Homemade Natural Body Wash

Homemade Natural Body Wash Recipe

When I played soccer in high school, I spent a lot of money on fancy body wash products (and fancy personal care products in general). I definitely bought into all the claims of how they would make your skin softer/tighter/smell great/acne free/etc and had several that I mixed and matched to get the scent and effect I wanted (chemical cocktail anyone?)

I don’t use most conventional products anymore and usually just default to using bar soap, but when I still want the skin softening, great smelling benefits of body wash, I make my own.

Natural Body Wash Ingredients

This body wash combines several of my favorite skin care ingredients. I use:

Notes:
I use a natural sea sponge (like this one) with this body wash and it works really well. Since all ingredients in this recipe are shelf stable, it seems to last a really long time, though I still make it in small batches so I can customize the scent to my ever-changing favorites.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Carefully mix all ingredients by hand with a spoon in a glass liquid measuring cup. Do not use a blender, whisk or had mixer as this will create bubbles and make it impossible to get into a container.
  2. Pour into a (preferably glass) container and use in the shower as a body wash. I use with a natural sea sponge for easy use.

Note: This recipe will last for several months at room temperature.

What do you use for body wash? Or are you a bar soap type of person? Weigh in below!
This homemade body wash combines natural ingredients like liquid castille soap, honey, oils and essential oils for a skin nourishing recipe that works.

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Reader Comments

  1. Does it matter if it’s plain or scented Castille soap? I have the rose scented castille liquid soap.

      • I don’t get really any smell from the essential oils after I rinse I added 30 drops the third batch and still nothing. Do your scents linger after the shower? I actually added dried lavender into my soap, and let it set for a day.

        • For most recipes like this, I suggest using between 50 and 60 drops of EO to give it a good scent. Hope that helps!

    • I make my soap daily with a tsp each of milk, gram flour/(chikpea flour), any oil and a pinch of turmeric while showering.

      for my husband and daughter I make follow Katie

      • Why do you use turmeric for cleaning? Have you found any reactions?

    • While I love using almond oil and rosemary oil to make this honey body wash, I wish it were a ittle close to a gel consistency. Have you come up with any ways to stabalize this? Thanks. Oh and congrats on the new little one!

      • Have you ever tried a nice organic aloe gel?

      • in addition to aloe, I am planning on using a bit of coconut oil along with a little sweet almond oil so the coconut oil should also create a thicker consistency. I think a lavender mint is just beautiful and should help the kiddies relax before bedtime.

      • Try adding 99% aloe vera gel and xanthan gum together to help thicken your body wash.

    • DO NOT USE Dr.Bronners CITRUS CASTILLE SOAP IN THIS RECIPE. I made a small batch with the trial size peppermint liquid castille and loved it. So my daughter and I went to the store and picked up some full size bottles of the liquid castille soap in a few scents. We made an almond one for her with: Almond Castille, Almond Oil and Honey. I tried the Citrus, olive oil and honey; it smelled awful. My husband said maybe try it with coconut oil, still horrible. So in some small bowls I added one drop of the oil and one drop of the citrus, fine. I did one drop of citrus and one drop of honey in another, horrible smell. I don’t know why but the honey and the citrus castille do not combine for a pleasing scent. So in the future I will try out the combos with tiny samples first. I love all the recipes and information I find on this site and just wanted to share my experience with that combo so that it may save someone else that experience. We will use the citrus castille for other purposes.

  2. Can this be used for intimate parts as well?

    • Since it has honey in it I’m guessing no. Sugar near the lady bits is a huge Nono.

      • I am new at this, have never heard sugar around lady parts is harmful. Please explain.

        • I’m not an expert by any means, but supposedly sugar can cause yeast infections. I know a peak of sugar in your diet can cause them, so contact on the outside probably can too. I think you’ll be fine as long as you rinse well & dry very well after bathing. I think it’s the moisture + sugar combo that really causes a problem.

          I haven’t personally tried this recipe. I’m new to DIY products, but can’t wait to get started! Thanks for all the research and experimenting you have done for us, Katie. It is so helpful.

          • Re: sugar in honey. I’ve been using this specifically for ‘down under’ and have had absolutely NO problems. As I understand it, sugar taken internally creates the problems and external honey is beneficial – in fact it’s being used more and more to heal ulcers and so forth. I had added coconut oil to this recipe, which was over drying and so use less of that and more olive oil. Since the oils do not affect the clensing, I make it quite oily so I don’t need to moisturise so much… HOWEVER, this wash wasn’t day-long effect for ‘pits’ and so I use the Rhassoul clay I use on my hair for them. Later deodorising with a spritz of half ACV/half water which dries without smell and is the best deodorant I’ve ever used. Having made Wellness Mama’s magnesium oi recipe for deodorant, I now spritz it elsewhere for the health benefits, which include improved sleep…

            Fab site – has let to many experiments and much simplification…

            xxx

          • If you are prone to yeast infections, avoid sugar near genetalia at all costs.

          • Honey is antiseptic, so outside the body, I don’t think it will cause a problem.

          • Being a nurse I can say that sugar should be avoided. It can cause yeast infections if not completely rinsed out. If in doubt, ask your OB/GYN. Besides, sugar or salt can be a major irritant to that area.

        • To avoid yeast infection, blow dry your ‘nether’ regions with your dryer in the Cold Shot setting for a few seconds after bathing/showering. Make sure the blow dryer is at least 6 inches away from any part of your skin down there. I have been doing this for years and never had a yeast infection since, and I’m diabetic which made me prone to it years ago. Even gynecologists recommend it.

          • DO NOT DOUSE! IF you have to, use plain water. When you douse you wash away the “good” bacteria that keeps out the bad!!!!! I am 61 and have not had a yeast infection since I was 25. That’s a good record, don’t you think? Take care with your hygiene and you should be fine.

          • I’ve also heard that microwaving your undies is a good way for those who suffer from chronic infections to rid unwanted organisms

      • Honey is actually fine for our lady parts. It used to be used after vaginal surgeries because bacteria doesn’t grow in it.

    • Ladies, I would strongly recommend you never use soap of any kind on your vagina. The vagina is self cleaning. I know, I know, I was horrified when I first thought of not cleaning “down there”. But after years of vaginal infections that would not clear up no matter what I did, I confided in a close friend and she told me to stop using anything and clean that area with a wash rag and water only. I did, and immediately my infection cleared up and it has never come back. I talked to my homeopathic doctor about this and he confirmed that you should never use anything but water when cleaning the vagina.

