I Make Foaming Hand Soap at Home and It Saves Me Hundreds Per Year. Here's How (2024)

Everyone has preferences for, well, everything. Be it a preferred brand of clothing, appliances, music, movies and more. I'm no different, and one of my quirky preferences is hand soap -- not necessarily a specific brand, but more so the type of soap. For me, it's foaming hand soap all the way.

Before I go much further, I don't have problems with other soaps and I'll use what's available. But when I get a choice, I like the foaming soaps. Bar soap gets the job done, but can make sinks and countertops messy as it dries. If you use a soap tray, then it gets gunky with soap. Standard liquid soap is second best for me, but it seems like it takes longer to rinse off, and my kids always use way too much.

Unfortunately, with two kids and two adults in my rural Kansas home, we go through a fair amount of hand soap. This leads to a lot of extra costs and waste when buying new soap bottles and soap refills. So, I took matters into my own sudsy hands to solve this issue for my family.

A discovery that has saved my family hundreds of dollars

I Make Foaming Hand Soap at Home and It Saves Me Hundreds Per Year. Here's How (1)

Due to my unwillingness to use nonfoaming hand soap to at home, I had to either deal with the cost of buying new soap and the refills for them or figure out something else. I'm a bit of a DIYer, so I figured with many others out there like me, there had to be a way to make my own refills -- and there was.

Unfortunately, it's been at least five years since I dove into the depths of the internet to find a recipe to make foaming hand soap on my own, and I don't recall where I found it. But I've been using the same formula since I found it, and it's been fantastic.

7 Hand Soaps That Fight Germs, From Cheap to Luxury See at Cnet

The ingredients needed for the other recipe are simple: water, olive oil, liquid hand soap, and a foaming soap dispenser. Because I already had the dispensers from purchasing Dial Antibacterial Foaming Hand Wash, all I needed were the other parts. If you don't have a soap bottle already and want to start fresh with your own soap refill, there are plenty of options to purchase on Amazon.

What I've purchased and used for the past five or more years instead of the brand's Dial Antibacterial Foaming Hand Wash Refill is the Amazon Basics Antibacterial Liquid Hand Soap Refill. Upfront, the cost for each of the soap refills is about the same, with Dial's offering around $6 and Amazon's just under $5. The olive oil I don't really figure into the cost since I always have some on hand for cooking and the amount used is very small.

Breaking down the savings

I Make Foaming Hand Soap at Home and It Saves Me Hundreds Per Year. Here's How (3)

Depending on your household's soap usage, you may not save quite as much as I have. But a buck is a buck, and making our own refills also reduces plastic waste. During my five-plus-year run of making my own foaming hand soap refills for the three soap bottles in my home, it was well worth it, and it was a bit surprising when I actually crunched the numbers.

My family will typically empty a bottle of soap in about two weeks. So, I would go through about two bottles a month when using the branded refills mentioned above. Over five years, that comes out to around $720. Taking the DIY approach, I've managed to cut my soap cost by 90%, spending about $72 and thus resulting in a net saving of around $650 over that time.

How to make your own foaming hand soap refill

The process is very simple and doesn't require any special tools or know-how. Simply follow the steps below and you'll have clean hands and more money in your pocket.

  1. Start with a clean and empty soap bottle.
  2. Add about a quarter teaspoon of olive oil to the bottle.
  3. Put approximately a quarter of your soap dispenser's capacity of liquid hand soap into the bottle.
  4. Slowly add water to the bottle, leaving about two inches of space in the top to add the pump back on.
  5. With the pump screwed onto the bottle, turn it upside down and give it a good shake to mix it all up.

Amounts needed to get the correct ratio of soap to water to oil may vary depending on your soap bottle. Add a bit more soap if your soap is coming out too runny and not foaming up enough. However, if it is too thick and not foaming, you'll want to add more water to the mix.

To add some variety to your soap, or if you like scented soap, you can always add a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil like you would in an oil diffuser.

I have put some lines on some of the bottles to make it easier for my kids to help refill the soap. This way, they know the amounts needed for our particular bottles. So, before buying the premade refills or a new soap bottle altogether, consider making your own refills to save money and reduce waste.

I Make Foaming Hand Soap at Home and It Saves Me Hundreds Per Year. Here's How (2024)


Is it cheaper to make your own foaming hand soap? ›

Introduction: DIY Foaming Hand Soap - Save $$$!

I know I do! I also love making my own beauty products which can be somewhat complicated but there is nothing easier than making your very own foaming hand soap. Rather than spending $4 or $5 per soap bottle, this basic recipe costs as little as 15 cents per bottle!

