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The One DIY You Need To Try If You’re Tired Of Dry Hands

foaming hand soap

I’ve always been one of those people who keeps both dish soap and hand soap next to the kitchen sink. (And not just any hand soap, but foaming hand soap specifically.) In the past I’ve tried to simplify things by just washing my hands with the dish soap, but the foaming hand soap always makes its way back to the sink eventually.

The main issue I have washing my hands with dish soap is that it leaves my skin feeling dry and scaly, and I hate that feeling! So since I can’t seem to break the foaming hand soap habit, I figured the least I could do was figure out how to make my own inexpensive version at home!

So I did just that, and I’ll be sharing the recipe for my homemade foaming hand soap with you in today’s blog post! This particular formula contains moisturizing coconut oil and antibacterial essential oils, and it always leaves my hands feeling soft and clean. And I know you’ll love it as much as I do! :-)

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foaming hand soap

Supplies & Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make my all-natural foaming hand soap:

foaming hand soap

You can use any essential oil, oils, or oil blends in your hand soap, but I like to use my Defend Essential Oil Blend for this purpose! Defend features several protective and antibacterial oils, including lemon, eucalyptus, rosemary, and others.

But you can use any oil or oil blend you like in your soap—I’ve also made it with Simple Clean, which is particularly effective at cutting grease (and smells great too!)

foaming hand soap

In addition to Defend blend and other essential oils, you can grab foaming hand soap dispensers and fractionated coconut oil in my shop too! The soap dispenser produces a nice, thick foam, looks great on the countertop, and you can refill and reuse it as often as you want!

foaming hand soap

As for castile soap, I always use the Dr. Bronner’s brand. You can typically find it in health food stores or get it on Amazon. And now that you know that we’ve covered the “what” of making your own foaming hand soap, let’s get to the “how” part! :-)

foaming hand soap

How To Make Foaming Hand Soap


2 Tbsp liquid castile soap
1–2 tsp fractionated coconut oil
10–15 drops essential oils (see above)

foaming hand soap


Remove the top from the soap bottle, then pour the castile soap, fractionated coconut oil, and essential oils into the bottle.

foaming hand soap

Fill the bottle the rest of the way full with water (or rose water), then screw the pump top back on the bottle. Shake gently to mix.

foaming hand soap

Do you keep hand soap in your kitchen, or just dish soap?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Bright Ideas

  • I might have to try the Lavender baby shampoo idea. I’ve been using the Mrs Meyers – for our soap pumps lately. I’ve been using the Bath and Bodywork’s one. I usually end up refilling our bathroom twice a week. I just use regular water., wouldn’t worry about ours getting moldy because the main bathroom gets so much use that mold wouldn’t even be an. Issue.

  • I am so trying this. My hands are ALWAYS dry.

    I have a suggestion — I see that Simple Clean cuts grease, so I’ve been looking for different recipes containing it for cleaning but I can’t pinpoint my search. I’m coming across a bunch of recipes that don’t include it. So it would be amazing if you could have a section with your essential oils with a list of links to recipes containing that oil.

  • I have an honest question. I see this a lot. Why don’t people who use Dr. Bronners castile soap use Dr. Bronners soap/water dilution which is 1 part soap 3 parts water which would mean you would use more than a tablespoon for say an 8oz bottle or larger. Not sure I understand the benefits of using less soap. I am new to this and just learning was studying Dr. Bronners website. Trying to understand how all this works.

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  • I must try this recipe Jillee! I’ve been making my own hand soap for years but your recipe is easier. Also, foaming soap is more economical. For the people who can’t use coconut oil, try a teaspoon or two of glycerine in the mixture; it really does help to make your hands soft and smooth and is what I have used in the past.

  • I’m a bit old fashioned. I don’t like my hand soap to foam. I’m thinking I can use my regular hand soap bottle (glass) and just shake it before using?

