Homemade Moisturizing Foaming Soap

The information provided in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice.
It is not a substitute for your doctor's care plan or advice.

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 :-).)

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:

Wondering where to buy Vegetable Glycerine?  Try Amazon and you can also try Bulk Herb Store and Starwest Botanicals.

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

These comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Whole New Mom, LLC.


    Speak Your Mind


  1. Yea! I’m glad to find you! I’m starting to make mine by the gallon now that I know how!! I’m going to first try Meyers

  2. I used to buy Method foaming soap. I liked the soap well enough but their pump bottles, not so much. After a while, the pump mechanism would stick and I’d have to pull it up before pumping again.

    Then I tried Whole Foods 365 Foaming Soap and really liked it, but didn’t want to pay the price for their refill bottles. The Whole Foods pump bottle worked really well though. Someone recommended Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap (not a foaming soap), the lemon Verbena variety, and I liked it a lot and so I started making foaming soap using the Whole Foods bottle and Mrs. Meyer’s soap. I use 2 cups water (filtered) and 1/2 cup soap (in line with the author’s recommended proportions) and it works great. By the way, the Whole Foods pump bottles are going on 2 years old now and haven’t failed yet.

  3. I used the Method 10 oz. bottle as a refill and it isn’t foaming. I used a little over 3/4ths of a cup and added Dr. Bronners to make one cup. What am I doing wrong?

  4. One more thing, I noticed in one of your postings that I read today (and I am not sure which one it was as I read so many today) that you mentioned something regarding vanilla extract.

    Paraphrasing, you were upset that the bottle of vanilla extract said pure vanilla extract, but it was vanilla and alcohol. Unless there was something else in the bottle, that is considered a pure extract and their labeling is correct.

    Extracts are tinctures. They are similar to EOs in that the oils and phytochemicals are removed from the plant in a concentrated form. The difference is that EOs use a steam distillation (at least the good ones do) and tinctures / extracts use a solvent. Same idea as when the eo manufacturers use a solvent. The difference is that the solvent in tinctures is a ‘food item’ that is not a chemical substance.

    Tinctures/extracts are traditionally made with a grain alcohol and the herb/spice (fresh or dried). So vanilla extract would be made by taking vanilla beans and soaking them for 2-4 weeks covered with a strong vodka preferably Shake it daily, then strain out the beans. I use a 110 proof vodka for mine.

    Flowers and leaves you can get away with 80 proof, but the stronger the alcohol content the more of the phytochemicals that you will extract from the plant.

    Making tinctures from twigs, roots, barks, seeds and resins however does require a stronger proof, hence I use the 110. I would use everclear, but it is not legal in my state.

    Just like EOs that amount that you need is so small (a couple droppers full 30 – 60 drops AT MOST of any one herb, that the amount of alcohol is negligible. I put mine in a tea so the hot water can evaporate most of the alcohol. As with EOs you would need to research the dosages, some in large doses can cause adverse reactions, such as vomiting or worse.

    Some extracts can be made with vingegar (but you may not get everything from the plant and that would taste HORRIBLE with vanilla…YUCK) and you can attempt to use food grade glycerin for an alcohol free version. I personally have never tried either of these. I always use vodka. I look like a complete wino when I go to the store and buy 4-5 bottles at a time, LOL. Little do they know it is for my herbs and I am not a lush!!! But honestly, how many times do you use vanilla where it doesnt get cooked and that burns off the alcohol, or the tea option.

    A great person to look at for further information on this subject is DR Schulze. I learned all my herbs, dosages and how to make tinctures, infusions, decoctions, poultices, ect from him. He runs a website that you will find by googling his name. But he published a 600+ page book and video series in the ’90s that I found online called Save Your Life series and that is where I learned how to make all my own herbal preparations. He also has a blog on his website.

    No, I do not work for him…or anyone for that matter….like you I am a homeschooling mom.

  5. Is this soap (Bonners) meant to be diluted? There are preservatives for very good reasons in water based products. Mildew and mould are far more dangerous than a simple preservative. Which brings me to my point, you are adding more water to a product that isn’t meant to be diluted and that will bread bacteria and fungus. Also, essential oils such as lemon and orange are phototoxic. I know that’s a big bad science word but it’s important. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4096528

    • Hi there. You can dilute it for various uses – yes. Of course mold and mildew can be an issue so use your products up fast and wash containers well. As for those oils, my understanding is that in that diluted of a form it isn’t an issue but if you are concerned use a different kind of oil. Thanks!