      • Sex,soap, and even a lady’s period can throw off your Ph balance…..can throw it off each of us are different, ever try to have your hair colored or permed while on your period just to find out it did take the perm or hold the color? It’s because your Ph balance is all off. So Yes in some women it can cause infections.

  3. If i can just point out that soap washes away oils, and by adding oil to a soap recipe you are effectively killing its ability to clean as its cleaning itself. Unless you are making soap with Lye and creating the chemical reaction. Then, the oils turn into soap. But adding oil to soap already made is making … nothing. Soap that doesnt work.

    • I haven’t had this experience at all. I have teenage acne prone skin and I use liquid african black soap with grapeseed oil mixed in to wash my face. If my face was not getting clean, I would be breaking out like crazy, but the soap is washing off all of my makeup and clearing up my acne. In other words, the added oil does not render the soap ineffective.

    • Untrue. It absolutely will work, as mentioned by Nicole. Soap isn’t the only thing that washes away oil, either. The oil cleansing method does a phenomenal job of dissolving excess oils on the face and elsewhere. As well, there is no shortage of commercially available “moisturizing soaps” that have extra oils in them, including bar soap that has been superfatted, meaning extra oil has been added *after* the lye & oil’s chemical process. If you’re going to be critical, you might at least know what you’re talking about first.

      • I actually love using body wash/scrub with oil in it, it cleanses my skin and doesn’t leave it dry after the shower. I find I don’t have to use as much lotion -even in the winter- when I use this type of wash.

        I love this recipe, I’ve modified it, eliminating the honey so I can use it all over my body. I use one part Dr. Bronners (unscented), one part almond oil, one part olive oil, 15-30 drops of essential oil/extract (I love sandlewood and vanilla) to 3 parts of distilled water. It foams up wonderfully and a few pumps clean my whole person. My husband is even using it for shaving. Following it up with your lotion recipe, my skin has never looked (or, felt) better! I have an autoimmune disorder which causes allergic reactions to an ever changing list of topical ingredients — even the most hypoallergenic products cause me to break out in painful hives (especially around my eyes.) Katie, since using your recipes I haven’t had a SINGLE breakout. I don’t know how to thank you!!

        All the best,
        Kate

        • Dear Kate,
          my daughter is 7 and has been going through a long list of medical tests to determine what is going on. They are thinking an autoimmune disorder and her symptoms, at least some of them sound very similar to yours. Does your autoimmune issue have an official name? Have you sworn off all store-bought products for your skin or were there brands you found to work well for you without causing a reaction? I’m just starting to go more natural in our skincare, after consciously cleaning up our food over the past year. Anyway, making my own seems overwhelming but I may need to for my daughter.

          Sincerely,
          Amanda

          • I was diagnosed with chronic idiopathic urticaria about 8 years ago. Chronic because even after 8 years I still get it, idiopathic because they couldn’t find an actual cause after numerous blood tests. For years I’ve had to take Allegra daily to make it go away and stay away, even if I missed one day I would break out in painful welt-like hives in random places. Since I’ve started to make my own bath products it has gotten significantly better, to where I could go a few days without taking the medicine but still had to about once a week, and now that I’ve been using my own products for over a year it has helped DRAMATICALLY. I still break out sometimes but its a rare occurrence now and I only take the allergy medicine about once a month if that. I’d say its worth a shot to try with your daughter, but just know that you probably won’t see immediate results. Once you get the hang of making your own body soap it really becomes much easier and only takes a few minutes of your time every couple of weeks.

    • I’ve tried this recipe twice now and either Bob’s right or I’m doing something wrong as both times I’ve just ended up with an oily liquid (smells nice) with zero soap! Help!

      • Soap doesnt have to be foamy to be effective. Some people even wash their hair with baking soda alone and then do a vinegar rinse to soften. (doesnt work for all hair types) if you feel that your skin is getting clean and is moisturized…then everything is okay. However if you want more suds, change your ratio of Castille/oil.

      • I dont feel clean without it foaming up. I know i am but i dont feel it. Any tips Wellness Mama?

        • I would just add another Tbsp or so of the castile soap if you want more foaming action.

          • Thank you so much Kim!!!

  4. Katie
    Thank you so much! I have been waiting for a recipe like this! Question, can I use coconut oil and olive oil? I do not have caster. Thank you so much!!

    • Between the 2 options I would choose olive. Coconut might get too solid if it gets cold and mess up the consistency. I have not tried it with olive oil, but be aware that olive oil is very nourishing and may over-moistureize your skin. Let us know how it goes!

      • Hi Katie!

        I did make it with coconut and olive oil and it works great!! Also, I bought the sponge that you posted in your link above and I love it! It is so soft! I was wondering though, how long do your sponges last before you have to replace them?

    • Okay, I just made a similar recipe, but had to use bar castile grated and add water to make the liquid castile. I only had coconut available so I used that oil and it does float to the top even if it’s mixed with a spoon. I’m going to mix it a bit more as it cools with hope it will incorporate a bit more. I would assume you just give it a good shake before use or add it to a bath. I still put in honey, vitamin E, and pure vanilla for scent all into a quart mason jar. The bars have been so drying on my family’s skin. Oh, I did used refined coconut oil because I was worried about the shelf life of the unrefined. Would have been lovely to have more of the coconut smell with the vanilla, but maybe I’ll try it the next time around!

  5. This looks awesome! Why do you prefer glass? I worry about it falling in the shower and breaking.

    • Plastic can leach chemicals out of the bottle into the wash.

      • I purchased PBA free plastic squeeze bottles… Would that make a difference? I’m absolutely in love with this recipe! It’s delicious! I have very dry skin (menopause) and add extra oil and I’ve never been softer! EVER! I’m also allergic to sulfates and sensitive to ‘fragrance’, so it’s been a lifesaver! My husband has a skin disease and the antimicrobial, antibacterial, antibiotic benefits of this have been a life saver! THANK YOUUUUUU!!!!!

