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DIY Homemade Liquid Hand Soap: From One Bar of Soap

Homemade Liquid Hand Soap (2)
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Most people love saving money! The only problem is that some ideas turn out costing more money than you actually save, so when trying to save money, you actually need to save money!

Liquid Hand Soap

This diy homemade hand soap recipe will save you money by replacing the more expensive softsoap refills plus it is fun to make!

The secret is to discover tried and true DIY projects that really work. This homemade DIY hand soap recipe does work and we use it all the time.

So, I suggest you find your favorite bar of soap and give it a try. If you would rather make diy foaming hand soap, then here is a recipe for that, too!

1. Can’t Beat the Price:

Did you know? Liquid hand soap from the store is quite expensive.

Even at the dollar store, little individual pump bottles of hand soap can add up…..Not to mention all those extra plastic bottles that go into the landfill.

Keeping germs at bay and keeping your hands clean is just good hygiene so having a good supply of inexpensive hand soap is a must!

So, it only makes sense to extend your one bar of soap into a half-gallon of liquid hand soap so there is plenty for you to have enough for liquid hand soap refills.

The savings isn’t the only thing to like……if you really love making things and doing things for yourself then this diy hand soap project fits right into your homecrafted lifestyle.

Washing Hands with water and soap

Here’s what you need to make your own liquid handsoap:

The average price for a bar of Kirk’s Soap is between $1.25 and $2.00.

Optional Ingredients:

Related information: Tea Tree Oil: Benefits and Uses
Pump bottle dispenser for Homemade Liquid Hand Soap

2. Instructions to Make your Liquid Hand Soap

This Super Easy Recipe Quick Overview…….

  1. Bring the 1/2 gallon of water to a boil in your large kettle
  2. Grate or chop a 4-ounce bar of Kirk’s Castille soap into small pieces ~ the smaller the better
  3. Add the grated soap to the hot water
  4. Stir until all the pieces have melted
  5. Set the kettle on a hot pad or cutting board to cool
  6. Once the mixture is congealed, you need to stir
  7. Please Note: the mixture can take between 12 to 24+ hours to congeal!
  8. Now is the time to add the optional Vitamin E, essential oils and glycerin*
  9. Make sure to mix well
  10. Using a funnel, pour the liquid soap into your pump bottle
  11. Leave about one inch at the top in order to add a little water to get the proper consistency
  12. Store the extra soap in glass jars in a cool, dark location
  13. Refill as needed
  14. That’s it……..

This is a wonderfully easy but useful recipe.

*If you are adding the optional ingredients, start with the following amounts:

Vitamin E Oil – 4 tablespoons per 1/2 gallon batch

Glycerin – 4 Tablespoons per 1/2 gallon batch

Kirk’s Castile Soap has a nice clean, fresh scent but experiment if you would like with essential oils to create different scents.

I added 8 drops of the following to my latest batch of the following and I love it! Simple, fresh and clean!

~Lavender

~Lemon

~Peppermint

For an Anti-Bacterial Hand Soap add 1 teaspoon of homemade Thieves Oil or Tea Tree Essential Oil to your 1/2 gallon batch

To Begin:

First of all, gather your materials and bar of soap:

pump soap dispenser, grater, bar of soap and a small ceramic bowl

While the 1/2 gallon of water is coming to a boil, you will need to grate your bar of soap like this:

Grating Bar of Soap for Liquid Handsoap

Remove the kettle from the heat when has reached the boiling point and place it on a cutting board or hot pad.

Now, carefully add the grated soap into the hot water. Stir with your wooden spoon after all particles have completely melted and then allow the mixture to cool.

Liquid Handsoap Melting in Kettle

As your soap mixture cools, it will start to semi-congeal. When it has cooled completely mix it up with your wooden spoon or use a hand beater like this.

This congealing process can take between 12 and 24 hours so have patience.

DIY Liquid Handsoap in a kettle with a hand beater to mix it

Add your optional Vitamin E Oil, essential oils and/or glycerin at this time and mix well. e.

It will seem like it is doing noting and will never congeal and then all of the sudden, voila!; it is congealed and will seem too congealed

This liquid hand soap recipe has a high viscosity (molecules sticking together) so it is a bit slimy as it pours through the funnel into your pump dispenser.

This semi-congealed soap mixture is now ready to pour into your dispenser bottles.

It is advised to use a funnel to fill your hand soap dispenser bottles but be careful as it kind of pours in globs!

You will see what I mean…..and then you will get the knack of being able to fill your dispenser!

I always leave about an inch at the top of each bottle in order to add a little bit of water to get the right consistency of the soap.

