Gentle Foaming Baby Wash (Easy Homemade Recipe)

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Homemade baby wash recipe
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There’s nothing cuter or sweeter smelling than a baby fresh out of the bath! Unfortunately, those sweet-smelling conventional baby washes can strip away natural protective oils, and many contain undesirable ingredients (especially the mot popular brands).

Thankfully there are some great natural baby wash brands, but they can be expensive.

This foaming baby wash is less expensive than store bought, easy to make, completely nontoxic, and (I think) smells just as sweet as any conventional baby brand.

When Baby Wash May Be Necessary

Dirt is great for the immune system, especially for kids and babies, so I don’t give my little ones a bath every day. When I do I often use just a microfiber cloth. But sometimes I need to call in the big guns, especially with the babies. Diaper blowouts, upset tummies, or peas smashed into their hair … you know the drill!

When it is necessary to bathe, help keep baby’s skin microbiome healthy by using gentle products and maybe only washing those areas that really need it. (Yes, it’s really ok to skip the rest!)

A Note on Essential Oil Safety with Babies

Certain essential oils are safe to use on babies that are 3 months or older. While adults typically use a 1-5% dilution for skincare, a general .25% dilution is recommended for this young age.

Ultimately it depends on the essential oil and what it’s being used for, but for simplicity and safety, the recipes below are using the .25% recommendation.

If this foaming baby wash is going to be used on an infant younger than 3 months, omit the essential oils and use just the hydrosols used instead. Hydrosols are basically just aromatic water made from flowers and herbs and don’t have the same potent effects as essential oils.

Best Hydrosols for Baby Wash

Here are some favorite options to use, both for natural fragrance and calming benefits:

It may seem strange to think that babies could be stressed, but it’s not unusual for them to feel the effects of overstimulation. Bath time is a great opportunity to give them a gentle break from play (or in our house, rambunctious siblings!).

Any of these hydrosols can be interchanged in the recipes below. This will change the effects and the benefits, but any will work.

Baby Wash Recipes

Variation #1: Gentle Foaming Baby Wash

Variation #2: Calming Bedtime Baby Wash


  1. In the soap dispenser combine the glycerin, castile soap, and essential oils (if using). Swirl the contents around until thoroughly mixed.
  2. Add the hydrosol until the mixture is 1-2 inches from the top. Cap and shake gently to combine.

What are your favorite natural baby products? Will you try one of these baby wash recipes?

Natural foaming baby wash recipe
Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


28 responses to “Gentle Foaming Baby Wash (Easy Homemade Recipe)”

  1. Juanita Avatar

    Hi Katie,
    Love the recipes.
    How long would you expect the formulas to stay fresh and usable in a container?

    1. Jamie Avatar

      If you use the hydrosol (which last about a year) then it should last awhile. If you use distilled water though it would only last a few weeks.

  2. Tracy Avatar

    Can the baby washes be used on newborn if diluted down to .25% of what you have listed? Am I understanding that correctly? Just want to be certain! Thanks!

  3. Burgandi Avatar

    Hydrosol is quite pricey per batch of wash, any suggestions for a substitute? Possibly distilled water and less hydrosol? Thanks in advance!

  4. Charmie Avatar

    I find this quite pricey to make, considering that the bottles of the floral waters are 4 oz. and you need 8 oz making the cost, for the waters alone, anywhere from $20-28+ per each foaming soap dispenser, in order to make the soap. Anything wrong with plain distilled water (and no essential oils if there is a sensitivity) in place of the floral waters?

  5. Bonnie Avatar

    I saw hydrosol after some ingredients. What is hydrosol? My babies are grown, so I only have grandchildren. Love your blog. Thank you.

  6. Breann Avatar

    Does anyone know of a brand of liquid Castile soap that doesn’t contain coconut oil? I’m allergic to coconut oil. It took me forever to find a bar soap without coconut oil! Still searching for a liquid version. Any help is appreciated! Thanks!

    1. Jonna Korpi Avatar
      Jonna Korpi

      Why glycerin? Is that for consistency or…? I’ve never used glycerin before 🙂 appreciate any info

      1. danielle Avatar

        I am also wondering about glycerin’s purpose and if it’s needed? And how toxic/safe it is? On ewg, it seems unsure.

  7. Kari Joly Estill Avatar
    Kari Joly Estill

    Do you have any suggestions for people with hard water? I’ve used castile soap in the past and had filmy results read: horrible effects on hair!), which after a little research, seemed to be answered by the fact that it reacts to the minerals in hard water. We’re not in a position to get a softener right now, and it seems the use of one is debated in the health community. TIA

  8. Joy Avatar

    Shouldn’t essential oils be put in glass dispensers? The dispenser you linked to is plastic. Although with a two year old (like I have) glass isn’t exactly practical. What are your thoughts?

  9. Christy Avatar

    I second the question above about leaving the hydrosol out. I like to be completely free if fragrance, including natural ones. Can I sub water for the hydrosol?

  10. Meagan Avatar

    I’ve been using plain castille soap, which works pretty well, but I could see the advantage of a foaming wash to make the lather carry farther. I sometimes feel like it is easy to use too much when the suds are few. Thanks for sharing! Could the hydrosol be subbed out for water instead? I just topped off the budget at Mountain Rose last week!

    1. rachel Avatar

      Same questions, can I use distilled/boiled water instead of hydrosols?

  11. Tara Avatar

    What is the shelf life like? I want to make this ahead of time, but I’m not due until the end of February.

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