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Make your own moisturizing, antibacterial foaming hand soap with essential oils in less than 5 minutes.

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I do not know about you, but I often receive Bath and Body Works (BBW) foaming hand soap as a present. Whereas, I love their scented soaps, I am not a huge fan of single use plastic, so I often try to wash and reuse the bottles a few times. The dispenser does not need to be from BBW, you just need to choose a similarly sized dispenser.  This 10 ounce glass dispenser is great, and I just top it off with a little more distilled water.

The Benefits to Making Your Own Foaming Hand Soap

Not only is making your own foaming hand soap a cheaper alternative to buying them in the store, especially in these times of constant hand-washing, but with just 4 all-natural ingredients, this recipe is not only easy to make, but also chemical-free!  You will know exactly what is in your soap, plus the coconut oil (or oil of choice), will help your hands stay moisturized.  Some antibacterial essential oil scent combinations are listed below for you to choose a scent that invigorates your senses.

The recipe below will take you with just a few steps through the process, and you’ll have your own hand soap in minutes.

The Ingredients

Distilled Water (or Boiled Water)

Distilled water is water that has been boiled into water vapor and then condensed back to a liquid in a separate container, and has had all of its impurities removed, including minerals and microorganisms. Boiled water is water that has been raised to its boiling point to kill any microorganisms, but still contains mineral salts (e.g. calcium), and is not considered purified.

Castile Soap

Liquid castile soap is friendly on the environment and safe for those with sensitive skin. It is gentle and free of toxins.

Oil  or Vegetable Glycerin

The oil or vegetable glycerin is used to soften the skin since soap and water alone are drying. Olive oil is a top choice as it is usually available in any household, but other great skin-moisturizing options include coconut, jojoba, avocado, grape seed, and almond.

Essential Oils

For this recipe, you can choose your combination of 6-9 drops of essential oils. Pick your favorite essential oils to blend into your preferred soap fragrance or try one of the antibacterial combinations below.

Please note that citrus oils (e.g. lemon, orange, lime) can cause plastic bottles to degrade. It is recommended to use a glass bottle for soaps made with citrus oils.

The Recipe

DIY Foaming Hand Soap

Make your own foaming hand soap with just 4 ingredients
Total Time5 minutes


  • 1 Foaming Hand Soap Dispenser (8.75 oz)
  • 1 cup Distilled Water (or cooled boiled water)
  • 1 TBSP + 3/4 TSP Castille Soap
  • 1/2 TSP Oil or Vegetable Glycerin
  • *1 funnel (optional - for ease of pouring into the bottle)


  • Fill the soap dispenser with the distilled (or boiled water). A funnel is helpful for this step.
  • Pour the castille soap into the bottle.
  • Pour the oil (or vegetable glycerin) into the bottle.
  • Add 6-9 drops of the essential oil(s) of your choice
  • Fasten the pump onto the bottle (if a little spills out, that is OK).
  • Shake well.
  • Pump the dispenser to use.


You can double or triple the recipe to make larger quantities of this foaming hand soap, if you need to make more than one bottle!


Need some ideas for your soap scent? Try some of these great foaming hand soap essential oil combinations that are also antibacterial.

  • 4 Drops Peppermint + 4 Drops Lavender
  • 4 Drops Peppermint + 3 Drops Lavender + 2 Drops Lemongrass
  • 4 Drops Cedarwood + 3 Drops Lavender + 1 Drop Tea Tree
  • 4 Drops Peppermint + 4 Drops Eucalyptus
  • 6 Drops of Bergamot + 3 Drops of Orange
  • 4 Drops Cinnamon + 4 Drops of Clove

Download printable labels for your BBW foaming soap dispenser.

Download a PDF with 4 printable labels that fit to Bath and Body Works soap dispensers.

Download Foaming Hand Wash Labels