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How To Make Foaming Hand Soap (Don’t Buy Soap For Years!)

How to make foaming hand soap from liquid castile soap and water! Never buy hand soap from the store again. 

how to make foaming hand soap

I’ve made my own foaming hand soap for most of the past year and I’m finally getting around to sharing this with y’all… sorry it has taken me so long!

I learned somewhere on the web last year that “foaming hand soap” is actually just watered-down liquid soap that foams due to a special dispenser. Mind. Blown.

I tested this out and lo-and-behold, it appears to be true. Our homemade soap still gets our hands clean, and I haven’t bought soap in a very long time!

How To Make Foaming Hand Soap: Ingredients

Bottle of Pure Castile Soap Lavender

I make our foam soap with this lavender liquid castile soap, which is basically a generic Dr. Bronner’s. I got it at Walmart. 

This size container will make 16 refills for my large pint-size foaming hand soap dispenser. This will last me about 2 years a the rate we go through soap!

Target sells this smaller container of lavender castile soap which is a good way to try out this recipe to see if you’ll like it.

Of course you can use unscented soap or another scent if you like. 

The other other ingredient that I use is some vegetable glycerin, though this is totally optional. 

bottle of glycerin

Because castile soap is oil-based it tends to separate out from the water. This just means that you need to shake up the soap container every few days. 

Gylcerin is a natural emulsifier, which means it helps keep the oil soap dissolved in the water.

I have some anyway for making bath bombs so I add it to my foaming hand soap to keep it mixed up. I was able to find it in the pharmacy section. 

But like I said, if you don’t mind shaking up your soap container ever so often it isn’t necessary at all. 

The Process for Making Foaming Hand Soap

glass jar

The first step in making foam soap is to fill your container most of the way with water. 

It is important to put the water in first because you’ll end up with a foamy mess if you add the soap first!

Some people suggest using distilled water but I use regular old tap water without any issues. 

I fill my mason jar to the 1 3/4 cup mark which is essentially 85% of the way to the top. 

glass jar

Then I add about 2 ounces of liquid castile soap, which will fill it up to the bottom of the rim. Don’t fill it any higher or it will overflow when you put your top on!

If you are adding glycerin, you can put that in now as well. I add a very small amount, less than a tablespoon for this pint-sized container. 

You can mix up your concoction with a fork or whisk and it is ready to use. 

As you can see, how to make foaming hand soap is about as simple as it could be. The soap foams up nicely when it comes out, just like store-bought foam soap. 

Homemade Foaming Hand Soap Dispenser

Hand soap

As for the foaming dispensers, you can either make your own or use one that you bought at the store. 

You can simply refill a store-bought container of foaming hand soap with your homemade soap when it runs out. 

Or you can make your own DIY foaming hand soap dispenser like I describe in this post!

hand soap by the sink

What I love about making my own from a mason jar is that I can paint it to match or compliment my decor. I love how this jar looks in my otherwise black and white kitchen. 

DIY Soap Dispensers

Or you can buy some one Etsy like these French country dispensers from Farmhouse Friendly Co

I hope this post answered any questions you have about how to make foam soap. Please leave any comments below or send me a message on The Frugal South’s Facebook page

Happy hand washing!

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Wednesday 1st of February 2023

Hi .. I would like to know how long soap like castile mixed with distilled water would last in a foamer bottle. Will it grow germs in time because I do have foamer bottle downstairs that hardly get used and may sit there for a year or more. Is this still safe ? Thanks


Saturday 24th of July 2021

Thank you but I can’t seem to get the mixture right. The dispenser dispenses a nice foam for a couple of days and then it comes out really watery after that with very little foam. I use pure vegetable glycerin liquid soap. 4 parts water and 1 part soap. Any ideas how to fix this?


Thursday 5th of August 2021

I would guess it's your dispenser? Mine handle this fine and have worked for years.


Tuesday 15th of September 2020

Thank You so much for the wonderful directions and idea I love the homemade jars .. I think I’ll make mine Christmas colors and everyone is getting homemade foaming soap this year! 🎅🏼⛄️


Wednesday 16th of September 2020

Yes! I am thinking the same thing actually LOL


Tuesday 15th of September 2020

Awesome! I enjoyed this very much. I’m going to try this myself. I do have three questions, though. 1. Can you put essential oils into the soap mixture,? 2. How much does the recipe make? 3. Can you make a big supply of it to refill all year long?, or will it not suds up anymore if you do? Thank you


Wednesday 16th of September 2020

Hi Cynthia! Yes, you can put essential oils in. You can also definitely make it in bulk and use throughout the year! This is what I do and it works just fine. I estimate the percentage of soap - about 20% soap and 80% water is what I aim for.

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