Homemade Liquid Hand Soap

Want a SUPER easy way to make liquid hand soap?  This is it!  I’d like to say this will save you tons of money, but that really depends on which ingredients you choose and how fancy you want your soap to be.  You can at least make soap that is suitable for your skin type as well as a scent you like.

If what you want is clear gel-like hand soap like you can buy at the store, you may be a little disappointed in this.  There is definitely a texture difference when comparing the gel-like soap and this homemade version, but most people are okay with that.

What you’ll need:

1 bar of soap and 7-8 cups of water.

Optional ingredients may include:  liquid glycerin (found at some pharmacies and co-op’s), fragrance, moisturizers, colors.

The type of soap you use is up to you.  Choose something you like based on the ingredients you prefer (natural, hypoallergenic, organic, whatever).  Do not use Dove brand soap as they use a high percentage of moisturizers and in my experience causes the liquid soap to not set up properly.  If you find a recipe using Dove soap that doesn’t turn out watery, let me know!  We love Dove soap!

Step 1:

Grate your bar of soap.  I used a hand grater, but it could probably be done in a heavy duty food processor.  Just as long as it is chopped up into tiny bits.  The larger the pieces, the longer it takes to dissolve in the water — something to keep in mind.

Step 2:

Add the grated soap to the boiling water (off heat) and gently stir until dissolved.  This is when you can also add the liquid glycerin or other additives you like.  I added about 1 tablespoon of liquid glycerin.

Step 3:

Cover the liquid and let it sit to cool OVERNIGHT.  Do not skip this step — you will regret it.  Just trust me on this and leave it alone for at least 12-24 hours.

Step 4:

Remove the cover and blend the soap until smooth in texture.  I prefer to use a stick blender, the type used for smoothies and soups, because it doesn’t cause the soap to foam.  If you use a regular blender it will foam something fierce, possibly popping the top off your blender.  Not only that, but once all the suds pop and settle, you’ll have some weird separation happening inside your soap dispensers — something like snot and water.  Yuck.

Step 5:

Fill your soap dispensers!  Any leftover can be stored in a clean jar or jug with a cap.



If after a couple days your soap wants to separate (comes out watery), just give your soap dispenser a gentle swish & shake to redistribute.

If your liquid soap turns out too runny after you’ve blended it, you can at a little bit of salt solution to it to instantly thicken it.  In a separate bowl, stir together a tablespoon of salt with a couple tablespoons of warm water until the salt is dissolved.  Add a little of the solution at a time to your soap while stirring until it reaches the consistency you like.

The measurements in my recipe are what work for me.  Different types of bar soaps will do different things when diluted, so feel free to experiment to get what you want.  Start with about 2 quarts of water per bar of soap and add water later if it turns out too thick.

2 comments for “Homemade Liquid Hand Soap

  1. Stacy Stephens
    February 23, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    Hi ! I made mine using Ivory soap with a regular blender and it did just fine. So it must have something to do with the kind of soap you use. I’ve tried other homemade soaps before, but this one’s a keeper. Thanks !

    • Cheri
      February 25, 2015 at 11:17 pm

      Glad you’ve had success! I think you’re right — I have tried different soaps and had rather different results. 🙂

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