Make-it Monday: DIY Hand Soap

How much do you spend on hand soap each year? Two or three bathrooms plus a kitchen sink can add up to quite a bit. This recipe makes a gallon of hand soap. I made it over six months ago and still have almost a quarter of it left. And yes, we DO wash our hands. Quite often in fact so this has really been a cost savings!

The first try at this was a flop because I used a bar from the Body Shop that is clear “glycerin” soap and the mixture was awful. A solid bar like Dove or your favorite scent is what you need for this recipe.

DIY Hand SoapDIY Hand Soap

Cheese grater
1 large pot (at least 5 quarts)
1 wooden spoon (preferably only used for soap making to avoid food residue)
hand soap container

1 gallon of distilled water (save the bottle, you need to store you finished product in it!)
2 TBSP liquid glycerin (I found it at WalMart near the bandaids)
8 oz. bar of soap
Essential oil, optional


I am going to point you to Farmer’s Nest blog post about this because she did an amazing job of explaining this process step-by-step, with pictures too! It kind of feels like cheating, I know, but I see no reason to reinvent the wheel. But before you go, here are a few things I learned about the process.

  • Yes, you really have to let it sit overnight.

  • The soap does not lather like you’d expect regular hand soap. The cleaning properties are there, the lathering agents are not.

  • The consistency could take some getting used to. It’s a little runny. But DON’T let this discourage you. Please, try it. I don’t even notice it anymore.

  • I’ll reiterate, use a solid bar of soap.

Come back and tell me how it goes!!

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