Homemade Moisturizing Foaming Hand Soap

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This Homemade Foaming Hand Soap is one of the easiest ways to create a greener and healthier you. It’s simple to make, inexpensive, and it works really well–and is, of course, fun for kids (of all ages) to use!

homemade foaming hand soap

Why make your own homemade foaming hand 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 over and over again?
  • 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 :-).)

Then I highly recommend that you consider making this soap now.

ingredients for homemade foaming hand soap

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

This motivation has led me to make my own Homemade Shower Cleaner, DIY Lip Scrub, Homemade Hairspray, DIY Chest Rub, and more.

Now, in addition to those things, you can even 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.


making homemade foaming hand soap
First, add water to the foaming pump container.
making homemade foaming hand soap
Add castile soap to the water–not the other way around!

Why Is Glycerin in this Soap?

Glycerine adds a number of benefits to this homemade foaming soap.


First of all, glycerin is a humectant. As such, it moisturizes the skin by bringing moisture from the air into the skin’s outer layer and also forms a protective layer to prevent moisture loss. Adding glycerin to your soap can help to lock in this moisture, leaving your hands (or other parts of your body, for that matter) more soft. (source)

Glycerin mimics skin’s natural moisturizing factor (NMF), so it’s great for all skin types. It’s important to do this since your NMF is depleted as you age and that is accelerated if you use irritating substances on your skin. (source)

Better Texture

The glycerin makes for a smoother, thicker soap which is much nicer to pump and use than thin, runny foaming soaps.


Actually you would need 50% glycerine for this soap to truly be preserved, but it’s good to know that glycerine does add some preservative properties to this homemade foaming hand soap.

Don’t Eat the Soap, but…..

One thing you might not know, is that vegetable glycerine is not only great for adding moisturizing qualities to this homemade foaming soap, but it’s also a great sweetener alternative for those trying to consume fewer carbs. In most cases, you can use whatever glycerine you like for sweetening as well as for use in personal care products, but you might want to ask the manufacturer.

Actually, the ingredients in this foaming soap are so non toxic, you really don’t have to worry if some gets in your mouth, but still I wouldn’t go around making it a habit of eating it.

Where to Buy Vegetable Glycerine

There are many places that you can buy vegetable glycerine. You should be able to find it in a drugstore or nutrition store, but almost definitely in a health food store.

If you’d prefer to buy it online, you can find it on Amazon and also at Starwest Botanicals.

bottle of homemade foaming hand soap

What Foaming Soap Container Is Best?

I have had multiple quality issues with some soap pumps and tried about 4 different kinds.   One brand that kept breaking was the 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 a label on your soap dispenser may wish to try those.

The ones that we currently have are holding up great.  Some I purchased at Williams-Sonoma (on clearance, but no longer available) and the others are by Deep Steep.  The Deep Steep Dispensers originally had organic foaming wash in them, so we used up and then cleaned well and refilled with my homemade soap. In my opinion, this is a much better option than buying a chemical-laden foaming soap and either using it or dumping it :-).)

A reader commented that she loves the dispenser from this product and she simply removes the label off of the bottle after emptying it out. I would think that one would have to clean the bottle and pump out really well to get the residual scent out of it but otherwise it looks like a great option!

homemade foaming hand soap squirting into a hand

This dispenser is a great option if you would prefer to avoid plastic and use a glass bottle.

Another idea is using a mason jar with a foaming pump that fits on a mason jar. Yes, there’s such a thing and here it is.

What Preservative Should You Use?

In the recipe card, you can see Optiphen Preservative as a recommendation for this soap.

Preserving anything with a water base is crucial due to the potential for bacterial growth.

The essential oils in the recipe, if being used, should help some, but you would for sure need more than that for adequate preservation.

Optiphen is great since it has no formaldehyde, no phthalates, and no formaldehyde releasers as well.

homemade foaming hand soap

Homemade Moisturizing Foaming Hand Soap

This moisturizing homemade foaming soap is a great easy way to save lots of money on a household staple while preventing landfill waste too!
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  • Fill empty foaming soap dispenser with water, approximately 4/5 full.
  • Fill remaining space with a liquid soap of your choice (and glycerine and essential oils, if using) being careful not to get too close to the top.
  • Shake gently to mix and use. Note: you definitely do not want to add the soap first. If you do, the soap will foam up as you are adding the water to fill the container and you will end up with a foaming, half-filled container.


Citrus oils like lemon or orange are wonderful for this soap, but of course use whatever you like.
Tried this recipe?Mention @wholenewmom or tag #wholenewmom!

So there you have it–simple, isn’t it?

Very little work for a lot of money saved and better health for your family.   You can easily reduce the toxic exposure in your home and you have a bit more of your financial resources available to address your family’s needs and to bless others.

Have you made your own foaming soap before?
If not, will you try it?

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  1. Does this have to be shaken up before use? Many recipes I have seen need to be but did not see a reference for your recipe. Thank you.

    1. I have never felt the need to do that – the glycerine is sort of a natural emulsifier which helps. The pump also helps mix things but if you see it separating and feel that you need to, by all means do it or you could try every few days.

    1. Yes – mostly depends on the soap you use. You might wish to add a soap that cuts grease better. I would vote for a natural one but some work better than others and if you really really need heavy grease cutting you might need to use something with more power in that end.

      1. No, not a particular concern.
        My reasoning is other oils are being used… and I have a pint bottle of peppermint oil doing nothing.
        (Keeps mice and bugs out nicely)

          1. I put it into cotton balls, and place them wherever I see evidence.
            It’s not food grade peppermint. I got it on Amazon.
            Amusing bit here: The first package arrived with the glass bottle crushed. It wasn’t leaking any liquid.
            The Post Office enjoyed the aroma.

              1. The soft mailing envelope was not leaking liquid, but the peppermint smell was everywhere. If I squeezed the package, I could hear the broken glass crunching around inside.

                  1. Some Amazon packages are plastic sealed bubble envelopes.
                    Not everything comes in boxes.
                    Lots of my family purchases come from Amazon.
                    Returning items is really easy: our local Kohl’s store has a walk-in return counter. On some items, Kohl’s packs and labels items with only QR/barcode on your phone screen. Some small items can be kept and a refund issued.
                    I got a quart of rubber cement free because the can was mangled but not leaking.
                    Hey, it’s been nice chatting!