Homemade Moisturizing Foaming Soap

This Moisturizing Foaming Soap is super easy to make. Stop buying expensive pumps and refills and do it yourself :)!

Why make your own homemade foaming soap?

Well, if you are:

  • tired of refilling your soap pump containers over and over again thinking of the amount of money you are literally tossing down the sink?
  • spending a lot of money purchasing foaming soap containers repeatedly?
  • frustrated with the goopy mess that standard soap pump soap leaves on your hands that sometimes isn’t gone even after washing?
  • wondering about all the extra ingredients in your hand soap that are probably not good for you (and please don’t tell me that you are using anti-bacterial soap.  Well, I take that back.  You can tell me and then I’ll recommend that you stop :-).)

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Well, I am always motivated to save money, mess and avoiding toxins as much as possible, as long as I don’t have to spend too  much time doing it.

Well now you can make your own foaming soap at home and:

  • save a lot of money by refilling and not purchasing new pumps
  • save money by making your own refill foaming soap
  • save money over regular soap pumps by using less soap
  • avoid toxic chemicals and fragrances by using only healthy ingredients in your soap

And you will be happy to know that it is EASY.

Note: Some of the following links are affiliate or referral links. If you make a purchase I may make a commission, but your price remains the same. I so appreciate your support and it helps keep this free resource up and running.

So there you have it!  Very little work for a lot of money saved and better health for your family.   You’ve now reduced toxicity in your home and you have a bit more of your financial resources available to address your family’s needs and to bless others.

Dispenser Notes:

I have had quality issues with some soap pumps.  I have tried about 4 different kinds.   One brand that kept breaking was Pampered Chef version and the other was a Cuisipro.  The Pampered Chef design appears to be unchanged, but the Cuisipro is certainly new. Those who would like a pump without external labeling may wish to try those.

The ones that we currently have are holding up great.  Some I purchased at Williams-Sonoma (yes, on clearance, but no longer available) and the others are by Deep Steep.  The Deep Steep  had organic foaming wash in them which we used up and then refilled with my homemade soap. (A bit nicer than buying a chemical-laden foaming soap and using it or dumping it :-).)

Other simple “make it yourself” project to check out:

Do you have a great “Make Your Own” tip that you would like to share?


    Speak Your Mind


  1. LOVE Dr Bronner’s! I currently use the lavender scent. Sometimes they go on sale at Target. I have two foaming pumps and also some diluted in an old shampoo bottle for use in the shower as shampoo and body wash.

    • Hi Wendy!
      I love it too! I just got the orange scent after having the unscented for awhile. And thanks for the reminder about the body wash. That’s what we do too! I actually put a soap pump in our showers! By the way, we sometimes do group orders from Herbtrader.com which may have even better prices. I get discounts off their prices. Check it out and let me know if you’d like to be on my email list for when we order again!

  2. I have been waiting for all our store bought hand soap to run out before I start making my own. It’s almost all gone so I will definitely be using your directions soon.

    I don’t have any foaming pumps though. Do they make empty ones or should I buy Deep Steep and use up the soap first?

    • I have tried two kinds of empty pumps; Pampered Chef and one by Cuisipro. Both models cost more money than the ones with soap in them and they still broke within a fairly short period of time.

      I have had no problems at all with the Williams Sonoma ones (though I don’t believe that they have them any longer) or the Deep Steep. I have friends who have purchased foaming pumps in our local Meijer store, but I care about aesthetics too and I must say that I consider the Deep Steep ones to be more visually appealing (plus the ingredients are non toxic so I can use what’s in them before putting in my own soap mixture :-))

  3. I have been doing this for years. It is wonderful. I got tired of spending money on expensive pumps that didn’t hold up, so I went to the cheap disount store picked out the bottle I like best poured the yucky soap doen the drain cleaned out the bottle and have been using it for years without trouble with my own castile soap. It cost me 1.29 for the bottle! I just took the lable off and it is a simple solif bottle. I could get creative and paint it or something, but it is a simple clean look. I like that. It takes so little soap to make the luscious form. I have been hooke don this for over 10 years. We are a family of 8, live on a farm and often have company and hand wash things in the sink…yet I can’t rmemebr the last time I replaced my gallon jug of soap that I use to fill my dispenser with! I highly recommend this method…it is so practical!