How effective is foaming hand soap? ›

But so far, the general consensus seems to be that foaming hand soap is less effective than liquid. However - this could be at least partially due to the fact that people tend to wash their hands for a shorter amount of time when they use foaming hand soap versus liquid.

What is the ratio for homemade foaming hand soap? ›

The ratio for making foaming hand soap is 1:3, so 1 part soap to 3 parts water. Here are a few examples: 8 ounces Foaming Hand Soap= 2 ounces soap + 6 ounces distilled water. 12 ounces Foaming Hand Soap= 3 ounces soap + 9 ounces distilled water.

Is foaming hand soap just watered down soap? ›

Yes, foaming soap is better for the environment for the reasons listed below. To begin with, because it is simply watered down soap mixed with air, you use less soap in the first place.

Why is foaming hand soap so expensive? ›

If you've looked around the soap aisles, you've noticed that foaming soap is more expensive than simple liquid soap. The very thing that makes liquid soap foam – the pump dispenser – is what makes it more expensive.

What makes homemade soap lather more? ›

Sugar. Sugar, and ingredients that have sugar in them can dramatically increase lather, not just the amount but the richness of the lather. These are some options for different sugars that can be used. Granulated sugar is the most simplistic form of sugar that can be added to soap.

What is the shelf life of foaming hand soap? ›

Soap does expire, but if it still lathers when you wash your hands, it should be effective. Most commercial store-bought soaps expire after two to three years. Natural or handmade soaps may expire sooner, within one year, as the essential oils and fragrances can get rancid or moldy.

Can you use tap water to make foaming hand soap? ›

I prefer to use distilled water for my foaming hand soap as I have found that the soap tends to separate or get cloudy when mixed with tap water. Our tap water is very hard so I assume the mineral deposits have something to do with this. However, if you're on a very tight budget, feel free to use tap water!

Can you turn regular liquid hand soap into foaming soap? ›

To make your own foaming soap, combine one cup of water with 1/4 cup of liquid soap. Secure the top and slowly turn the dispenser. until everything is incorporated. And there you go.

Can you use body wash to make foaming hand soap? ›

Measure out a tablespoon of the shower gel and pour it into your foaming soap dispenser. If you like very fragrant soap, like we do, you can add a second tablespoon. The second tablespoon will actually make a stronger-smelling soap than the original Bath and Body Works foaming soap.

How much glycerin do I add to foaming soap? ›

  1. Prepare your foaming hand soap dispenser by rinsing out the container and the pump. ...
  2. Now, with your container prepped and ready to go add ¼ cup of lavender Castile soap or a scent of your choice. ...
  3. Next, add 1 teaspoon of vegetable glycerin to the Castile soap for a thicker foam and added moisturizer.

Which soap kills most bacteria? ›

Antibacterial soaps are no more effective than plain soap and water for killing disease-causing germs outside of health care settings. There is no evidence that antibacterial soaps are more effective than plain soap for preventing infection under most circ*mstances in the home or in public places.

Why did my foaming hand soap stop foaming? ›

When the foaming filter is clogged it will prevent foam from producing. Flush your foaming pump (never soak or submerge your pump) with white vinegar. Once you have your pump cleared, it is recommended to flush your pump with a warm water and white vinegar solution with every soap refill.

What's the point of foaming hand soap? ›

The benefits of using foaming hand soap extend beyond just the luxurious lather. It requires less water to lather and rinse, making it an eco-friendly option. It also provides a more thorough cleaning by reaching all areas of the hand, including the crevices between fingers and under the nails.

Can you turn liquid hand soap into foaming hand soap? ›

To make your own foaming soap, combine one cup of water with 1/4 cup of liquid soap. Secure the top and slowly turn the dispenser. until everything is incorporated. And there you go.

What is the cheapest way to make soap? ›

Some of the most cost-effective soaping oils are canola, castor, coconut, olive oil (pomace), palm oil, rice bran oil and sunflower oil. These oils still make a great bar of soap. Just remember to consider how the oil affects the final bar.

How much does it cost to dilute hand soap for foaming dispenser? ›

Fill a foaming hand soap dispenser a quarter of the way with liquid soap. Fill the rest of the dispenser with hot water from the tap. Stop one inch from the top. Screw the cap back on; and give it a good shake to mix the soap and water.

Is homemade soap expensive? ›

Because handmade soaps are made in limited quantities but the demand is high, the cost goes up. The average cost of a handmade bar of soap is around $8 per bar. But they can actually cost as much as $50.

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