Homemade Bath Soap

by Merissa on March 25, 2013

in Featured, Make Your Own

Homemade Bath Soap - Little House Living

Homemade Bath Soap

I love homemade bath soap. I mean, I really love it.  Something about it seems so luxurious and incredibly special to me. Am I the only one? I will easily spend 5 or 6 dollars on a small soap, but you definitely wouldn't find me spending that much on store bought bars. There's a difference! This, of course, isn't the most frugal way to spend extra money when bars don't really last that long. Sitting in the shower, even in a little plastic box, they get all dried up, break apart, or just dissolve down the drain. No good. I've thought seriously about trying to make my own, but the process makes me a little nervous. I need someone to sit with me and show me how to do it step-by-step (Anyone wanna volunteer?). I've read tons of different methods, but I'm having a little trouble wrapping my head around it all.

So, where do I go from here?

Well I have found the easiest way to stretch my precious soaps. You aren't gonna believe how easy this is!

What You Need:

For this batch, I used Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Castile soap. I didn't have any homemade hand soap on hand, but the possibilities are endless when it comes to what kind of soap you could make. How about even mixing two of your favorite scents together? You could even add essential oils or fragrances, too. It would even be a fun project for older kids to do and they could make gifts for friends and teachers!

What to Do:

The instructions are simple. Boil 1 gallon of water and grate your favorite soap to add in. Mix until completely dissolved. Let cool overnight. Once cooled you have an entire gallon of soap to bottle and use as you wish! This would make beautiful gifts, or even decor to leave out in a bathroom.

Want to pamper yourself even more? Try making this Homemade Hand Scrub or check out any of the DIY or Make Your Own ideas on Little House Living.

Which version of homemade bath soap do you wanna make first? What are some cool containers you would hold your soap in?


Print Friendly

Disclaimer: This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

8:00 am

{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

1 RevAllyson March 25, 2013 at 10:45 am

We’ve made our own soap, and honestly, it’s not too difficult. If you can bake bread, you can make soap. 🙂 And when you make home-made lye soaps, they don’t melt so fast in the shower, either. They are not all that much cheaper than your expensive home-made bought soaps, mind you… unless you’re willing to save up your beef and turkey fats and render them for use in the soap! That’s what I’ve been doing since Thanksgiving, and I hope to embark on soap making in the next couple of months. 🙂 We’ll be using olive oil, flaxseed oil (only a bit, because it’s so expensive), and rendered fats from animals (these make your soap hard and less likely to melt away, and are also a good part of what makes your soap sudsy or bubbly).

I’d say give it a go. Even if you *really* mess up, you’ll end up with a semi-liquid gel substance that is *still* soap and you can turn into detergent or for use outside in the garden. 🙂


2 Dominque April 9, 2013 at 11:57 am

Thanks for the encouragement! I’m hoping to find someone locally that can help me get started!


3 Ed December 7, 2013 at 7:46 am

It is actually allot cheaper if you are buying the correct stuff. I even add really expensive clays and a 8oz bar cost me under 50 cents to make. (That includes an estimate for electricity) are you using expensive grocery store oils?


4 Patti White March 25, 2013 at 1:19 pm

This is the way I make my homemade liquid hand soap. I add a bit of glycerin and some doTERRA OnGuard Essential Oil Blend to mine. I love it!


5 Dominque April 9, 2013 at 11:57 am

That sounds like a great idea!!


6 Andrea March 25, 2013 at 3:39 pm

This sounds great! Will this work if I put it in liquid hand soap pump bottles?


7 Dominque April 9, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Yuppers! It sure will!


8 Jackie March 26, 2013 at 5:26 pm

Very cool, thank you!


9 Cheryl March 26, 2013 at 6:11 pm

I do this with soap scraps. Run it through the food processor with some water. I use it in a pump bottle.


10 Andrea March 26, 2013 at 7:37 pm

I have to say something because this post has bugged me since I read it yesterday. Why would you grate a bar of Dr. Bonner’s when they have a concentrated liquid version available that you just add water to; no scraped knuckles involved….


11 Dominque April 9, 2013 at 12:03 pm

This is the bar I had on hand at the time of writing this. You can use any bar that you would like. I know the liquid Dr. Bronner’s is a lot more expensive than the bar, and with this method-you get an entire gallon for the price of the bar! Not too shabby!