    • Great tip on the discount store! I almost never go to them since I try not to go out shopping too much and I typically have the “you get what you pay for” mentality, but you really did well! Thanks for the tip!

  4. Michelle says:

    Vitacost.com has Dr. Bronners soap for very good prices. As well as lots of other health products.
    Thanks for the soap recipe!

  5. Thank you so much for this how-to! I have wondered a million times how to do this, and your instructions are so helpful and clear! I am excited to try this project!
    I found you through Simple Lives Thursday, by the way.

  6. Sounds so easy and so very frugal. Once I make it through my stash of Bath & Body Works soaps, I may just have to give it a try!

  7. What a great, frugal idea! Totally appreciate you posting! I was just wondering how I could reuse my foaming soap dispensers! Thanks so much! Blessings, Kelly @ The Nourishing Home

  8. I just started using Dr Bronners for a foam soap, and I love it! I use it in the shower, for my dishes, and as a hand soap. I also use Dr Bronners as an awesome laundry detergent. Just combine 1 cup washing soda, 1/2 cup borax 7-10 drops o essential oil, 1/4 cup of Dr Bronners and 12 quarts of hot water into a 5 gallon bucket. I let it cool then funnel it into an old liquid laundry container. It works beautifully–and it’s very frugal.
    Just found your blog–love it!!

  9. Thank you for linking up to our Frugal Tuesday Tip! http://juliecache.com/2011/05/08/frugal-tuesday-tip-16/.html
    I agree completely with refilling hand soap. So easy, too. Hope to have you join us again.

  10. Great idea! Time to smart up and start saving $$$ and some little piece of God’s creation!

  11. what a great idea! I wanted to go today to buy a new foaming soap. Now I do not have to. Thank you for sharing.

  12. Just wanted to let you know that we tried it today and it worked very well. Thank u!

  13. Featuring you tonight over on my blog. You were one of the most viewed links at my {wow me} wednesday link party last week. Feel free to come grab a button & link up again this week. :) Have a wonderful evening.


  14. I never thought to add essential oils. 😉 Great idea!

  15. Great minds! I just figured this out this week when I tried to fill a foam dispenser with liquid soap and got a big clogged mess.
    After I emptied out the container I was left with just enough soap residue and discovered that those soap companies are basically selling us 90% water. Just a a little soap in the water makes it foam. We are brilliant! I like the tip about adding the water first the next time I refill.

  16. I make my own foaming soap and mix lavender and frankincense for healthy skin. I also use it instead of shaving cream – SO much more cost effective and SO much better for my skin!

    • Thanks for the tip! My husband’s beard is quite tough, however. Do you think it would work for him? I already use the foaming soap for shaving my legs, but they’re nothing like his face :-).

      • Katrina Sweet says:

        Try conditioner. My shave cream says it can be used as conditioner why not the other way around. A little goes a long way.

        • You mean for shaving cream – nice idea. I just use a little foaming soap since the hair on my legs isn’t that thick anymore and it works just fine :-).

  17. What a great idea!!!

    Thanks for sharing!!

    Would love it if you could share this post at Serenity Saturday over at serenityyou.blogspot.com


  18. My family is loving Dr. Bronner’s in a foamer! We recently got a handsome, durable foamer as a gift, but we’ve been successful for about 6 months with one that originally contained Method brand soap from Target–it’s supposed to be natural, but I didn’t like the fragrance (called something like Clear Water but didn’t smell anything like it!) so I was glad when we used it up.

    Another option is to dilute soap in a trigger spray bottle. The downside is that guests may not recognize it as hand soap unless you label it.

  19. I teach and I use Dr. Bronner’s diluted. I have a few bath and body works foam hand soap dispensers that have been given to me over the years. They have held up extremely well. They even the the lock when you turn the head of the pump.

  20. Ohhh this is great – thank you for sharing!!

  21. I’m visiting from the barn hop. What a great idea. I’m going to try it next shopping day when I can look for the dispenser. Thanks for posting.

  22. Hooray! Just what I needed. I found an empty foaming soap container in the kids’ bathroom this morning and I was thinking about making my own. So timely.
    Visiting from the Barn Hop!