        • You should be fine Nikki. Because the essential oils are “diluted” by the other ingredients, it does not have quite the same effect on the plastic bottles as straight essential oils would. Of course, over time, they will need to be replaced, but you should be fine for quite a while. 🙂

  6. oh that sounds delightful! I use just the dr bronner’s in a foaming pump. I’d love to try this with the honey and oil. Do you think it would work in a foaming pump? I might need to shake it a bit before pumping…

  7. Recipe sounds great! Was just curious as to how much this yields? 4oz or 8oz?? Thanks!!

    • It should be four (might be a tad out as I had to convert mL to oz)

    • Mine yielded closer to 8

  8. sounds like I would love this.
    What type of glass container do you use?
    Does the glass container get slippery in the shower?

    • I went to an antique store and found a thin, amber colored bottle (it just happen to be an old whiskey bottle). I believe it holds about 2 cups of liquid and so i made double the recipe with a little room at the top left over. Our shower is a standard apartment shower with very shallow shelving and this fits just perfect!

    • I just use a quart mason jar and I went to Michael’s Art Supply store and bought a mason jar pump lid. I don’t even have to pick up the jar (except to shake it when the ingredients separate). The only problem is once the soap gets low to the bottom of the jar the pump will no longer reach it, at which point I pour the rest of that soap into a smaller hand soap dispenser and just use it for hand soap and make a new batch for the shower.

  9. How much do you use at a time?

  10. Thank you for constantly helpful information – just as an FYI for readers (and yourself), do make sure whatever sponge you use in your shower/bath have a chance to dry out between uses, especially the natural sponges. The micro abrasions they can make on skin are open areas for bacteria to enter and if they sponges aren’t drying out all the way they are a perfect breeding ground. Nobody wants that!

  11. What combination(s) of essential oils is/are your favourite(s)? The options are endless, so I’m curious what your “go-to” scents are! Thanks!

      • Vanilla and sandalwood!

        • Lavender and grapefruit

    • Sweet orange and ylang-ylang

  12. I love the idea of making your own body products. It’s so great to know what actually goes in what you use (and into your body!). And I love that essential oils can still help you get that yummy scent.

  13. Would you recommend this as a shampoo as well? I have been trying different natural options, but I still haven’t found a recipe that I am really satisfied with.

    • I don’t see why it would not work, although I have not tried it myself as a shampoo.

  14. Hi Katie,
    and thanks for all the great recipes! Our local honey is very solid. Do you think it will dissolve in the soap mixture or should i melt it first?

  15. This is so simple! I used to spend *way* too much money on “fancy” body products… and now that I’ve switched to natural, I am so shocked at how much MORE you have to sometimes pay, when all I want is LESS ingredients!
    This is a great – and affordable – alternative to the pricey “natural” body washes out there in stores. Can’t wait to make some!

  16. Hi Katie, I always enjoy reading your blog. You have so much useful information and I have learned so much. I wanted to get my name in for the coconut oil drawing. Not sure if this is the right place or not. Thanks for the summit! Great information you are putting out there!

  17. Is this gentle enough for kids and baby’s too? Seems like it is but wanted to be sure.

    • I made it for my kiddos using the Dr. Bronners baby mild soap and I omitted the essential oils. I don’t use it in there hair because it will sting if it gets in their eyes. It works well as a baby body wash though.

  18. What are some good essential oil combos for this? I hate it when I experiment and end up making a stinky combo 😉

    • Hi! Um, I have not used this recipe yet (but am looking forward to using it!), but I will put down some good blends;

      Floral
      (Lavender, Neroli, Jasmine)
      Woodsy
      (Pine, Cedar)
      Earthy
      (Oakmoss, Vetiver, Patchouli)
      Herbaceous
      (Marjoram, Rosemary, Basil)
      Minty
      (Peppermint, Spearmint)
      Medicinal/Camphorous
      (Eucalyptus, Cajuput, Tea Tree)
      Spicy
      (Nutmeg, Clove, Cinnamon)
      Oriental
      (Ginger, Patchouli)
      Citrus
      (Orange, Lemon, Lime)

      The citrus one’s my favorite! But these are just a few good ones. I personally like orange, cinnamon bark, and spruce; it has a Christmassy aroma!
      But I absolutely love using jasmine in these sorts of recipes! It has such a sweet and floral scent, I just use plain jasmine essential oil. Rocky Mountain Oils sells essential oils for a fair amount and they’re 100% pure, too!

  19. I use homemade soap bars most of the time. I don’t think we have castille soap here in Norway, and I’m trying to cut down on the importation. It seems so silly to remove the toxic products just so that I can order something from across the globe and instead pollute by transportation.

    Would love to see you do a piece on how to harvest things from nature and make stuff from that! 🙂

    • I’m in Italy and actually in italian Castille soap is sapone di Marsiglia. It’s probably something similar. Maybe Marsille soap? It is very commonly used in italy. I also found it on Amazon sold from the UK by a company called Naissance in liquid format. Good luck!

    • Maybe just try to find soap that is sourced from plants….that would be a pretty much similar item as Castile soap. It might be called something very different there but plant-based soap may be easier to find by that description. I hope you can find it 🙂

      PS, what about the liquid soap from soap nuts? It is a very concentrated, natural soap.

  20. This sounds like such a healthy recipe, thank you so much for sharing it! I have a question about this and about all other cosmetics recipes that use oil. I am afraid that my long term use of coconut, olive and other oils in our DIY cosmetics – even in the small amounts I use them – have added up and have started clogging our drains.

    Has anyone had a similar problem? Have you found any natural ingredients for unclogging drains (besides baking soda and vinegar which just don’t do the job for serious clogs, unfortunately)?

    • I haven’t had that trouble much but I’ve heard that Lye (which we use to make soap) is really effective for that.

      • I use a product called Earth Enzymes that works especially well breaking down food in my kitchen sink so might help for this. You can find it on Amazon or at your health food store. Please don’t use lye in drains as it will be toxic to fish, etc.

    • A friend of mine suggested that I pour boiling water down the drains to help release the build up of oil to prevent clogging. She told me to do it at least once a month.

    • I have a septic, and my drains become clogged too. What I do on a REGULAR basis, like every month:
      Pour 1/2 gallon boiling water down drain, followed by the baking soda and vinegar, and then immediately after, another full gallon of boiling water. (Just remember to pour the water slowly to avoid splashing, and I usually put as much of the baking soda down as I can, before putting the vinegar in)
      I had to do this several times with a very slow bath drain. But now, the regular servicing seems to be keeping the buildup at bay.

