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Homemade Cleaning Products – Part III – Liquid Hand Soap, Dish Soap & Body Wash

July 18, 2012

So I hope you had quick and easy success making the various cleaning products mentioned previously {Homemade Cleaning Products – Part I & Part II}.  I hope you found it as simple as I have, and if not, practice makes perfect! 🙂  I have been making my own cleaning products for about a year and a half and I still find myself tweaking the mixtures.  One major tweak I had to make was to our laundry detergent, as my Hubby started breaking out from either the lavender oil I added or the Fels Naptha (thus one of the reasons why I switched to Kirk’s Castile soap).  Besides that, the formulations I’ve made thus far have worked perfectly!  But please don’t give up if you have a botched attempt, it’s worth another try!  (Plus, what are you out monetarily except a dollar or less?)

After realizing how easy it was to make my own laundry and dish detergent, I knew it had to be just as easy to make other liquid soaps.  So my next venture in homemade cleaning products was making various liquid soaps – hand, dish and body soaps.  I first attempted making liquid hand soap.

Items needed:


Liquid glycerin (found at your local craft store or drug store) ($3.47 – 8 oz. at Hobby Lobby)

Bar soap

Large pot


Funnel (can find a cheap one in the automotive department at your local store)

1 gal. milk container (rinsed well)

Empty bottle with pump for soap


1.  Grate entire bar of soap.

2.  Fill pot with 1 gal. (16 cups) of water and soap shavings.

3.  Add 2 tbs. of liquid glycerin, turn heat to med/high, and stir til soap disolves.

4.  Let cool 10-12 hours in pot.

**If thicker than needed, blend with hand mixer and add a little water at a time until you reach a good liquid soap consistency of your liking.  Don’t be surprised if some soap consistencies require you to add more than a cup of water – this is OK!  Be aware that the consistency will be a lot thinner than what you buy at the store (the soap manufacturers just want you to use their soap quicker so you have to buy more sooner).    

5.  Pour into empty containers, using funnel if necessary.

**If you want you can use a foam dispenser, just be sure that the consistency is 1/4 soap to 3/4 water.  If not your foam dispenser pump will clog.

Total Cost:

The total cost of the liquid hand soap varies upon the cost of bar soap used in the mixture.

For example:

1 bar Kirk’s Castile soap = $1.08

Liquid Glycerin – 1 oz. = 2 tbs. =>$.43/oz.)

                                                      ==> $1.51 – 1 Gal. of liquid soap

                                                      ==> $.01/oz. of liquid soap

Next up is homemade dish soap.  Now, I have to admit I haven’t personally made this yet but it should turn out just as good as other homemade liquid soaps.

Homemade Dish Soap:

1 bar Kirk’s Castile Soap ($1.08 for 1 bar)


Empty dish soap container & empty milk gallon container (well rinsed)

Essential oils of your choice



1.  Grate entire bar of soap.

2.  Put in a mixing bowl, add enough water to cover the soap gratings.

3.  Let it sit overnight.

4.  Stir with a spoon – if it feels too thick still, gradually add more water til you reach the desirable consistency.

5.  If desired, add whichever essential oils you prefer for added awesomeness and fragrance! 🙂

6.  Pour into empty container for use and extra container for storage (best practice would be to label container).

==> Depending upon the size of your container, you can calculate the costs.  Either way, this is one cheap and efficient way to achieve clean dishes!  

** Please be aware that you may not experience as many suds as when using a comparable commercial brand – this is just because suds are created by particular ingredients which are added to create these suds.  It’s just another added consumer ingredient that’s expected in order for consumers to “know” their dishes are being cleaned (ie. bubbles), when in the long run suds doesn’t equal clean and disinfected dishes.

Liquid Body Soap:

There are two very similar recipes for making your own body soap.  The first requires no stove top, just simple measurements.  The second is almost as easy, except you’ll need a stove top to melt the soap into a liquid.

Option 1:


1 Bottle – Dr. Bronners Castile Liquid Soap 

Olive Oil or Jojoba Oil (whichever you have available around the house)


Essential oil – optional

Empty Foam Pump (7 1/2 oz. used in this example)



1.  Fill empty foam pump container 1/2 way with Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap

2.  Fill 1/4 way with water

3.  Add about 2 tbs. of olive oil

4.  Add any essential oils if you want (15-20 drops)

5.  Shake and pump onto a wash cloth or loofah for best results.  Must shake each time before use.

Cost per 7.5 oz. Foam Bottle:

Dr. Bronner’s – $7 (16 oz.) – $.44/oz. –> $1.76

Olive Oil – $.01

                   ==> $1.77/7.5 oz. foam bottle  (lasts about 2 months on avg.)

** You can also use this same bottle for shampoo, it works perfect to clean your hair too!

Option 2:


1 Bar – Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap (or any other soap you have around the house)

6-8 cups – Water

2 oz. coconut oil or liquid glycerin

Medium sized pot

Empty foam container and additional empty container for extras



1.  Warm water in pot then add 2 cups of soap shavings and coconut oil or liquid glycerin (either help with moisturizing).

2.  Turn off heat, then let sit over night.

3.  Funnel into foam container and pour any extras into another empty container (label).

Cost per Batch:

1 Bar – Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap – $3 for 5 oz.

2 oz. coconut oil or liquid glycerin – $.43/oz. 

                                                                    ==> $3.42 per batch

So as you can see, making these various liquid soap recipes is SO simple and it will save you time and money in the long run!  Think of how much an average bottle of dish soap or body wash is – at least $5 or more!  And these recipes are natural and chemical free – thus adding even more incentive to making your own liquid soaps (plus you’re recycling empty plastic bottles)!!

** Which homemade cleaning products have you found to be your favorite??  Please feel free to leave any comments below about your own experience making cleaning products, other variations you like, and any questions, etc.  I would love to hear!  Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, your support is greatly appreciated! 🙂

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