How to Make Foaming Hand Soap - Public Goods Blog

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How to Make Foaming Hand Soap at Home

Looking for a quick and easy project that can help cut down on home goods expenses? In this blog, learn how to make foaming hand soap, the more exciting, natural, and efficient alternative to regular hand soap.

Image of hand holding foaming hand soap

The attitude shift people had regarding health and safety in March of 2020 was undeniable. When COVID-19 hit, disinfectants, hand sanitizers, and other cleanliness products became hard to come by as everyone was suddenly clamoring for their share. Even though it isn’t as hard to find cleaning products now, it’s always nice to be able to stretch what you already have as far as possible — making your own DIY foaming hand soap at home is one way you can do just that.

Foaming Hand Soap vs. Regular Hand Soap

So what makes foaming hand soap different from regular hand soap? It’s actually not the substance itself, as a foaming hand soap formula is often just regular hand soap with some extra water mixed in. The magic behind foaming hand soap lies in the dispenser.

Unlike a regular hand soap dispenser, which simply pumps the soap from the bottle and into your hand, foaming hand soap dispensers contain a second compartment that’s attached to the pump. This compartment pushes air into the soap as you’re pushing down on the pump, and voilà, foam has been made!

This means that if you already own some store-bought foaming hand soap, like the kind that comes in the plastic dispenser bottle with a little picture on the front, you can reuse that for this project. If you’re looking for something with a bit more long-term usability, though, there are plenty of foaming hand soap dispensers online that are made of more durable materials like metal or glass.

Why You Should Make DIY Foaming Hand Soap

So at this point, you might be thinking, “Soap is soap. Why should I care if it’s foamy or not?” Well, there are actually a few reasons that might convince you to bring foam home.

  1. People use less soap when they get it in foam form. This means that, while the same task gets accomplished, the soap supply lasts longer.
  2. Foaming hand soap requires less water to fully wash off. Over time this will cut down on your water bill and using less water is good for the environment.

But don’t just start buying foaming hand soap instead of the regular kind! Here are two more reasons why you should try making homemade foaming hand soap over simply switching up your shopping list:

  1. You save money on the store’s markup price (foaming hand soap is often more expensive than regular hand soap, as you’re paying extra for that special dispenser bottle) and you don’t have to make a trip to the store every time your bottle runs dry.
  2. You can create the exact soap you want, from messing with the ratio of soap to water if you prefer different consistencies, to adding the scent or scents you like the most.

How to Make Homemade Foaming Hand Soap

Here we are, the main event. Let’s start with a list of ingredients:

  1. Regular hand soap or castile soap (which is plant-based and biodegradable!)
  2. Water

Yep, that’s all of it! Note that castile soap is often gentler on skin than regular hand soap and that, while you can technically use dish soap, body wash, or really any other type of liquid or gel soap, these alternatives will likely be harsher on your skin and less effective.

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If you do suffer from dry skin, you can throw in a tablespoon of oil (sesame works well) to help. A few drops of lavender or tea tree essential oil is another optional ingredient that can add a scent to your soap or give it a bit more antibacterial power, but again you don’t need either of these to see this recipe all the way through.


After you’ve gathered your ingredients, pour a measured amount of hand soap or castile soap into your soap dispenser, then multiply that amount by four to determine the amount of water you need. Remember, you can always add five or six times your soap measurement in water if you prefer a slightly less foamy soap or are trying to stretch your soap supply.

If you’re adding any essential oil, now’s the time. Put about 10 drops into your mixture. Next, slowly and gently stir or shake until everything looks evenly mixed. And that’s all!

Now that you’ve learned how to make homemade foaming hand soap, you might be in the market for more simple projects that can be completed at home, like making your own wax melts or fall scented candles. For more tips and lifestyle tricks, check out the Public Goods blog.

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