky. Will the coconut milk and/or other ingredients help that not happen?

  22. says: Jayne

    Hi Kristin– I tried this and ended up smelling very clinical and soapy afterwards and not the oils that I added in to it. I used Plant Therapy’s Lemon and Lavender EO’s. Any suggestions?

  23. says: Sue

    5 stars
    Just made this today. I have VERY hard water so I tweaked it some. I kept washing my hands after each ‘tweak’ to see how it felt lol. Anyway, I ended up using the whole can of milk, doubled the glycerin and added about 1/3 cup of Avocado oil (that’s what I had on hand). I also used the unscented Dr Dronners and then added my own essential oils for fragrance. I used a few drops each of Lavander and Bergamont. Since I’ve made so much I’ll just smell it each day to make sure it hasn’t ‘gone bad’ 😀
    Love love love your recipes so far! I have been making my own deoderant and laundry soap for a little over a year and am excited to add more DIY recipes to my every day living!
    Thank you and keep up the awesome work!

  24. says: April

    I have all these ingredients for my shampoo that I use except the glycerin. Is it necessary? Do you think it will be sudsy enough with out it?

  25. says: Lynda


    Just wondering about the can of coconut milk. Do you shake and use the milk after shaking, or do you let the can get cold, then scoop away the solids? I never really get the best way to use coconut milk in recipes, especially because of how it separates.

    Thanks again….oh, and so glad your website got back up and running after the internet killed it for a bit 🙂

    1. says: Kristin Marr

      Hey Lynda,

      Unless a recipe calls for coconut cream (which means you’ll want scoop just the top thick stuff from the can), shake the can first. For this recipe you’ll want both the milk (on the bottom) and the cream (on the top), so shake the can first and then open it. Hope that helps :).

      I’m so glad the site is back up too!

  26. says: Holly

    Hi there! I just saw this recipe on your site and am pumped to try it out! I was reading through the comments though and saw that some of the men aren’t a fan of this wash. Do you have a recipe that is man friendly? I’m trying to slowly but surely get my husband onto the natural side of hygiene products. It’s a process but if you have any recommendations I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!

    1. says: Kristin Marr

      Hey Holly, I think the “man issue” 😉 comes from the scent. Most men aren’t too fond of lavender. You could leave out an essential oil (and scent) or try something like patchouli.

      1. says: Rosalea Peters

        Also, my husband uses the Almond scent of Dr. Bronner’s and likes it just fine (although we use it straight currently, will be trying the wash). If you’re lucky enough to live near a Whole Foods, New Seasons, or other health food store, you can smell the different scents Bronner’s carries to see if there is one he likes (I believe the common scents available are unscented, almond, citrus, lavender, rose, and peppermint).

  27. says: Andrea Smith

    Hi there,

    I was wondering about the containers you use. They are so pretty! Are they practical or are they for the benefits of your pictures? Can you share where you get them?


  28. says: Eliza

    Trying to make sense of your reply to a previous comment…
    Is it better to add no oil preservative if the only one you have is olive oil?

    I would like to try making this with just Castile and the milk. Would I need to replace the other ingredients with water or milk?

    1. says: Kristin Marr

      Hey Eliza, I must have misunderstood your question, sorry about that.

      I wouldn’t add olive oil to this mixture, just leave out the vitamin e (if you don’t have it), but use the body wash fairly quickly to make sure it doesn’t go bad (or refrigerate half of it until needed.)

      You can also leave out all the ingredients. I think it will work well.

      Hope that helps :).

  29. says: Megan

    This looks great. Is your bodywash liquid enough to work in a foaming pump or is it better in a regular squirt pump? Thanks! Looking forward to trying it!

  30. says: EMILY

    Hi, I can’t wait to try this recipe! My question is that I found a recipe online for homemade shampoo and it is almost exactly the same as this one except it didn’t have glycerin, so my question is if you know if this would work as a shampoo as well?

  31. says: Shelby

    5 stars
    Oooh! I love the sound of this body wash. I’m planning on making my own coconut milk -I have a recipe to make it but was wondering if you’ve ever made your own before and have any advise for me? Also, what’s the shelf life of this? Other recipes I’ve read that use coconut say to refrigerate. What’s your experience with this?

