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Foaming Hand Soap Recipe

You can easily customize this DIY foaming hand soap recipe to reduce your plastic waste and save on soap!

This DIY recipe is so simple you are just a few steps away from having your own foaming soap. Simple ingredients, amazing soap!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. See my full disclosure here.

amber glass soap bottle on a wood cutting board rough and tumble farmhouse

Why make your own DIY hand soap?

Save Money

My husband is a liquid hand soap guy. I prefer bar soap personally, but he doesn’t like the mess that can come with them and he just doesn’t feel like he gets clean. 

The last few years he has been buying fancy bottles of hand soap for our three bathrooms and our kitchen. The suckers he likes to buy are $28 a bottle. Let’s say we go through a half bottle in each location per month. That’s $56 a month in soap. SOAP.

Cut to the recipe I’m about to share with you. It is just two ingredients, one being Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap. I can buy this for .49 cents per ounce. The recipe for my 13-ounce reusable soap bottles will use a little over four ounces. Per bottle of soap. I am spending $1.96 on ingredients. Again, if we use a half bottle of soap per month at each of our sinks, that means across all our bathrooms we will be spending $3.92 per month on soap. By making our own homemade foaming hand soap, and using these natural ingredients, we are using less soap and saving so much money!

Reduce Waste

One of my biggest bones to pick with liquid soap is all the plastic waste. Individual soap bottles just got tossed or hopefully at best recycled. I like to avoid using plastic in general. For this recipe you will yes, buy a larger bottle of concentrated soap to fill your smaller soap dispenser. Still, it should last you months if not a full year, depending on how much soap you go through. That’s a long time to go without buying soap or tossing plastic.

Ingredients for a Natural Foaming Hand Soap Recipe

This magic recipe calls for two, just TWO ingredients. You will need…

  • Liquid Castile Soap, Dr. Bronner’s is my recommendation
  • Distilled Water (Filtered works well too, just avoid tap water as your soap may spoil faster)

That’s it! Nothing fancy here. Just easy ingredients and simple steps for a natural soap. 

Supplies to make a DIY Hand Soap

There are a few things that will make this process easier for you when making a foaming hand soap. Please, note, this is for a FOAMING soap. It won’t work as well in a regular soap dispenser. I’ll be honest, I don’t understand why. It just doesn’t turn out as well.

  • Foaming Hand Soap Dispenser (feel free to reuse one if you have it!)
  • Scale that can measure ounces (or you can eyeball it if you want)

What is Liquid Castile Soap?

Castille soap is made from the fats/oils of vegetables. Some popular castile soaps are made from olive oil, coconut oil, vegetable oil, etc. Other soaps often use products from animals such as tallow, lard, etc. 

soap pouring into an amber glass jar

Why Dr. Bronners?

I love the quality of this soap as well as the values of the company. It has a pretty interesting history and their current dedication to fair trade, sound environmental practices, care for their workers and suppliers, etc. is impressive to say the least. 

The only ingredient in their soap that gave me pause was the palm kernel oil. This is a crop that is causing a lot of environmental havoc and harming workers as well. Thankfully ol Dr. B’s has a great blog post explaining where and how they source theirs ethically and sustainably.

I’ve used their soap for over a decade as a body wash and shampoo, now it is by all my sinks in the form of a foaming hand soap!

How to Make Foaming Hand Soap

Get your Bottle

Check below for the best foaming soap dispensers I found on Amazon. If you already have a store-bought hand soap that has a foaming soap pump top, you can absolutely reuse it! 

Figure out the Size of the Bottle

Next, determine what size your bottle is. Hand soap dispensers typically give their size in either fluid ounces or just ounces. 

If it is listed as fluid ounces (fl. oz) then it is telling you the volume it can hold. Meaning the physical size of it. If it is listed as ounces, then that is based on weight. Plain ounces is what we are looking for.

Now this might sound confusing but don’t let it scare you. I literally had to take a “not for credit” math class in college because I’m so bad at numbers.

If your bottle is listed in fluid ounces rather than just plain ounces, here is a simple trick.

Fill the empty soap bottle with water to just below the shoulder. Set your kitchen scale to read in ounces, and place a measuring cup or similar on it. Zero out the scale. 

Pour the water from the soap bottle into the measuring cup. Whatever number you get is (more or less) your weight/plain ounces number. 

measuring cup on scale with water rough and tumble farmhouse

Measure Out Ingredients

You will be mixing the natural Castile soap at a rate of one part soap to two parts water. 

The bottles I purchased were a little over 13 ounces.

For my soap I simply took 13 ounces divided by 3. That equals a little over 4 ounces for each part.

Next, I measured out 4 ounces of Castile soap on a kitchen scale and added it to the bottle. Then I measured out 8 ounces of filtered water and added that to the bottle. (1 part soap=4 ounces, 2 parts water=8 ounces).

Next, I gently stirred the liquid and soap with the “straw” of the dispenser. You can also gently shake or roll the bottle from side to side.

Replace the lid of the soap bottle. Voila! Foaming hand soap.

Favorite Scent from Dr. Bronner’s

I personally keep just two Dr. Bronner’s soaps in my shower at all times. Those are the peppermint and the almond. I got in the habit of peppermint back when I worked at a vegetable farm. After hours in the hot sun and dirt, nothing made you feel cleaner than a scrub with e fresh scent of mint.

The almond was always kept in the shower of some friends of mine. I used to house sit in my early 20s for them in their gorgeous and cool old farm house. They had a very luxurious stone bathroom and that soap was always in it. Whenever I want to feel a little rich (in a chocolate cake-rich sort of way) and pampered, almond is my go-to.

These bottles in my shower are perfect for refilling my foaming soap dispensers whenever I need.

Don’t let my nostalgia keep you limited! Other great scents to try are lavender, tea tree, citrus, eucalyptus, and even one for babies and sensitive skin that will give you unscented soap. 

soap dispenser with towel rough and tumble farmhouse

Best Foaming Soap Dispenser

There are a few great options available on Amazon for a foaming dispenser. 

This mason jar style is super cute.

I personally like the amber glass jar look.

Or you can even buy just the foaming top and screw it on a mason jar you already have!

Can you use this as dish soap?

Yes! If you want to use it as a dish soap you just add 1-2 Tbsp of plain old Dr. B’s soap to your sink of dishwater and away you go. No need to dilute the soap any further.

More Natural Body Care

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pinterest graphic for foaming soap recipe rough and tumble farmhouse

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