    • Polly, we have the same problem and we have very hard water which contributes to the problem. I have tried the boiling water and the baking soda/vinegar and the Drainbo natural microbe treatment and they haven’t worked on the really slow moving drains. As much as I hate to do this, I end up just putting Draino or Liquid Plumber down the drains because it works right away. We open some windows and turn on the vent and pour it down. But this discussion has motivated me to make another effort at regular maintenance using the natural ideas. Perhaps if we do the natural things BEFORE the drains get slow, it will KEEP them from getting slow.

      • By the way, I am SOOO looking forward to trying this recipe! Thanks for all you do, Katie!

    • I asked a friend the same question when my shower drain began clogging shortly after using epsom salt & coconut oil in the shower. What I found was that I had to remove my bathtub plug & remove the hair & oil buildup by hand. It is gross but I haven’t had a problem since. If you have a lot of hair that goes down the drain, it may be a good idea to check it often!

    • Yes, coconut oil really clogs up drains as it hardens in cold temperature. I use it for oil-pulling and spit it into the bin instead of the sink. Best to use only small amounts.

  21. I made this last night but omitted essential oils. It’s amazing! I washed and was able to shave after without using anything else and my skin is soooo soft from it. I used doctor bronners mild baby soap because I have sensitive skin. I used castor oil and almond oil with a tsp of vitamin e oil from mountain rose herbs.

  22. I have adopted the philosophy of my Ayurvedic doctors and only use soap on my hands. For my body and face I use pure olive or coconut oil – but liked your recipes Wellness Mama, and I use ground oatmeal+water or milk paste for a bi-weekly or thrice-weekly nourishing and balancing face scrub and mask to follow after an oil cleanse.

    • I have always wanted to try this method, I am afraid it will not rid me of odors. I sweat heavily on most days. Do you have thoughts on this? Do you clean your shower after as well?

      • understanding what causes the odor helped me figure out how best to fight it. the odor is caused by moisture under the arms from perspiration. this is perfect for microbial bacteria to grow, the bacteria causes the odor. I use 50/50 NON GMO corn starch and baking soda mixed and applied with a makeup brush as a white powder. I have been using it for about 4 years. I would NEVER go back to commercial deodorant. and have never had a problem with body odor since making the switch. I also do not use perfumes or colognes.

    • Hello Shannon,

      I do follow Welnessmama everytime I want to make some DIY, except for this body soap for me. But again I did the above receipe for my husband and daughter because they think my receipe is too messy for them.

      I agree with you. Ayurvedic way is the best natural way of living life. I make a scrub out 1 tsp of each of milk, any oil, chikpea flour/gram flour(from Indian store)and pinch of turmeric. We use this on infants also while bathing them.

  23. Hi Wellness Mama,

    Thank you for this post. It has great timing in our household. My question however is for my 4 year old. If we skip a bath she ends up with pimps on her face. I think she is more oily because I can see pores come if we skip a bath. What are you thoughts?

    Thank you for what you do!!!

    • have you ever tried doing a pretend “spa day” and doing a bentonite clay mask with her? Or maybe making a sugar scrub that she could use on her face? This would be ok for the face if you were careful to avoid the eyes (it will sting)

    • Honey masks are fun for kiddos, I have a 4 year old and an 18 month old and they both like to play spa day with me. We do honey masks and the love it.

  24. Where to you buy the glass containers for you shampoo and body wash? I’ve been searching online but have had a hard time finding them. Thanks!

    • A woman at whole food suggested I use the glass baby bottles that have the rubber casing. I have not tried this but i do not know why it wouldnt work.

  25. I’ve heard the castille soap can be bad over time because of the alkalinity. Does anyone know more about this issue?

  26. Does this recipe require water and if so does it have to be distilled?

    Thank you Katie.

  27. Hi Katie,

    Was wondering if solid castille soap dissolved in some distilled water instead of the liquid version of castille soap would work as well?

  28. Where do you get all the brown glass jars that you use? I noticed the spray one too in an earlier post. Would love to find some!

  29. HI. I tried out this recipe and realises that as much as wash smells amazing when using it, the scent does not stick on you after you wash off. However, i do end up smelling like a bar of soap.

    Any one else ? Any suggestions on how to make the Essential Oil scent last longer ?

    Please advice.

    Cheers ! 🙂

    • I’ve been using olive oil with essential oil on my body after I shower. The smell of the essential oils last when added to olive oil. I’m assuming if you add whatever mix of oils to your body conditioner, it would also work.

  30. Why does it need RAW honey?

    Will heated work?

    Thanks.

  31. How bout Fractionated coconut oil? Could I use just that or does it need to be a blend? Thank you!!

  32. Is there a replacement for the honey?

  33. Hi, I accidentally “landed” on this great site and am sooo thankful for this recipe. I recent epicutan-test revealed that I am allergic to almost everything contained in cosmetic products. Even toilet paper is a nogo for me, so I need to use hankies. The itching in the past years have made me crazy looking for “bio” products, some being incredibly expensive. Needless to say that nothing improved.
    This week I showered using this recipe but without the honey as especially in the intimate parts of the body I have the sevearest itches. What a relieve !!! The itching has decreased considerably; so a big THANK YOU !!!! Regards from Switzerland (excuse my typing errors)

  34. What do you use on your feminine area since sugary substances shouldn’t be used there?

    • I’ve always just rinsed with water and have never had any issues. You should also use baby powder on hot days to help absorb moisture-as that is a breeding grounds for all sorts of bad and uncomfortable things.

  35. Can anyone provide shower gel suggestions that are appropriate for all body parts? I saw a comment here that one is not appropriate for genitals because of the honey. I ordered a shower gel from Herbal Choice Mari and it’s just too oily, I’d be in the shower for hours trying to get clean, so I’m looking for something as natural as possible but it needs to lather and be safe.