    1. says: Kristin Marr

      Hey Shelby, I haven’t personally made coconut milk at home, but I know there are some great videos and tutorials online. The vitamin E in this recipes helps keep the milk preserved, but even with the added vitamin E I only keep the body wash in my bathroom for 2-3 weeks. You can freeze or refrigerate half of the body wash if you don’t plan to use it all within that time frame.

  32. says: Aimee

    Hi, I have some of your liquid castille soap using kirks freshly made up but no bronners. Do I need to dilute it further since it is usually diluted for cleaning?

  33. says: Holly

    I have another question. Does this make the floor of the tub slippery from the oily? I tried a different homemade wash with coconut oil and was fearful for my life 😉

    1. says: Kristin Marr

      Hey Holly, Vitamin E isn’t oily like coconut oil or a nourishing oil (like almond or jojoba oil). The type of oil used in the other recipe may have caused the slippery bathroom floor. You can try decreasing the amount of vitamin E if you’re concerned about a slippery surface 🙂 and then up the amount as you go.

  34. says: Jacinto

    Isn’t Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap already contains Lye which already created suds “Bubble”?

    And what is the purposed of this recipe? It is to make bubble bath or is it to add ingredients to Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap, for better quality?

    Sorry just a little confused, as there is no form of lye mentioned for this recipe.

    1. says: Kristin Marr

      Hey Jacinto, Dr. Bronners does contain lye, but the soaps are highly concentrated. That’s the beauty of Bronners, a little bit goes a very long way! If you’ve used Bronner’s soap in the past, then you know it can be a bit drying when used alone (which I don’t recommend on the body due to high concentration), so this recipe gives you a moisturizing, cleaning soap that’s natural and inexpensive. The glycerin is added as the body wash is diluted and doesn’t create the same suds that many are used to with commercial body wash without this ingredient, but you are welcome to leave it out.

    1. says: Kristin Marr

      Hey Alison, It should be watery (more so than gel body wash), but work well when applied to a washcloth or sponge for cleansing. I’m not really sure of anything you can add to thicken it.

    2. says: Erin

      I’ve used xanthan gum to thicken up homemade beauty products before and it works great, start with just a little bit and add more if needed.

  35. says: Elizabeth

    Ooh this is wonderful! How long is it good for considering it has coconut milk and do I need to keep it in the fridge? Silly questions probably but I am very new at this!

    1. says: Kristin Marr

      Hey Elizabeth, It will last about three weeks (the vitamin E helps with preserving and moisture). If you plan to keep it for longer I recommend refrigerating half of the body wash until needed.

  36. says: Esther

    5 stars
    Loved the body wash I added 2 Tbs of coconut oil with the coconut milk for extra moisture I’m planning on making a new batch with guar gum to make it a thick

    1. says: Kristin Marr

      Hey Karen, You can leave the vitamin E out of the recipe. Just make sure you use the body wash quickly (within a couple of weeks) or refrigerate half. The vitamin E adds moisture, but also acts as a natural preservative.

  37. says: Ashley

    Ok-random question. I want to try this body wash for my kids. I have two girls and a boy. Is this body wash safe for the old private part area? Since it ‘s a food, I worry about that. Thx!

  38. says: Roxy Bowman

    Hi there I am really excited to try this recipe out! Is this good for your face or is it just a body recipe? If not what do you recommend? My skin is horribly patchy sensitive and dry lately and I can’t seem to find anything to fix it! Thank you!

  39. says: Kaitlin

    Hey Kristin! I am dying to try this and was wondering if this recipe will help with acne prone skin? I get breakouts on my back and I need something that will help with this, natually. I have tried so many store bought products that have left my skin so dry and irritated. I have heard that tea tree oil can help with acne as well. Can I put tea tree oil in this recipe?

    1. says: Kristin Marr

      Hey Katilin, I’m not sure if the recipe will clear up acne, but I know it’s probably a much a better option than the majority of store-bought washes. I believe adding tea tree oil to this recipe would be really beneficial for acne-prone skin!

  40. says: Sylvia

    Would love to try this version of body soap used to use coconut oil. My question is what does the vegetable glycerin do, and if i need to put it in or if i can leave it out? Thank you

        1. says: Kristin Marr

          Sylvia, I do not have a homemade shampoo recipe. I’ve played around with homemade shampoo recipes for a few years now, but everything leaves my hair greasy :(. Shampoo is still a product I purchase from the store, until I can find the perfect homemade combination.

