Liquid Hand Soap Recipe

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Homemade Liquid Hand Soap
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We go through a lot of hand soap. A lot. From the diaper changes to the “mom come wipe me”s, there is much hand washing in our house.

Ever the DIYer, I’ve been making foaming hand soap for years, and we still use it daily. The only downside of foaming hand soap is that you need a special foaming pump and these eventually wear out (though this one has been going strong for over a year at our house).

Liquid Hand Soap…

I got enough questions about if this would work as a liquid hand soap that I decided to create a recipe specifically for liquid hand soap. This uses the same idea as my homemade laundry detergent of grating a natural bar soap and melting in water to form a natural gel.

This is not only cost effective (a $3 to $4 bar of premium natural soap will make up to a gallon of soap), but simple and more natural than regular soap.

Is it Antibacterial?

As I mentioned before, I avoid antibacterial handsoaps and other products because of their potential to create resistant bacteria and microbiome changes. Plain soap and water have proven as effective as antibacterial soaps without the risk (source) and this natural version is a simple and cost effective natural soap.

What You’ll Need

What You Need:

What to Do:

  1. Place the bar soap and water into a small saucepan.
  2. Turn on medium heat and stir constantly until soap has dissolved into the water.
  3. Let cool completely and add the essential oils if using. Pour into the container you plan to use.
  4. It will take about 24 hours to completely “gel” but it will not be quite as thick as regular hand soap. You can add more grated bar soap to create a thicker soap but it will be more difficult to pump and will not get hands any more clean, so I stick with this.
  5. After 24 hours, shake well to make sure it has gelled completely and use as normal.

What type of hand soap do you use? Ever made your own?


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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.


110 responses to “Liquid Hand Soap Recipe”

  1. Lola Avatar

    Im struggling to see when I should add the essential oils? While boiling?

    1. Jamie Larrison Avatar

      You can add them after the soap has dissolved into the water and cooled down. Just stir them in before pouring the soap into your containers.

  2. Mia Avatar

    Help please! I was so excited and made the soap bars with your recipe and they turned out great!
    Then offcourse had to turn one of them to liquid soap cause, we live of that in our house, but it doesn’t gel at all!
    What am I doing wrong?

  3. Elizabeth Avatar

    I just wanted to let you know that the African black soap you’ve linked to has apparently changed formulations and all the newer reviews are upset customers. I love everything you do, thanks for your hard work!

  4. lara Avatar

    Hi! I live in India. Will any lye work? Should I trust whatever I can find on Amazon?

  5. Francesca Avatar

    If you use the liquid Dr. Bronners, I assume you don’t still need to heat it up??

  6. MBenes Avatar

    I followed the recipe, but the the soap keeps going back to solid in the pan as it cools. I added more water, but it solidified again. Suggestions?

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