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Making your own foaming hand soap could not be an easier DIY recipe. It also is an incredibly effective way to save money! No longer do you need to buy expensive, fragrance filled liquid hand soap that is full of questionable ingredients. With this easy natural foaming hand soap recipe, you can whip up several hand soaps in a foaming dispenser in minutes with 3 simple ingredients-liquid castile soap, water and a few drops of essential oils!

DIY Foaming Hand Soap

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If you’re nervous about making your own skin care or cleaning products then this is the place to start. Making your own homemade foaming hand soap could not be easier! It takes less than 5 minutes! Foaming hand soap was one of the first DIYs I ever tried. I will say, I’ve been making this exact recipe for a very long time! The hardest part about this recipe is finding a foaming soap dispenser and now Amazon has made that easy!

This recipe contains all natural ingredients that are affordable and easy to find. Once you purchase castile soap, you’ll be able to make bottle after bottle of soap before needing more castile soap. Once you make this natural soap, you’ll never go back to buying conventional hand soap again!

So, before we get started I should talk a bit about why you should make your own hand soap. As usual, here is another product that is not good for you. Antibacterial soap is full of chemicals. Namely, triclosan…

The Dangers of Triclosan:

After constant use, our skin can become immune to the germ killing effects of triclosan. Plus, triclosan’s list of side effects are a mile long. Several that stand out are that it is a hormone disruptor and causes damage to liver function. It is also linked to allergies, eczema and asthma. 

In a review article published in 2017 it was reported that triclosan has been associated with cancer development and decreased cardiovascular function in mice.

Studies have shown that antibacterial hand soaps are ineffective to viruses like the flu and colds

Also, it’s been proven that antibacterial hand soaps leave behind strong bacterias such as MRSA. 

There is also a theory that we are setting ourselves up for a mega virus that is evolving and becoming immune to antibacterial hand soap.

I say, ditch the chemicals and make your own hand soap! Wash thoroughly and often and practice smart methods of avoiding contact with germs

You might be interested in my DIY Hand Sanitizer recipe! And if you’re feeling like a more in-depth hand soap, check out my DIY Liquid Hand Soap Recipe.

Make Your Own Foaming Hand Soap and Save $$$!

First, you should know that all hand soaps, face washes, body washes, shampoos etc. are filled with water. Water typically makes up over 50% of these cleansing products! If the information on triclosan doesn’t have you scratching your head, the water content of the expensive soaps you’ve bought surely will.

The thing is, we would never want to use a 100% soap ingredient because it would burn our skin. Soap must be diluted to be safe. So it seems logical to me that cleansers of any kind should be pretty cheap, right? Unfortunately that is not the case. Especially in the skin care world as well as in the fancy hand soap world!

And speaking of face cleansers, I love to the oil cleansing method and always recommend making DIY oil cleansers. They are fantastic for anti aging concerns to acne. If you’re still wanting to use soap, I have a Foaming Face Wash with Juniper Berry recipe that is super easy!

What’s the Difference Between a Gel Hand Soap and a Foaming Hand Soap?

The difference between a gel hand soap and a foaming hand soap is that they both contain around the same amount of soap but the gel soap must contain loads of unnatural ingredients in order to get the gel consistency. A foaming soap does not require extra ingredients to get a fluffy foam, you just need a certain soap dispenser. Foaming washes are not only just as effective as a gel hand soap, they are easier and cheaper for large companies to make and earn a larger profit.

That being said, buying foaming soap refills is a total rip off. Making your own could not be more easy or affordable and once you do it, you’ll kick yourself for not doing it sooner!

What Kind of Soap is Used in Foaming Hand Soap?

Natural Castile Soap is the best option for making foaming hand soap.

Castile soap is made from plant oils rather than animal fats. It was originally made from olive oil but can also be made from hemp oil, almond oil, avocado oil, coconut oil etc.

Castile soap’s name comes from the region it originated in, Castile, Spain.

Castile soap is biodegradable, highly concentrated and a thorough cleanser. It must be diluted quite a bit before use which makes the $15 32 ounce bottle of Dr. Bronner’s extremely affordable.

Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap is my favorite to use due to it’s many different scents it comes in. They make lavender, peppermint, citrus, rose, eucalyptus, tea tree and almond. It also come in unscented and they offer a gentler version for babies and people that have sensitive skin. Dr. Bronners castile soap scores an A on EWG’s Guide to Healthy Living.