          1. says: Sylvia

            Yes i tried everything too, and i only have greasy results 🙁 im looking for a good bought shampoo now 🙂 thank you

  41. says: Jamie

    I would like the body wash to be thicker, more like the consistency of commercial body washes. What can I add to thicken it up?

  42. says: Pauline

    Hi I researched Castile Soap and to my surprise it contains a dangerous chemical called Lye. This is used to decompose road kill, oven cleaners and lower grade forms of this is used in certain Chinese food and a Japanese noodle. This is also the reason why it cannot come into contact with metal because it is corrosive. It can burn skin and eyes.

    1. says: Kristin Marr

      Hey Pauline, Thank you for sharing your concern about the potassium hydroxide. The label includes this ingredient, but also notes, “None remains after saponifying oils into soap and glycerin.” I’m very confident with the ingredients in castile soap and find it’s one of the safest cleaning products available for use on my family and in our home.

  43. says: Alison

    I just made this up (minus the vegetable glycerin… don’t have it in my pantry) and I put it in a tinted spray bottle since it’s fairly liquidy and will conserve the amount I use 🙂 Looking forward to trying it out! I may add the glycerin if I need more sudsy action.

    Love how simple the recipes are. Easy to make!

  44. says: Hela

    Hi Kristin,I Finally got around to making this body wash .i used it on the kids “they said it smells funny” but I guess they have to get used to this stuff.can I use the castile soap as a liquid dish soap?……can’t wait to try it out myself (after the mountain of laundry gets folded)

    1. says: Kristin Marr

      Lol, Hela. My kids and husband had to get to used to a new smell, too. I prefer using Sal Suds (the cousin to castile soap) for dish detergent (a recipe I still need to share here at Live Simply) since it cuts grease much better than castile.

  45. says: Hela

    5 stars
    I did try the body wash for myself,it’s absolutely amazing!! Kudos to you on this great first I thought I felt dry after the shower, but after drying my skin was so soft (no need to moisturize).it’s even soft this morning! ……. Thank you (this blog is slowly becoming my second home )

  46. says: Cindy

    5 stars
    This is the most fantastic body wash! I’m new to the homemade beauty products scene so this and the lotion were the first I’ve made. I couldn’t find liquid castile soap without a scent at first so tried the peppermint. Eh, not to my liking. However, later, in the baby section of the local grocery store I found a huge bottle of castile soap without a scent. Whipped up a batch with the unscented castile and used lemongrass oil instead of lavender. Oh my word, is it great! I don’t think I’ll ever go back to store bought. My skin is quite dry and flakey and I was totally amazed after just the first use. After drying from my shower I could feel and see the difference in my skin. Well, then, I couldn’t find any attractive containers to keep this in until I came across a tall slender glass oil and vinegar mixing bottle, with a cap. This fits perfectly in the corner of my shower. Now I’m hooked, LOL. Thanks so much for providing such a wonderful recipe!

  47. says: Hela

    Isn’t it always creepy when two little ones are playing together and it’s very quiet.well as I was finally sitting to read I noticed that my 4&5 year old were very quiet upstairs, the smell of lavender as I was headed upstairs was intoxicating. When I found those two in the bathroom spilling the “smelly stuff” in the sink, first I laughed and than realized they just poured 7$ down the drain .i was not laughing anymore, so how can I make this soap smell more kid friendly? My 8& 9 year old said maybe vanilla…..

    1. says: Kristin Marr

      Oh no, Hela! My two year-old once found a bottle of frankincense (a very expensive essential oil) on the counter and poured it all over the floor (right after I made a lotion recipe)…I can totally relate!! You can definitely leave the essential oil out and make a great body wash! Orange essential oil is pretty inexpensive and kid-friendly.

    1. says: Kristin Marr

      Hey Cindy, I actually have an interview post with Plant Therapy that will be live on Saturday…stay tuned :). I’ve found that Plant Therapy’s oil are comparable to YL in quality and extraction methods. The price is the biggest difference. YL has a large overhead with many reps they must pay (commission). Plant Therapy is a smaller company with less overhead (no reps or commission) which results in lower prices.

    2. says: Cindy Rickard

      Thank you so much for your response. I hope to catch that interview!
      One more question… I have a friend with YL that says all of their oils can be ingested. Do you know if PT’s can be ingested? I would like lemon and grapefruit to drink in my water.
      Thank you!!

