DIY Thieves Oil Foaming Hand Soap

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I’ve come to love foaming soap dispensers. When you use a foaming dispenser, all you have to do is fill it with a combo of liquid soap and water, and you have a super simple way to make your own frugal hand soaps. Plus, the foamy soap just feels a little more luxurious to me too.

Using a foaming soap dispenser for DIY mixtures also gives you opportunity for variety, as you can try different scents of soaps and jazz them up with some essential oils too. Most recently, I decided I wanted to try to make my own blend of something called “Thieves Oil” to use in my homemade hand soap. So . . . what exactly is Thieves Oil?

homemade foaming soap with a DIY thieves oil blend

My Homemade Thieves Oil Blend Hack

The history of what’s come to be known as Thieves Oil dates all the way back to medieval times during the days of the Bubonic Plague when many, many people were dying. During this time, four thieves were caught stealing from the sick and dying but for some reason, they had never contracted the disease themselves despite having been in close contact and in homes of those that were sick.

The legend goes on to say that these thieves were unemployed perfumers and spice merchants and their secret was that they used a blend of essential oils that they applied to their hands, ears, temples, feet, and to a mask over their face and this is what protected them from the disease.

Although we don’t know the exact recipe the thieves used back then, there are current versions of thieves oil blends you can purchase that are mixtures of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary, oils that have antibacterial and antiviral properties, and historically are thought to have been used by the original thieves. Using this info, I decided I could make my own Thieves Oil foaming soap using these same five oils and get the healthy antibacterial benefits of these oils when I washed my hands too!

ingredients for homemade thieves blend foaming hand soap

Homemade Thieves Hand Soap Ingredients

To make homemade foaming hand soap, you’ll need a foaming dispenser (such as these foaming dispensers) that have the correct type of pump on the top. These pump tops add air to the thin soapy mixture in the bottle, resulting in foamy soap when you pump it into your hand. I got lucky and found a basket full of new foaming dispensers at my local thrift shop for 50 cents each. I only bought two and now I wish I had bought more!

Once you have the correct dispenser, you’ll pour into it, 2 tablespoons of unscented castile soap, 1 tablespoon of vegetable glycerin, and 3/4 cup of water. I like to use unscented castile soap because it doesn’t conflict with any of the essential oils scents we’ll be using. The vegetable glycerin adds a little moisturizing help to the mixture.

5 essential oils uses for a DIY thieves oil blend in hand soap

Then it’s time to add in the essential oils that will make this your DIY Thieves soap. I was lucky and had all these oils in my stash too! Here’s the amounts I used:

6 drops Clove essential oil
5 drops Lemon essential oil
4 drops Cinnamon essential oil
3 drops Eucalyptus essential oil
2 drops Rosemary essential oil

This gave me a total of 20 drops of essential oils added to my mixture using the same scents used in the commercial Thieves blend mixtures, but in a small batch perfect for just one bottle of foaming soap.

The most popular Thieves blend (the Young Living brand) uses these same five oils, and although we don’t know their exact ratios, the oils are listed in their ingredients in descending order of quantity used with clove listed first and rosemary listed last. Therefore I used my oils in the same descending order of amount used.

Enjoy Your Homemade Hand Soap!

Once all your ingredients are mixed in your soap dispenser, you can screw on the top, give the bottle a gentle tilt back and forth to mix the ingredients, and you’re all set. You’ve made your own Thieves Oil foaming hand soap!

homemade thieves blend foaming hand soap

Although we’ll never know exactly what blend those first thieves were using, I still find it intriguing that this legend lives on and even in our modern times we can still reap the health benefits and protections of nature’s herbs and spices. Plus, it’s a blend that smells nice too!

Related Reading:

DIY Thieves Oil Blend Foaming Hand Soap

Make your own foaming hand soap using castile soap, glycerin, and water, together with five essential oils that when blended together are known as the Thieves Oil blend with a history of antibacterial properties.
Keyword: foaming soap
Yield: 8 oz
Author: Beverly


  • 1 Foaming Soap Dispenser


  • 2 Tbl Unscented Castile Soap
  • 1 Tbl Vegetable Glycerin
  • 3/4 cup Water

Essential Oils:

  • 6 drops Clove
  • 5 drops Lemon
  • 4 drops Cinnamon
  • 3 drops Eucalyptus
  • 2 drops Rosemary


  • Combine the castile soap, the glycerin, and the water in the foaming soap dispenser bottle.
  • Add in the essential oils.
  • Put the top on the dispenser bottle and gently tilt the bottle back and forth to mix the ingredients.


If you would like to make a larger batch of the thieves oil blend mixture you can combine the following:
48 drops Clove, 40 drops Lemon, 32 drops Cinnamon, 24 drops Eucalyptus, 16 drops Rosemary
Use 20 drops of this mixture per 8 oz batch of hand soap.

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  1. First time I’ve read your newsletter & love reading how to make our own products. I would like to know where you purchase your products & hopefully, at a low cost…..budget wise.
    I look forward to reading more great ideas.
    Thank you for publishing.

  2. Hi Bev,

    If I wanted to swap out the tea tree oil in your disinfectant spray for the homemade thieves oil, what amounts would I use? In either case, can I wipe dry or do i need to rinse with water? Thanks.

    1. Even though my homemade disinfecting spray uses only 12 drops of tea tree, if you want to substitute this Thieves blend, I think I would just use this same 20 drop size Thieves Oil blend rather than trying to make the blend in a slightly smaller size. Disinfecting recipe here: 6 Easy Homemade Cleaning Sprays

    1. Castile soap is a soap made from vegetable oils and is a very natural and nontoxic product. Dr. Bronner’s is the most popular brand and can be ordered online. However any liquid soap can work in this recipe. I’ve sometimes made my own foaming soaps with dish soap if that’s all I have available.

    1. Yes, you can omit the glycerin if you wish. It can help with skin softening but if you don’t have that ingredient, it can be left out.