Homemade Foaming Hand Soap

Is there a way to make a homemade version of foaming hand soap as sold in the stores?

Linda L from Vista CA


Big Batches

Find a smell you like in any kind of soap (dish soap, liquid bath gel, hand soap, baby soap, shampoo, etc.). I make mine in big batches so I don't have to keep making it when it runs out (the kids actually wash their hands now!). I get an old gallon water container add 1/10 soap, 1 bottle of alcohol (if you want anti bacterial), and fill the rest with water. (give it a couple of inches with just air in the bottle so you can shake it) Shake it. Refill your "foaming container" and store the rest for later use!-Misty (04/26/2006)


By marstonmd

Buy a Dispenser

I like the foaming hand soap as well and I make it on a regular basis. In order to get the soap to foam you need to purchase the dispenser (Wal-mart $1.99). Once you have used all the soap in it all you need to do is pour some of whatever soap you like and add water. I don't know the exact measurements but for the dispenser that I had 7.5 fl oz. it was about one part soap five parts water. I hope this helps. I also buy the refill jugs of soap. The kids love it. (04/26/2006)

By mcb5

My Method

When the gallon liquid hand-soap refill bottle is empty, keep it. Buy a full gallon liquid soap refill. Pour the amount you want into the empty gallon jug, add water, turn over until mixed. Use this dilution to fill the foaming soap pump. So much easier to have a gallon of ready made "foaming soap" on hand to just pour into the dispensers than having to mix it each time. (04/27/2006)


By kidsNclutter


The foaming action comes from the dispenser, not the soap itself. I purchased a commercial foaming bottle in the liquid hand soap pump dispenser section (I forget which brand, but there are several), and then for refills I use a mixture of 1/4 liquid soap (any kind will do) and 3/4 water. Don't use straight undiluted liquid soap because it will clog the foaming dispenser. (04/27/2006)

By sunhat

My Recipes

A combo bottle of shampoo/conditioner makes a wonderful hand soap! My favorite is Suave's 2 in 1 in the opaque green bottle but all those tried have been good; this one rinses off quicker so you save water.

Dilute by guesstament... about 1 part shampoo+conditioner to 4-5 parts of water. It mixes better if the water is warm but that's not necessary; few bubbles form if you add the shampoo after the water. For the foaming soap dispenser, the mix has to be 'thinner', like 1 part shampoo to 6+ parts water.


Marbles kept in each dispenser make mixing easier... the clear ones here were found in the crafts section of WalMart.

Ordinary dish detergent concentrate also works well; just dilute it more. In the kitchen, just for dishes, one dispenser has a lower ratio of water to detergent or shampoo, like 1:3-4.

The 'thinner' the mix of detergent or shampoo will be the easiest and fastest to rinse off. (05/07/2006)

By gator10tx


To those who are put off by the 'germ' post. I work in health care and have to say... ALL soap kills germs. You don't promote growth of e.coli or salmonella by cutting your soap with water. Unless you've put salmonella or e.coli carrying objects INTO the bottle/water, you are fine. Major water supplies have CHLORINE in them to prevent that kind of growth.

If you are very worried, just add 1 or 2 DROPS of chlorine bleach to your mixture. It WILL keep any germs from populating your soap, IF and only IF you are worried.

Scare tactics to keep people from saving their hard earned cash...how quaint. (06/28/2006)

By Julie-Health Care Professional

About Soap

Yes, SOAP is naturally antibacterial. I.E., real soap that is made from water, fat and lye (sodium hydroxide, NaOH). However, correct me if I'm wrong, but liquid "hand soap" is not soap, but a detergent. And detergents are not naturally antibacterial and require an additional agent (like alcohol or bleach or Triclosan or Chloroxylenol, etc.) to be so.

And regarding that post about E coli and salmonella in the water... If you're on a municipal water source in developed nation like the United States, you DON'T have to boil your water. Please don't spread bad information and fear about our water for those of us fortunate enough to have it? You have the absolute BEST in the world! (08/10/2006)

By Heather, one-time home soap maker and non health professional

My Recipe

I also make my own foam soap refill: 1 part liquid soap, 2 parts HOT boiling water. Make sure you cool BEFORE you put it in your dispenser! I use CLEAR liquid hand soap as the creamy ones clog the dispenser. I haven't tried baby shampoo yet, but I am sure that will work great too! (12/04/2006)

By momofthree

Liquid Soap

Liquid soap can be real soap; it is made with potassium hydroxide rather than sodium hydroxide (lye). Potassium hydroxide has bigger molecules and thus, the soap remains in liquid form; paste usually I think, which is "thinned" with distilled water. Just began studying making liquid soap; been making cold-process lye soap for 3.5 years now. (12/30/2006)

By Cheryl


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