  36. I just heard that most beauty products are laden with soy and gluten which can enter your bloodstream very quickly through the skin and can have the same reaction in your blood as if you ate the gluten and soy. So I have been on the search for gluten- and soy-free hair and body washes. I thought Dr. Bronner’s would be a good choice then I looked up one of the ingredients – Tocopherol – and it’s commonly a soy-based Vitamin E. Do you think Dr. Bronner’s uses a non-soy based Tocopherol? Dr. Bronner’s is certified non-GMO, so it might be better soy than GMO soy? Thoughts? Am I over thinking this? 🙂

    • I was thinking the same thing after reading the ingredients on Dr. Bonner’s soap. Some of the ingredients are no better than some of the body washes. I’m going to research it more.

    • Angie, IMO… given the fact that 93% of soy is GMO I would have to think the Tocopherol that Dr Bronners uses is sourced from something other than soy. and if they are infact using NON GMO soy then I don’t see an issue unless your aversion is an allergy to soy itself then GMO or Natural wouldn’t mater anyway. hope that helps clarify

  37. Hi Katie,
    Just wondering if you could recommend anything for a intimate wash (private female area)? I have always used store bought and don’t want to any more as I am now more away of what goes inside it. Thanks for all your knowledge 🙂

  38. Hello there,

    Is the liquid castille soap optional? I don’t currently own any. Is there a substitute for it?
    This is the one recipe I have come closest to being able to make. I have the raw honey, oils, and essential oils, but no liquid castille soap.

    • Ok so I know this is late, but if you haven’t found a replacement for the castille soap yet this should work:

      Soapnut (soapberry) Liquid.

      You can order soapnuts online. To make a liquid out of them, follow this recipe:

      Boil 15-20 soapnuts in 6 cups of water for 20 minutes.
      Add an extra 2 cups of water and boil for 10 minutes.
      Then add a final extra 2 cups of water and boil for 10 minutes.

      It will stay good for 2 weeks if stored in an air tight jar in the fridge. Soapnut liquid can be used to clean about everything so it should not go to waste.

      Hope that helps!

    • Hello, Im sharing a lot of homemade recipes with a friend & I know that she uses castile bar soap in her household. So I ran across this today:

      https://ashleyshomemadeadventures.wordpress.com/2012/07/27/making-your-own-homemade-liquid-castile-soap/

      It’s much more cheaper to do it this way! I’ve read that when using water in these types of recipes that they don’t have a long shelf life, but I’ve also learned that vitamin E acts as a preservative. So I plan on giving it a try. Anything that would save money & still be healthy would be a tremendous help!

      Katie, I love all that you do, plus the fact that you are willing to share things like this for FREE! (along with many other natural/healthy website bloggers 🙂 ) Thank you for being so helpful for like minded ones to make the switch over to a healthier lifestyle. You make it so easy!

      P.S. I’d appreciate your thoughts on the info I shared above. I am still trying to navigate so many areas myself & thought I’d help out someone with the tidbits I’ve picked up here & there. I hope I didn’t step on your toes by including another site. I haven’t learned how to copy & paste on my tablet yet & my hands get numb easily when typing (like now) so that’s why I didn’t do it that way.
      <3

      • I actually have my own post about that coming out soon, but in short, it is a great and frugal idea. Thanks so much for reading and for the coment 🙂

  39. Hello is there water added this?

  40. Can you recommend some essential oils for men? My husband isn’t a fan of floral smells.

    Thank you!!

  41. Hi Katie! Loving this site! But seriously, so many women are asking and I also would like to know, can you use this on intimate areas, and if not, what is a natural product to use??? Sugar is supposed to be bad and so is honey, but that is in all of you recipes. What do you use??? Thank so much for helping us solve this dilemma!

      • Olive oil and coconut oil? First that would take forever to “lather up”, second it sounds like a backed up drain ready to happen.

        • Disagree- the amount of oil in a solid bar of soap is not enough to clog your drains if you’re using it to wash your lady bits, only. We have the worlds most temperamental drains and I have never had an issue using soap w oil in it (I bought handmade olive oil soap for years from Whole Foods to help w my hives before tracing myself to make it.)

          • I use only water and bicarbonate to wash my intimate parts and it’s been working great so far for me.

  42. I tried the shower gel recipe. I put 15 drops of essential oils in it and it still just smells like the castle soap. It doesn’t smell fragrant at all? The Castille Soap I used was Dr. Bronners Lavender. Help! I want it to smell so good.

    • Dr. Bronners SCENTED soap is the issue – the scented version of the soap is really really condensed and strong (usually you need to dilute it with water). Try using the baby version or unscented with your choice of essential oil and add lavender essential oil in balance w the other oils (afew drops of whatever and equal drops of lavender.)

  43. I am so happy to have found this recipe. Has anyone had an issue with the ingredients smelling great alone, but not good at all when put together? I used Dr. Bronners unscented, raw honey, almond and avocado oils, and it smells really bad. I put the EO in there to help, but it has like an underscent of yucky. Am I the only one? Are there any tips to keep this from happening? Thanks!!

    • Now I am hesitant to make this wash. I don’t like that you can’t use it in private areas and the smell…well you can waste a lot of time and product trying to make it right. I looked on amazon to find a body wash but some of them are no better with many chemicals. I don’t know what to do anymore.

      • Do a small test batch first- I do a 1/10th size batch to test scents. I -personally- find that I have trouble with avocado oil and any scent, alfalfa based Shea butter and sweet smells (vanilla, peppermint) and unrefined coconut oil and floral smells (sandalwood, lavender).

    • Yes! The raw honey and the unscented Dr. Bronner’s reacted immediately and it smells really unpleasant… “like fish,” my husband said. 2% EO’s did nothing to mask it! This has happened to me with two different raw honeys so I am wondering how other people are making it without that reaction. (My soap and honey both smell fine on their own!) Oddly, the pH of the solution didn’t change with the addition of the honey, which is fairly acidic. Can anyone explain??

  44. Hi,
    Is it normal that this body wash doesn’t go a long way at all? I feel like I’m just scrubbing myself with a wet sponge after only a few scrubs once u apply the body wash onto the sponge. It doesn’t seem trip foam much at all…. I followed the recipe very closely

    • I had the same issue! I wash one arm and all the lather is gone. Also, my wash is so thick I can hardly squeeze it out of the container (I used a leftover plastic bottle since I was too excited to make this and wait for a glass bottle to arrive if I ordered it). It was very liquid-y when I first made it and it somehow thickened up after sitting in the shower.

