DIY Moisturizing Foaming Hand Soap | The Rising Spoon

Friday, March 13, 2020

DIY Moisturizing Foaming Hand Soap

Want to wash your hands more often but tired of them getting dry & cracked? Learn how to make a simple foaming hand soap that does a great job of cleaning & moisturizing. This homemade version costs pennies to make a single batch, leaves your hand smelling lovely, and you'll have plenty left over for refills.

DIY Moisturizing Foaming Hand Soap (Easy & Cheap Recipe)

Back in 2014, I made a big goal to replace all my cleaning, bath, and beauty products with either homemade or storebought versions made from non-toxic ingredients and essential oils. 

Within a year, I hit that goal. I took it slow and tested things out, but I'm happy to say that 5 years later, I'm still using many of the same non-toxic products (like this DIY Foaming Hand Soap, wool dryer balls, and DIY odor spray) and couldn't be happier.

Switching To Non-Toxic Household Products 

Why the switch? I wanted to avoid synthetic fragrances and unnecessary toxic ingredients in commercial products that come in contact with my skin or release carcinogenic chemicals into the air (like air freshener, laundry detergent & dryer sheets).

Hand soap was at the top of my list because it gets used many times a day. Even more so when you cook frequently like I do.

Why not use the storebought stuff? Beyond the synthetic fragrance which gets added to pretty much everything these days, I also wanted to avoid triclosan (a hormone disruptor).

This is a common ingredient added to soaps that companies claim has "antibacterial" properties. 

The F.D.A. eventually announced that products containing this ingredient aren't any more effective than plain soap and hot water, which made the switch easier. You can read about it in this news release.

Thankfully, homemade foaming hand soap is probably the easiest DIY recipe I've tried since exfoliating sugar scrub and homemade lip balm. And it's budget-friendly, as well. Much cheaper than buying bottles from the store every few months. 

Once you have a few simple ingredients, it takes all of one minute to whip together. I'm not joking! It is so stinking easy.

Homemade Foaming Hand Soap Recipe with Essential Oils

I used to spend $3-4 a pop on a 12.5 oz bottle of Mrs. Meyer's liquid hand soap only a few years ago, and back in the day loved Bath & Body Works soaps, which are three times as expensive. 

I had no idea that one little word on the back label--fragrance--meant that the product could contain hundreds of additional synthetic chemicals. 

According to the F.D.A. (again) "Fragrance...formulas are complex mixtures of many different natural and synthetic chemical ingredients, [so] they are the kinds of cosmetic components" considered "trade secrets" (source). 

That's right...companies are not required to disclose everything in their products! They're protected by the government. Ironic, no?

These days, I like to know what I'm putting IN and ON my body, so I say good riddance to any product containing the mysterious ingredient "fragrance".

DIY Moisturizing Foaming Hand Soap with Essential Oils

Hand Soap That Won't Dry Out Your Hands 

Once I finally got around to making hand soap with liquid castile soap, water, and some of my favorite essential oils, I was jazzed! It was so easy and my hands smelled excellent after every use. 

However, the original mixture left my hands feeling a little dry after each wash. It wasn't a big deal at first, because I'm used to commercial hand soap drying out my hands. 

But, then I saw some folks adding aloe vera gel or carrier oils to their homemade liquid soap recipes to help moisturize the skin. I thought that was brilliant!

Since I already had fractionated coconut oil on hand for my DIY Flavored Toothpicks recipe, I added a tablespoon of that, along with an extra tablespoon of vegetable glycerin (it's great for adding to homemade beauty recipes to make them more moisturizing). 

My used basil essential oil in my first batch of foaming hand soap used (as you can imagine, it smells fantastic), so I thought I'd try two different essential oil blends for my second attempt: Thieves and Purification. Both blends contain a mixture of powerful essential oils AND they smell wonderful. 

Both of the new foaming hand soaps turned out amazing! They cleaned my hands well, left them smelling great, and my skin wasn't dried out. Victory!

TIP: If you don't have the glycerin or fractionated coconut oil on hand, you can easily substitute your favorite neutral or lightly scented liquid carrier oil like avocado oilgrapeseed oiljojoba oil, or sweet almond oil instead. 

You want something that won't have an intense smell (extra virgin olive oil might be too strong), stays liquid at room temperature (so regular coconut oil won't work) and moisturizes well.

DIY Moisturizing Foaming Hand Soap That Won't Dry Out Hands

DIY Moisturizing Foaming Hand Soap

Want to make your own foaming hand soap at home? It's not hard! Try my super easy recipe using simple, non-toxic ingredients like liquid castile soap, water, moisturizing liquid carrier oils, and essential oils. This homemade version costs pennies to make a single batch and your hands will thank you!
Yield: This makes enough to fill a single 8-ounce foaming hand soap dispenser.

1 (8-ounce) foaming hand soap dispenser (like THIS)*
2 ounces of unscented liquid castile soap (I used THIS)
1 tablespoon of vegetable glycerin (I used THIS)
10-20 drops of essential oil per bottle (I only use THESE essential oils)
Purified water (like reverse osmosis, deionized, distilled, etc.)

*I used a plastic foaming soap dispenser, but if you want to use citrus essential oils (like lemon or grapefruit) in your recipe you need to use glass. Citrus oil will degrade plastics over time. Check out this Etsy Shop for glass mason jar foaming soap dispensers you can buy. If you want to make one yourself, here is a DIY tutorial to try.

Want more real food, DIY personal care & gadget recommendations? Check out my shop page for a list of my favorites. 

Measure the liquid castile soap into your foaming hand soap container, followed by the fractionated coconut oil, vegetable glycerin, and finally the essential oil. I would start with 10 drops and if you want a stronger scent, go up from there. 

Fill the rest of the bottle (leaving at least a 1/2 inch of room at the top) with purified water, then give the bottle and good shake for a minute so everything is well mixed. That's're ready to wash your hands! Wasn't that ridiculously easy? 

Note & Tips
  • Feel free to substitute your favorite skin-friendly liquid carrier oil, just make sure it doesn't have a super-strong scent. Olive oil works if that's all you have on hand but it tends to have a strong odor and you probably don't want your hands smelling like it.
  • If you can't find vegetable glycerin, omit it and double up on the carrier oil. Both of these things help to moisturize your hands.  
  • The oils will naturally separate from the water over time, so you'll need to give the bottle a gentle shake every so often to re-disburse them. 

Want to wash your hands more often but tired of them getting dry & cracked? Learn how to make a simple foaming hand soap that does a great job of cleaning & moisturizing. Try my super easy recipe using simple, non-toxic ingredients like liquid castile soap, water, moisturizing liquid carrier oils, and essential oils. This homemade version costs pennies to make a single batch, leaves your hand smelling lovely, and you'll have plenty left over for refills.

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