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House & Garden

DIY Hand Soap: How to Make Your Own + Recipes

Did you know that a majority of commercial hand soaps might have parabens in them? 

Parabens are a group of potentially harmful chemicals that have been used since the 1900s as artificial preservatives in cosmetic and personal hygiene products. Research has shown that parabens can disrupt the body’s hormones, produce skin irritation, and increase the risk of cancer.

Many products exist out there that are paraben-free but might also contain other harmful agents such as sulfur and triclosan. These are not only bad for one’s health but also for the environment.

The solution? DIY Hand soap! 

Making your own hand soap is quite easy with the right-hand soap recipe and some time and patience. Keep reading to learn more about the craft!

The Culprit: Commercial Hand Soap

Hand soap is a common item that should be used every day in conjunction with water to promote good self-hygiene. But like with many other personal hygiene products, such as shampoo and deodorant, many companies include harmful chemicals in their products. As for why they do so, there are plenty of reasons, but the main ones are that they last longer and are cheap to make.

But that’s no excuse for the harmful health side effects that come with using these products. If you weren’t aware, one of the other ways that the human body intakes chemicals and nutrients is transdermal— through the skin.

This is why many skincare products, soaps, and even laundry detergents cause breakouts and severe allergic reactions in some people. Up to 60% of the chemicals that your skin comes in contact with getting absorbed by your skin. So anytime you wash your hands with these harmful mainstream soaps, you run the risk of a few health hazards.

Aside from the health hazards, these soaps are often devastating to the environment. Research has shown that some household products such as hand soap actually kill coral reefs, and marine life, and pollute the ocean. On top of that, many of these products are tested on animals and are not cruelty-free.

So, why not make your own soap?

The Easiest Way to Make DIY Hand Soap

Truth be told, most of the products you use at home can be made by your own two hands (ha). This includes dish soap, laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, and even makeup. Unfortunately, many of these products take much practice and time to do despite it saving you money in the end.

DIY natural hand soap is not included in that, however, as it’s extremely easy to make! It requires just under five ingredients, some of which you’ll likely already have on hand. Hopefully, you caught that joke— we’ll stop now.

Anyways, you need a bowl and a refillable soap dispenser (it can be a fancy purchased one, or you can upcycle an old hand soap dispenser). Next, you’ll need some Castile soap, a few essential oils of choice, and water.

Castile soap can be any brand. Dr. Bronner’s has a great Castile soap selection, which is typically multi-functional and can be used for a variety of different household chores and functions. 

To fill an average bottle of soap, you’ll need about one cup of castile soap, one cup of filtered water, and about 10-20 drops of essential oil. If you don’t like essential oil hand soap, you’re free to omit it and keep it scent-free.

Just mix everything together, shake it up, and then you’re done! If you plan to keep the soap for more than a few weeks or in the fridge, you’ll need an eco-friendly preservative. 

We get that not everyone likes to make their own products, which is understandable. We recommend buying some natural, safe, and eco-friendly products as replacements, which you can find more information here.

If you’re interested in some specific hand soap recipes, let’s take a look at a few.

Unique Option #1: Lavender and Peppermint Foam Hand Soap

Peppermint is great for focus. Some people swear by it and use it in their home offices every day to help keep a clear mind, inspire creativity, and stick to the task at hand. Whether or not it works for you is debatable, though the smell sure is nice.

Lavender is a little opposite. Lavender has long been used for its relaxing properties, and can even be applied to pillows and sheets to promote quality rest. Use it in conjunction with peppermint to enhance mental clarity and focus without overstimulating your senses.

Want to know what makes this soap foamy? It’s quite simple, actually…

The dispenser pump. That’s it! Nothing changes, no more equipment or ingredients are needed.

The recipe is roughly the same; you’ll just be switching out the essential oils used. Easy right?

Unique Option #2: Lemon Bar Soap

Bar soap. Are you a fan?

Quite interestingly, many people do not like bar soaps because they are apparently unsanitary. This couldn’t be farther from the truth, as the soap is quite literally meant to kill bacteria on it and has been proven in many studies since the 1900s.

Making bar soap is a much longer and harder process, though nothing you can’t handle on your own! 

For this option, you’ll need:

  • Soap mould
  • Baking pans
  • Stainless steel thermometer 
  • Silicone spatula
  • Goggles
  • Gloves
  • Lye
  • Olive, coconut, and almond oils
  • Scents/essential oils

For a complete guide on how to safely make bar soap, please visit here!

Unique Option #3: Colorful Fruit Soaps w/ Exfoliants

If making one liquid soap is so easy, why not make a whole variety of them? Better yet, you can use natural dyes (such as beetroot for red, hibiscus for purple, etc.) to create a rainbow of different soaps for all your house bathrooms. This can also be a fun project with kids if you have them.

Once you’re done dying them, you can make them fruit-scented. Why not try apple for red, lemon for yellow, and lavender for purple?

If you want to spice up your DIY hand soap game, try adding in some extra items for exfoliant properties! These include oatmeal, coffee grounds, sea salt, and much more.

What Soap Will You Make?

We hope this short guide on how to make your own DIY hand soap helped out! There are some hazards that come with using commercial-brand hand soap, some of which can be bad for the environment too. To avoid this, make your own hand soap!

It’s good to make your own products either way, as it saves money and creates less waste. For more health and beauty-related topics, please visit the hair and beauty section of our blog.