      • Use vegetable glycerin. That will give it more later. I tweaked the recipe a bit and added the glycerin and it lathered nicely. I bought new scrubbies as I didn’t think a wash cloth was going to work. I used coconut oil (melt in microwave first then add the raw honey), unscented baby mild castille soap, raw honey, vit e oil, glycerin and eo’s for fragrance. I used eucalyptus, lavender and lemon. I put it in a mason jar (no kids in the house) for our shower and shake a bit before using it. The husband LOVES it.

        • Thanks for this Robin – will give it a go. I’d posted a few months ago about having problems with no suds but never received a response so this is really helpful!

        • Hey how much glycerin did you use?

  45. The honey is hard to mix with the castille soap. Any solution to this?

    • So you won’t have to go looking for my other comment: I used coconut oil instead of olive or castor. I heated up the olive oil in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds or so. I added the raw honey next and I think that softened it up a bit. I added the rest and shook the jar. It turned out nice and I just shake it a bit in the shower. I used coconut oil, raw honey, baby mild unscented castille soap, glycerin, vit e oil and EOs (eucalyptus, lavender and lemon). It turned out way better than I thought after reading some of the comments. 🙂

      • I mean I heated up the coconut oil. Geez…..:)

  46. Hi! I am very new at this making my own products and am very excited with this website that is so informative. I presently am nursing my four month old son and was just wondering about the honey in this and other recipes. I am aware that honey can be dangerous for babies under 12mths old which makes me hesitant in using it. Are you aware if it could be harmful for babies? Thank you so much for all your shared information. I really appreciate reading your site????

  47. Hi there,
    I made the body wash this weekend for the first time and loved it! I did use coconut oil in the recipe as well. So far my whole family has liked it. The only thing we didn’t like was it was very runny. Is there a way to make the consistency a bit thicker? Also, is using a plastic container that bad? I just can’t see having glass in my shower with my 12 year old son.

    Thanks for your input!!

    • Hm… I hadn’t thought to thicken it. I am need to experiment. You might consider a silicone container as an alternative to the glass jar. Healthier than plastic if you want something that cannot shatter.

  48. Hi!
    can i replace the raw honey with regular honey?
    raw honey is quite expensive

    • I used raw honey, but it was so stiff I couldn’t get it mixed together. I had to heat it to get it mixed. Then it was no longer raw.

      • Raw honey means that it hasn’t been processed, heating it won’t make it not raw. 🙂

        • Heating honey destroys the natural bacteria that are “Good” for you. Hench, heating honey is “processing” it. “RAW” honey is natural… unheated… and unprocessed in any way.

  49. Do you order the glass bottles online? If so, where do you get them?
    Thanks for this, and all the other great posts.

    • You can find amber glass bottles (which are the best for preserving natural recipes) on Amazon. They’re pretty nice and affordable.

  50. Hi ,its true the smell is so ungodly ,I tried different eo’s to no avail, also my skin drying up after use ,never happened to me before. Normally I use scented castile soap ,i shall try adding glycerin for better lathering, I shall twirk it a little more before completely giving up because I love how it feels on my skin ,thanks Katie anyways

  51. I use soaps and scrubs like these all the time and while I haven’t had a clogged drain; one of the easiest ways to unclog is pour some dishsoap down the drain let it sit for like 20 minutes so it can slip under the clog, then pour hot not boiling water down the drain, then plunge. Hope this helps.

    Oh and I have also never had an an issue scrubbing the lady parts with sugar, brown sugar, honey, or any above mentioned oils.

  52. Hi Katie,
    My only question to you and seems to be my biggest quest so far from changing over to natural recipes is finding a clean and fresh scent. I do not like the “tropical” or sweet scents for my body. I don’t want to smell like coconut, vanilla, or shea butter. I don’t like the floral smells too much either , like lavender Etc. I am searching for that clean girly smell. I don’t know how to explain it other then the scent of conventional personal care, like tersemme shampoo or dove soap. If there is any suggestions for some EO’s or combinations that may help me achieve the fresh, clean scent I adore please PLEASE HELP!! Thanks so much??

  53. I made this recipe and stored it in a mason jar. I was loving it. Then one day I got in the shower and ants were everywhere ????
    They hadn’t made it in the jar because of the lid was shut but they were all over on and near it. I’m not sure if anything could be done to prevent this. I live in a warm climate with very mild winter. Maybe I will store in the fridge next time?

  54. Hey! I am just wondering hot to incorporate tea into this recipe. Green, earl grey, chai etc.
    Thanks!

  55. I noticed that several people asked about where to get glass jars online. I live in the greater Seattle area and have purchased from Specialty Bottle; they also sell online

    http://www.specialtybottle.com

    They carry amber bottles in varying sizes, along with sprayer and pump mechanisms for them. They also carry aluminum pump bottles – not sure if there is any issue with leaching, but they are certainly not breakable.

  56. I have been meaning to test out this recipe for body wash for a few weeks. Well, today I made it! So easy to mix up and it worked well in the shower. I thought it would be too watery and not thick enough but it wasn’t too bad. Not as thick as store brands but much healthier!
    Thanks so much!! Love your blog 🙂

  57. I tried the recipe just as it was written. Love it! Even got the sponge. Thanks so much!

  58. I played around with ingredients and different recipes and here’s what I got that I like:
    coconut oil
    raw honey
    castille soap
    vitamin E
    vegetable glycerin
    eucalyptus eo
    orange eo
    lemon eo

    and as an after thought in the third batch, I added organic aloe vera

    I made one batch with coconut milk and it was nice. But I didn’t use much coconut milk for anything else and even though I put it in the fridge, it went bad.

    I found that the aloe vera gel gave it a creamier thickness. The vegetable glycerin gave it more suds. And the hubby loves the eucalyptus smell. It makes our steamy bathroom smell like a spa! I had not seen the aloe vera gel on any recipe but though why not. There is aloe vera other stuff and we use it on our skin….and it is organic gel. I like the thickness that it adds and the creamy white look it has.

    So today I tried it as a shampoo. With towel on my head, I’ll report back as to how it works. In the shower, my hair didn’t feel as slick and thin. It was more thick…..and I hope not too oily with the coconut oil. I used my regular 3 minute treatment and an instant treatment as well. I’ve been using Aussie for YEARS so we’ll see how just changing up the shampoo works.

