His and Hers (No-Grate) Homemade Body Wash

body wash
About a month ago I posted a couple of options for making your own body wash. Since then I have become a dedicated user of this semi-homemade version using grated Dove bar soap. It has become a fixture in our shower.

As a matter of fact, I think the hubster was becoming a little jealous of my luxurious body wash in the “fancy” container…so I thought I would surprise him with his very own bottle of “manly” body wash. Since I had good luck with the Dove soap…I decided to try the Dove Men+Care Extra Fresh Body and Face Bar. It smells really clean and fresh…and of course…manly! Very important.

I used the exact same recipe for the “Manly Body Wash” as I did for mine, but with one important difference! I didn’t GRATE any soap!


body wash

I took Paulkelly Brown’s word for it who left a comment on Facebook that he never grates bars of soap. He simply melts them in the microwave! He said it works for Fels Naptha bar soap which I use in my laundry soap ….so I wondered if it would work for this.  Guess what?  It did!  Approximately 90 seconds in the microwave in a microwave-safe container and it melts and then begins to bubble up! (Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t overflow!)

After that I poured it into the 6 cups of water that I already had heated on the stove. (If you put the melted soap into COLD water…it will just harden up again immediately.)

So here is the slightly modified “recipe”.


body wash

Semi-Homemade Body Wash

  • 6 cups water
  • 3 bars of soap

Put water into a pan on the stove and bring to a boil, then turn down to medium heat. Microwave the bars of soap one at a time for approximately 90 seconds in a microwave-safe container. When melted, immediately transfer to pot of water. Continue stirring occasionally over medium heat until all the soap is dissolved. It might take awhile…but you want to make sure every piece of soap is completely dissolved before you transfer it to containers. I worked on folding laundry while occasionally checking in on the soap soup.

When completely dissolved…transfer to a glass jar or bowl and allow to cool, then pour into a plastic bottle for shower use! It will thicken as it cools and will continue to thicken for about 24 hours. Don’t be alarmed. This is perfectly normal. If it gets TOO thick…simply add some water until it’s the desired consistency.

For those interested….I will ATTEMPT to do the math (but no heckling allowed if I get it wrong!):

I bought a six pack of the Dove Bars 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 oz bottle!
A savings of roughly 75%!!!

AWESOME $AVING$ AND now we both have our very own, “specially formulated”, body wash.  ;-)

body wash




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  1. Anonymous says

    One of the advantages of liquid soap is that it does not leave soap scum on the shower walls the way bar soap does. Since you are making liquid soap out of bar soap, I wonder if this version will leave soap scum on the shower walls. Otherwise it seems like a great idea. – Mary

    • WendyB says

      Mary- That was my question exactly. I’ve been searching for a liquid soap that my husband will use because, frankly, I’m just so tired of all the soap scum on and under the soap dish in our shower. It’s the binders in the bar soap that stick to the tiles giving something for more scum and mold (!!) to stick to. I’m hoping that watering the soap down makes it easier to rinse. Since it’s been a month or two since this blog post, does anyone have an opinion about how well the wash rinses from the tile?

      Love this blog, BTW! I happened across it while searching for natural laundry alternatives, read a few posts, and subscribed right then and there. I’m a broadcast TV survivor making her way as a mother, wife, and homemaker, too. I always find it interesting to see how people from the biz move on from that life. Shoot, I’m still surprised every time a holiday rolls around. “Why aren’t you at work? Oh, it’s Memorial Day today? No kidding?”

        • Jennifer says

          The same thing happened to me. I used the soap bar w/ Shea butter, but it’s still quite liquidly. I’m not sure why it didn’t thicken up. I was going to “cook” it some more & see if does anything.

          • Celtic Cate says

            Hi! I made the body wash last night for the first time. I used two bars of Dove Shea Butter bar soap cut into quarters and melted in the microwave in a large glass measuring cup. I used about 3.5 cups of hot water (simmering on the stove) and once the soap was melted, stirred it into the water and kept stirring until it seemed that most of it was melted (this took about a half hour to 45 minutes). I then removed it from the heat and added a few drops of essential oil (patchouli and sandalwood) and about a tablespoon of my favorite scented lotion. When I poured the mixture into two pint-size Mason jars, there were still a few small chunks, so I poured the liquid back into the pan through a sieve, then poured it from the pan into the jars (I was done stirring!). Today it is a perfect consistency: not too runny and not too thick (“Just right,” as Goldilocks would say). I shook it up and used a funnel to get it into a small bodywash (8 oz.) plastic container (I bought a half a dozen at Elements Bath and Body.com). I like these containers because they’re fliptop and the product flows downward.

