DIY Foaming Hand Soap

I’m going to go into this assuming you know foaming soap is a rip off.  You know that, right?  You pay the same, or more for foaming soap and for that you get – less soap.  Here’s how to make your own diy foaming hand soap.

Skip right to the tutorial.

This soap tutorial has been the number one thing people have been coming to my site for since the world changed. I’m not sure why, but I thought since it’s so popular that now would be a good time for us all to revisit it. I’ll be upping my soap game here in the next week or so but for now, here’s how to make DIY foaming hand soap.  

It’s the little things in life that get me all riled up and in a good mood.  Remembering I have leftover pizza in the fridge. Watching squirrels scurrying around trying to find hiding places for their nuts in the fall.. Finding out Home Depot now carries the 2″ galvanized pipe elbows with a double sided, screw in end. You know. The little things.

Foaming soap is one of those little things. I love it. It’s easy. It comes out puffy and lathery without any work on your part at all.

That’s right. I’ll spend 12 hours stacking 2 full, bush cords of wood, but I’m too lazy to lather.

What of it?

The one thing I don’t like about foaming soap dispensers is refill soap for them is harder to find than regular soap and is usually more expensive. Even though you’re getting less soap.  Because 500 ml of regular soap = 500 ml of regular soap.  500 ml of foaming soap is actually only a tiny bit of soap and a bunch of water.

So I figured out how to turn regular liquid hand soap into the sort of soap that will work in a foaming dispenser.

Regular liquid hand soap won’t work in a foaming dispenser because it’s too thick.

So genius me decided I could probably just add water to it to thin it down.

Genius me was right.

Getting the proportions right isn’t even difficult. It’s pretty forgiving. It’s foaming soap, not an atomic bomb.

Can You make Your Own Foaming Hand Soap?

You CAN indeed make your own foaming hand soap. But for the soap to foam you need a special foaming soap dispenser. If you’ve ever bought a foaming soap that’s in a dispenser this technique will work in it.

What Makes Foaming Soap Foam?

The reason the soap foams has nothing to do with the actual soap. It’s the way the soap is dispensed.  Foaming dispensers add air to the soap as you push down on the foaming pump. If you take a look at your foaming soap dispenser you’ll see the soap is held in the main chamber, and then attached to the pump there’s a smaller chamber. It’s that chamber that forces air into the soap as you pump it out.

Is it Better Than Regular Soap?

Aside from the fun of having your soap being pre-foamed for you, foaming soap is actually better in many ways than regular liquid soap.  Here’s how:

  • People use less soap when dispensing it from a foaming dispenser. This makes it more economical and means that foaming soap lasts longer.
  • People use 15% less water to lather with foaming soap so that’s less water use which is environmentally friendly. If you only use water to rinse your hands and don’t add water for the initial hand washing, using foaming soap will save 45% of the water used during traditional hand washing.
  • Using foaming hand soap reduces the amount of soap you use for each hand washing which in turn means you get more hand washes out of each package. This means you’re reducing the amount of packaging used.

How to Make Foaming Soap

  1. Mix 1 part liquid soap with 4 parts water in a foaming soap dispenser.
  2. Slowly mix by gently turning soap dispenser until incorporated.


You can actually use 4 or 5 or 6 parts of water.  The more water you put in the more cost savings you’ll have but the less foamy the soap will be.

You can use any foaming soap dispenser you have. Obviously you can use refill any store bought soap dispenser you have like I’ve done here.  

But if you plan on doing this a lot I’d recommend getting a nice, heavy glass foaming soap dispenser.  You can get 2 glass dispensers for $20 on Amazon.  They’re solid and heavy, so when you’re down to the last bit of soap your dispenser won’t flip over or tip like the lightweight plastic dispensers sometimes (always) do.

To mix the water into the soap you just have to do it slowly and gently. Just tip the container back and forth slowly until the water is incorporated with the soap.


I wasn’t even going to do this tutorial because it’s so logical and so easy but I thought the same thing when I did a post on How to Peel a Peach. I figured everyone knew how to do that to and as it turned out … they didn’t.


If the screw top of your foaming dispenser fits other jars with a screw on lid that are more attractive, then you could attach it to that the same way I did in this billion year old post Pouring spouts and Bottles.

If your foaming dispenser screw top is an odd size then you can just slip the whole thing into a nicer container so it’s hidden. If you can be bothered.  My dispenser actually fits into a black ceramic vase perfectly.  It would have been great if I’d taken a photo of it.  But I didn’t.  Cause I’m not quite as geniusy as we thought just a few paragraphs ago.


DIY Foaming Hand Soap

DIY Foaming Hand Soap

Yield: 1 container of foaming hand soap

Foaming hand soap is just watered down regular soap. Here's how to make it.


  • Liquid hand soap
  • Water


  • Foaming soap dispenser


  1. Add 1 part of liquid soap into soap dispenser.
  2. Pour 4 parts warm water into soap dispenser.
  3. Make sure there's at least 20% air at the top of the dispenser. (in other words don't fill the container completely)
  4. Gently agitate dispenser to emulsify the soap and water.
And that’s it to DIY foaming hand soap. That is all it takes to make me happy. Soap that self lathers and having a brain large enough to figure out how to make it myself.

Which in terms of brain size puts me right up there with your average nut hiding squirrel.


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DIY Foaming Hand Soap