Make this easy DIY liquid foaming soap in just minutes with all-natural Castile soap and essential oils or other quality liquid soap. It's not only good for your wallet, but also the environment!
Some links in this article are affiliate links and if you click on them I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.
If you have ever wondered, "Can I make my own foaming hand soap?" then this homemade cleaning recipe is for you!
Being a naturally frugal person, I was thrilled when I first learned that you could turn liquid soap into DIY foaming soap crazy fast and save money.
With just two ingredients - water and the liquid soap of your choice (plus optional essential oils), it's literally one of the easiest cleaning recipes around.
While you can use any liquid soap, I like to keep our soap as natural as possible so my favorite soap to use is Dr. Bronner's Castile soap that I get from Grove Collaborative (referral link for a free gift set!).
You will not believe how easy this is to make - and that it consists of only liquid soap (Castile or other), water, and a maybe few essential oils if using an unscented soap.
That's it. Don't you love it?
You don't have to only buy store soaps that have whatever in them (seriously, what?) - you can quickly make your own whenever you need it!
Update: While I still love using Castile soap for this DIY liquid foaming soap, Grove also carries other natural soaps that work just as well, like Seventh Generation Dish & Hand Soap and Grove's plastic-free liquid soaps. If you use these soaps in a scented variety, you don't need to add any essential oils unless you're wanting the antibacterial properties of eucalyptus oil.
How to Make Liquid Foaming Soap
- Castile liquid concentrate (or other natural liquid soap)
- Optional essential oils of your choice- my favorites include: Eucalyptus Oil for antibacterial, Lemon Oil, Orange Oil or Lavender Oil
- Pour 1/4 cup of liquid soap into a pint size glass jar (or measuring cup to pour into a refillable foaming container).
- Add 1 cup of water and mix with a spoon. Add essential oils at this point if using.
- Attach foaming pump lid (or pour into an old soap pump).
There's not much that's easier and quicker than this, is there?
Does this really work with Castile soap?
In full honesty, I have to say that I wasn't so sure how a foaming soap made with Castile soap would turn out.
I'd been making regular liquid soap with Castile for years, using it for both hand washing and dish washing - no need for two bottles on the sink, one does it all. So easy.
So when I learned that you could dilute the Castile to a 1:4 ratio for a foaming soap, I had my doubts.
I mean, Castile soap is made from 100 percent plant oils with no animal products (like tallow), synthetic preservatives, detergents or foaming agents (making Castile soap completely biodegradable and very earth-friendly).
How could it be a foaming soap with no foaming agents?
Guess what? I don't know how, but it really does make an awesome foaming soap!
You just use more water than the regular dilution (saving more money, yes!) and when you use a recycled foaming soap dispenser, out comes perfect foaming soap.
I love it, since I like using foaming soap because it seems to last a lot longer for us.
How to make a foaming soap dispenser
As far as foaming soap containers, the easiest thing is to reuse a foaming soap bottle from a purchased soap. But if you'd like something that might go better with your decor, I have a few ideas for you!
Zinc-Lid & Mason Jar Dispenser
I made the dispenser pictured in these photos from a mason jar and vintage zinc cap, the kind that had a hole in it (I think it was used with glass lids originally?).
If you find a lid like this, use metal snips to cut the hole bigger to fit a recycled foaming soap dispenser to the top and use hot-glue or Gorilla Glue to hold it in place.
You can do the same thing with reproduction zinc lids, since they don't have the white caps inside them like most vintage zinc lids do. You will need need to cut a full hole in the top, though.
OR you can spend a few dollars more and buy zinc lids with the holes already cut!
Ready-to-Go Foaming Soap Lids for Jars
Use your own jars and simply buy these oil-rubbed bronze looking lids with foaming dispensers attached (and even waterproof labels).
Refillable Foaming Soap Dispensers
If you want a sleeker look, here's a link for an inexpensive all white bottle
And there is even a cool touch-free silver metal foaming soap dispenser.
Package a nice bottle full of this soap with a label listing the ingredients along with a hand towel for an inexpensive, sweet gift.
Think house warming, teacher appreciation, or hostess gifts.
Does making foaming soap really save money?
Making your own DIY liquid foaming soap is actually economical. A 32-oz bottle of Castile soap lasts a long time when you only use 1/4 cup at a time.
Our foaming soap lasts in our kitchen for 2-3 weeks, depending on how many people are using it.
Even if you add a few drops of essential oils, this comes in around $1 for 1 cup of liquid soap.
That's a good return on time and investment, right?
More DIY Foaming Soap Frequently Asked Questions
The recommendation is to use distilled, filtered, or boiled and cooled water to eliminate the possibility of bacteria and make your soap last longer. If you are certain of your water source, you can use it as is like I have with our well water.
Yes, both regular liquid hand soap and foaming soap killed germs on hands in one study, though foaming soap was slightly less effective. (source)
Since you use less soap to water, you obviously save money, but there is another reason - studies have indicated that people who use foaming soap use less water - between 16 and up to 45 percent. So you save money and help the environment! (source)
Easy DIY Liquid Foaming Soap
- Pint mason jar
- Foaming soap pump
Foaming Liquid Soap:
- 1/4 cup liquid Castile soap or other natural liquid soap
- 1 cup water
- 5 drops lemon or orange essential oil your choice - lavender is nice, too
- 4 drops eucalyptus oil for antiseptic and antibacterial properties
- Add the soap to a glass pint jar or measuring cup. Gently stir in the water (and essential oils if using) to fully mix.
- Pour the mixture into a foaming pump and pump the soap out of your jar (or simply recycle an old soap container).
- Use for washing both hands and dishes - it's biodegradable and skin-friendly.
- 1/2 cup liquid Castile soap
- 1/2 cup water
Other DIY Cleaning Tips To Try
- Microfiber-Mirror Cleaning Secret
- Family Cleaning Night - my favorite thing of all time!!
- Holiday Cleaning Tips to Make Your Home Look & Smell Great
This article has been updated - it was originally published in July 2015.
Disclosure: affiliate links in this article will earn commission based on sales, but it doesn't change your price. Click here to read my full disclaimer and advertising disclosure.
Is the essential oil necessary if you’re using scented Castile soap?
Nope, if you're happy with the scent as is. Some essential oils help fight bacteria, etc., but if you were adding just for scent, you'd be good to leave it out.
Will the essential oils eat away at a plastic dispenser?
I don't believe so, Tracy, since there's just a few drops.
Where can I get a dispenser like the one you have in the picture? It's so cute.
Thank you, Kelly! I actually made that from a vintage mason jar and reproduction zinc lid that I cut a hole in for the foaming pump dispenser. 🙂
We love Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap at our house and love this idea of easy diy foaming soap with a Mason jar. Putting essential oils in it is a great idea too. So smart! 🙂
Thanks! It helps that it's easy, too. 🙂
Lucy @ Patina Paradise says
This is what we use for had soap we use the Dr. Bonners Almond cast ill soap in used foaming soap dispensers. Thanks for the heads up on the deal!
Sue R. says
Thanks for the tip! Is it possible to buy a foaming pump separately somewhere?
I've updated the post to include links to a couple foaming soap dispenser options, Sue (great idea, by the way!) - an inexpensive plastic bottle and a slightly more expensive silver metal dispenser - both on Amazon, which has other options, too. 🙂