Homemade Liquid Hand Soap

Have you looked at the price of liquid hand soap?  You may not think you’re paying much if you’re paying say, .99 for 6 oz in a pump bottle.  But if you buy a gallon’s worth of soap at that price you’re paying about $10 per gallon.

So, I played around in the kitchen last week and made some liquid hand soap of my own.  I used Walmart brand bath soap that was sort of a knock off of Dove, liquid glycerin and water.

You can buy liquid glycerin at hobby shops or drug stores. Its usually cheaper at places like Hobby Lobby. I found it in the soap crafting section.

The reason you want to use it, is that it causes the liquid soap to gel just a little. Otherwise its completely liquid.  If you don’t mind completely watery hand soap, just use the bar soap and water. That’s the kind of hand soap I used ot make back in the day when glycerin wasn’t as easy to find.  I saved my soap scraps and mixed them with warm water to dissolve. Ta-Da – liquid hand soap.

Well, this recipe is better, Its thick and creamy but still pourable.

You’ll need:

1 cup of grated soap, which is about 1 bar of bath soap

1o cups of warm water

1 tablespoon of liquid glycerin.

Other equipment you’ll need:

a grater

a large pot

a wooden spoon or spatula for stirring

a container for holding all the soap

a pump bottle for dispensing the soap

20 drops of Tea Tree Oil if you would like anti-bacterial qualities in the soap


Grate the bar of soap. You need 1 cup of grated soap.

Heat 10 cups of water in a large stock pot.

Add the grated soap and glycerin to the water.

Stir til the soap is dissolved.

Add Tee Tree oil.  Stir.

Allow to cool for about 10 hours.

The soap will slowly gel. Pour into glass jars or jugs to store.

That’s it!

Now the particulars…..

This  would be most economical if you regularly use an expensive brand of bar and hand soap like Tom’s, Mrs. Meyers, etc. You could use a bar of the bath soap to make a gallon of hand soap.

You can add small amounts of warm or hot water to make it less thick if you need to.


You can experiment with adding oils to make the soap more moisturizing.


About Sylvia

Sylvia is the owner of the Christian HomeKeeper Network website and ministry. She and her husband Mark live in Tennessee. They are the parents of 5 children and grandparents to three so far. They have homeschooled since 1990. Sylvia is a Christian and enjoys mentoring women, writing articles for several magazines, gardening, Bible study and creating a peaceful holy home. Follow Sylvia on Google+ or check out her 21st Century HomeKeeper podcasts on the Preparedness Radio Network.
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23 Responses to Homemade Liquid Hand Soap

  1. charly says:

    What about that cloths soap

  2. I made my first batch about 6 weeks ago and LOVE it!! THANKS for posting this! I purchased a bottle of “foaming soap” at Walmart last week and it was used up already and I added the Homemade Liquid Soap and water and we now have Homemade Foaming Soap. YEAH!

    • Angel Springer says:

      How much water do you add to the soap dispenser to make it foaming?

      • Sylvia says:

        I used about half and half soap and water, but I think you could use more soap, just enough water to make it thin enough that the take up thingie in the dispenser works.

      • Sylvia says:

        I use about half and half but you can use whatever you need to make the soup thin enough to go through the foamer. You may not have to use half soap half water but you might be able to use more soap.

  3. Heather says:

    I have a bar of glycerin soap I want to try. Would I still need the extra glycerin?

    • Jamie says:

      I have glycerin soap as well and was wondering the same thing.

      • Sylvia says:

        Heather and Jamie,
        I really don’t know. Ar first I thought that you wouldn’t need extra glycerin, but after I thought about it a while, I am not sure the glycerin in the soap would act the same as the liquid glycerin. So I think some experimentation is in order!

  4. Bonnie L says:


    Thanks for this! I have been making my own laundry soap for some time and fixing to make my own shampoo and conditioner, and this is great to add in as well. One question, for the soap, do you think Fels Naptha would work?

    Thanks for all your encouragement through what you do with this website etc…! It is appreciated!

    • Sylvia says:

      Thanks for the sweet words, Bonnie!

      I guess Fels would work, but I wonder if it would be too harsh for hand soap since it is actually a detergent. I probably wouldn’t use it for this hand soap.

  5. Michelle says:

    Hi, just wondering, do you think this would work using a foaming soap dispenser? Years ago we switched to those so the children used less.

    • Sylvia says:

      We used to used those too, when the children were small. I think it would work. You might have to add a little water to make the soap thinner.
      Sylvia recently posted..5 Things Friday

      • Michelle says:

        Right now we buy the regular liquid soap refill, put only a small amount in and then add water, sounds like this would be the same, but cheaper still!

  6. Thank you for sharing, Sylvia! I look forward to making both kinds!

  7. Shari says:

    OH, I want to try this. Have you ever made it with homemade soap? If so does it work as well as the store bought bars?

  8. Katherine Meier via Facebook says:

    This looks wonderful! I will hopefully be able to try making some today!! : )

  9. Rose says:


    I love this recipe for liquid soap but I have a couple of questions. Where would I be able to find the glycerin and would there be a problem of adding essential oils to the mixture?

    • Sylvia says:

      I found glycerin at Hobby Lobby. I think you could experiment with essential oils but remember to add them sparingly if your soap is already scented.