  23. We’ve been doing this for years, and I’m a bit embarrassed to tell you that we’ve always put the soap first in and very very slowly trickled the water into the bottle to fill it up and avoid the bubbles. We’ve never even thought of putting the water in first! Ha. I actually have some glycerin sitting around, so thanks for that tip. Our soap is super dry, so I’ll add a touch and see what happens. Stopping by from Tip Junkie’s linky party. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Lauren,
      No need to be embarrassed. This momma did the same thing for awhile before it dawned on me what the simple solution was. Sometimes it’s just ridiculous the things we don’t think of :-)!

  24. I just started doing this recently and love the glycerin tip with winter coming and dry hands along with it. Thank you! We use Dr. Bronner’s in a foamer bottle for hands, body wash, I shave with it, and now I’m going to try it on dishes – never thought about that!

    If you are looking for empty foamer bottles, you can get a set of 3 for $7.99 from Bubble & Bee online. I use their shampoo and saw that they sell the foamer bottles so bought those as well and love them. I also put the shampoo in the foamer bottle. I’ve used maybe 2 oz shampoo in a month’s time and I wash daily. Awesome savings!

  25. You have some SERIOUSLY GOOD STUFF!!! I would love for you to link up here http://shoprubyjean.com/2011/12/sew-crafty-tuesday-linky-2-and-highlights/

  26. Does anybody know of a company that sells a good but affordable empty foaming soap bottle?

    • I did not have success with this. As I mentioned in the post, Pampered Chef ones broke regularly for me and an expensive one that I bought broke as well. I would maybe wait until you see a really good sale on a full bottle and use that – or go to the Dollar Store and see if they have them there. Maybe someone else has some ideas – you could post the question on my Facebook page or I could if you’d like :-).

    • I found this particular foaming soap dispenser at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and we loved using it when we were diluting Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile soap. I don’t know if the link will show up or if this comment will be flagged as spam: http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/Foaming-Soap-Dispenser-in-Frost-Glass/1017982826?_requestid=628174

      It is heavy duty, made of frosted glass and an all metal pumper. Unfortunately, Dr. Bronner’s liquid hand soap got too expensive for us, so we began making our own liquid castile hand soap by grating homemade bar soap we made with goat milk, olive oil, palm oil, and coconut oil (directions are on my website). We are doing great with the homemade liquid hand soap, but it doesn’t do well at all in the foaming soap dispensers, so they are sitting below the sink, unused. Maybe when the children are grown and out of the house, I’ll start using Dr. Bronner’s again and diluting that brand of liquid soap…when we’re not going through it so quickly!

  27. I do NOT make bar soap, but am adding a few fun items to our organic skin food line to sell alongside our organic veggies. It’s great to stumble upon your website with this recipe just when Elements Bath and Body has soap foamers half-price this week! While I cannot give a product review, the price is right and the company has been a good resource, quick to ship too. Of course, we have plenty of time for these to arrive – our Farmers’ Market season is a few months of snow away, but the kale, spinach and lettuce peeking out from under their ground covers act as if it can’t be so!

    These are described as 6 oz Pearl Green Foaming Bottles (at 49 cents each when you buy 100 or maybe a buck when you buy just one). When I called to ask for more info, i was told they are made of sturdy HDPE Recyclable #4 plastic & the pump is PP. Here is the website:
    Enjoy! Happy New You meantime…

    • Thanks Maryanne! Wow – 100 is a lot! Guess if someone likes them a lot they can go into business! :-) What else have you bought from them?

      • Oh, lots of treasures! Recently, boxes for lotion bars, lip balm tubes, body balm pushups and tiny 1/3 oz balm jars. They have a variety of materials for soap and lotion… and potion! – makers.

  28. In case no one mentioned it, http://www.bubbleandbee.com have a wonderful foaming pump bottle, you get a 6oz 3 pack for $7.99

  29. Hi I thought you might want to know that it is really easy and so much more cost effective to make your own liquid Castile soap from kirk’s Castile soap bars. Let me know if you want the recipe I use.

  30. I love using Dr. Bronner’s peppermint castile soap for my handmade soap. Sometimes I break open a capsule or two of vitamin e and add that to my soap instead of glycerin. It works just as well.