For Further Reading on Viscosity. This handsoap recipe actually makes for a fun and interesting homeschool or classroom project plus it is so practical!

3.  Kirk’s Soap is a must…

I find that Kirk’s Coconut Bar Soap is the best soap to use when making your own homemade liquid hand soap; it is plant-based from coconut oil and naturally moisturizing.

Plus, it has natural skin-softening glycerin already in.

Quote from Kirks’ Website says it all……..

Gentle Castile Bar Soap

“Our all-vegetable-based bar soap, with 100% Premium Coconut Oil, creates a gentle and creamy lather

even in hard water, leaving skin feeling soft and healthy.”

Kirk’s Soap

Original Bar Soap

Kirk’s Aloe Vera Soap

Fragrance-free Bar Soap

Mother and Daughter Washing Hands

4. Pump Bottle | Glass Dispenser 

This is one of the most important aspects of liquid soap…..having a convenient dispenser.

Being able to easier dispense your homemade liquid soap is important. I love using a dispenser that fits on a regular mouth canning jar. The actual pump dispensers come in a variety of finishes to go with any decor.

These make the most perfect homemade gift for Christmas, Birthdays, Housewarming or any other special occasion. 

Plus, if you need a wonderful fingernail brush, try this one!

4. Usefulness Matters

Creating DIY or homemade projects and gifts can be great fun but when you couple usefulness with saving money and recycling, they are the best!!

  • Reusing glass pump dispenser which is part of recycling!
  • Making 1/2 gallon of liquid hand soap from one bar of your favorite soap
  • Perfect to have on hand for hand soap refills
  • Adding your own essential oil or fragrances
  • Avoiding toxic chemicals in commercial liquid soaps
  • Making something that is useful, practical and perfect for gift giving!

Printable Instructions:

Yield: One Half Gallon of Liquid Hand Soap

HOMEMADE LIQUID HAND SOAP From a Bar of Kirk's Castille Soap!

small pottery bowl, bar of Kirk;s Castille soap, metal grater and glass pump jar

This recipe will make 1/2 gallon of liquid pump soap from one bar a Kirk's Coconut Castille soap!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours 15 minutes
Difficulty Easy

Materials

  • Here’s what you need to make your own handsoap:
  • One bar of Kirk's Original Coco Bar Soap
  • 1/2 gallon of water
  • wooden spoon
  • 4 quart kettle
  • pump bottle or jar dispenser
  • Optional Ingredients:
  • Vitamin E Oil for skin care
  • Essential Oils for fragrance
  • Glycerin for moisturizing
  • Tea Tree Essential Oil for Antibacterial

Tools

  • Large 4 to 5 qt Kettle
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Grater
  • Pump Soap Dispenser

Instructions

This Super Easy Recipe Instructions.......

  1. Bring the 1/2 gallon of water to a boil in your large kettle
  2. Grate or chop the 4 ounce bar of Kirk's Coconut Castille soap into small pieces ~ the smaller the better
  3. Add the grated soap to the hot water
  4. Stir until all the pieces have melted
  5. Set the kettle on a hot pad or cutting board to cool
  6. Once congealed, stir 
  7. Now is the time to add the optional Vitamin E, essential oils and glycerin*
  8. Make sure to mix well
  9. Using a funnel, pour the liquid soap into your pump bottle
  10. Leave about one inch at the top in order to add a little water to get the proper consistency
  11. Store the extra soap in glass jars in a cool, dark location
  12. Refill as needed
  13. That's it........

This is such a wonderfully easy but useful recipe.

If you are adding the optional ingredients, start with the following amounts:

Vitamin E Oil - 4 tablespoons per 1/2 gallon batch

Glycerin - 4 Tablespoons per 1/2 gallon batch

For an Anti-Bacterial Hand Soap add 1 teaspoon of homemade Thieves Oil or Tea Tree Essential Oil to your 1/2 gallon batch

Kirk's Castile Soap has a nice clean, fresh scent but experiment if you would like with essential oils to create different scents.

I added 8 drops of the following to my latest batch of the following and I love it! So simple, fresh and clean smelling!

~Lavender

~Lemon

~Peppermint

Notes

Usefulness Matters

Creating DIY or homemade projects and gifts can be great fun but when you couple usefulness with saving money and recycling, they are the best!!

  • Reusing glass pump dispenser which is part of recycling!
  • Making 1/2 gallon of liquid hand soap from one bar of your favorite soap
  • Adding your own essential oil or fragrances
  • Avoiding toxic chemicals in commercial liquid soaps
  • Making something that is useful, practical and perfect for gift giving!
  • I have not tried this recipe with any other types of bar soap

Pro Tip for DIY Takeaways:

In the end, with very little cost + a little effort, you can make your own liquid hand soap for a fraction of the cost.

