· Beauty Tips · Skincare Tips · This Genius Hack Will Save You 75% On Body Wash

This Genius Hack Will Save You 75% On Body Wash

body wash

When I was growing up, I don’t think we ever bought “body wash.” It was bar soap all the way! Even after I got married, we still used bar soap—I distinctly remember trying to convince Dave that Dove was superior to Irish Spring. (Well, I still try to convince him of that, not that we’ve gotten anywhere on that front.)

But somewhere along the way, we stopped buying bar soap (except for the laundry bars I used to make homemade laundry detergent) and made the switch to body wash. Apparently we weren’t alone—since 2003 (the same year Old Spice entered the body wash market), sales of bar soap have plummeted nearly 40%.

So this week when I was grocery shopping, two things occurred to me: A) we go through quite a lot of body wash, and and B) body wash isn’t particularly budget-friendly! Like I said, I’m very much a Dove gal, so that’s what I like to buy for body wash, but a 22-ounce bottle goes for over $6 at our local store.

body wash

So in classic Jillee form, I said to myself, “I bet I can do better than that!” And that’s how I came around to figuring out how to turn bar soap into body wash. I bought a 6-pack of Dove bar soap for $6.88 and used 3 of the bars at a cost of $3.44. They yielded about 48 ounces of body wash, or $1.58 for a 22-ounce bottle (a savings of 75%!)

Give this bar-soap-turned-body-wash a try for yourself! It’s quick and easy, and it’s much more affordable than buying it. (It’s also better for the environment, because you’re not going through all those plastic body wash bottles!)

How To Turn Bar Soap Into Body Wash

body wash

You’ll need:


Pour the water into a pot on your stove, bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium.

body wash

Put the soap into big a Pyrex measuring cup, or another microwave-safe container, and microwave for about 30 seconds at a time until softened. (It took about 90 seconds when I did it, but it may take slightly more or less time for you depending on your microwave.)

body wash

Once the soap has melted, carefully add it to the water. Continue stirring over medium heat until all the soap has dissolved. It might take a little while, but you want to make sure all the soap has completely dissolved.

body wash

Once it has, remove the pot from heat and allow the mixture to cool until it’s just slightly warm. Then pour it into a shower-safe bottle where it will continue to cool and thicken for about 24 hours. (If it gets too thick, you can always thin it out by adding more water.)

body wash

Looking for something more organic? Check out this natural homemade body wash recipe.

Do you prefer bar soap or body wash?

Jill Nystul Photo

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

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Beauty Tips

  • Hi Jillee. Interested in trying this. Could I use your Simple Clean essential oil to scent it? Just making sure it’s safe to use Simple Clean on your body!

  • How can I make this without the consistency being slimy? Also, I have very hard water, which makes soap hard to suds up well. Anything I can add to fix these problems? Thanks!

  • I like the idea that one of the other commenters had about using this recipe in bulk and making enough to also use as hand soap. Is there anything I can add to increase the anti-bacterial properties I’m using this as hand soap in the bathroom and kitchen?

  • I’m slowly using all natural products and reducing our use of plastics. Thank you for sharing your recipe. Like your husband, I will continue to use my bar soaps (homemade by others); however this will help the environment as well. Thank you Jilly.

  • Silly question I know but, how many fluid oz is the equivalent of 1 American cup. I tried looking it up but so far I have 3 separate answers

  • Made it this afternoon , I cut the recipe in half , because I only had 1 bar of homemade soap. I put it in a mason jar with a pump . Letting it cool! Can’t wait to try it tonight! God bless u lady for saving me money and making healthy products!

  • Be careful using the microwave, 8 used Olay shea butter bars and they left an oily film all over the inside of my microwave, it never boiled over just liquified and coated the walls, I will be grating from now on, also mine would not thicken like Dove, I even tried 4 bars, still no go, at least not until I added Glycerine as mentioned in other recipes.

    • thanks for telling us about the microwave, I will continue to grate, too! I’m a newbie at this exciting
      venture of making my own wash, as I always thought that list of ingredients no one knew what was, bothered me. Sounds like fun and so much better for my body.