    • RadhikaPradeep says:

      I agree with you on the mildew/mold. Saving money makes sense when this homemade soap is made when needed. How about using tea tree oil? I don’t like citrus smells anyway. I add tea tree oil to my dish soap to make it antibacterial.

    • I am going to apologize now that this is incredibly long…I didn’t realize how long until I was proofing it…. but hopeful you find the information pertinent and helpful.

      I am a soaper and make my own bars, but also my own liquid soaps. I only mention this so you know I am not an expert, but have several years of experience. The process of making soap ALWAYS starts with lye (sodium hydroxide for bars and potassium hydroxide, aka potash for the liquid) Anyone who tells you different is lying (pun intended, LOL) or they have NO IDEA what they are talking about.

      A well formulated soap, either homemade, or Bronners, as the soap in question, will have no lye in the finished product. Soap is made by a chemical reaction of the oils and the lye, called saponification. Once that is complete, all the lye has been neutralized and combined with oil molecules to make soap. Bars of soap have additional oils added to them (called superfatting), normally at 5% above what is necessary to use up all the lye. This also provides extra moisture for your skin. So that means 5% of the bar is oil left over to moisturize your skin (and as a buffer to make sure all the lye is gone so you don’t burn your skin).

      However, liquid soap normally does an oil shortage (we call it a discount… I have heard some say negative superfatting, but that just sound weird to me), Then the leftover lye is neutralized with citric acid or borax (no borax is not poisonous as some rumors say…that was all started by the FDA when an Australian doctor was curing his patients of severe arthritis using Borax in 3 weeks time….that has to do with the bio-availability of the boron in borax and how it related to the absorption of magnesium, which relates to de-calcification in the joints and cells, those three work in synergy….also, I am NOT suggesting you take borax internally, so please so not assume that….but if you choose to, do your research first…just wanted to tell you it is a wonderful cleaning product and safe to use on your skin, it is simply Sodium tetraborate…sodium and boron which is an essential mineral in the body, not a poison as some would lead you to believe).

      Liquid soap makers do not superfat, instead they do what they call an oil discount and neutralize the leftover lye at the end of the product for 2 reasons. The first reason is purely for aesthetics….the additional oils would cause for a cloudy liquid soap. If you are making it yourself, you may not care, but as insanely busy most of us are, consumers do not have the time to learn the art of liquid soapmaking as they are so busy trying to learn how to make ourselves and our families healthy in this overly toxic world. Many soapers that make and even sell bars (whether cold process, hot process, or cpop) dont even make liquid soap because it is VERY VERY VERY time consuming to make as opposed to the bars…and bars are so much more fun IMHO.(have you seen soap cupcakes??!!) Most consumers buy those products on smell and looks, so cloudy liquid soaps would not sell well.

      The second reason however is important to the above questions regarding mold as well as the additional of extra oils. When making liquid soap, you cook it for an extremely long period of time 4-6 hours (I have even had some batches take longer to cook) Your finished product here is a soap paste. This then gets diluted with water normally a soap to water ratio of 1:3 or 1:4 and the paste dissolves (overnight) to give you that wonderful liquid soap you use.

      I hope I am not rambling too much, but I feel like some knowledge on how liquid soap is made may help you make your own decisions on whether or not to add extra oils.

      With the description of the process, hopefully you can see that adding extra water will make no difference on the shelf life of the soap. Yes a good soap, either homemade, or Bronners will have an expiration date, but how long that is depends on the ingredients (superfatting, adding extra cream, using “food” ingredients such as carrots, pumpkin, cucumber, milks, ect all wonderful additions but decrease the shelf life of a good homemade soap) But these are issues that apply more to bars and not the liquid. You will not find those type of ingredients in liquid soaps for the reason of mold that was expressed as a concern. Also, the shelf life will be more like 6 months for the bars with food in them, but more like several years for a liquid soap without the extra oils.