  48. says: Cindy Rickard

    Thank you so much for your response! I hope to catch that interview!!
    One more question…I have a friend with YL that says all of their oils can be ingested. ?? Do you know if PT’s can be ingested?? I am wanting the lemon and grapefruit to drink in my water.
    Thank you!

  49. says: Cindy Rickard

    Thank you so much for your response. I hope to catch that interview!
    One more question… I have a friend with YL that says all of their oils can be ingested. Do you know if PT’s can be ingested? I would like lemon and grapefruit to drink in my water.
    Thank you!!

  50. says: Pam

    For those concerned with using for baby’s or very small little ones, Bronner’s also makes a baby version of their soap. I haven’t tried it myself, but from reviews I saw, they used a 90/10 dilution. It still isn’t tear-free, but is supposed to be very mild & unscented. I’m not sure what the main difference is between this & their regular unscented version though. Amazon also seems to have it in gallon-sized containers through a 3rd party.
    Dr. Bronner’s Baby-mild Liquid Soap 32 Oz

  51. says: Melinda Evens

    Wow! This article is magnificent! I thought that it is impossible to make my own body lotion or soap but now I know that I am able to make my own cosmetic products. Thanks a lot for the inspiring post!

  52. says: Jene Boulet

    5 stars
    I absolutely love this body wash! But my husband would like it to be thicker…what can I do to thicken it up a bit? Thanks!

    1. says: Kristin Marr

      Hey Jene, I’m so glad you love the body wash. I believe a few readers have commented in the past about using xanthum gum to thicken the body wash. I will need to go through the comments here to double check.

  53. says: Suresh

    Hi, Cant wait to try it..Not sure if i could get my hands on Castille soap… I’m currently using a paste of Besan Powder aka gram flour with honey, sandalwood powder and a pinch of turmeric. Could you tell me if I’m missing something or should i add anything for added benefits. Thanks in advance..

    ps: your coconut oil moisturizer is awesome.

      1. says: Suresh

        No, Kristin. Since i add honey and a little water to make a paste out of it. Besan powder also known as bengal gram flour is a well known in india infact i have been using it instead of a face wash for about 10 years now. Should i be adding a liquid ? I dint because i thought honey would act as a moisturizing agent.

  54. says: Meredith

    I hope this question hasn’t already been asked, but I tend to prefer bar soaps. Is there a way to make this in more of a solid form? I saw another blog that had a recipe for ph balanced shampoo “tablets” where you would put the shampoo liquid into an ice cube tray and freeze…but I also don’t like the idea of grabbing something out of my freezer every time I go to take a shower.

      1. says: Courtney

        So, after checking the product you used, I see that it’s the coconut milk that’s used for like baking, not the drinking kind. Lol my mistake

          1. says: Courtney

            Oh yea I know, just meant not the beverage.

            One more question, how do you think emulsifying wax would work, to keep it all together?

  55. says: Britany

    5 stars
    Hey there!

    I am super excited to start cleaning the toxins out of home ‘home care’ products & was thrilled when I found this recipe. The recipe was super easy to make and smelled great! I used it Monday (yesterday) for the 1st time & LOVED every part of it, except the little red spots that formed all over my body almost instantly after use. I refrained from using the body wash today & stuck with my usual Dr. Bronner’s bar soap (which has not bothered me in over a year) however I have seen no improvement in my skin irritation, in fact it may be worse:( I’m super bummed about this & am wondering if anyone has answers as to why this is occurring or maybe suggestions for other natural body washes that won’t cause this irritation. Thanks in advance!

  56. says: lisa

    5 stars
    Hey kristin thanks a lot for sharing this awesome homemade remedy of organic body is so beneficial for sensitive skin..thanks again,now i have no worries for my skin

  57. says: Dejenni

    Hi Kristin!
    Thanks for this informative article.I can’t wait any more do this by myself. I love natural herbal body wash.

  58. says: Lavel

    I can’t wait to try this, but I have discovered soap nuts, could I use them in place of the Dr. Bonners?

    1. says: Kristin Marr

      Hey Lavel, I’ve never had much success with soap nuts (I may be using them wrong?), so I’m not really sure if they will work in place of the castile soap. If you try it, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

    1. says: Kristin Marr

      Hey Elle, This will last a couple of weeks (sometimes even three weeks) on the counter. You can also refrigerate (or freeze) half to extend the shelf-life. Enjoy!!

