Green, I Said So

How to Make Foaming Hand Soap at Home

04/12/2013 - 17 comments
This D.I.Y. post to make your own foaming hand soap at home may contain affiliate links.

Have you ever looked at the ingredients in store-bought hand soap? I bet if you have, you have no idea what they are, let along how safe they really are (or aren’t) for you. And finding a foaming hand soap that isn’t made with questionable chemicals isn’t easy or affordable.

Even the popular “safer’ brand Method includes sodium laurel sulfate as an ingredient which is classified as a toxin in some countries. We had resorted to non-foaming hand soap but I really prefer the foaming. It seems to wash off better.

I have come across “recipes” on the web to make soap, but frankly some things I just don’t have time to do, so the other day I tried an experiment. I took some of my Dr. Bronner’s castile soap, poured it into an old foaming hand soap dispenser, topped it off with water and voila!

It worked!

It foams, smells great and has ingredients that don’t scare me.

Make your own foaming hand soap at home - it's easy!

How to Make Foaming Hand Soap

What you need:

Empty foaming hand soap bottle. I bought one for $1.50, pouring the soap out, rinsed it until the water ran clear, then let it dry.

Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap. You can buy this online at, at Target stores, Meijer, and numerous other places online. It seems pricey but it’s concentrated. A little bit goes a long way. My 32oz bottle lasts a few months and I use it for everything. I even refill kitchen sprays and shampoo with it.

How to make:

Fill bottle a little less than 1/4 full of Dr. Bronner’s soap. Fill the remainder with water. It takes a few pumps to build up the pressure, but it works great! I do find the soap settles a bit so I do shake it up every once in awhile. Not sure I need to, but I do it anyway.

Compare ingredients:

Below are the ingredients of the Method Green Tea & Aloe foaming hand soap:

 Aqua (Water), Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Cocamide Dea, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycerin, Aloe Barbadensis Gel,Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Citric Acid, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Citrate, Benzophenone-4, Methychloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Parfum (Fragrance), Yellow 10, Green 5.

Below are the ingredients of the Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Soap:

Water, Organic Coconut Oil*, Potassium Hydroxide**, Organic Olive Oil*, Mentha Arvensis*, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Peppermint Oil*, Citric Acid, Tocopherol

** None remains after saponifying oils into soap and glycerin

Which do you prefer your kids wash their hands with?

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Leave a Reply

  • Reply Mim 10/01/2013 at 6:09 pm

    This worked so well! I tried it out and included your recipe in my round-up post on making your own foaming hand soap. Thanks for sharing the tip about Dr. Bronner’s – it foams up so well!

    You can check out my post here:
    Pinterest Made Me Do It: DIY Foaming Hand Soap

  • Reply Robin {Mom Foodie} 04/21/2013 at 10:43 pm

    I may have to pick up some of this Dr Bronners

    • Reply Kim 04/22/2013 at 8:36 am

      I use it for everything! Simple, green, safe.

  • Reply Nichol 04/19/2013 at 3:29 pm

    I am definitely going to try this, maybe it won’t dry my hands out as bad and make them crack. I clean like a maniac and hate germs so wash constantly. Thanks!

    • Reply Kim 04/19/2013 at 3:54 pm

      I have been using a hand cream with coconut oil and shea butter. It’s awesome. I have been thinking about trying to add the coconut oil for extra moisturization. I’ll let you know.

  • Reply pam 04/19/2013 at 5:27 am

    This is what I do as well! Love Dr. Bronner’s and it seemed a natural progression.

    My next project will be moving off products with paraben – oy!

    • Reply Kim 04/19/2013 at 8:04 am

      Yeah we did it with baby steps….it’s hard. I am working on finding a natural deodorant right now.

  • Reply Sara @SensiblySara 04/18/2013 at 11:57 am

    You are SO AWESOME!! Thank you! (Do you know what aisle I will Dr. Bronner’s on?!)

    • Reply Kim 04/18/2013 at 12:01 pm

      At Target it’s by the natural shampoos – Gud and the carrots one. Meijer as well.

      • Reply Sara @SensiblySara 04/18/2013 at 12:02 pm

        Super! I’ll look when I am there later! (We don’t have a Meijer, but I’ll check our grocery store, too!)

  • Reply Teresha F 04/15/2013 at 2:37 am

    you are a problem-solver! my daughter wants me to buy some dreadful hand soap because Hello Kitty is on the wrapper. now I can buy it, discard the toxic goo, and make a safer, greener hand soap. THANK YOU!

    • Reply Kim 04/15/2013 at 9:47 am

      We have a Minnie Mouse one just for the dispenser LOL.

  • Reply Dee @ Cocktails with Mom 04/14/2013 at 12:04 am

    I have never heard of Dr. Bronner’s soap before so thanks for sharing. I’ve been learning a lot here lately :).

    • Reply Kim 04/14/2013 at 12:00 pm

      It’s so simply but works. I clean my floors with it, wash kitchen counters with it. I wash my hair with it. Any situation I need soap I use it. I don’t use it in the dishwasher or washing machine though because the quantities are critical there and I don’t want to break the machines.