How to Make Foaming Hand Soap: 2 Easy Yet Affordable DIY Recipes

By Marsha Harrison

how to make foaming hand soap

Several households and establishments use foaming soap for economical reasons. It uses 16% less water, and you only need a small amount to produce a rich lather.

Another advantage of learning how to make foaming hand soap is that you can reduce plastic waste at home.

Many scientists say that the good ol’ liquid soap is better at cleaning your hands since foaming soap contains less soap.

But, it is good enough for domestic use. So, if you want to craft your own foaming soap, follow this guide!

What You Need


1. Liquid soap

For the first recipe, you can use any regular hand soap or shower gel. For the second recipe, you need liquid castile soap but you can also make one from dish soap.

2. Water

3. Oils

For recipe #2, essential oils add to the scent while carrier oils make it moisturizing.

4. Foaming soap dispenser

Use a liquid soap dispenser or reuse ones from shampoo containers.

Recipe #1: Basic Foaming Soap


Step 1: Pour water and soap

Fill one-fourth of the foaming soap dispenser with your choice of liquid hand soap. Next, pour hot water into the container but stop at one inch from the top.

Note: You can always experiment with the ratio of soap to water for foaming soap.

In the comments of The Art of Doing Stuff, some users suggest going for a 1.5:4 soap to water ratio. Others like a 1:4 soap to water ratio.

Meanwhile, Lori Garcia’s Youtube tutorial recommends 2 tablespoons of shower gel like Bath and Body Works.

Ultimately, it boils down to your preference.

Step 2: Shake well

Cap your foaming soap container and give it a good shake to mix the water and soap.

Then, leave the dispenser by the kitchen sink, in your washroom, or where you need it.

Note: It may take a few pumps before the soap produces a thick foam as My Frugal Home’s “frugal living expert” Erin Huffstetler says.

Recipe #2: Scented Foaming Soap

Step 1: Fill your dispenser with water

Pour water into your dispenser, filling two-thirds or three-fourths as per this suggestion in a Bob Vila article.

Treat the prescribed water to soap ratio as a baseline. You can always play with the quantities of the soap, oil, and water to your heart’s content.

Just keep in mind that you still need to add more foaming hand wash ingredients.

Step 2: Pour castile soap and add 10 drops of your preferred essential oils

For this homemade foaming hand soap, add 2 tablespoons of castile soap into the dispenser.

Next, add 10 drops of one essential oil or five of two different oils. You can check out this guide on Well and Good to get ideas for which oils to mix.

I recommend using unscented castile soap. This way, it does not affect the smell of your essential oils.

It is totally fine to choose a scented store-bought castile soap if you don’t plan to add essential oils. Of course, this means adjusting the DIY foaming hand soap.

Nature’s Nurture suggests mixing a three-fourths cup of water and 2 tablespoons of soap.

Step 3: Add your choice of carrier oil and mix all the ingredients

Last but not least, add a teaspoon of your carrier oil to ensure the soap can moisturize your skin.

This article on Purewow recommends olive oil, coconut oil, and grapeseed oil, but as I said, you are free to explore other options and experiment!

Now, put the cap back. Make sure the dispenser is tightly shut and start agitating so all the ingredients mix well.

Frequently Asked Questions


Which soap brand should I use to make foaming hand soap?

You can choose any brand of liquid hand or body soap. Heck, you can even make foam soap from liquid soap with Dawn!

When it comes to Castile soaps, many DIYers prefer Dr. Bronner’s, which is mostly made of olive oil.

You can also try other castile soap recipes that use other plant-based ingredients like coconut and almond. These oils tend to be better at moisturizing your skin!

Why is castile soap not recommended for the basic foaming soap recipe?

Going back to the My Frugal Home article I linked earlier, Castile soap will make the soap and water separate once you shake them.

If you look at the ingredients of Castile soap, it is usually made of plant-based oil. When you combine it with water without any other ingredients, it’s like mixing oil and water.

For castile soap users, I recommend using recipe #2.

Can I make foaming hand soap to sell?

Thanks to the Internet, many people can access DIY tutorials covering all sorts of topics, from woodworking to soapmaking.

Besides adding new skills to their resumé, they can earn some money on the side. If you have been making soap at home for some time, you should try to sell them.

But before you start marketing, I recommend checking out the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) website if you live in the US.

By doing so, you can learn how to sell your products and ensure your company complies with the regulations. This will make your brand more credible!

Why are some foaming soaps colorful?

Food coloring is the secret to making colorful foaming soaps. This ingredient does not impact the quality of your foaming soap.

However, it makes handwashing and bubble baths fun and engaging for children! Rest assured, it will not leave colored residue on the skin.

Apart from kids, colored foaming soap can jazz up your washroom interiors if you’re using a clear dispenser.


It’s interesting how the rich lather that foaming soaps produce can make the product feel premium. Some brands even sell this type of soap at an exorbitant price!

If you learn how to make foaming hand soap, you will realize that it is only diluted soap. So it is inferior to traditional hand soaps.

By adding food coloring, as well as carrier and fragrant essential oils, you can make handwashing a pleasant experience for children and adults! The trick is to keep experimenting until you find the formula that works for you!

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