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Homemade Liquid Hand Soap

Updated on March 20, 2012

Liquid Hand Soap

I really enjoy Mrs. Meyers, Dr. Bronner, and Yardley liquid hand soaps, but if you buy it already in liquid form at the store, a small container can cost you almost 5.00 each which is way more than I'm willing to spend for as much as we use of it.

I'm very frugal, but I also love my liquid hand soaps so when I started to look at the ingredients on the store bought versions I was appalled to find out that 3/4 of the stuff I was paying good money for was WATER! No way that would go over with me, so I did a little research and a lot of experimenting and came up with my own recipe for hand soap.

This recipe makes a little over a gallon of my favorite liquid soap and cost me less than $5.00 - FOR A WHOLE GALLON!

P.S. - this soap makes a great body wash too for in the shower.

Here is how I did it...


All you need to make your own liquid hand soap is the following:

  • 1 Cheese Grater ($1.00 at the dollar store)
  • 1 Bottle Liquid Glycerin ($3.00 in the band-aid section of Wal-Mart)
  • 8 oz. bar of your favorite hand soap ( I used 2 Yardley Lavender 4.25 oz bars from Wal-Mart .97 each but you can use whatever kind you prefer)


First thing we will need to do is to grate the bars of soap into a large bowl using our grater. You'll want to make sure you have at least 8 oz of bar soap for this recipe. (mine had 8.5 oz as I used two 4.25 oz bars)

Next add your grated soap into a large sauce pan and add 1 gallon of water to it and add 1 tab. of liquid glycerin. NOTE** Be sure to read your bar of soap ingredients - if glycerin is already one of the ingredients then you will use 1 tablespoon of glycerin, but if you are using a soap without glycerin, then increase to 2 tablespoons)

Now place on stove over a medium-high heat and stir (as if making a pudding or gravy). We need to cook our soap until the gratings are completely dissolved in our water. This took about 20 minutes and when done it will look like potato soup or soapy water.

Set the pan aside somewhere out of the way for 12 hours. The soap will start to "set up" after about a few hours and when completely done will look like (I hate to say it, but it's the best description I've got) snot. I have used some soaps that take up to 24 hours to set, so if yours is still runny after the 12 let it set another 12. If it's still runny, reheat and add more soap flakes then let it set again.

After the soap is set, use a mixer on low setting and break up the lumps then fill up an empty milk jug and your favorite hand soap containers.

Makes a GREAT Gift Idea

I plan on making some homemade hand towels and some really cute dispensers for pumpkin spice hand soap to make Christmas basket gifts for folks. Another good gift idea would be for a wedding shower or you could even make some of this using hypoallergenic baby soap for a baby shower.

I hope you enjoyed learning how to make homemade liquid hand soap and really feel free to switch the soap types up and experiment with it.

Let me know if you have any questions or need clarification on any of this. I had a blast making it!

© 2012 Laura Rash


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    • profile image

      Rachel Tillie 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing! I just started a batch tonight using Yardley Lemon Verbena and it smells soooo good.

    • cloverleaffarm profile image

      Healing Herbalist 6 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

      Great hub. I use Bronners. I buy a gallon, and "water" it down, and it lasts me a year. I shall have to try yours.

      Vote up.

    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 6 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      Thanks for sharing this recipe. I think I would use the lavender soap as the fragrance is one of my favorites.