Make Your Own Body Wash

When I was growing up…I don’t think we ever bought “body wash”. It was Ivory or Dove bar soap…or nothing at all. :-)

Even after I first got married we still did the bar soap thing…because I remember trying to convince the hubster that Dove soap was better than Irish Spring. lol. (I still try to convince him of that, but to no avail.)

But somewhere along the way…we completely stopped buying bar soap (except for the stuff I buy for making Homemade Laundry Detergent) and made the switch to body wash exclusively!  Apparently we’re not alone either. Since 2003, the year Old Spice entered the body wash market, sales of deodorant bar soap have plummeted nearly 40%!

So this week when I was shopping for the family staples…two things HIT me: 1) how much body wash we go through! And 2) body wash ain’t cheap! As I mentioned, I am a Dove girl from WAY back. I have been using it for as long as I can remember. So that’s what I like to buy for body wash. A bottle of it sells for almost $6.27 at our local grocery store. I knew I had to be able to do better than that by making my own.

Problem was…there are hardly any “recipes” out there for homemade body wash! Believe me…I’ve looked! I was actually quite surprised by this!

I did manage to find a couple of blog posts from people who had made their own organic body wash. Sounded like it was worth a try to me!

Here is the recipe I found at

Easy-As-Apple-Pie Body Wash
2 cups grated bar soap (use an organic soap–Dr. Bronner’s castile soap works great.)1/2 gallon distilled water
2 Tbsp. vegetable glycerin
15 drops skin-safe green apple fragrance oil (or other essential oil of your choice.)
Few drops organic green food coloring (optional.)

Mix first 3 ingredients together in a large pot. Set over low heat stirring occasionally until the soap has dissolved. Add essential oil and food coloring if using and mix well. Transfer to a jar and cover tightly.

I followed the recipe to the T…except I didn’t use apple essential oil…I used lavender…and I didn’t use any food coloring.

Here is the final product.  It’s a pretty thin consistency. I thought it might “set up” overnight. But it really hasn’t so far.
I decided to give it a test run in the shower and while I loved the soft, soapy feel of itit just wasn’t moisturizing enough for me. I have VERY dry skin!
However, this is supposed to be excellent for people who suffer from eczema.

I decided after this to continue searching to see if I could come up with anything closer to my beloved Dove. Well guess what? I found something EXACTLY like my beloved Dove…because IT IS Dove! :-)

After MUCH SEARCHING I found Stacy at The Brady Bunch website had figured out how to take the Dove BAR SOAP and make it into a BODY WASH simply by grating, adding water, and heating to make a liquid form… Body Wash!  Now this sounded more like what I was looking for….all the things I liked about Dove Body Wash…but a much cheaper price.

How To Make Your Own Body Wash:

6 cups water
3 bars of soap, grated
Put into a pan on the stove on medium heat, stirring occasionally until all the soap is dissolved.

Transfer to a glass jar or bowl and allow to cool, then pour into a plastic bottle for shower use! (It will thickens as it cools).

Update:  This is what it looks like after 24 hours….
It’s the PERFECT consistency!!!

A word of caution here if you decide to use another bar soap OTHER than Dove. Because Dove has a lot of moisturizer in it….the 6 cups of water is perfect. If you try another type bar soap it will turn out too thick with only 6 cups of water. It can still be done…you’ll just have to experiment with the amount of water.

Here is the price breakdown:

I bought a six pack of the Dove Beauty Bars (got plain WHITE) for $6.88.
I used 3 of the bars at a cost of $3.44. This made approximately 48 ounces….or….$1.72 for a 24 ounce bottle!

I have to say….I’m pretty thrilled with how this all turned out. Especially after the initial version wasn’t really “my cup of tea”.  I love that I can make a “homemade” version of my favorite body wash in less than 30 minutes for almost 75% LESS!

I might just have to try making some Irish Spring body wash for the hubster. ;-)

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  1. Stacy says

    made mine a month or so ago. Used 3 bars & cut back on the water. Way too thick. Used a different reciepe, but basically same concept. Going to try your reciepe next time exactly & see if I get the same results.

  2. Tracy says

    Yes, it was all dissolved, I ended up putting almost 2 more cups of water in it, now it is creamy and easy to use but still no foam, maybe I need to try a certain kind of soap?

  3. melizajane20 says

    So, when I was in the shower about 20 minutes ago I was thinking to my self, I need to go online and find a recipe for making my own body wash for when I run out of my back stock of Bath and Body Works that I won't be using once I run out. Three articles into my rss feed and I find this! Yay. Thank you for sharing, I can't wait to try.

  4. Jill Nystul says

    Tracy…I definitely think it would be worth a try with another soap. I liked mine so much I went out and bought some of the Men's Dove Bar soap to make some for the hubster. I thought I might have to twist his arm to get him to use it…but he actually seemed excited about it! lol. Go figure. :-)

    melizajane20…well, what a happy coincidence! I love when that kind of thing happens. :-)

    • Ali says

      Curious on what ounces your Dove was? Different soaps are different ounces and that will determine the amount of water. Thank you

  5. Lura says

    My Boyfriend LOVES Irish Spring (and I enjoy the smell so bonus there). This will definitely be part of his Valentine's gift. Thanks for the ideas.

    (First time commenter, by the way. LOVE your blog.)

  6. Anonymous says

    Great idea, I love Dove! Did you use distilled water? I wonder if that makes a difference if you have hard water…Thanks for wonderful ideas!

  7. Alyssa says

    I have really dry skin too, so I use Dove as well.

    If you have a Costco membership, I find their Kirkland Brand moisture bar soap, which is basically their version of Dove, works just as well! AND, it's around $10.99 for 15 bars, so that would bring down the price to $1.10 per 24 ounce!! :)