Now, consider adding this simple skill to your growing list of accomplishments for your Simple Living Natural Lifestyle.

Making homemade and homecrafted products is one of the items on the Homesteader’s Checklist of Skills and Activities Today!

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DIY HOMEMADE LIQUID HAND SOAP:  From One Bar of Soap {Really!} promo image
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31 Comments

  • KItchen
    March 17, 2020 at 7:04 pm

    does this need to use distilled water or because boiling water not necessary?

    Reply
    • Original Homesteading
      March 18, 2020 at 1:51 am

      I just use boiled tap water. Distilled water would be great but will increase the cost a little bit. The tap water has worked well for us. Great question…Thanks for writing!!!

      Reply
    • Tina
      April 5, 2020 at 10:28 am

      Does it separate over time?

      Reply
      • Original Homesteading
        April 5, 2020 at 12:58 pm

        Mine has never separated. It actually seem to congeal more and sets up but all that needs to be done is to simply stir to bring the liquid hand soap back to the proper consistency. Thanks for writing!

        Reply
  • Stella Gath
    April 6, 2020 at 7:46 am

    I have followed instructions, left overnight, but seems to be too thick. Do I add more water?

    Reply
    • Original Homesteading
      April 6, 2020 at 2:32 pm

      Make sure to stir your mixture so it becomes more liquid-like. The goal is to have the mixture thick enough so it pumps properly. After stirring, put a little into your pump dispenser with a funnel to make sure it will pump out. The consistency is interesting, we have 2 different types of pump dispensers and it works well in both. But, if yours does not pump out properly, add just a little bit of water and mix well. You do not want it to be too thin. Did you use the Kirk’s Coco Castille Soap? I have not tried any other type of soap so I am not sure how something else would work. I would think it would be okay but please let me know how it goes! Thanks for writing!

      Reply
      • Eliza Palma
        May 16, 2020 at 9:25 am

        I like this idea..it will help me a lot instead of buying expensive hand soap in groscery store. Thank you for the engredients.

        Reply
        • Original Homesteading
          May 16, 2020 at 12:46 pm

          Hi Eliza…..yes, me too! I am still amazed that this hand soap recipe makes an entire 1/2 gallon. Sometimes it takes up to 18+ hours to set up so don’t give up! Thanks for writing!

          Reply
  • David
    April 15, 2020 at 1:46 pm

    Have seen this few years ago, but with hectic life at the time never got around-to-it. Will do doing it now.

    Reply
    • Original Homesteading
      April 15, 2020 at 5:04 pm

      Great! This is a quick and easy recipe…..grate the bar of soap, add to boiling water to melt. Let sit for 24 hours or more. And, it is ready to go! Hope you find the time to make it….Thanks for writing!

      Reply
  • Mini
    April 15, 2020 at 7:05 pm

    I just made this last night and still very liquid. Do I have to wait longer or add anything else?

    Reply
    • Original Homesteading
      April 15, 2020 at 7:11 pm

      I have only used Kirk’s Coco Soap…..but, yes, I would wait longer and I am sure it will all the sudden start to gel. It will almost thicken completely but will come back to a pour liquid with stirring. If you store the extra in a jar, make sure to mix it up a bit before pouring into your soap dispenser. Let me know how it turns out…Thanks for writing!

      Reply
  • Beth
    May 25, 2020 at 11:15 am

    Hi! Thank you for sharing this! I am at the 60 hour mark and still waiting for the soap to congeal. Have you ever had to wait this long? I used spring water and a homemade coconut/olive oil soap. Maybe it’s not congealing because my soap had natural colorants/essential oils? Thanks in advance for your input 🙂

    Reply
    • Original Homesteading
      May 25, 2020 at 1:19 pm

      Hi Beth….I have only used the Kirk’s Coco Castile bar soap for this recipe so I am not sure. The spring water is perfect, I just have not tried any other soaps. You might try a small test batch, using your uncongealed mixture instead of water and Kirk’s Coco Castille soap. Maybe 1 quart of the mixture and 1/4 bar of Kirk’s grated soap to see if you can salvage your first batch. Let me know how it goes!!! Thanks for writing.

      Reply
    • Erik
      September 1, 2020 at 6:59 pm

      Did this ever congeal? I’m using a home made bar of canolive II (Coconut, Olive and canola) and after 12hrs had no congeal, was impatient (I know, I know), and added another 4oz bar (hadn’t read enough maybe?) and waited another 12hrs…nothing, waited until 20hrs and checked with a wooden spoon and still watery. Not sure what gives but I’ll wait longer for now…starting to wonder though.