  31. Brianne says:

    I’ve been doing this for years with a bit of dish soap in a spray bottle. I don’t know what prompted me to try that in the first place, but it’s worked so well that I’ve just continued and rarely purchase other products. It makes a gentle but effective general purpose cleaner for around the house. It’s been my “go to” cleaner for most of the kid & pet clean up jobs, cleans well without alot of foaming. It also is “the best” cleaner for greasy messes in the kitchen and works incredibly well on my cook top….removes grease but leaves no residue so my cook top always looks spotless. No need to buy those expensive specialty cleaners!

    I just finished off two foam pump dispensers that I’d gotten from Whole Foods and Target. Since my diluted spray mixture worked so well I’m looking forward to refilling the foam pumps with a homemade dilution. Lots less waste but the job gets done. Even my young teens have commented about how light yet how effective the foam pumps are. Now I’m ready to show them how to mix it themselves and be thrifty home managers!!

  32. Sorry, but I did not have the time to read ALL of the replies… did read a bunch though. I wanted to share what foaming bottles we use for “free”. Instead of recycling the hair mouse bottles, we started reusing them for hand soap in the bathrooms and kitchen. I usually purchase Giovanni hair mouse from a co-op a friend operates, saves money for sure, then share the extra empty mouse bottles for hand soap with other friends!!! Hope someone can benefit from this, or maybe think of some other foaming bottle you could reuse over and over again… Oh, one more thing, one of the recipients of the Giovanni mouse bottle said she was going to cover her’s some pretty contact paper or make a cover out of fabric… Blessings and keep on saving:-D

  33. I do this all the time too…although it took some trial and error to get to the right ratio…what a rip to buy refills…so much more cost effective this way!

  34. I use half peppermint Dr. Bronner’s castile soap and half water. I put it in a Bath and Body Works foaming soap dispenser with 1 of those pretty metal covers they have over it. It works perfectly, and it looks very pretty too!

  35. Daniel F. McCarthy says:

    I’ve loved and used foaming soap dispensers since I first came across fill yourself stainless steel ones at Bed Bath & Beyond many years ago. But I eventually ran into problems with them beginning to clog rather than foam. The problem in hindsight was accelerated by my premixing two liter batches of the soap/water mixture to refill the dispensers from as needed. I noticed fine white threads floating in the bottle of premix. I eventually removed clumps of these from the fine mesh plastic screens that are in all foaming soap dispensers. These when examined under a microscope were hollow tube structures, obviously bacteria. The answer is to get an old dime that’s real silver (e.g., a Mercury dime) that’s too worn to have any value other than its weight in silver and drop one in each dispenser. Then I only mix enough premix to keep the dispensers topped up. I have a 500ml soda bottle that I’ve marked on the side for a 3 parts to 1 part ratio.

  36. Daniel F. McCarthy says:

    I’m sorry my comment got cut off for some reason. To finish… Once I put the dimes in every dispenser they have worked great with no need for for the regular cleaning I had been doing to try to stop clogging. If you’ve used your dispensers for years with no problem, great. But if you’ve had to fight clogging try the silver solution. (Check with a local coin collector for junk Mercury dimes. I was lucky and inherited mine.) [I’m very ill and not up to editing for brevity. Please feel free to edit my two posts for brevity and combine into one. But _please_ pass on the word that clogging in foaming soap dispensers is caused by some kind of bacteria being able to grow in some diluted soap solutions. And the fix is as simple as dropping any little piece of silver in the dispensers. I’d like for this fix to be passed on to everyone who likes foaming soap dispensers. Please have the moderator remove this when editing. Thank you, and thanks for the site.]

    • Again, blech. I do have a clogged one. But maybe something else is wrong with it. Thanks!!! I’m the writer and the moderator, by the way :). I am sorry you aren’t well. Have you read my post on heavy metal toxicity? I was really sick until I started working with Ms. Vernon.

      • Maybe putting a few drops of colloidal silver into each bottle will prevent bacteria: I have used my own homemade dispenser soap for some time, and have never had issues with bacterial growing in it, though…
        Colloidal Silver, a great medical help! (probably where the true silver from the ‘mercury’ dime comes from, I don’t think it has actual mercury in it: didn’t the really older dimes have mercury’s wings on it or something? That is probably where the name came from)
        Read up on it.