  59. says: Alisa Jo

    5 stars
    Hi Kristin,
    This is an awesome lists of home made body wash. I want to ask a question. How long can i preserve these? I want to know about its expire date.Thank You.

  60. says: Hela

    Hi, how can I make this body wash with a citrus smell (I’m gonna attempt this once more, hope they don’t pour it in the sink again) what’s a good EO combination

  61. says: Tina

    I always love this type of organic body wash. I can’t wait more. I will obviously try your recipe in this weekend.

  62. says: Alicia

    I’m looking forward to trying this this afternoon as my family experiments with some homemade toiletries! What do you find is the best and most convenient container for the concoction?? Foaming pump? Regular Pump? Spray bottle? Jar?? Thanks!

  63. says: Hammy

    Hi Kirstin,
    I was just curious about what would it be like if I substituted Mango or Cocoa butter instead of coconut milk? I have a lot of Mango butter spare and I wondered if it could be used within a body wash?

    1. says: Kristin Marr

      Hey Hammy, I don’t believe mango or cocoa butter can be substituted for the coconut milk. Even if you melt the butters, I believe they will return back to a thick, hard state after about 24 hours. I could be wrong since I haven’t tried using these butters for something like this, but that’s my guess.

        1. says: Kristin Marr

          Hey Hammy, Yep, just shake and use a can of coconut milk (both the cream and milk)–you’ll have extra leftovers. It will last about 3 weeks. Another option is to store half the body wash in the freezer or fridge and then defrost/bring the body wash to room temperature when needed.

  64. says: Catherine MacDonald

    I found the mixture too strong, so I added the rest of the can of coconut milk and I like it very much. Thank-you!

  65. says: Ebone R.

    Hi Kristin!

    I am in love with you DIY recipes. However, how much castile soap should be used? Unfortunately, the measurement is actually a ‘square’ for me and I can’t figure it out. Thanks in advance.

  66. says: Kay

    5 stars
    I LOVE this body wash, but would like to thicken it up a little. I think I saw a mention of xanthum gum to thicken it… how much should I use?

  67. says: Sharron Morrison

    I have just made this and tested it out and found the consistency to be really runny. It doesn’t foam up either unfortunately. I have store it in the fridge and will test it out in the bathtube but what have I done wrong? Too much Castille Soap?

    1. says: Kristin Marr

      Hey Sharron, It sounds like you did everything right. This body wash is very different than a store-bought body wash since it doesn’t contain any thickeners. Reducing the water will help both the consistency and bubbly action. Also, it’s important to remember that bubbles don’t always mean your skin is getting clean :).

  68. says: Sheila

    Hi! For those without vitamin e oil- sunflower oil has a very high percentage of vitamin e in it, and most grocery stores are carrying it with the other cooking oils these days. It is also non-comedogenic. Honey would be a lovely addition to this body wash! And if you worry about the ph, spritz a little diluted raw apple cider vinegar on before you towel off.

  69. I’m loving the use of coconut milk in this body wash! I use coconut oil for so many other uses but I have yet to try making my own body wash and am a wee bit scared, truth be told. But this looks easy and manageable. Can’t wait to try it!

  70. says: Cheryl

    I added about a tablespoon of xanthan gum to this recipe and put it all in a mason jar. I then put just 1 beater on my mixer and mixed it in the mason jar for 2-3 minutes. The xanthan gum thickened it to a perfect creamy consistency. Just have to make sure you mix the xanthan gum with a little carrier oil Before mixing it with the rest of the ingredients so you don’t get lumps! I used almond oil. Lovin’ it!

  71. says: Robin Hawes

    5 stars
    Hi! I have used many of your wonderful recipes, and made this body wash last night using the Coconut Milk you suggested. I read the update from 2016. I made a smaller batch and have it in the refrigerator. Do you think it will keep for a week if I keep it refrigerated in between uses?

  72. says: Xavier Moore


    I was wondering where you got the glass bottle with the cork lid to store your body wash in? I’ve been searching everywhere for something similar.

  73. Hi Kristin. Just found this blog. This DIY body wash sounds great! Btw, do you think that adding the glycerin will work as a natural deodorant?

    I’m not really an advocate of hunting or anything like that, I’m just asking because there are soaps with glycerin that I see in hunting shops. Apparently, glycerin inhibits most human odors so hunters use them so they can get a little bit closer to their prey.

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