  2. Jill Nystul says

    becky….I got my plastic pump bottles at Walmart. I think they were about $6.

    Dawn…it should work for any type bar soap! Might just have to adjust the amount of water. :-)

    • jolene says

      I saw this and wanted to try it cause I’m one to spend money on body wash. Having to cut cost on losts of things I tried your laundry detergents and love them so I decided to venture out to other home made products. I was wanting to try this one really bad but the only bar soap I had was Dial cause thats what my husband likes. I used one Gold and two anti-bacterial bars the gold one finally melted but I had a really hard time getting the other two to melt they swelled up in the microwave but never melted and never completely melted on the stove so not sure if I did something wrong or if it was the soap.

      • michelle says

        I also had the same problems with zest with aloe. next time i will put it in my ninja processor and boil the same way i do my laundry soap. it actually dissolves faster that way. may just be the type of soap but i do not have an issue with using electronics or grating if needed. just as easy.

      • says

        this totally happened to me tonight! LOL :D I got my hubby some Zest mens smelly stuff and it didn’t melt either :P

        But I was SO determined, so I put my foamy chunks in some hot water and blended it in my blender, and then poured into my pot of hot water and it totally worked! Just have to watch how much you put in your blender and don’t blend too long or it will overflow!! haha! ;D

  3. jmmonroe says

    You are like my new best friend! I enjoy all your ideas and love your pins too. You are the kind of woman every woman needs as a best friend-I just adore you and am thankful for you-can not wait to try this out for my sweetheart(he adores body wash)

  4. Gallegos Newsletter says

    I just wanted to let you know that I have been following your blog page for about 3 weeks now and wow I love it! I am to a point now where I look foward to my emails from you and what exciting thing you will be helping us with today! I love how you always have pictures – which makes it a lot easier for us if we are attempting to make something….Thanks for all the hard work on your end and thanks for sharing!

    Have a great day….

  5. Anonymous says

    I did this the other night only I used cocobutter Softsoap for mine and Dove Mencare for my husband. His turned out great but mine immediately congealed into a lumpy mess. I added more water and stirred it up but it got a lil foamy and now it doesn't lather very well and it's still congealing as I speak, I think. I bought a bar of Dove to try this time – I figure it must be a "Dove thing"…

    • Marie says

      I’ve decided it has to be Dove. I tried Safeguard (I wanted antibacterial for the smelly men in my life! LOL!) and Caress. Both came out solid. I added more water to get it to go through a pump bottle but it doesn’t lather and my husband said it felt like he was bathing with sandpaper!

  6. Sara says

    Question – I've noticed other directions for making liquid soap or body wash from bar soap include adding glycerin to the soap/water combo. I assume it's to help keep the soap liquid and to add moisture. What are your thoughts about adding glycerin or other additives to the soap and water combo?

  7. nyghte shadow says

    i tried doing similar with dial gold bar soap (1 bar soap to 10 cups water, and 1 T glycerin). it turned into a snotty mess, the consistency of egg whites. >.< if i use too much it does seem to leave a film in the tub. do you think using less water would help with the consistency? i'm sensitive to a lot of soap additives, and dial gold is the only soap i've found that gets me clean without a problem, and was really looking forward to being able to have a liquid version.

    • WendyB says

      Did you ever find the right proportions for this to work with Dial Gold Bar? That’s my husband’s favorite soap and I would love to be able to try this for him. I was afraid there might be a film left from using Dial. We’re you able to get a mixture that didn’t leave any film? Please and thank you. :-)

      • oohshiney says

        I also tried with Dial but it wasn’t the gold kind. I was afraid it wouldnt work out so started with 1the bar of soap to about 6 or 7 cups of water. Mine was also lumpy and snotty so I tried beating it. It helped some but the big snotty clumps just dont seem to want to come apart. The large snot wads dont come out of dispenser bottles easily and there isn’t much lather. I think I just need to give up on the dial! Though it would have been nice to get so much body wash with a single bar of soap!

    • Terri says

      I’ve seen other recipes that call for adding olive oil or grapeseed oil (excellent for the skin). I haven’t tested this with dial but I’d start with 2 TBSP and maybe go up to 3. Dove wouldn’t need this since it’s already loaded with moisturizers.

