Greener Living

DIY: Make Your Own Foaming Soap

Some things you don’t think about until you have kids. Or at least I don’t. Until my girls came along, I didn’t give much thought to soap. I didn’t realize how messy bar soap can be. It gets mushy when it sits in water, then sets like glue on the sink when it dries. Bar soap can also be too slippery to hold for little hands.

Lots of families use liquid soap instead, but kids like to pump WAY too much of it, which ends up wasting half of the soap and then wasting extra water to rinse it off.

Our answer is foaming soap – an easy hack for less mess and less waste. If you’ve only bought foaming soap from the store, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to make on your own with a cheap refillable foaming soap dispenser.

These soap dispensers have a special pump mechanism that injects air into diluted liquid soap to make luxurious foam that cleans just as well, but with 80% less soap. You can buy pretty glass foaming soap dispensers, but I use plastic bottles for now because my kids knock the soap dispenser into the sink on the regular.

Make your own foaming soap using standard liquid soap or liquid Castile soap. Mix 1 part soap to around 4 parts water, pour into your dispenser (leaving a little room at the top for the pump), and shake. That’s it! You’re now saving soap, water, and money.

The right proportions of soap to water will yield a thick, rich foam. If your foam is too watery and breaks too quickly, add a little more soap, shake, and pump again.

You can buy liquid soap refills from the store, but I like using unscented Castile soap and adding a few drops of essential oils to make my own scented foaming soap. Seeing as it’s December, I added 8 drops of sweet orange essential oil and 3 drops of cinnamon oil to my last batch for a spicy, citrusy, Christmassy foaming soap. Always start small and add more essential oil if you want a stronger scent, but be aware too much oil can clog the dispenser.

Do your kids pour out half the shampoo bottle every time they take a shower? You can make foaming shampoo or body wash too!

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  • Thank you for the recipe. We like foaming soap as well and have the same problems with regular soap as well. My kids used to stick the bar soap to the shower walls to annoy me! If I didn’t catch it soon enough I basically had to hammer it off.

  • Love foaming soap, have been making my own for 2-3 years now. It’s my absolute favourite, even more so for the kitchen, where I can have an unscented or super lightly scented one so that I don’t transfer those smells to our food. For the bargain hunters, not sure I can name brands, the gel soap refills like vanilla brown sugar are nice for the bathroom and the pomegranate is great in the kitchen.

    Never thought to do it for shampoo or body wash. I just bought a bottle of the shower stuff for @ $10. I will be saving the bottle and making my own! Thanks for the idea.

  • Marvellous, love this idea. Now to check out the foaming shampoo and body wash. Oh what a shame there’s no link for those 🙁

  • The soap dispensary on Main in Vancouver sells those foaming soap plastic bottles. I think I paid about 4$ for mine at the time. You can also have your own containers refilled with all kinds of soap, lotions, or even vinegars. They have a really long list of wonderful ingredients to DIY just about anything you need. I highly recommend the place.