  • I LOVE this hint! I have a favorite fragranced bar soap that comes in a box of three I sometimes splurge on, but don’t wash with it as often as I’d like because I really prefer using liquid soap in the shower. That changes today! Thanks Jillee.

  • I will create my own body wash at the same time a shampoo excited I like this homemade good thing I found you I will use rice water for a bar of soap then I will add flavor like lemon and alovera hmmmp nice thank for this page.

  • Thanks so much for this recipe for THIS DIY Mama. My husband uses the shampoo/bodywash combo. Any thoughts on whether this would work as a shampoo, as well?

  • For those of us who either don’t buy Dove (I usually buy Kirk’s Castille) or make our own soap, how many ounces is each bar or how many ounces total of soap do we need?

      • Jillee,

        Love your site! I make my own soap at home. In a couple of hours, I can make a year’s worth of soap for personal cleansing and for the house. Instead of using potassium hydroxide and formulating a liquid soap, I save the scraps of my homemade soap and toss them into a 2-quart bottle. I don’t really measure, but about 12 oz of soap to 2 quarts of water. I don’t heat the water or melt the soap. I just let is sit on the counter top in the kitchen for about 24 hours and give it a shake or two whenever I get the urge. The soap dissolves well and I use it as body wash, shampoo and hand soap (saving the hand soap pumps to refill with the homemade stuff). After using your recipe for homemade laundry soap, I now make a coconut castile soap and grate this instead of buying the commercial bars. I LOVE your laundry soap recipe and for about $25 I can make a years’ worth of laundry soap in about an hour!

      • So glad to help Randy! Your method for body wash sounds so simple – I love it!

  • All bar soaps contain tallow which irritates my skin something awful! And if you develop rashes, blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, etc. tallow is your enemy! I have learned to always use one of the liquid soaps, or dr. Bronner’s, only.

  • Great idea! I had stopped using liquid soap because of all the plastic containers that eventually were going into the trash. With this I can once again indulge in liquid goodness. Thanks so much!

  • Love this! Question for those of us who don’t do/have microwaves what would be the substitute action for the step in the process where you microwave the bars?

      • Great suggestion Cindy! You’ll still want to heat the water and grated soap in a pot, though. :-)

    • All we ever had for shampoo when I was growing up was a bar of Kirk’s Castile soap melted in a pan of water. Mom just put the bar into a pan of water and pushed it to the back of the stove. It didn’t take long for it to melt. This was one of the old stoves that the whole top of the stove was heated. If you aren’t in a big rush, you could probably just put the bar of soap into the appropriate amount of water and let it dissolve – no heat needed.

  • My mother always put the ends of her soap in a jar with water and kept it under the counter in her bathroom.
    Over time it melts, stirring as you go. Then after months and months she has her liquid hand soap. That was way before body wash. My mother was way beyond her time.

  • One of the things I feel splurging on is my body wash. If you have a grocery outlet in your area, I always find Olay, Dove and other body wash brands from $1.99 to $3.99. If you go to garage sales, watch for the “couponers” garage sales – they sell all their free stuff and they always have the Dove, Olay and other brands of body wash for $2 bucks (bigger bottles are sometimes $3). Stock up. And Walmart also sells body wash brands for a lot less. You can take your favorite bath and body scent shower gel and pour 1/4 to 1/2 in a pump bottle and mix with water and you get your bath and shower gel for months off of one bottle. I use empty bath and body hand soap bottles. I do the same with hand soap – mix my shower gel with more water and get hand soap for months with one bottle of shower gel. If you wait for a bath/body sale where you get 6 products for $30 and have a $10 off coupon, that’s $3.33 a bottle and if you get 3 or 4 bottles of shower gel mixed with water out of one bottle, that’s 50 cents to a $1 a bottle – and it smells fabulous – and it cleans well.

  • I also make my own with 1/3 cup casteel soap, 2/3 cups water and a tablespoon of olive oil. I put this in an old foaming hand soap container and use as shower gel. I love Dr Bonners peppermint.