  37. Jennifer says:

    Please tell me why you are against antibacterial soaps? Just curious. My family suffers from an IGG deficiency so that’s one area where I do use antibacterial (soap).

    BTW- thanks for the info on NAN. Just received my 2nd order but wasn’t able to beat this latest infection!

    • I’m not sure what you mean by IGG deficiency. You mean you have low levels of IgG and so you use antibacterial soaps to prevent infections? Hope you like the oils!

      • Jennifer says:

        That’s correct. My children and I have the deficiency. Like really deficient..as in seeing specialists…possible medical treatment (although I am holding off as long as possible). One child just finished his 32nd (at least) antibiotic. Our bodies cannot fight bacteria and viruses (colds, flu, pneumonia, etc) like regular folk. So, I was interested why you mentioned not using anti-bacterial soap at the top of this post.

        Yes, we are a special situation so we may continue but I like your research and thought process so I am saving mysefl some time and asking an expert!

        • I am not an expert for sure. But here is what I do know about this topic. There are TONS of studies that soap and water do a better job than antibacterial soaps, plus the antibacterial stuff in these soaps is not good for you. I’ve seen studies linking triclosan to cancer–plus from what I have read they make you resistant to antibiotics (in case you really need them). That being said, I do recall reading that folks w/ certain health situations should use them so I am not sure what to think in your case. In a sense, that doesn’t make sense to me b/c if the soap and water do a better job, then that would be my personal preference. Here is a post that talks about antibacterial soaps vs soap and water.

          I wonder if probiotics could help your situation. Has any practitioner talked w/ you about that? This post talks about it and other ways to boost your immune system. If I had this issue I would be doing everything I could naturally to boost my immune system. I have a post that talks about probiotics and I am going to start talking about them more in the near future so subscribe to my blog if you haven’t and stay tuned. It should all happen this coming month :).

  38. Thanks for the recipe! I tried it this morning using up the last bit of liquid soap I had. It works great and will be a big money saver as we go through a lot of hand soap.

  39. I make mine similarly with Dr. Bronners and water. But I add a few drops of Thieves into it.

  40. Sherry England says:

    could you use coconut oil instead of the vegetable glycerin?

  41. I bought Method foaming hand soaps and have reused the containers in both bathrooms and the kitchen. They have lasted me for at least 5 years! The other one I bought from Papmered Chef years ago clogged and stopped working.

  42. More time and money savings for DIY Foaming Soap: Been doing this concept for 20+ years. A few years ago, I figured mixing foaming soap in a ONE GALLON water jug would save time vs mixing each bottle. I usually use Dr Woods Lavender Castile or the Shea Vision ($8ish/32 oz bottle @ vitacost): Mix 12 cups distilled water with 2 1/2 cups soap. Putting water in bottle first, or some of it, then the soap … if you alternate, then measuring cup gets rinsed clean. Using these measurements allow for swishing/mixing contents, as you do NOT want to fill gallon jug completely full. Also, have used other soaps that come in 12oz bottles, mixing with 7cups distilled water. As for choosing my liquid soaps, I make sure there are no SLS (lauryl/laureth sulfates)! Another tidbit re SLS’s, if you rid use of SLS chemicals in soap, you’ll notice less scum/skuz in tubs and sinks! NOW, FOR THE BEST FOAMING DISPENSERS … My foam bottles hold 18.5 oz and cost from $2ish-$2.50 each at http://www.bottlesandfoamers.com/cart/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=16&zenid=8d4c22f52a34af4d0915dbead4154e50. You can also buy just the pumps. Some of my pumps last 5+ years, while others last a year. I sometimes find same dispenser filled icky soap at box stores for less than $3 – then just dump the icky soap. I was compelled to post this, as I get so many tidbits and WONDERFUL suggestions on wholenewmom.com – THANK YOU,

    • I would like to use my Dr Bronners soap for foaming hand soap…. but I was wondering what a good, exact ratio of water vs soap for just filling individual soap containers would be? I don’t want to over dilute the soap so it isn’t as effective (I’m not good at eyeballing), and I don’t want to make large batches at this point as I am still new and learning dos and don’ts and what I like and don’t like. And then I started reading about mold and was wondering if the addition of the fractionated coconut oil would help? I really love this blog and am learning so much! Thank you!

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