  • For years I’ve been baffled by the concept of moisturizing soap. If washing with soap and water removes oils, why would any be left behind to moisturize the skin? And if some it’s left behind, doesn’t that mean the soap is less effective? It’s leaving behind any oils, not just the desired oil (in this case, the coconut oil). I’d love to know the flaw in my argument.

  • I just placed my first order from you today, Jillee and I cannot WAIT to get it! I am making this soap for both my kitchen and bathroom. I wanted to add that while I ordered my diffuser from Walmart I also found the Dr. Bonners Castile soap and the coconut oil from there as well. All worked out well…so excited since I am just getting into oils for health purposes. Thanks for all the help, ideas, tips and advice you so willingly supply to us!

  • My favorite foaming hand soap (also use it for face and body wash) is Johnson’s lavender baby shampoo mixed with distilled water. In the dispensers I have it is roughly 3 parts distilled to 1 part shampoo. I have extremely sensitive skin and this is the only thing I’ve found that doesn’t irritate yet still cleans well.

  • You can do this with shower gel. Bath and Body works is a good one. It’s already scented, just add hot water, not all the way to the top and shake.

    • I am actually doing mine so that I am not using something pre-made, so I can hope to bypass all the chemicals and detergents. I don’t know, maybe I have a different expectation of EO’s than others do. I know I just wanted some better options that allowed me to understand the ingredient list! Plus, when someone uses it and likes it, I love saying, “I made it!” :-)

  • I just tried this one for the first time in a foamer and love it! As I can’t buy your “Blend” or other essential oils from your shop, I mixed my own of Cinnamon, Peppermint, Sweet Orange and Tea Tree oil, thinking of their “christmassy” scents as well as healing/disinfecting properties. :-)

  • I actually liked this when I tried it. It’s just the Castile soap can be expensive. I usually refill the pump in the main bathroom at least once a week. I might consider doing this because it’s been really hard to find the Dawn with Olay formula that I love during this pandemic. I haven’t had problems with it drying out my hands.

    • I ordered everything I have needed for this as well as other EO projects and had them delivered to my door. I’ve not purchased anything in person. Might be helpful to note that I got my Dr. Brenner Castile Soap at Walmart and it wasn’t expensive at all. I, like everyone else these days, am on a budget and would not have purchased it if it were not low in cost. You might want to check into it at Walmart.com…really simple and lots of needed stuff! Good luck!

  • Hi Jillee,
    I love all your tips. But I thought when we make foaming soap, we are NOT supposed to fill to the top because the foaming container needs room for the foaming action to work. Am I incorrect on that?

    • Hi Sandra. There is usually a “fill” line on the foaming soap containers. That line builds in the room needed for the dispenser to do its thing.

      • Dawn, is it Jillee’s dispenser that you are talking about? That’s what I have, and I didn’t know about a fill line. I am not getting a really rich, full-bodied foam so I am wondering if I have used too much water? The workings fit inside without anything spilling out, but I would like more dense foam so that people do not tend to pump it more than twice.

  • I add food coloring to mine so it looks nice in a clear container I reuse over and over again. I have foaming bottles at each of our 4 bathroom sinks and a big glass hand soap container in kitchen next to big glass dish soap container.

  • The soap dispenser doesn’t appear to be large enough to be 16 ounces and, judging by the amount of Castile soap that is used I would guess that it is more likely to be an 8 or 12 ounce dispenser. I personally use about a 1/4 cup of Castile soap for my 16 ounce dispenser and 2-3 tablespoons of Castile soap for my smaller dispensers.

  • I keep one in the bathroom, by the kitchen sink and in the side pocket of my sack pack. The soap in the public restrooms (gym, stores, restaurants, travel rest stops)dry out my hands. This one smells better and great for a quick refresh/cleanup on road trips, gym shower and family outings.

    • You shouldn’t store strong concentrations of essential oils in plastic, but since there is very little oil in this mixture overall, you won’t have any problems :-)

  • Thanks Jillee, it sounds great because I have dry hands, but I wonder if it separates at all between uses? does it need to be shaken before each use?

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