  • I, too, am wondering if I could use other brands of soap. Also, would those pieces of soap that are at the end of using a bar … would these work if I save them up?? We still use bar soap for washing our hands, so we have these end pieces. BTW, I have been using these by putting them on top of the non-skid pad on the bottom of the shower stall. That way I can wash my feet without bending down.

    • You can use other soap, but the amount of water might be a little off. I would use a bit less (5 cups) and see how it turns out! Saving the ends of hand soap is a great idea! :-)

  • I’m thinking that you could make a small version with your favorite soap someone has gifted you! I always try to “use” them up, but this might even be better?

  • I wonder, can you add some essential oil to the liquid soap for a good smell? Not that Dove smells bad. I use Dove for Sensitive skin bars. I don’t have sensitive skin, just like the way it makes me feel. My favorite EO is vanilla. Last time I bought Mexican Vanilla. Hubby says it smells like butterscotch. LOL Gotta try this. I just made non-petroleum jelly yesterday. I added some vanilla to some of it, too.

  • I love this idea but one advantage of using liquid body wash is that it doesn’t leave a soap scum film on the shower walls and floor. When you make body wash from bar soap, you still get soap scum which means more time cleaning the shower.

    • Hi Kimberly…I’ve used the $1/bar almond soap from the Dollar Store and it works great! A tip, if you aren’t using water you’ve actually boiled, I’d suggest distilled or purified water…just to lessen the chance of it getting moldy :). I prefer using Dr Bronner’s liquid castile soap, because I canNOT get past the “snotty” consistency of melting bar soap..lol it was so thick, it wouldn’t even go thru a foaming pump! I diluted and diluted, but still that *shiver* slickness..eww!

      You can add essential oils to body soap, just remember that oil and water don’t play well together, hafta shake it up before each use!

      Thanks for all your hard work and sharing it with us! You ROCK! :)

  • Love this idea. I won’t buy the body washes because there too expensive. I usually use the bar soap. As far as the itchy skin, I get an exzema rash really bad on my legs, it’s just ugly to the point if I go out in public I’ll try to wear long pants in the summertime. I know this is expensive but, Cerave lotion has helped with the itch. I cringe every time I buy it because of the price.

    • My son has had severe exzema. We have tried everything, including the Cerave. He is finally getting better–yay!! May I suggest you look into using wet wraps? You can google for more info, but it’s basically using plan, cool water as a cooling sensation, which helps numb and soothe the skin. It REALLY helped him sleep at night. Since you just have them on your legs, you could try some tube socks with the toe cut out–pretty cheap! Just get them damp and put them on–that’s all! We put some medicated moisturizer on his body, then the wet wraps. Anyway, I hope you get some relief. Itchy skin sounds pretty tame, but it made our life pretty miserable for 3 years! Blessings!

  • It’s crazy how much cheaper soap bars are compared to liquid body wash. Thanks for sharing this! I’ve been trying to find alternative ways to get clean on the cheap.

  • My skin is SUPER itchy… What could I add to help add moisture? I already use Dove bar, and tried so many others. Still the itch of dry skin… :/

    • You can put a few drops of Virgin olive oil it’s very moisturizing.. I make my own olive soap here in Crete island we have our olive trees and oil so every year I spend some oil for home made soap bars and shower cream soap with this way.. I always put inside many hearbs from the mountains for smell good and Hill the skin from to be dry,calendula essential oil I find it in pharmacy ,chamomile flowers which Hill the red dry skin … You can make this soap if you buy soap bars with hearbs or from olive oil soap bars…

    • I also have dry and ichy skin. I started taking a zertec every night and it has completely stopped the itching. I still have dry skin though..ugh!

  • I love the simplicity of this recipe, however Im concerned about using water and not adding a preservative. Anything water is part of any product I’ve ever made I use a preservative. The only time I dont is if its a room spray type of product. So, any thoughts?

    • You could use distilled water, but I wouldn’t be to worried about the body wash spoiling. Just store it in a cool place! To be extra safe, you could add a few drops of lavender essential oil – it’s antibacterial!

  • The thing that I like about body wash is that it works really well with a puff and it doesn’t leave a film on your skin like soap does. Does this happen with the body soap that you made?

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