    • Hi Robin

      How did this go as a shampoo? I’m travelling soon and want to be able to take a multi-purpose body wash / shampoo. I was worried the honey would make it ‘sticky’ in my hair – did you find that?

      Thanks!

    • I too would like more lather. How much vegetable glycerin would add to the recipe?

  59. Hi Katie, I’m making a gift basket full of natural things for a church fund raiser, I was just wondering what essential oils you recommend. Which do you use? Thanks for the great recipies.

    • Hey, I just made think recipe w/ orange and lemon EO. I used 20 drops (I doubled the entire recipe) and it still smelled very strong of Castile soap. I added alittle bit more and the same result I added 10 more drops and it still smelled very strong. What should I do?

  60. I use another body wash recipe that uses oatmeal (you pour boiling water over the oats, let them sit for a couple of hours, then ditch the oats and incorporate the oat water into the wash). How could I best incorporate that into this recipe?

    Thank you!
    Shelley

  61. I made this body wash about a week ago and was so excited to use it. Unfortunately, I found that it had separated. I’m not sure what to do since it is already in the glass bottle. (Thankfully, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, my husband still has quite a bit of store bought body wash so I’ve been using that.)
    I didn’t have raw honey, just what I bought at SAMS(costco) and a good majority of it had crystallized. I also used only olive oil instead of two different oils.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    • Adding 1/2 tsp (.7%) xanthan gum to 360 ml (3 batches of this recipe) will bind all ingredients together Wikipedia says .8% xanthan gum in a mixture will provide a thick stable emulsion but an emulsion can be formed with as little as .1%. Adding xanthan gum will also thicken the mixture full thickening effect will be seeing after 24h. You need to mix xanthan gum with oil or vegetable glycerin before adding to your body wash.

  62. Hi I’ve newly started my switch to natural living. I can’t seem to find much of an answer. Coconut oil has so many uses, but I live in a very hot climate so it’s never solid, which makes it tricky to use with most recepies. I was wonder if there is a way to thicken solidify it, or if there are any Australian blogs like this one that may have recipes that cater for the climate?

    • It’s totally safe to keep it in the fridge if you have space…

  63. Can you use branch basics soap?

  64. Hi Katie. I stumbled upon your blog this week and have been absolutely fasinated by all of your creations. I am feeling inspired as my husband and I move forward in trying to create a more natural and healthier lifestyle for our family.
    I would love to give your body wash a go. Our two littlies (3 yrs & 2yrs old) have had eczema all their little lives. Thankfully not a particularly bad form but it always sticks around all year long. We use very expensive body washes that are gentle on their skin (and lotions) but we’re finding that it’s becoming rediculously expensive buying this stuff regularly. Do you feel that your body wash will be suitable to use on their skin? I am planning on making your eczema bar as well.
    You’re an inspiration. Thank you.

    • I have a granddaughter that has the same problem. I use baby liquid castile soap mixed with coconut milk and it seems to help alot. She still has to have lotion but if you look at the ingredients of the generic and compare to the expensive ones you’ll find a cheaper solution. Hope this works for you.

      • I forgot to say, It’s all fragrance free!!!!

  65. Couldn’t you also use this as a facewash?

  66. Hi katie..salute to you for sharing this best homemade organic body wash..now no tension of budget.thanks

  67. Upon making this, it came out really thin. Can I add regular or grinded oatmeal to thicken it?

    • I don’t see why not… Would add a nice, exfoliating touch too!

  68. To the person that said oils will null the cleansing properties of the soap I would suggest reading the recipe for Dr. Bronners.

    I found the addition of oil confusing because castile soap is made with I think olive oil as well as other oils. But I just picked up my last ingredient to make this recipe so I can report back. I drink a lot of water and eat plenty of good fats and my skin and hair and beard are always dry as a bone. Hoping this helps a bit.

  69. I have a wallmounted soap pump and I was wondering if this soap would work with this? Would I have to shake it every time?

  70. Hi Katie- I have a question for you. I have been making body wash mixing unscented castile soap, different oils and essential oils. Many people have been asking me to sell it to them and am thinking of potentially creating a brand. My question is – can I use a ready- made castile soap if I’m doing this? Or do I have to make the castile soap from scratch? Also, I was told by different people that in order for the soap to be
    “good”, I need to saponify all the oils rather than just adding different oils to castile soap. Are you able to advise on this? Any advice would be super helpful! Many thanks. A.

  71. Hi katie,
    All are awesome home made body wash recipes. It helps me a lot. I usually used coconut oil to remove my make up.you are right Honey is really a great ingredients for all types of skin but its best for dry skin. I used honey all season.It keeps my skin smooth and bright.

  72. Interesting piece, one query, where do I get best quality castille soap?

  73. You have wonderful recipes. Do you need to add preservatives to your homemade body care?

  74. Hello! How long does the sponge last before you have to replace it? Thanks!

  75. Very sensitive down there and this recipe works GREAT!!! Even with the glycerin added (which makes it lather)!! I have not had any breakouts or problems down there since. I even moved to using pure coconut oil (virgin) as a moisturizer down there with no adverse problems or breakouts. Thanks Katie!!

  76. Katie,

    The link for your sea sponge is not there. Can you tell me where you purchase your sea sponge?

    Thank you!
    angela

  77. Have you tried this recipe with Branch Basics instead of Dr. Bronner’s? I’m debating on adding water since Branch Basics is so concentrated.

    • Yes, I’ve used BB in a foamer on its own as a body wash too

  78. hello,

    is there a body wash you make for your kids? mine’s been having a bit of a problem with eczema on the back of his arms and his legs get really dry, so I’m trying to find something more nourishing for him.

    thanks!

  79. Is it okay to use plastic soap pumps when using essential oils? I made a bunch of homemade body/hand wash for gifts and I am giving them away in a decorated mason jar. Is the EO diluted enough as it will not effect the plastic straw in the dispenser or do I need to make sure that I instruct people to have a certain type of pump on their glass or stainless steel dispenser?

  80. My husband is diabetic and he thinks there should be no honey in his body wash because he is scared of it messing with this sugar levels and I say it should make no difference but I don’t want to harm him. Can I add honey to his body wash?

    • I don’t think it will absorb into his skin, but if he is concerned he can ask his doctor to make sure it is safe for him to use. It is better to err on the side of caution.

