DIY Natural Foaming Hand Soap

A couple years ago I discovered that it was easy to make your own foaming dish soap and hand soap.  It was all about the dispenser!   Once you have the dispenser (either by buying a new one or recycling one) you just need to mix some liquid soap with water and the dispenser makes it nice and foamy.

What I like about this strategy is you’re able to stretch a liquid dish soap or hand soap a lot farther by watering it down, yet without sacrificing any cleaning ability.  I save money AND we still have clean dishes and clean hands.

And now I’ve discovered there’s another great benefit to this strategy.  You can create a chemical free foaming hand soap with this same method by using liquid castile soap and water in a foaming dispenser.

Liquid castile soap is a natural vegetable-based soap without any of the chemicals found in many of the other commercial liquid soaps. (You can read this article  about common chemicals found in hand soaps which include sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens, triclosan, and formaldehyde).  BUT, liquid castile soap has a pretty thin consistency and it can be challenging to create a nice hand soap with it that doesn’t feel all weak and watery.

Foaming dispenser to the rescue!

DIY natural foaming hand soap


You will need:

  • Liquid Castile Soap

  • Water

  • Foaming Soap Dispenser (new or recycled)

DIY natural foaming hand soapI’ve found that measuring isn’t really necessary when making your own foaming soaps.  I just eyeball it using the following method.

Begin by filling your dispenser about a quarter full with the liquid soap.

Then fill it the remainder of the way with water.  Don’t fill it to the very top with water because then it will overflow when you put the pump nozzle back in.  Leave yourself a little head space at the top.

Screw the pump top back on and gently tilt the dispenser back and forth to mix the soap with the water.

{I’ve been using my handy dandy recycled foaming dispenser from some soap I bought at Aldi}

ANTIBACTERIAL VERSION:  To add a little extra anti-bacterial help to your natural foaming hand soap, you can add 10 to 20 drops of tea tree oil.

Liquid castile soap comes in lots of great scents too.  I used Almond because that’s what I had around, but Rose or Lavender would also be great choices.

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  1. I tried using 100% Castile soap and it clogs it up. Thanks for the tip to add water! I’ll give it a try.

    1. I have never used Castile soap in a regular non-foaming pump bottle, but you might be able to just use it straight without even watering it down. If you did want to water it down, you could perhaps start out with a 50/50 mix and see how you like that combination and then tweak it from there.

  2. This works! I must admit I was a little skeptical, but I tried it last night with great results.

    I only added about 1/8 full of Dr. Bronner’s almond and the rest water.

    Thanks for the great tip. I actually really like this for washing my face.

    1. It never hurts to give a recipe a try. Sometimes I’ve been skeptical too and then am pleasantly surprised when things turn out better than I thought. Glad to hear you’ve found a new “face wash”.

  3. I’ve made my own liquid castile soap by grating up a bar of soap and dissolving it in liquid. Only trouble I’ve had is it seems to gel when combined in the foaming soap dispenser (I’m using a recycled Method container). It only gels in this container and not in any other regular pumps I have for the soap. Any ideas?

    1. Shannon: I’m just learning to make my own castile soap myself from a recipe I found. It calls for vegetable glycerine. Here is the recipe:


      Two 4oz. bars of castile soap

      4 cups water

      2 T. vegetable glycerine


      Grate soap into a large pot (microwave to a a powder)

      Add 4 cups water

      Stir until soap dissolves

      Add 2 T. Glycerine

      Stir until all is dissolved

      Transfer soap to covered container

      Add scent if desired

  4. Hi Bev: I have been making foamy soap for years with unscented castile soap and adding scent to it. I have a bottle like yours but only add 1.5 T. of soap and the rest water. I put the water in just about 1.5″ from the top. It works great and uses less soap. It’s fun, isn’t it?