    • Gretchen says

      I think it’s the glycerin that gives it the, pardon the expression, “snot like” consistency. I made some body wash using glycerin and the texture was very off-putting. I put it in an empty Dawn Foaming pump bottle and it works great. I think I will try this recipe without the glycerin.

    • Debra says

      I have seen several versions where it says that it will turn into a snotty mess first….use a had beater to beat the snotty mess into a smooth consistency and you shouldn’t have any problems.

  8. Anonymous says

    i made the reg dove body wash a couple weeks ago and love it! i bought the mens dove and did the same for the hubby, i did notice that the mens bars seemed like i different consistancy(although it came out the same as the reg dove :) ), next time i might try the microwave, just because i love experimenting :)…also for grating i use the food processor with the grater attachment thingy and super fast and easy! keep up the great posts! LOVE your site :)

  9. Jill Nystul says

    I most definitely still get lather with this body wash. If it didn't "lather", the hubster would definitely not use it! He's ALL about the lather. lol.

    Snot? hmmmmm.

    If it's too thick…you can always just add more water. Some soaps react that way.

  10. Anonymous says

    To keep the boiling water from boiling over the pot, put a wooden spoon on top of the pot. I found using a whisk a big help. I used caress body bar soap for the hers soap.

  11. bunky says

    I told my husband about this and he was all excited (?). He's really into soapy lather and looong showers. You won't believe this…I didn't..he insisted on making it himself!

  12. Anonymous says

    Just a suggestion if you don't get much lather, add a little coconut oil (1-2 tbsp) to the hot water. Coconut oil is used in many soaps because of its lathering properties (its great for the skin too!!). Also, if your mix is "snotty", your water may not have been hot enough. If you think it was, using a whisk slowly to make sure you are incorporating water into the soap mix. That has fixed this problem for me before. If its too thick after setting up, use HOT water and whisk it into the mix a little at a time……can you tell I have had problems with various soaps I have done this with over the years? lol I do like the fact that you have experimented with the microwave. I might try that instead of grating the soap!

  13. Anonymous says

    I used Ivory soap the first time I made the grated body wash..only needed to add maybe a half cup of water to the batch and it turned into a perfect consistency with lather!
    Also, I was planning on making some glycerin soap molds and saw how you melt the blocks in the microwave and wondered if this can be done with regular soap…tried it three days ago and sure enough ..just like Jillee said! Pretty cool… I will deff be using the microeave from now on…too many niks from the cheese grater! lol

    • anonymous says

      try adding the coconut oil or adding vegetable glycerine for more moisture and for those who want to add a scent to theirs you can add a couple drops of their favorite essential oil(s) and these products can all be purchased at natural food stores or a grocery that provides organic foods. :P

  14. Becky McGinley says

    Just wanted you to know I've become addicted to your website and all the fantabulous things you have! The ideas I've done and they've worked! Yah….thanks and keep 'em coming!

  15. Anonymous says

    Well we all got a good laugh out of a batch of liquid soap that I made. I had bought this case of soap several years ago from Sam's Club Auction, to use in gift baskets. The name of the soap is called Emlin, which I had never heard of but it said that it was a moisturizing soap. So I put it in the microwave and it didn't melt like the Oil of Olay soap did, but it did get bigger and looked almost like a sponge.

    Now I melted it in the hot water, which took a while, but I was okay with that. The next day my Oil of Olay soap in way to thin, but this Emilin soap was a harden glob in the bottom of one of my Mason jars. Now I do not throw away my mason jars as they don't come cheap. So I decide this is not going to get the best of me and I'm able to get the glob out. I begin to add water to it and break it up with my hand. Now I have what looks like Marshmallow fluff. My daughter and I laughed so hard about how this looks like my Mother's fruit dip. Not sure if it is going to srink back down or what's going to happen with it, but I bottled it up in empty water bottles and it will work for shower soap or even hand soap, but it sure looks funny.

    Chris in FL

  16. Anonymous says

    I made this on Feb. 27 and loved it. I got 4 body wash containers out of it. I'm hooked. I'm still on the first bottle and haven't used half of it yet. This has saved me $20-$25. Thanks Jillee!

  17. Trish says

    i tried this with dial soap last night. i let it cook for about an hour. stirring regularly and the soap would re-solidify. i kept adding more water (went thru the initial 6 cups but it boiled down to about 2) and once it was was mostly melted i poured it into my glass bowl. this morning it was super solid on top but goopy underneath. i added a good bit of water and whipped it in my kitchenaid til it was the right consistency. kinda full of air bubbles but i'm still letting it settle and it made a lot! (already filled a 36 oz bottle and not even half is out of hte mixing bowl!) while it was all over my hands it worked into a great lather and washed off nicely.