      There is even an exceptionally wonderful brand of true castille soap made in greece that cures for 1 year before they even sell it…(BTW castille soap, true castille soap has only olive oil in it (it is olive oil, lye and water), the ones with coconut and other oils are really Bastille soap, not that it is important, it is just a pet peeve of mine…sorry) Extra water will only make the soap a thinner consistency, but will not affect the shelf life.

      Adding extra oils (not essential oils, but moisturizing oils like coconut, avocado, olive, grape seed, almond, ect) may decrease the shelf life of your foaming soaps, If you choose to add them, know that it may make your soap cloudy….that does not mean there is something wrong with your soap, it is a result of all the oils no longer being saponified and now soap….and I would only add them per bottle when you are ready to use it.

      So you can still make a huge batch ahead of time (which is great advice BTW…I do the same with my homemade liquid soap and shampoo). Just wait to add any extra oils (either moisturizing, or essential) until you are putting it in the pump.

      I hope this information helps your readers in deciding on if/how to add extras to the liquids.

      I personally do not add extra moisturizing oils, or anything else except my EOs to my liquids and save all that extra moisture for my bars. If you get (or make) a good homemade bar, you can add those extra oils..even adding them at the end, when the soap reaches what we call trace…really can give you that extra moisture you are looking for.

      Also…never, ever, ever add vinegar to your soap!!!

      I know there are a lot of homemade dish soap recipes floating around to take a liquid soap and add washing soda and/or borax and vinegar to it. I use the washing soda in mine, but found the borax doesn’t dissolve well (it will also clog your pumps if you try to add it to the liquid hand soap pumps. But vinegar is a big NO NO. Remember how I told you soap was made? Mixing oils with lye water. Lye has a ph of 14. It is neutralized with an acid, such as vinegar.

      If you put vinegar in your soap, whether liquid or bars, you will be reversing the saponification process that created the soap in the first place. Creating an oily mess…how much of a mess depends on the percentage of vinegar, the ph of the vinegar (it can range depending on the type…ie white vinegar has a lower ph than apple cider vinegar or kombucha vinegar). But you will still end up with an oily mess and ruin your expensive bottle of liquid soap.

      Also only use really pure water. Distilled is preferable for soap, but RO or spring, or a really good filter will do. Simply running through a Britta will not. The extra junk in our water, and the extra minerals can react with the soap and cause clumping ect.

      Also there are recipes to take a solid bar and melt it down…that kinda of works, but you will get re-clumping because bars use Sodium Hydroxide and liquid uses potassium hydroxide. When you melt a bar and dilute it down to attempt to make liquid soap, some will resolidify because of the nature of the sodium hydroxide.

      I hope I didn’t ramble with useless information and at least someone finds this helpful!!!

      I just found your site today BTW and have spent hours reading some of your different postings. Thanks for all the great info. I was led here researching EO companies, making sure that my suppliers has a quality product. I am very impressed and grateful for the hard work and hours you spent on research and the crap you have taken from some of these people. I have even read almost all of the comments on the pages I have read and I am so amazed at all the sheeple attempting to change your mind back to the big name MLMs, after you have done the research that lead you away….the blind followings of others amaze me. I am not saying those are bad products, but your results have clearly shown they are not the best or the only good ones out there as they so want everyone to believe. But when we come to a decision based on hundreds of hours of hard core research like you have done, the emotional regurgitations of ramblings by their ‘masters’ (I use that term loosely) will not change our minds. You cant put the s**t back in the horse…

      I may very well try some of your recommended oils for my personal use. I however, as a soaper buy most of my oils in bulk. I normally buy them a pound at a time, sometimes in larger quantities than that….most of these products do not allow for that kind of large scale purchase. I will say that the company I normally purchase from was tested and their oil has an almost identical chemical profile as these super expensive “high end” (I also use that term loosely) oils marketed by these MLMs. I get a pound of peppermint oil for my soaps for only slightly more than they pay for 5 ml..

      SO again THANK YOU. I know there are some haters….if not, that means you arent doing your job right, so look at it as a compliment, not an insult…as long as there arent too many. But the majority of us really appreciate the work you have done and are continuing to do!!!

      • Hello and thank you for all of that. Very very interesting. I wish we could make soap together. It has been a dream of mine for a very long time.

        Thanks for the encouragement as well – it means a lot. More to come on oils so please do stay tuned!

      • Tina, do you have a blog?

  6. 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!

  7. 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.