March 22, 2018

Homemade Liquid Hand Soap (from a Soap Bar)

Homemade hand soapThis post is by Bernie Carr,

I tend to get itchy, chapped hands so I wanted to see if I can make an inexpensive liquid hand that is gentle and non-drying.  I am a big fan of Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Magic Soap, as you can see from this review.   So I used the soap bar version as a base for my liquid hand soap.  Here is what I did.


1 bar of soap – I used Dr. Bronner’s Almond Bar Soap      Main ingredients Homemade hand soap2 tbsp glycerin (can be found in most personal care sections at groceries or drug stores)

12 1/2 cups of water

You will also need:  cheese grater, large pot, large funnel, liquid soap dispenser (I used recycled empty ones)


Grating soap

1.  Grate the bar of soap using the cheese grater.

2.  Boil 3 liters of water.

Adding grated soap to water
Adding grated soap to water

3.  Add the grated soap and stir well.

4.  Add the glycerin.

Adding glycerin to mixture
Adding glycerin to mixture

5.  Continue boiling until the soap melts.  The water will be a bit bubbly but overall somewhat clear.

Mixture of grated soap, water and glycerin
Mixture of grated soap, water and glycerin

6.  Let stand overnight.

Mixture of grated soap, water and glycerin after leaving overnight
Mixture of grated soap, water and glycerin after leaving overnight


6.  When I checked it the next day, the liquid had become filmy.  It needed to be mixed so I used a fork to stir it up.






6.  Using a large funnel, pour the liquid soap into a large empty jug for storage (best done over the sink.)  The liquid tends to pour in large quantities so do it very slowly.  Once it’s in a more manageable container, fill up a recycled soap dispenser.   Don’t forget to wash your cheese grater and all other utensils before using for food.

I estimated how much this whole project cost:  $4 for the soap and a few cents worth of glycerin (it was $3 for the small bottle of glycerin):  $7 total initial outlay made 3 liters of liquid soap, which equates to about $40 of liquid soap.

More importantly, did it work?  I had never tried this before so I wasn’t sure if it would turn out well.  I tested the new hand soap:  it lathered up just enough and smelled clean.  It felt a lot like store bought liquid soap but not as strong and drying.

Additional Notes:  This was my first try so I am not sure how other soaps would work.  I would think other soap brands would work just as well, as long as they are not overly moisturized such as Dove soap, as that would change the consistency.  I also thought adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil would work.  If you like it extra sudsy, use a foaming soap dispenser. 

© Apartment Prepper 2012


7 Comments on Homemade Liquid Hand Soap (from a Soap Bar)

  1. I always save the slivers of bar soap to make liquid soap too, but you’re right about Dove having a different consistency. It doesn’t suds up as much and is thicker overall. I think I’ll try your method next time; I usually just let the slivers sit in water until they dissolve. I got the idea from a catalog that sold a jar specifically to do that.

  2. Using liquid soap is more sanitary than everyone putting their hands on the same bar of soap. At work, when we are done washing out hands we are required to use a papertowel to first wipe our hands off, then wipe down the soap dispenser and faucet handles. Any way to keep from spreading germs will keep us healthier.

    • This is true. I like liquid soap better as well; now I am glad I can stock up. Good idea to dry everything with a paper towel.

  3. Emanuel H. Bronner was the maker of Dr. Bronner’s castile soap, a concentrated liquid notable for the vast amount of lather produced from a few drops and the vast amount of tiny text on its packaging. Bronner, whose parents were killed in the Holocaust, promoted a belief in the goodness and unity of humanity. All Dr. Bronner’s classic liquid & bar soaps are not only certified under the USDA National Organic Program, but also certified Fair Trade! In addition, they offer a range of high-quality organic and fair trade personal care products, from lotions to shaving gels – all certified under the same USDA program that certifies organic foods.

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