    • says

      OK, so I tried this with Dial soap for men. I started two days ago…lol. Anyway, I cooked the soap down initially and added about 3 cups of water just to see how it would come out and of course it was hard as a rock when it cooled. I continued to reheat, add water and let cool to see what I could come up with. I finally ended up with about 13 cups of water (2 days later, but at least next time I will know how much water to put in…lol). It was still a bit hard on top but I used a whisk to mix it back up. I have to admit it is a bit snotty but it lathers up really well. I am also pleased with the approximately 123 ounces of body wash I ended up with. I paid $2.79 for the 3 bars of soap I used making the body wash only 2.3 cents an ounce! This works out to about $.56 for a 24 ounce bottle which is awesome in my opinion. In the past, I have couponed for body wash and can usually only get a 24 ounce bottle for anywhere between $1 and $1.50.

  18. kristina says

    I used Ivory for one batch and Irish Spring for the other. Both batches after cooling were too thick to come out of a recycled old body wash bottle. I put it back in a bowl and added 2 more cups of boiling water and stirred until the lumps were gone, but it is still too thick. Do you cook it while the soap is dissolving or take it off the heat to dissolve? I wasnt sure if it got too hot and that is why it is so thick???

    • Big Mama says

      This recipe is for Dove which is a moisturizing bar. Ivory is pure soap, not a moisturing bar. For Ivory, its 8 oz Ivory bar, 2 Tb glycerin, and 1 gallon of water. Not sure about Irish Spring, but im wanting to try it.

    • says

      I know this comment is years later, but in case someone sees it, maybe it will help.

      I made this yesterday with Irish Spring bar soap. I just cut the recipe down to try it out and used 1 bar of soap and 2 cups of cold water that I boiled on the stove. I also added just a tablespoon of coconut oil.

      After the soap cooled all day, it was a soft solid. I threw it into the blender and blended it for about 30 seconds with just a smidge of water. It came out to the perfect body wash consistency. I hope this helps some people that had this problem. :)

  19. Kathy says

    Before I read enough to worry about it, I just experimented with half a bar of dial…nuked till it was puffing out like a marshmallow,etc, added a few tablespoons of water poke poke stir stir and continued via microwave for 15-20 seconds, till it was really bubbling, more stirring, adding just a bit of water again, (maybe 1/4-1/3) bit by bit, nuke poke poke stir stir, little more water, etc. watched it every second when it was in the microwave…as the level rose almost to the top of the 2cup pyrex each time, I'dtake it out, stir stir (using a very small whisk) till finally I was convinced it was pretty much dissolved (total time elapsed maybe 5 minutes) Then for good measure, put it in for another 30 seconds, and got out my immersion blender and let it finish the job. Then added just a wee bit more water. Still just a little over 2 cups. Very smooth…it is separating a little bit, so I keep stirring it…hmm wonder what I'll find in the morning!

    (did I mention I had trouble sticking to the instructions in school? Hehehe!)

    • Sarah says

      thats smart tho! Mine kinda burnt and smoked and part of it would melt down but I still had a good few chunks that wouldn’t melt no matter how long they were in the hot water… i threw everything into the blender but the 2 cups of the mixture foamed up till it was trying to come out of the top of the blender! I poured it into jars and its slowly going back down into a liquid… maybe next time ill try your method! :)

  20. Kathy says

    Kathy's back with a status update from last night's experimenting..my mix had separated overnight..watery on the bottom very firm goo on top (from 1/2 bar dial white with ~2 1/4 cups water). So I warmed it back up in the microwave then took the hand immersion blender to it. Blended right up. I then added ~1.5 cups of water to it. It seems pretty thin, but I"m hopeful that it will hold together this time!!

  21. Candiss says

    Amy H. because Dove is not just soap and has lotion in it, it needs less water. When I make hand soap with regular soap bars I use a 1 cup of water to 1 oz of soap ratio. So if I use 1 bar of 8oz soap I use 8 cups of water. That is probably your issue here. You should probably figure how many ounces your soap was to start with and how many cups of water you used and subtract the amount of water you already used for my 1 cup to 1 oz ratio and start from there using the amount of water left to bring it up to my ratio. You will probably end up with about a gallon and a half body wash. Good luck!