      Reply
      • Original Homesteading
        September 14, 2020 at 1:57 pm

        As I have only used the Kirk’s Original Coco Castile bar soap for this recipe, I am not sure how your homemade coconut canolive bar will work. Give the recipe another try with Kirk’s Castile bar soap to see how it sets up and then in the meantime your other batch may congeal. Thanks for writing.

        Reply
      • Kate
        November 24, 2020 at 3:57 pm

        Did yours ever work with your homemade bar? Still waiting for mine to set (so far at 22 hours) using one of my homemade bars (olive, coconut, palm, and sunflower oils). I know it is still “early” but wasn’t sure what I should should be seeing by this point.

        Reply
        • Original Homesteading
          November 29, 2020 at 2:22 pm

          I have only made this liquid hand soap with the Kirk’s Coco Castille Bar Soap….I am interested to see what others are finding with their homemade soap. Keep us posted! Thanks for writing.

          Reply
  • Jas
    August 9, 2020 at 4:08 am

    Hello, thanks for sharing! Is a preservative needed?

    Reply
    • Original Homesteading
      August 9, 2020 at 5:31 pm

      I have not needed a preservative as this liquid hand soap seems to keep real well. After filling my pump dispensers, I simply store the rest in a quart size canning jar under the bathroom sink. So far, so good ☺ Thanks for writing!

      Reply
  • handmade soap for sale
    September 28, 2020 at 7:39 am

    Oh My…..This is a great blog, I am happy that I have come across this one. It’s an amazing blog to read about diy handmade liquid hand soap. Thanks for this wonderful content. I loved reading your article, will definitely give it a try to store as per your advice. Great blog to share!!

    Reply
  • Anne
    February 9, 2021 at 2:51 pm

    Thank you for the recipe, tried it last week the only issue is it doesn’t lather. It smells great and works great but I would expect it to lather a bit. Did I do something wrong!

    Reply
    • Original Homesteading
      February 10, 2021 at 9:08 pm

      I think you did everything right. This recipe just does not create lather. But, like you said, this hand soap works well and smells great!

      Reply
  • Janet
    March 26, 2021 at 1:10 pm

    Do I congeal with a lid on or off the pot? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Original Homesteading
      March 27, 2021 at 4:14 pm

      I usually just leave the lid off but you may put the lid on after the mixture cools. I think putting the lid on too early will cause excess condensation to form. But, having the lid on will protect from anything falling into your Soap Mix!

      Reply
  • VERA DUPLESSIS
    April 7, 2021 at 3:43 pm

    Great recipe. Would to add a preserative to this recipe if you were going to sell it? If so what kind and how much?

    Reply
    • Original Homesteading
      April 10, 2021 at 2:42 am

      I have just made one batch at a time so I am not a good resource about adding any type of preservative. Please let me know if you find something that works well. Thanks!

      Reply
  • SamJoMo
    July 8, 2021 at 2:01 am

    Used the soap that you recommended, but it hasn’t congealed. I’m at hour 29 and I have tried stirring it but nothing happens except getting a little foamy. It does not have the milky color like your’s. Just a clear color. I guess I’ll use it and see how it does. I have made homemade laundry soap with bar soap and that congealed. I was expecting this to be the same consistency.

    Reply
    • Original Homesteading
      July 9, 2021 at 12:06 pm

      I am not sure why it has not congealed nor why it is clear instead of a milky color. You might simply pour the solution in a jar and set it aside for a week or so to see if it will congeal. Like you mentioned, I would definitely give it try to see how it works as is. Please let us know what happens. Thanks for writing.

      Reply
  • Annabelle
    November 14, 2021 at 5:21 am

    I am a sight-challenged woman who absolutely loooooooooooooooooooooooooooves making stuff from scratch, and I’d like to try making this soap one day! I wonder, would it be possible to boil water with my electric kettle, then pour it into a large metal mixing bowl with the grated soap? Would I be able to mix this with my electric mixer? Or would that ruin the machine? If I can’t mix it with the mixer, would I be able to pour the grated soap into a large metal mixing bowl then mix with a wooden spoon? My kettle can safely boil up to 6 cups of water at a time without spilling over.

    Reply
    • Original Homesteading
      November 14, 2021 at 12:45 pm

      Sounds like you have a good plan! Yes, boiling your water in your electric kettle should work just fine. Stirring the grated soap into the hot water with a wooden spoon is actually the best method. This is a fun project…hope you enjoy it!

      Reply

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