You can find Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap literally everywhere. Target, Walmart, Walgreens etc. all carry it. It has become very easy to find. 

Technically you don’t have to use castile soap-you can use any soap you have. Body wash, dish soap, regular hand soap all work. However, I don’t recommend this and prefer castile soap but I wanted you to know it does work if you’re out of castile soap and in a pinch. 

DIY Foaming Hand Soap


What You’ll Need to Make DIY Foaming Hand Soap:

Foaming hand soap bottle with rosemary sprig on a blue towel.

DIY Foaming Hand Soap

Yield: 10 ounces
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Learn how to make this simple, foaming hand soap for every sink in your house. Not only will you save on money, you will save your skin absorbing toxic ingredients as well! This soap makes seconds to make and you can customize the scent easily!


  • 2 TBSP. Castile Soap
  • 20 drops of Essential Oils *optional
  • Top off with distilled water
  • 1 tsp. carrier oil like olive oil *optional


  • Foaming Hand Soap Dispenser
  • Funnel


    1. First, add castile soap to your foaming hand soap dispenser.
    2. Next add a carrier oil if needed and essential oils.
    3. Top off with distilled water.
    4. Replace lid and shake ingredients.

    DIY Foaming Hand Soap proportions


  • This recipe is based on a 10 ounce foaming bottle. Clearly the amount of soap does not have to be exact. This is a very forgiving DIY which is nice because it's very likely a DIY you'll keep in your back pocket thanks to it being so easy and saving so much money!
  • You may need to add a carrier oil such as olive oil, fractionated coconut oil, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil etc. to your soap dispenser if you are having trouble with the mobility of the pump. Vegetable glycerin is also an option.

Did you make this product?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Facebook

Essential Oil Options: 

Essential oils are a great addition to your diy foaming hand soap recipe. Because of their powerful antibacterial properties, they act as a natural preservative in this recipe.

I love to add Bergamot and Lemon to my foaming hand wash. Bergamot is the smell of Earl Grey Tea. Lemon compliments the smell so well. During cold and flu season, I typically add Germ FighterShield Blend or my own DIY Thieves Blend recipe. Tea tree is probably the most potent anti bacterial, antiviral, antimicrobial and anti fungal essential oil which makes it a great choice for your homemade hand soap. It pairs really well with lavender and/or lemon.

Experiment with different essential oil blends to find your favorite scent!

You could also just get Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap in any smell you like and leave out the essential oils! 

I just bought the Almond scented Dr. Bronner’s castile soap for my foaming hand soap and it smells amazing with lemon essential oil

Up your hand washing game with this simple recipe for making your own foaming soap! And please share your scent combos in the comments below! I’ve also used Dr. Bronner’s Rose scented Castile soap and add lavender essential oil!

xx, Jenni

P.S. I found fun mason jar foaming dispensers that are so cute and would make a great gift for friends and family!


DIY Foaming Hand Soap

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Jennifer Phillips

Jennifer Phillips

Jennifer Phillips worked as a licensed aesthetician for over 8 years before creating the green beauty blog, Jenni Raincloud and her natural skin care line, J. Raincloud Organics. Jennifer has been blogging full time for 9 years and loves to gain and share knowledge on how to achieve beautiful skin the natural way.

46 thoughts on “DIY Foaming Hand Soap”

  1. The oil is mainly to keep the pump working smoothly but I would think if you shake before use it will moisturize your hands a bit! I used Dr. Bronner’s Almond Castile soap and didn’t add essential oils this time. It turned out to have the perfect amount of smell! Thanks for visiting Lea!

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  3. Just found you yesterday. Love everything I am seeing! How long will this foaming soap keep? Would it need a preservative for long term keeping?

    1. Arlene-I’m not too sure how long it will keep-I’ve used mine for 3 mos. at a time with no signs of it going bad. That being said, water is always a great place for bacteria to form. The essential oils added can help keep the bacteria at bay though. I personally hate using preservatives but one would for sure keep your soap fresh for long periods of time. This is just so easy to make, if I were you, I would make a new batch each time you go through a 4-6 ounce pumper.

  4. I love your site. I’m really in to making natural products whenever I can but I am new to it and not all that familiar with some of the ingredients. I just made one of your body soaps and it turned out quite liquidy. I put in 1/4 tsp quar gum as the recipe called for. I prefer a thicker liquid soap. How much quar gum can I add? The recipe has almost 5 cups of liquid in it. Thank you.

