Make Your Own “Resort Quality” Liquid Hand Soap for Pennies!

Whenever I go to our local thrift store…I’m always drawn to the room with all the health and beauty odds and ends because they have a big basket FULL of wonderful smelling soaps, lotions, shampoos and conditioners that come from fancy resorts and hotels in the area. (There are a lot around here, trust me!)

The little bottles of lotion are the perfect size for keeping in your purse, the shampoos and conditioners are great for travelling (unless you’re staying in a fancy hotel, then you’re already covered) and the soaps (about .10 cents each), I have discovered, are perfect for making great-smelling liquid hand soap!

While I was working on the boys bathroom “mini-makeover” I came across a really old bottle of Dial liquid hand soap tucked in a drawer. I realized the new set-up called for a nice, new bottle of soap, but I just can’t bring myself to throw away perfectly good containers! So I decided it was time to try my hand at making one of the few homemade solutions I haven’t tried yetliquid hand soap (then refilling the bottle I already had with it).

liquid hand soap

I’m sure many of you reading this have seen “recipes” for making your own liquid hand soap from bar soap before…so this isn’t anything new. Truthfully, when I’m in the kitchen I usually just use a drop or two of dishwashing liquid because it’s what’s “handy”, but it’s not so great for your hands. The “hotel” soaps, however, are usually labelled as “facial bars”, so I figure if they’re gentle enough for your face…they’ve got to be nice for your hands too. And did I mention how NICE they smell?? :-)

liquid hand soap

The method for making your own liquid hand soap could NOT be any easier.

liquid hand soap

liquid hand soap

All you need to do is grate the soap (I actually put mine in the blender)…dissolve it on the stove in hot, distilled water (be patient, it takes awhile), add some glycerin which helps moisturize the skin, and wait. About 24 hours is what I’ve found to be ideal.

Liquid Hand Soap Recipe

(1) 8 oz. bar of soap, grated (or equivalent of smaller sized bars…I used 6 ‘hotel-sized’ bars)
Note:  if you are “allergic” to grating…you can also stick it in a food processor or blender, you can melt soap in the microwave, or SEE NICOLE’S COMMENT BELOW! Great idea!

2 Tablespoons glycerine (found in pharmacy. It’s over-the-counter but I had to ask the pharmacist)

1 gallon water (doesn’t HAVE to be distilled, but using distilled or purified water will make the soap more effective and keep it smelling fresher, longer.)

Then you will have approximately 1 gallon of some of the nicest liquid hand soap you’ve ever used.

liquid hand soap

After it had cooled, I gave it a good whisking (you can also use a mixer) because it will thicken quite a bit overnight……

liquid hand soap

….and poured it into these mason jars for storage. Now all I have to do when I run out is take the top off my DIY Mason Jar Soap Dispenser and pop it onto another jar.

Pretty slick huh?  Not bad for about .60 cents. :-)


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  1. Shay says

    I was wondering where to find glycerin at? I herd it was in the aisle with the bandaids, but I couldn’t find it. Any suggestions?

  2. Sandy says

    How much water do you use? I love foam soap myself but the amount of soap we go through at work, I’d love to make this!!

  3. Alisha says

    Jillee, how much soap, how much water, how much glycerine? I deal in numbers. Can’t manage to make anything work without it.

  4. Heather S says

    I too am a numbers girl. Do you also use the same brand/hotel or do you mix flavors/scents

  5. chelsie says

    Ive done this before for body wash and it doesnt lather like regular liquid soap and tends to congeal so that it all sticks together. Probably wouldn’t do this method again.

  6. Cindy says

    So I was wondering why you need to use distilled water instead of tap water. Does is really make a difference?

  7. Linda says

    I did this once before, also. After the first 24 hrs it was too thick, added more water (I didn’t use distilled, maybe that’s where I went wrong.) Then it was the consistency of snot (not attractive at all). I used an old bar of Bath & Body Works. I’m willing to try again, more details, please, Jillee.


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