If you have kids, you know how quickly they can go through a bottle of liquid hand soap by taking too many squirts to wash their hands or while making bubbles to play with in the sink. And when a $3 bottle of liquid soap costs approximately 30-cents an ounce, you start to explore options on how to cut those costs so you don’t have to hover over your child at the sink to make sure they are not using too much.
I found that when we switched to foaming hand soap, only 1 squirt was used (instead of 2+ of the liquid hand soap). When you use the foaming hand soap it fills up more of your hand and you choose to not use as much because a second squirt would overflow those small hands. Even though the foaming hand soap also cost 30-cents an ounce, less was being used each time which helped reduce costs. Plus when you use less soap, you typically use less water because it does not take as long to rinse the soap clean from your hands. So, I was sold on the foaming soap and one bottle seems to last us quite a long time.
After we emptied a couple of bottles, I had decided I would save them and cut costs even further by making my own hand soap.
I chose to make mine using Seventh Generation liquid dish detergent because it is not harsh, I enjoy the lavender-mint scent, and it costs 12-cents per ounce as opposed to 30-cents per ounce for liquid hand soap. If you use a different liquid dish detergent, please read the ingredients and determine if frequent use could be drying to your hands. Not all soaps are created equal.
The only other ingredient you need is water. Liquid handsoap or dish washing liquid by themselves are too thick and will clog your foaming pump, so you need the water to thin it out and help create the foam.
You also need a pump specially created to create foaming soap. I do not know where you can purchase these, other that reusing a container that you had bought filled with foaming hand soap.
You will need 2 parts water to 1 part soap. Make your measurements based on the size of your bottle. I had a 9 ounce bottle, so I filled a measuring cup with 6 ounces of water and 3 ounces of soap. You will want to mix them together and gently stir to mix before pouring them through a funnel in to your bottle.
This picture illustrates just what one pump of foaming hand soap looks like in an adult hand. One pump is definitely sufficient.
So, how much is this costing me? This bottle that cost me almost $3 in the store now only cost me 36-cents to refill. Don’t forget to check out the Seventh Generation website to look for coupons to help bring down the cost even further. Also, remember that every product your can replace by making it at home instead also helps decrease the need to make a trip to the store which in the end can help shave your gas costs as well.
I also decided to try it out as a foaming dish soap by using 2 pumps into the streaming water. The soap continued to foam and it worked well to wash my dishes. I like that it helped me use less compared to squirting in liquid dish soap, so I had less foaming and had to rinse less.
Angela Neil says
Thank you for this great tutorial. I shared on my Treasures for Tots Facebook Fan page!
Christina Brown says
Thanks for sharing, Angela!
Love this idea! I made my own, and the one bottle of dish detergent lasted me nearly six months…much longer than even the large bottle of Equate foaming hand soap would have.
However, now that we’re in the middle of cold and flu season, it occurred to me that this method doesn’t provide the anti-bacterial benefits we get from the store-bought foaming soap. I was wondering if you ever tried adding a small amount of hand sanitizer to the batch?
I have not added any hand sanitizer to a batch. I tend to not worry about anti-bacterial products because they have been shown to be no more effective than regular soap and water. And I only use hand sanitizer in cases where regular soap and water is not available or convenient. Check out this article on WebMD about antibacterial vs. regular soap: http://www.webmd.com/health-ehome-9/antibacterial-soap-cleaners
…remembered reading this last summer and after picking up a bottle of foaming hand soap after Christmas on clearance, I decided it was time to mix up a batch. Works great. Thanks for the money saving idea.
Thanks for the tips!
Frugal Ferret says
WOW! I had no idea how easy (and cheap) it is to make your own homemade foaming soap. Thanks for the great DIY tip.
The pampered chef sells a soap pump but it is cheaper to buy a prefilled bottle and reuse it. Also if your worried about germs you could add a few drops of tea tree oil.
I figured this trick out years ago, although I don’t don’t use near 1/3 soap to 2/3 water, I just put about 7-8 squirts of liquid soap into the foam bottle, then add water to about 3/4 full so it doesn’t run over when I put the pump in. You can just mix by shaking the bottle itself. You can tell if you don’t have enough soap if it comes out too watery, so just add a couple more pumps/squirts. I also like it in the kitchen for dish soap, especially when you just need to wash something by hand like a thermal mug that won’t go in dishwasher. Method brand foam soap bottles are my favorite. They do wear out eventually (quit pumping) and need to be replaced, but you can refill the, multiple times before this happens. Thanks for sharing! I also try to avoid antibacterial soaps, they aren’t necessary and can create more health issues, as you said.