Homemade Foaming Hand Soap with Essential Oils

There are two main reasons that I started making my own handmade foaming hand soap:

  1. My husband loves to wash his hands and we go through at least a bottle per week. Which can become quite expensive.
  2. I am particular about what products we use in our home. I want the ingredients to be as simple and transparent as possible. I try to purchase products that are “clean”.

I’ve been using Dr. Bonner’s Castile soap since high school. Castile soap is derived from vegetable oils and Dr. Bonner’s has only a few ingredients. It is also rated highly by the Environmental Working Group. It is formaldehyde free, phthalate free, paraben free, cruelty free, and free from a lot of other things that you can research.


One bottle also has 18 different uses. I typically always have the unscented and a scented one on hand. The scented ones are great body soaps and unscented is great for little ones and produce.

It may seem a little expensive at first. A 32 oz bottle is $16 at Target. Each bottle has 64 tablespoons of soap (1 oz = 0.5 tablespoons). A hand soap only typically uses a few tablespoons, so if you think long term, your hand soaps would be less than a dollar per bottle. Much cheaper when compared to even the cheapest option at the store.

You can also purchase them in travel 2 oz sizes. Great to test it out if you don’t want to purchase a big bottle. I even gave these small bottles out as a thank you gift at my baby shower. (“From my shower to yours!”)

I also love that I can throw together this soap in less than two minutes. We are never in a pinch where I have to grab soap from another part of the house!



  • Castile Soap (Unscented if using essential oils)
  • Essential Oils (optional)
  • Foaming Hand Soap Jar



  1. Get your foaming hand soap container. If you want foaming soap, you can’t use a traditional gel soap dispenser. If you want to save some money, you could use the container from a foaming hand soap that you’ve already used. You can also splurge and purchase a glass foaming hand soap container.


  2. Choose your castile soap. Dr. Bonner’s has several different options for scents. If you have little ones that may be sensitive to the scents, you want to use it to wash produce, or if you want to add your own essential oils I would go with the unscented version.

    I’ve used the tea tree version on my face for acne (also good for antimicrobial). The almond one is also quite luxurious and is great in the shower. Citrus, Eucalyptus, and lavender are also great!


  3. Fill your container most of the way full with water. If you add the water first the soap doesn’t bubble up quite as much when mixing!


  4. Add your soap. Some people recommend only using two tablespoons of castile soap for foaming hand soap. I find that if I’m using it in the kitchen I like it to be a little more concentrated since my hands can be a little more greasy. I would start with around two tablespoons and modify your soap from there. You can always add more water or more soap.


  5. If you use an unscented soap you can add your own essential oils at this step. All you need is a few drops. Tea tree oil boasts antimicrobial properties. You can also use other oils for their scents.


  6. After this step you are done! Simply put the top back on and give it a good shake to make sure everything is well mixed.


    Enjoy your homemade hand soap and the extra money that you saved. If you try out this soap, please let me know how it goes on Instagram.