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Essential Oils Blog

Plant Therapy Essentials: Foaming Hand Soap DIY

Making your own all-natural foaming hand soap is fun, super easy, and totally customizable! Try this recipe to have your very own safe and gentle soap that will keep your hands clean and soft!

This recipe does not include a preservative, meaning it should be kept cool and used within a week. If you would like to use a preservative, there are several great choices that will help to reduce the instance of bacterial growth in water-based products. 

Foaming Hand Soap

What you’ll need:
What you’ll do:

Mix all of the ingredients together and pour into the foaming pump bottle. Shake, pump, wash, and enjoy!

Want even more great videos? Check out our Plant Therapy YouTube channel, or join our Safe Essential Oil Recipes Facebook group for even more inspiration!

85 thoughts on “Plant Therapy Essentials: Foaming Hand Soap DIY”

  1. I cannot wait to make those! My order is coming today! I will make four of them- frankincense, black spruce and lemon in one pump- it smells nice! Especially on the diffuser. The other three- one will be lemony scent, second will be included with Germ Fighter for the kids, and third will be something floral- Honeybell. Exciting!

  2. Oh my! I was not aware that it had to be used within a week no should probably throw out mine I made a few weeks ago and make another. Thank you Plant Therapy!

  3. I’ve seen mention of using a emulsifier and using a preservative. Apparently there’s a difference? I read the article on preservatives but now I’m even more confused and feel discouraged from trying to make any. Can you please tell me what is recommended out of an emulsifier or a preservative?

    1. Rachel, it sounds like you would benefit the most from speaking directly to one of our aromatherapists! I agree that the subject of preservatives and emulsifiers can be confusing, but perhaps having a one-on-one would be a great way for you to get all of your questions and concerns answered. There is a big difference between emulsifiers and preservatives, and sometimes recipes do call for both. This particular recipe already has an emulsifier (the castile soap) and does not call for a preservative as long as it is used within a week. I don’t want you to feel discouraged about trying DIYs because you’re confused about emulsifiers and preservatives, so please please please contact [email protected] to get it all straightened out so you’re ready to confidently create some DIY masterpieces!

  4. Why does it need to be used so fast? I have made a similar recipe and used in 1.5-2 weeks but no preservative. Is that bad? What makes it grow bacteria?

    1. Amy, we recommend that for all water-based projects either a preservative should be used or it should be used within a week because it is susceptible to bacteria growth. It’s not bad that it took you 2 weeks to get through it though, just be aware that bacteria is a concern after about a week. Adding a preservative is a super easy way to make sure the hand soap stays good for a long time 🙂

  5. Is this dilluted enough to use either the germ destroyer or germ fighter with kids or should we stick with the kid friendly one?

  6. I save my store bought foaming soap containers and refill them with this recipe (with whatever EOs I feel like using). I didn’t realize it was supposed to be used within a week, though! What’s the reasoning for that? If it’s a bacteria thing, wouldn’t the essential oils that fight germs work to prevent that?

  7. I made this after running out of my current foaming hand wash I had. I dont know if the coconut oil is the magic ingredient but I have to say this hand soap has a much better texture (silkier and cleaner rinsing) than the store bought hand wash I had! I think I will never have to buy store bought hand wash again!!! Also, I used the Germ Destroyer oil and I LOVE it!!!! I cant wait for the next batch to make, Im going to go for a holiday smelling scent!!! Thanks PT!!!

  8. I made this for a friend and she has already asked me to make her another batch! Great idea for winter and I love the idea of adding in some skin soother as well. Looks like I’ll be mixing up more soon – for her and for me!

  9. Making my own foaming hand soaps was one of the primary reasons that I became interested in essential oils. I have spent way too much money on foaming hand soap from a famous supplier, and I wanted to be able to create my own blends. I had great success using a blend of 18 drops of Blues Buster, 2 drops of Tea Tree, and 3 drops of Orange Sweet. I blended this with 4 ounces of unscented soap, 3/4 tablespoon fractionated coconut oil, and 3/4 tablespoon pure vegetable glycerin. I mixed these together well, and then slowly filled the bottle with distilled water. Beautiful aroma and soft hands! My hubby loved it too. We have to shake it up if it has been sitting awhile, but that is no problem. I saved a lot of money, and we LOVE the results.

    1. Candace, that sounds like a wonderful soap blend! Happy to hear how well that has worked for you and your husband. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    1. We recommend doing your own research or contacting an expert in preservatives who can help you to determine the best fit for your projects and your family.

  10. I made this with immune aid, super yummy smelling, and moisturizing. Love the foaming soap dispensers, they are amazing. Cant wait to make a new batch with harvest Moon.

    1. Lisa, always check your diffusers instructions as different diffusers will have different recommendations. For our diffusers we do not recommend using distilled water as the particles in the water are too small for the diffuser to recognize them, and it won’t diffuse properly. We would recommend using tap water.

  11. I do this and I love it!!! I use different ingredients but want to try this one! I LOVE these pumps, I bought a package of them from y’all and absolutely they are the best I’ve used! Thanks for posting!

    1. We recommend doing your own research or contacting an expert in preservatives who can help you to determine the best fit for your projects and your family. After you have determined what kind you’d like to use, you can do a search online to see where that is sold.

  12. I make this often!! I like adding a bit more lemon with the germ destroyer for in the kitchen and I’ve used lucky in the bathroom. Also immune boom with kumquat!

  13. I love this! I’ve been reusing store bought foaming hand soaps for years by just adding liquid soap and water. This sounds even nicer. I could adapt your recipe to these smaller bottles

  14. I’ve been mixing up my own castile foaming soap for years, but I never thought to put coconut oil in it. I’ll be giving that a try to help battle dry winter skin while washing. Great idea!

    1. Kathy, optiphen is a preservative not an emulsifier. I would recommend you research further and pick an emulsifier that you feel is best for you

  15. I love this recipe, I find myself wanting to wash my hands, for no reason, just to use this. I made two bottles, one with germ fighter and one with germ destroyer (for the kiddos), and so far the kiddos and husband approve. So glad PT sells the bottles, it made it so much easier to get the materials for this diy.

  16. I was in a DIY mood, and I made this earlier! The smell is soooo clean and pretty. I love having these little mom hacks available to me to keep our household healthy. 🙂 Thank you, PT!

  17. I have a peppermint scented Castile soap. Would that work with this recipe? Sorry—new to EOs and all the things I can do with them! 🙂

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