    1. Diane-Unfortunately without chemicals, most diy soaps are pretty watery. Guar gum is very helpful though and I have found that by blending for a longer time seems to help thicken up a mixture. I add my castile soap after I’ve blended btw. I would add about 1 tsp. of guar gum per 2 cups of liquid to get it thicker. I would blend for 40 seconds to 1 minute then add your castile in once it’s thickened. Hope this helps!

  5. Hi! I recently made my own foaming hand soap but the ratios were much different than yours…the recipes I found said to fill your dispenser up with water to about an inch from the top, 2 tbsp Castile soap, 1/2-1 tsp liquid coconut oil then essential oils. I’m a little confused as why there may be such a big difference and curious to hear your thoughts! Thank you!

  6. I love making my own foaming soap with Dr. Bronners. The Bronners I bought was a big one from Costco for $10 it’s lasted me a really long time but it’s the peppermint one so making a different scent is difficult. I do the lazy method, squeeze a few squirts of the soap and fill with water, then call it good. If I’m really feeling ambitious I’ll add some glycerin to it. I like the idea of adding the oil though, our pump is always sticking. Also a cheap way to get a foaming bottle would be to go to the dollar store and pick one up from there, dump the contents and clean the bottle. 😊

  7. I made this the other day- fist time natural soap making for me! Mine sits, and the olive oil goes to the top and doesn’t look very appealing. Did I do something wrong? Or will it just not mix? When I shake it, it’s more cloudy than your picture. Any advice? Thanks!

    1. Jackie-It’s probably just the difference in castile soap. Some are clear and some are more cloudy. The oil is going to sit on the top since it won’t mix with water. Occasionally I would shake it because the oil is only there for keeping the pump lubricated.

  8. Has anyone had this soap leave large water spots on the sink? Like from the water beading up instead of running toward the drain. Maybe the olive oil?

  9. Are there any recipes with honey as an ingredient? I thought I had, but can’t find it. Love your ideas, and recipes. Going to make more with Bergamot and lemon, mmmmmm.

    1. Kathy-I don’t typically add honey to any of my recipes because when honey is added, you need to preserve the product. Bergamot and Lemon is so good! Bergamot and Lavender is my go-to fore everything.

      1. Hi! I thought honey was a preservative? It never goes bad and has all kinds of yummy good properties. Is there something about this recipe that makes it go bad?

        1. Shannon-I’ve never heard of honey being a preservative-It is amazing in DIY skincare but I don’t believe it will preserve a recipe. I know also it never goes bad on it’s own. I’m not sure what it has to do with this particular recipe? I update recipes from time to time so I’m wondering if honey might have been mentioned in a previous Pin or edit of this post. I had heard at one point that it will cause a recipe to go bad more quickly but I’m not convinced that’s true.



    1. Cheryl-The olive oil is for the pump mechanism. If you don’t have issues with your pump, you can leave it out. However, I don’t feel that it leaves my hands greasy because the soap cuts it.

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  14. Hello Jenni!
    I want to make this recipe but I’m confused. The comments talk about oil in the recipe to keep the pump lubricated, but there isn’t any oil in the ingredients list?
    Thank you,

    1. Sandi-I originally used oil in my recipes but it’s been years and I make this recipe every few months for every bathroom in my house. I don’t have issues with the pump sticking. If you do end up having some pump issues, you can always add a teaspoon of olive oil. Hope this clears up the confusion!

  15. I’ve been making my own foaming soap for a few years using Dr. Bronners Castile soap. Their site suggests adding the soap last so you don’t get a whole bunch of foam. Vegetable glycerin doesn’t seem to separate like oil does….I use about a tsp.

  16. Making your own soap also allows you to control the ingredients and avoid the harsh chemicals found in some commercial products. However, it’s important to note that not all liquid soaps are suitable for making foaming hand soap, so it’s best to use a liquid soap that is specifically labeled as “foaming.” Overall, DIY foaming hand soap is a practical and sustainable option for those looking to reduce their environmental impact and save money.

  17. Hi Jennie
    Thanks for your wonderful recipes. Your site never dissapoints!
    Just a question about distilled water. Is that essential or will tap water do.

  18. I recently bought some hand lotion with Lavender/Lemongrass essential oils. I have come to REALLY like the scent!!!

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