  81. Hello-
    I made this as the directions stated and it crystallized! It does get cold in my bathroom so I’m not sure if that has something to do with it. Should I add distilled water? Is there another solution you can think of? Thanks!

  82. Hi, I can’t find castile soap, can I replace it with pure olive oil soap liquid? Or can u recommended to me sth instead?

  83. Thank you for his recipe. This calls for serval tablespoons of ingredients. Is that the total volume or do you add water? I have read other readers puttingis in a 4 oz bottle or 8 oz bottle but am confused. Thanks.

  84. Hi! I live in Costa Rica and started with the natural and homemade products a few months ago, but i’m not sure that i can get castile soap, even in a different brand… Can you tell me what can i use instead???

    P.d.: I’m sorry for my english, i’m not very good with the writing

  85. I made this with the slight change of coconut oil for the castor oil. I used organic honey (in lieu of raw) and followed all other directions as specified. I found that the honey clumped at the bottom of my container. Is there an easy solution for this, or did I miss something in my mix? Thanks!

  86. I feel like i’m starting to go crazy, I’ve scoured the web for weeks trying to find an alternative to conventional body washes. EVERY single one I have found contains castile soap, however castile soap is highly alkaline and messes with the acidity of our skin. So I know this isn’t an option, but I cannot find another alternative. The only thing I’ve found is the oil cleansing method, but I just don’t see how this will get rid of body odour. Feel like I’m losing the plot, does anyone have any advice??

    • Recipe 5: Fun body wash made from bar soap
      Apparently, bar soaps and squirmy little toddlers always make for messy bath time, so you might want to try turning your existing bath soaps into body wash instead. This recipe calls for a little bit more work, but the grating and heating seem to be interesting activities. If you are slowly teaching the kids the importance of going toxic free, feel free to do this activity over the weekend with your little ones.
      For this recipe, you will need the following ingredients:
      Your favorite bar of soap (there’s also castile bar soap, if you want)
      2-3 cups water
      Optional: 10 to 15 drops of your favorite essential oil
      Begin by grating your favorite bar of soap using a cheese grater. Place the grated soap in a saucepan and add 2 to 3 cups of warm water. Stir over medium heat until all the soap chips dissolve. Add more water until you reach your desired consistency. Add in your essential oil of choice. If you’re using scented soap, you may no longer need essential oils. Let the mixture cool for an hour and transfer into a squeeze bottle. Have fun!

      I also think Katie has a recipe for a similar recipe. I bought some African Black Soap and plan on making my shower gel by grating this bar into distilled water. These types of shower gels are gelatinous and “slimey” looking and feeling.

  87. It’s a little funny how many women are concerned with whether or not sugar can go in/on their “lady parts” as you put it. Anyway, I’ve heard honey is terrible for shower drains. Is that true?

  88. I tried this and it’s not really suds-ing up. How much do you have to use on the sponge? I realize it won’t be like typical soaps that suds everywhere but I’m getting nothing. I used the Bronner’s almond castile soap. Any suggestions?

  89. What would happen if I use regular honey or skip the honey? I don’t have any raw honey at the moment and I don’t want to wait for it before trying this.

  90. Hi, I am vegan…can I skip the honey? or is there a substitute you can recommend?

  91. I find the best way to prevent any disruption in feminine PH balance is by taking a good probiotic which balances good and bad bacteria. I was always prone to bacterial infections my whole life before taking a good probiotic. This has completely subsided since use.

  92. Have you made a body wash or scrub with activated charcoal?

  93. How many months before this would go bad?

  94. I want to make my vegan. Has anyone tried agave nectar in place of honey?

  95. I have seen a recipe for a body wash with coconut milk but I’ve also read that coconut milk needs to be refrigerated. I really don’t know of a practical way to refrigerate my body wash! Does anyone know if coconut milk mixed with liquid pure castille soap will go bad at room temperature?
    Thanks!

  96. Hi I made this recipe today and it seems like a tiny tiny batch, am I supposed to add water? Or is this batch only for one person for just a few days?

  97. I used this for the first time today, and I am sold!! It’s so silky that just a small amount on my hand (I forgot to get a washcloth or sponge) was enough to do just about my whole body! And it didn’t have that harsh chemical taste when I accidentally got some in my mouth. Love it!!

    Thanks so much for all your hard work in figuring out all these recipes and answering so many questions over and over again, all while raising your large family!

  98. You’ve got a total of 8 Tablespoons of liquid in this recipe . . . and it’s supposed to last for months at room temperature??? Did I miss something? Did you forget something?

    • I was wondering the exact same thing. 8T in total not including the essential oils. This would only last 2-3 days between my husband, our son and myself.

  99. I used this recipe but the body wash is too thin what can I do to make it thicker?

  100. Trying this recipe today! Thank you for posting such a wonderful recipe! I do have a question, is it possible to also use this as a face wash?? Would it have the same benefits as using the oil cleansing recipe? I’m all about downsizing the amount of products in my shower! lol!

  101. Hi Katie
    My son reacts to honey when he ingests it. So for alternatives when cooking we use rice malt syrup or maple syrup.
    Any thoughts on whether he might also react to honey on his skin or what this mix would be like made with an alternative?
    Thanks!

  102. I stated using this recipe a few months ago and love it. The only probably is it doesn’t smell very good on it’s owe. And I’m not a big fan of the smell of most essential oils. So, I know this it’s probably going to sound like a crazy question but I was wondering if I could add something like strawberry extract to it to make it smell more fruity. Or something similar to that.

    Thank!!

  103. Hi!

    I love reading your blog. I am from India and I have dry to normal skin. Will this also work for Indian weather? we have temperature here from 25°C to 33°C.

  104. Hi!

    I love reading your blog. I am from India and I have dry to normal skin. Will this also work for Indian weather? we have temperature here from 25°C to 33°C. Also, how much quantity this recipe will make?

    Thank you so much!! 🙂

  105. Am I missing something or is something missing from this recipe? Is it suppose to have filtered water or distilled water added to the other ingredients?

    • I make it without water since water is added in the shower. This also makes it last longer.

  106. I purchased the Swissco natural sea sponge. I am very disappointed because there is no suds at all. Is there something I could do different when using this with my homemade bath wash?