Liquid Hand Soap Recipe

How to Turn Bar Soap into Liquid Soap

Washing Hands
Washing Hands. EMP Photography/E+/Getty Images

Once you see how easy it is to make liquid hand soap from a bar of soap, you'll wonder why you ever paid for it. Just follow these simple steps to make your first batch.

Time Required:

10 minutes of hands-on time

What You Need:

  • A bar of soap (scented or unscented. Any brand will do)
  • A knife, cheese grater or food processor
  • Water
  • A saucepan or pot
  • Essential oils (optional)
  • Soap coloring (optional)
  • Empty soap dispensers

Here's How:

  1. Grate or finely chop a bar of soap (you'll need four ounces of soap for this recipe). You can grate your soap by hand or in a food processor. A food processor is the fastest approach.
  2. Bring four cups of water to a boil on the stove.
  3. Then, turn off the heat, and add your soap flakes. Stir to melt the soap. Continue stirring until the mixture is fully combined. At this point, the mixture will be very liquidy.
  4. Allow the mixture to cool for at least 15 minutes. Then, stir it again. The soap should be slightly thicker now.
  5. Allow the soap to cool for another several hours or overnight.
  6. Stir to check the consistency. If it seems too liquidy, reheat it and add more soap flakes. If it seems too thick, reheat it and add more water. The moisture content varies from one brand of bar soap to the next, so you'll probably have to do a bit of tweaking to get your recipe just right.
  7. Once you're satisfied with the consistency of your liquid soap, add a few drops of essential oil and/or coloring, if desired. The essential oil content should not exceed 2% of the recipe; 1% if children will be using it.
  1. Then, pour your soap into your soap dispensers, and enjoy.

How Much Does This Save?

A bottle of liquid soap usually costs around $3, while a bar of soap may cost as little as $.50. That means it's at least 83% cheaper to make your own liquid soap! If you go through one bottle a month, that a savings of $30 a year. Shop sales and use coupons, and you could save even more.


  1. Want to make a bigger or smaller batch? Just use one cup of water for every ounce of soap flakes.
  2. This soap stores well. Make up a big batch a few times a year, so it'll be easy to refill your soap dispensers as needed. Be sure to label the container you store your liquid soap in, so everyone in your house knows what's inside.
  3. Keep track of any tweaks that you made to the recipe, so you can repeat your success the next time you make a batch. If you use the same brand of bar soap, again and again, you should be able to use the same recipe each time.
  4. Have sensitive skin? If you have a bar soap that works well for you, use it to make your liquid soap. It's a great way to avoid all the harsh chemicals and fragrances that are typically found in store-bought liquid soaps.
  5. For a super-smooth consistency, run your finished liquid soap through a blender before pouring into your soap dispensers. An immersion blender is perfect for this.
  6. Purchase some empty soap dispensers, and give your homemade liquid soap for gifts.

    Make Foaming Hand Soap

    Use your homemade liquid hand soap as a base for foaming hand soap. It's ridiculously easy to make, and a great way to stretch your supply of liquid hand soap.