Inspiring DIY projects, beauty recipes and advice to green your daily routine.

Foaming Hand Soap Recipe

Posted by on Aug 25, 2012 in For Your Home, Green Clean, Skin & Hair Care | 1 comment

Foaming Hand Soap Recipe

This past week triclosan became a hot topic in the news. Triclosan is an antibacterial chemical commonly used in toothpaste and hand soap. It’s currently under review by the FDA because animal studies have shown it alters hormone regulation, impairs muscle function and it may contribute to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics.

In response to public concern over several controversial chemicals Johnson & Johnson announced it will start changing its formulas to reduce and eliminate many of these chemicals, including triclosan, by 2015. So although you have something to look forward to, you may want to decrease your exposure now.

Last week, Kim posted an article about natural toothpastes that is worth reading, if you haven’t already. This week I’ll share my recipe for foaming hand soap with you.

I started making foaming hand soap because I couldn’t find refills for my dispenser. The thought of buying a new plastic dispenser every time I need more soap did not sit well with me, especially since the spout uses so much plastic. Then, when I learned that foaming hand soap is mostly water, I just felt like I was being ripped off!

To make foaming had soap you need 3 ingredients:

  1. Distilled water
  2. Liquid castile soap
  3. Essential oils to suit your needs and scent preferences (optional)

The best consistency for your soap can usually be achieved by mixing distilled water and castile soap in a 4:1 ratio. However, you may have to adjust based on the thickness of your castile soap. If you aren’t getting enough foam, add more water.

When I make foaming hand for the kitchen I like to use lavender essential oil because it is a deodorizer, which is a must for someone who chops as much garlic as I do, and a bactericide to help keep me safe when I’m handling food. Tea tree, eucalyptus and lemon essential oils are also good for their antibacterial properties. Lemon and other citrus essential oils like grapefruit and sweet orange are good for cutting grease.

In the bathroom, all you need is the soap, so you can add essential oils without worrying about their therapeutic properties, or you can use fragrance oils to mimic the scent of a favorite soap or invent your own scent. Try coconut ginger for something tropical and warm or lemon basil for a bright and uplifting scent. Cranberry orange would be fitting for Thanksgiving and a Holiday Spice soap made with nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and clove would be comforting and cozy in the winter.

Use essential and fragrance oils sparingly to avoid irritating sensitive skin. As a general rule don’t add more than 6 drops per ounce of liquid.

Making your own foaming hand soap is easy, inexpensive and another great way to go green. Let us know what interesting scents you want to try in the comments below.

Kitchen Foaming Hand Soap
A deodorizing, antibacterial hand soap for the kitchen. Add a tablespoon of vegetable glycerin to sooth and moisturize your hands.
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Total Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
  1. 6.5 ounces distilled water
  2. 1.5 ounces liquid castile soap
  3. 10 drops lavender essential oil
  4. 5 drops tea tree essential oil
  5. 1 tablespon vegetable glycerin (optional)
  1. Put all ingredients in your foaming soap dispenser and stir.
  1. Yields 8 ounces.
A Green Routine

Update 3/13

When I wrote this article I couldn’t find a decent foaming hand soap pump to recommend but Kim received the Cuisipro Foaming Hand Soap Pump as a gift and loves it. It even has fill lines so you don’t have to measure.

Nicole knows making small changes for the greener add up over time and hopes you’re inspired to make some changes of your own after reading her articles. She focuses on easy, green, homemade personal products and green living tips for city dwellers. Nicole lives in Pittsburgh, PA and you can find her on twitter at @_nlg_.

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One Comment

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  1. Nikki

    This sounds awesome! I will definitely be making the switch when I move.

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