How to Make Your Own Foaming Hand Soap

Spend a little time and money and save a bundle

Foaming hand soap

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Foaming hand soap is a luxurious way to wash your hands: but an expensive luxury if you buy it off the shelf, and it isn't really worth the money. There simply isn't enough soap in the bottle to make the price reasonable. But, if you make your own, you can save a bundle off the store-bought price.

All you need is a bottle of liquid hand soap, water, and an empty foaming soap bottle. One 64-ounce refill bottle of liquid hand soap, which costs just a few dollars, is enough to make 128 bottles of foaming hand soap. If you're used to spending $3 for each bottle of foaming soap, that's a saving of more than $350. And it's fast: It takes less than 30 seconds to make a batch. So if you're looking for easy ways to save money, this is something you should try.

How to Make It

  1. Fill an empty soap dispenser about three-quarters of the way full with clean, warm water. Warm water helps to get the soap mixed in.
  2. Pour one tablespoon of liquid hand soap into the container, screw on the top and shake vigorously to mix the soap and water together.
  3. Then pump the dispenser a few times to get the foaming action started.


This recipe is easy to customize to your needs and preferences. You can use an antibacterial soap or one with fewer additives, choose scented soap or unscented, colored or clear. You can even melt down a bar of soap and use that as your base. 

If you're sensitive to scents, make your foaming soap from unscented liquid soap. If you don't like the idea of synthetic fragrances but want a fragrance, use unscented soap and then add essential oils to create your own natural fragrance blends. Make grease-cutting foaming soap for the kitchen by using dish-washing liquid instead of hand soap. Olive oil is sometimes suggested to make a moisturizing soap, but it won't mix in well and is likely to break the pump. Use a liquid soap with Vitamin E to achieve moisturizing properties.

Effectiveness of Foaming Hand Soap

You don't need a concentrated soap to wash your hands well, and the relatively small amount in foaming soap is all that's necessary. Soap provides a surfactant that can help remove dirt and germs from your hands, but you really don't need much to bring about that action. It's the action of rubbing the soap foam around your hands and rinsing that is doing most of the cleansing work.

And that's great news if you have young kids who tend to go overboard with the soap. Just replace your liquid soap dispenser with a foaming soap dispenser, and you'll have fewer messy cleanups.

A Word About Foaming Soap Dispensers

Foaming soap dispensers aren't made to last forever. Once yours stops pumping properly, buy the cheapest bottle of foaming hand soap that you can find and start filling it with your homemade refill once it runs out. You can also buy empty dispensers online.