  22. AllisonO'Shea says

    So far my experience (I've tried this before reading this blog) has been such: Dove easily becomes waaaay too watery if you use too much water because it has less soap and more moisturizer (hence their marketing as the bars being "1/4 moisturizing cream"). Dial soap (at least the kind I used) turns out "snotty" (and I used a gallon of water to one bar of soap). Yikes. Most people on all the blogs I've read seem to have the most luck with more natural soaps. I haven't tried again with Dove but I think I may give it another go in the future. Probably won't try the Dial again though, as I just couldn't hack the snot-like texture and lack of lather to boot. Good luck, ladies!

  23. Jenny says

    I didn't get to read all the comments but i read a few and decided to try something….my hubby LOVES Dial (mountain fresh specifically) and when i read what others experienced with using anything other then Dove i decided that i was going to do it with Dial any way….the trick is (i found) to you the mixer..i have a stand alone and i poured the 45-min-boiling concoction into it and set the speed to medium and when and did some laundry (with the stuff i made from Jilly…you rock by the way Mame…you have awesome ideas) anyway…back to my point…well, i let it mix for maybe 10 mins and i got a super creamy blend….sooo smooth….i did have a couple little unmelted chunks on the bottom but that was because my mixers whisk did touch the bottom completely…lol….oh well….it worked great..i have yet to see what happens when it stiffens up some….fingers cross that it don't "snot up" LOL Thank you Jilly for your awesome tips and tricks!!

    • Chris says

      Amanda, all of the batches that I have made have been with one bar of soap and two cups of water. I didn’t want to take the chance of it maybe not working right and messing up three bars of soap, so I cut the recipe down. With Oil of Olay I as well as several others found that it was way to thin with the 1 to 2 ratio. With the mens dove that I made it was real close to perfect. My first batch was a little thick, but I do believe that was from me letting it stay on the heat to long and loosing some of the water through steam.

      Yesterday I did finally give the Oil of Olay another shot since my daughter loves that soap. I took the batch that was too thin and put it back in a boiler over a medium heat. I microwaved another bar of Oil of Olay soap and added it to the thin batch and once it cooled it was very close to the right consistency. So with Oil of Olay it turns out that it is 1 cup water to 1 bar of soap.

  24. Laura Eversull says

    I found that if it’s to thick …..if you add some more boiling water…a cup or 2 & then whip it with a mixer it makes it more pourable or easier to pump up in a dispenser.

  25. Jules says

    Made my first batch this morning! I used ivory soap. Melted in the microwave, each one ind. was really neat to see it puff up like a marshmallow! Once added to hot boiling water, it didn’t take long to totally melt. I poured it back into my 8 cup measuring cup and took it down to the basement to cool.With in an hr it was completely jello consistency..giggly! Took my hands and mushed it all up. brought back up stairs and took a wire whisk to it and added about another cup of hot water. It now looks like what you would find inside of the regular ivory body wash. I may have to add a little more water. Will leave in container and pour into containers tomorrow. So excited to use. Lathers up really good now! Ivory is the only thing my hubby can use due to allergy’s!

  26. Amina says

    I made some body wash last night. I was kind of skeptical so I just used one bar of pink Dove soap and 2 cups of water. Worked like a charm! It’s a bit thick right now, I think I will heat it up again with some more water. But thanks for the recipe! :)


  1. [...] Love body wash but not crazy about all that grating of your fave bar of handmade or store bought soap? Jillee from One Good Thing figured out you can make a wonderful body wash without grating, and with only two ingredients. In fact, she shares her his and hers recipes. Thinking ahead, these would be great Mother’s/Father’s Day gifts that the kids could make with some help…find it all here. [...]

  2. [...] There are many recipes for homemade body wash that can be found with just a simple Google search. The simplest of all recipes is to grate a bar of soap and add it to a pot of 4-8 cups of HOT water, stir until dissolved, let it cool, and pour into a squeeze bottle. This is exactly what I did about a month ago following the instructions in a video I stumbled across and now can’t find. I have to say that it has worked well. You do end up using more than you normally would with a thicker store brand type. Considering that the cost is so low it really doesn’t matter if you use extra. I also found that giving the bottle a quick shake before squeezing some out on to your scrubby thing (that pouf ball of mesh stuff you get for a dollar in soap aisle at Walmart) that helps it lather up better. I am about all out of my first batch of body wash and am ready to try out a non-grate version that I found here.  [...]

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