Making a hand soap is such a simple DIY recipe and one that I use every day.
After creating this homemade foaming hand soap recipe years ago, we were able to do away with regular hand soap entirely.
Now, we are able to save money and reduce waste by making our own using simple ingredients!
I have been asked so many times, “Why make your own hand soap?”
Well, we go through a lot of soap, and I try to be somewhat conscious of what I am putting on my body.
I have come to realize that many soap companies add ‘extra ingredients’ that aren’t totally necessary for the whole hand washing thing. Like artificial fragrances, for one.
So, for this recipe, I set out to make a foaming soap that gets my hands clean and helps reduce my use of one-time-use plastics in the process.
When I first made this, I bought a soap dispenser and a gallon of castile soap. That gallon lasted me over a year and the dispenser? You can bet it’s still in my bathroom!
How to make foaming hand soap
Alright, so this foaming hand soap recipe is fully customizable as far as your choice of fragrance goes. I’ll list what I add to my own foaming soap, but if you want other options, see the ‘essential oils for hand soap‘ section below.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Get my full disclosure HERE.
- 1/4 cup castile soap (I like to use Dr. Bronner’s unscented.)
- 10-15 drops of lavender essential oil (see the other options below)
- Distilled water (tap water is fine; just see the notes below)
- 12 oz foaming hand soap container (Here is the one I use.)
- Begin by adding the castile soap directly into your foaming soap dispenser. I use a funnel to prevent spills, but if the top is wide enough on your container, just pour it right in.
- Next, add in your lavender. (note, the fragrance is optional, and the soap will be just as effective without it)
- Finally, top it off with water, leaving about a half inch of space at the top.
- Secure the pump top and shake well!
I keep this in a foaming hand soap dispenser I got from Amazon years back. But you can also use an old, empty store-bought dispenser if you have any lying around.
I do prefer the foaming pump because it dispenses less soap at a time, helping this recipe last longer.
Keep this homemade foaming hand soap in the bathroom, slop sink, or in place of your kitchen soap bar. It’s all-natural, smells great, and it works wonderfully!
According to Dr. Bronner’s site, you can dilute their castile soap with water without adding a preservative; just plan to use it within a couple of weeks.
DIY foaming hand soap
Having your own foaming hand soap in your house allows you to stay clean and sanitized without any unnecessary chemicals.
It’s really quite easy to make, just a little liquid castile soap, some water, and a soap pump.
Why stop at foaming hand soap? Make your own hand sanitizer too!
Benefits of making your own foaming hand soap
There are several benefits of making your own hand soap. I’ve already mentioned how using reusable containers reduces so much plastic waste, but in addition to that, using natural soap, especially handmade soap, is going to have fewer ingredients overall.
And by sourcing higher-quality ingredients, you can choose products that are ethically sourced with a low environmental impact.
An article published in the New York Times suggests that conventional skin care products, soaps included, may contain fragrances and thickeners that prolonged exposure may be potentially harmful.
Check out my video tutorial!
Are you a visual learner? You can watch my DIY foaming hand soap tutorial right here!
Favorite essential oils for hand soap
I like to keep it simple when adding essential oils to hand soap, but you can definitely blend them as you see fit.
For soap bars, I like using lavender, especially for bathroom soap. Now, in the kitchen, I have a liquid dish soap, and I scent it with lemon essential oil.
Really, it comes down to personal preference. Just choose from any of the oils listed below, and feel free to mix and match. All I ask is that you let me know what combination you went with so I can try it!
Lemon is my favorite, especially when making soap for the kitchen. It has a beautiful citrus aroma that makes me think clean. In addition, it has cleansing and purifying properties, making it perfect for getting your hands clean.
Learn more about lemon essential oil.
Similar to lemon, wild orange also has cleansing and purifying properties. I love the bright, refreshing scent of orange and lemon mixed!
Learn more about wild orange essential oil.
Lavender is my favorite essential oil to use when I am making soap for the bathroom. It has cleansing properties and is excellent for sensitive skin.
In addition, it gives off a calming and relaxing aroma that can promote overall calmness in the body. I like to use a very similar recipe with lavender for my kid’s body wash. Get the full recipe here.
Learn more about lavender essential oil.
Melaleuca (or tea tree) is a great essential oil for cleaning; it will cleanse the skin and purify the air.
On Guard is a blend by doTERRA, and they actually use it to make a hand wash. I have used it to scent my soaps in the past and absolutely love it! You can read more about On Guard essential oil here.
CLICK HERE to purchase any of the oils listed above!
Choosing the right pump
Soap dispensers come in all different shapes and sizes: wall-mounted, electric, you name it’s available. When choosing the right soap dispenser, consider the amount of use it is going to get and where you want it placed.
For example, if you don’t have a lot of vanity top space, consider getting a touchless wall-mounted dispenser.
If you have a spot for a soap dispenser, these work well and last forever! Just be sure when choosing the perfect soap dispenser that it is capable of producing a foaming soap.
Frequently asked questions
How long does DIY foaming hand soap last? This foaming hand soap recipe will last at least three weeks, which is the longest I have been able to stretch it with the amount of use it gets!
Is foaming hand soap effective? Yes, foaming hand soap is effective at cleaning the hands while using less soap than regular liquid soap.
Do I have to add fragrance to my soap? Of course not; the added essential oils provide a beautiful scent, which is nice for especially dirty hands, but unscented soap will clean just as well.
How does foaming hand soap reduce waste? By making your own soap, you can reduce the amount of plastic waste by buying in bulk and reusing the same dispenser over and over again.
Can I store this in a mason jar? Oh yes! You can actually get soap dispensing tops that screw directly onto mason jars, and they look so cute.
Can I use tap water instead of distilled water? Yes, tap water will work just fine. In some cases, tap water can contain contaminants that could potentially decrease the shelf life of our foaming liquid hand soap.
Will this soap leave a filmy residue on my hands? No, not at all! In fact, a foam soap like this uses less water to wash off than your typical store-bought hand soap.
I love making soaps, and over the years, I’ve developed quite the index of homemade soaps.
If you want to see more of my soap recipes, you can type ‘soap’ in the search bar. Trust me when I say you’ll find what you are looking for. But if not, leave me a comment, letting me know what you would like to see next.
Anyway, I hope that you enjoyed this simple foaming soap recipe. I had so much fun making it and sharing it with you all!
Please do leave a review below if you made it and loved it.
And if you are looking for a few more great cleaning recipes or maybe something a little different, check out these posts below.
- All-natural cleaning products
- Homemade liquid soap from bar soap
- 5 Face wash recipes
- Homemade bath salts
- Reusable cleaning wipes
- First, add the castile soap to the dispenser. You may want to use a funnel, or if the top is wide enough, just pour it right in.
- Next, you'll add in your lavender. (or you can check out my other fragrance options in the post above)
- Finally, top it off with water, leaving about a half inch of space at the top.
- Secure the pump top and shake well.
I keep this in the bathroom, but it can work in any area of the house!
This soap should last for at least three weeks.