Easy DIY Foaming Hand Soap or Foaming Body Wash


So this is really incredibly easy to do and hopefully some of you will try this out.

I came home a few months ago and my husband is typically in charge of bathtime for the girls. Well I walked in to see the kids having a great time and my husband sitting there happily and realized they had somehow used an entire bottle of body wash in one bath.  Of course he was oblivious to this fact and my girls were just enjoying all the lovely bubbles they created.

I like to get really good products for their little skin so I didn’t want to ruin the party but I could also see about $6 going down the drain (literally).  Boo!

So I decided that instead of giving them regular body wash I would make them a foaming wash that would last much longer.

So if you want to stretch your soap a little bit more there is an incredibly easy way to make your own foaming hand soap or body wash.  This works for everyone but it is especially great for those of you with kiddos.  I think the foaming stuff is more fun for them and it is easier for them to manage.  I can’t count how many big glops of regular soap I find in the sink- wasteful and messy.

These soaps last ages and ages too so you don’t have to fool with yet another trip to the store. Yeah!

So here is the trick.  You will need to start out with a foaming dish soap container of some sort.  So go ahead and splurge on whatever kind of soap you like and use that soap until the container is gone.  Once it is empty you can use it to refill over and over again.    You can also buy foaming soap dispensers from places like Pampered Chef but I have heard they don’t actually refill that well.

You can see below I have a Method Foaming Hand Soap I purchased a long time ago- that one I just refilled (and actually the soap I made from that formerly empty container is above in Adriana’s little hand.)

I also have a Bath and Body Works container for the kitchen plus a body wash foaming soap for the littles.  All of those had been used up and were empty.

Now you simply want to grab the soap of your choice- get whatever brand or fragrance of whatever kind of soap you want.  If you do the Bath and Body Works containers you might try to find a shade or fragrance that matches what you had before.

  • I used a plain old cheap hand soap that is clear and a shampoo from Aveeno to refill my containers.
  • Next you want to measure one tablespoon of the soap you have for a refill.
  • Add that to the empty container.
  • Fill with warm water from the tap- keep the water on low to fill or you will have zillions of bubbles everywhere.

Now you are done and you can pump away!  You just use that teeny tiny fraction of actual soap and the rest is all water.

So the nice thing is you can splurge on a lovely soap or good quality product- or just get something basic and save yourself a little money.

It will foam perfectly and it functions perfectly to get your hands/body clean.  The only trick is that if you use too much soap (like you don’t bother to measure 1 tbl but just eyeball like I did the first time)- you won’t get the lovely foamy stuff.  Just rinse out what you did and start again but this time measure ;).

I tested this over and over again with different soaps and it worked perfectly each and every time!

You can see below- this is the Bath and Body Works soap dispenser and I filled it with that cheapy stuff in blue pictured above.  It foams  perfectly.

And by the way, when you do buy your foaming soap to get the dispenser, try opening it and emptying it into a cup.  I think you will be shocked at how watery it will seem in the glass.  So if you are hestitant to try this thinking that 1 tablespoon might not be enough soap to actually clean- I think you will see right away that what you actually bought is mostly water anyway.

Thanks to Full of Great Ideas for this wonderful tip.  I have literally had this bookmarked for about 2 years now and I am so glad I finally tried it.

And here are a few other easy DIY tips for you:



  1. kelly says

    we do this too, im surprised when others I tell dont realize how easy it is! We use Dr. Bronners Baby Mild as our soap, then add essential oils, sweet orange or lavender for bath, then tea tree oil for hand soap. Smells gooood!

  2. kelly says

    oh i havent tried this either but if you use bar soap–you can also melt the soap bits that are leftover, then add water as well. Def frugal!

  3. Charlene says

    Yeah that is a bit too much effort for me :) For sure it would be very frugal though.

  4. Charlene says

    I add tea tree to the children’s shampoo as well. I haven’t researched it but I have heard tea tree repells lice and since they started school I have been terrified of lice :). Plus tea tree just smells so darn good.

  5. Viviana says

    I saw this a little while ago on Pinterest and have now made it twice. I actually really like it, but I was still experimenting with the proportions. Thanks for the tip, because I was actually going to use more and more soap, but now I see less is the trick.

  6. Charlene says

    Viviana, That was what I noticed when I was testing it. At first I did more like 1/3 of the bottle and that was a huge flop.

  7. Alice H says

    I love that you have your personal experience to share before you post tips. Can’t wait to try it!

  8. Lydia M. says

    Just in time. My kitchen hand soap bottle was empty so I just refilled it using the directions listed and some of the Olay Hand Renewal dish soap I have been getting lately for pennies at CVS. Works like a charm!

  9. Yi-Wen says

    I’ve noticed the foaming when I fill my almost empty handsoap bottle with water, hoping to use to the very last drop, but I never tried to measure and find the golden proportion. Thanks for experimenting and sharing! : )

  10. Nicole H. says

    Another great container to use is the mousse hair color from L’Oreal…I just rinse it out really well when I am done and pump a ton of water through to make sure it is clean. I really like that they are a little smaller and my kids seem to use them more easily…

  11. Shannon says

    Just tried this and it worked great. I used Curash Baby Wash. I’m happy to use it as I have very dry hands and it means I’ll be using a less concentrated soap, which will be good for me and the kid’s skin too.

  12. Hally says

    I use 1/3 soap and 2/3 water.
    though, 1 teaspoon? though, what is the proportion? isn’t there different size containers?

  13. Kacey says

    I have the same question as Hally. I tried the reipe using a 10oz method foaming soap container. It didn’t work at all. The soap wouldn’t lather and if there was any sort of oily substance it wouldn’t even wash off your hands. I tried adding more soap and that did help a little, but it was still nothing like the foaming soap I buy at the store. Is it the ratio? I can’t fgure out why mine isn’t working.

  14. Charlene says


    If you aren’t getting any lather that means you are adding too much soap. I don’t know what oily substance you mean- what kind of soap did you use? Try 1/4 soap to 3/4 water and see if that works better.

  15. Kacey says

    I added exactly 1 T of method soap and filled the rest with water. I didn’t get any lather. When I said oily subtance I meant if I have anything on my hands with an oil base it won’t wash off like it will with normal soap. I just tried using more soap and that really seemed to help. I found a recipe that said 3 T to 2/3 cup of water. Maybe it’s my water or something. Who knows? But it’s working much better now. It seems ratio is the key, the bigger the bottle the more soap. Oh and this time I tried concentrated dawn soap.

  16. Charlene says

    Yes I would keep trying until you find what is right for your bottle. You don’t need to fill the bottle to the very top each time. If I remember the Method dish soap is pretty large.

  17. Lisa M says

    I add the water first then the soap so that there isn’t a bubble issue.
    The first time I did this, I drew a line with a Sharpie where the bottom of the spritzer rests in the bottle. Then added water, then the soap.
    I like the foaming soaps so much better with regard to my kids. They’d use LOTS of the liquid soap and eventually clog the drain. After two visits from the plumber to clear up the drain, he told me it was the liquid soap collecting at the U pipe. I used bar soap for the longest time to stop that problem until I discovered the foaming stuff.

  18. says

    How much soap would I add to a 40oz mason jar ?I want to make hand soap, I have ordinary soap pump. What is the ratio? Thanks Connie

  19. Valerie says

    I just tried this and I did the exact same thing you did on your website. I used an empty foaming soap bottle with a kind of soap but you have to press really hard and hardly any soap comes out so I don’t know if this actually works people

  20. Charlene says

    LOL- yes the water is an important ingredient Valerie :) Hope it works better this time for you!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>