DIY Body Wash - Everyday Essentials

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DIY Body Wash

Who doesn’t love a rich, foamy body wash? That luxurious feeling of clean and soft skin! I wanted something rich and creamy that I could customize with my own scents. Once I set out to make my own and after a few trials and errors this is how it finally went down.

With winter coming up , it needed to be moisturizing. I chose mango butter (personally I do not like the smell of shea butter) and WOW is it fantastic!  Check  out the recipe, then check out some scent combinations that you may enjoy – or come up with your own signature scent!

What you’ll need:

I used vanilla infused jojoba. Basically, I cut up 1 vanilla bean and it’s been hanging out in the small bottle of jojoba for about 3 weeks. I wanted to boost the “Love Vanilla” which is the essential oil synergy I chose for my body wash!

What you’ll do:

  1. Melt shea or mango butter over double boiler
  2. Then add aloe and jojoba
  3. Remove from heat stir in xanthan gum & castile soap
  4. Allow to cool slightly, add essential oils
  5. Pour into jar/container (TIP: use a funnel,  it’s way less mess!)



Alternately you could try this recipe, it’s a bit thinner and isn’t as luxurious but it gets the job done & isn’t too difficult to make at home! Bonus, it make A LOT! It does take a bit more time for the end product to set up but the results are worth the wait.

What you’ll need:
  • Bar of castile soap
  • 12 cups water**
  • 2 TBSP glycerine (can be found in most pharmacies)
What you’ll do:
  1. Grate bar of soap
  2. Simmer your water in a large pan on the stove
  3. Add soap, stirring to melt
  4. Once melted remove from heat
  5. Add glycerine and essential oils
  6. Pour into containers and allow 24 hours to set up

**If you choose not to use a preservative you will need to store it in the fridge.  Optiphen plus is a preservative which reduces the instance of bacterial growth in water-based products. We recommend that a preservative be used in any water-based products that you make at home. This is a great choice since it contains no parabens, no formaldehyde, and are not formaldehyde contributors. 

 Scent combinations you might love: Use 5 drops of essential oil (total) per ounce of body wash. 

As always, we hope that this gives you some insight into these essential oils. Please be in touch with us via email if you have any further questions, concerns or comments. We can be reached at [email protected] You can also join our Facebook page Safe Essential Oil Recipes to share your favorite recipes with like-minded members!


Edit: It has come to my attention that this should probably be stored in the refrigerator between uses. The combination of water and other ingredients can cause an issue with mold if left out. An alternative may be to use a smaller bottle and leave the majority of it in the fridge, only taking out what you need for a week or so! 

This post contains affiliate links which support Africa Heartwood Project. This means they will receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links. To learn more about Africa Heartwood Project click here.


36 thoughts on “DIY Body Wash”

  • I am thinking about making this, but I would like to know if I could substitute Xanthan gum with either ground Chia Seeds or Gelatin?

    1. Hey Darlene, unfortunately, I’m not sure of how this would work. All you can do is try and see! If you do decide to try it, please let us know how it works for you!

  • Would this first recipe work as a foaming recipe in PTs foaming soap dispensers? How would it be if I just omit the xantham gum?

    1. Xanthan gum is a thickener so while this would work without it, the recipe will be much thinner and more oily. Recipes with a lot of oil in them tend to clog foaming pumps so I would say that it’s not the best choice for this recipe.

  • I recently found a sale at my local store on Castile soap (I mean like once in a life time kinda deal) so I stocked up. Was just wondering if I could make a body wash or face wash with it! Will be trying this today!!

  • I don’t mean to sound dense, but this goes in a pump dispenser, right? When I read about it needing to “set up”, it makes me think of something solid, not liquid.

  • I’m so glad i came across this! I just made it a few days ago and I’m loving it. Thank you for this DIY

    1. I haven’t ever tried to replace it with beeswax, I would recommend starting small and adding as needed. Please let us know how it goes!

    1. Hi Thomas! Olive oil is not a fixed oil and can become rancid. You could add Optiphen plus, which is a preservative mentioned in the post, but I could not say for sure what the shelf life would be.

  • Where oh where do you find aloe vera gel without a bunch of unwanted stuff in it ? And is there a way to thicken aloe vera juice ? I have read that powdered vitamin c can be used as a preservative in DIY things, any experience or advice ? Thank you for any information. Sorry I see I have asked several things at once.

  • Christina, will the first recipe be ok if kept in the bathroom, because it does not use any water?

  • DIY body products that contain water without preservatives will always mold at some point, even if in the fridge when not used quickly. Remember how foods mold in the fridge after a week or so (we all have found that bowl of weird browinsh green something in the back of the fridge!) ?!!! Therefore I always make a tiny amount of any product with water so that it is used quickly.

  • I hope this question isn’t too silly. I have heard Xanthum gum is toxic for dogs and fear the recipe could hurt them. My dogs are notorious for licking suds from the bath when we finish showering. Any other thickener that may act the same. I see someone in the comments already tried arrowroot unsuccessfully. Any help is appreciated, thanks!

  • Christina did you use bar or liquid castle soap? The reason I ask is because the pictures shows liquid but the directions say to grate the soap.

    1. I had to look at this a second time after reading your coment. She has listed two different recipes. One uses the liquid like in the picture, then below the picture of the finished bottle of wash is a second recipe using the bar type Castile soap.

    1. Well after today’s experiment I can tell you that Arrow Root powder is NOT a good alternative as I found on one site!

  • Hi,
    This looks like a neat recipe. I am curious, does it leave a film or scum in your shower? We have hard water and the scum has greatly been reduced since I stopped using anything in a bar form.
    Thank you.

    1. Even the liquid castille soap seems to leave a scum, in my opinion. I have had to wash my bathroom sinks more since switching to my homemade hand soap. I still think it is worth it, tho!

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