12 Tabitha March 26, 2013 at 8:48 pm

Wow! Thanks. I buy the concentrate but it’s $17 for 16 oz. I can try this out to make my Castile soaps last longer. A whole gallon? I’m still giddy about the idea. Thank you.


13 Tabitha March 26, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Oops. $17 for 32 oz


14 Dominque April 9, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Yay!!! So glad that you’re excited, cause of course, that makes me excited!!


15 Home Coming April 2, 2013 at 10:50 am

So smart. I’d love it if you’d link up to The DIY’ers link party. http://homecomingmn.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-diyers.html


16 Sheri April 4, 2013 at 4:51 am

I’ve used this same type of recipe for homemade bath soap, except I use different scents of Dial soap & add liquid vitamin E. It doesn’t lather up like store bought bath soap, but it still works…and smells great!


17 Rita smith January 2, 2014 at 11:55 am

Hi Sheri, if you add a little organic honey it will make it suds a little more. It’s also good for your skin


18 Leanne May 15, 2014 at 8:05 am

About how much honey would you add? A tablespoon or so?


19 Miz Helen April 7, 2013 at 11:17 am

Your post is awesome and thank you so much for sharing it at the table with Full Plate Thursday.
Hope to see you again soon!
Miz Helen


20 Barb @ A Life in Balance April 9, 2013 at 12:43 pm

I love how easy this recipe is. And, just the other day, I saw lots of bottles of Dr. Bronner’s at Target of all places, making it easy to find the supplies, too.

Thanks for linking up at Fabulously Frugal Thursday!


21 Angie Abella December 6, 2013 at 10:16 pm

I don’t use Dr. Bonner’s, but I do use Ivory, and sometimes use the foaming bottles for hand soap. It works well. I also put in a little glycerine to aid in it not being snot-like. 🙂


22 amy December 18, 2013 at 12:06 am

How much glycerine do you add? I have used Trader Joe’s oatmeal vegetable soap bars in a homemade liquid soap for body wash, it was great, the soap cost $1.69, I mixed with 2 gallons of distilled water (each costing $0.99 ) leaving me with 2 gallons of a great gentle body wash for around $3.67. My only complaint is it is a bit snot-like, making it hard to get the appropriate amount out of the bottle for each use. I would love a simple solution to this issue such as adding some vegetable glycerine – but how much would you add for say, only a one gallon batch?


23 Mrs. Abella January 2, 2014 at 8:27 pm

I’d start with a couple of tablespoons and see where that leaves you. If you don’t like the consistency and it comes out still snot=like, just warm it all up again and add more. I make varying amounts of soaps, from a little hand soap to 5 gallons of laundry soap and I use it in all of that, so it varies by what you want…. Hubby got my glycerin in bulk from a trapper’s catalog, as it is also used in tanning hides and such. It was F&T Fur Traders or something like that. But you can also get it in Walmart in the health/beauty stuff, you just pay a bit more.


24 Tina December 7, 2013 at 4:22 am

so would this work with “any” bar of soap.. even on over the counter cheap bar?


25 Merissa December 7, 2013 at 6:53 am

Yes it would.


26 Melissa December 7, 2013 at 5:12 am

I am wanting to make this for Christmas gifts. My question is, for this first batch( probably due to cost, the only batch) I bought the Bonners liquid. I purchased the one in your link. Do I use the entire container of the liquid soap. Also, is there another alternative to the pump bottles that I can put it in. It will be a liquid soap, right? I’m new at the homemade stuff, but am really excited about beginning. I know this probably sounds like a dumb question, but….



27 Patty December 7, 2013 at 7:03 am

I found classes through a friend at work. She started taking classes like you are talking about through the community type classes. Sorry slips my mind what they are called here in Idaho. You could check with your community college or with your rec center to see if they have any classes for soap making. I was going to say I haven’t made soap yet but I have done some scratch beauty products and I just followed the recipes. If you can follow instructions in cooking you can do anything. The key would be to follow instructions. My sister always tells me follow the recipe at least the first time through then experiment. The experiment with soap comes at the scent and color side of it. Ok enough rambling didn’t mean to write a book.


28 Ed December 7, 2013 at 7:39 am

You asked for a volunteer to take you step by step through making soap? I’m in. Of course I have no idea where you live. I’m near Madison WI.


29 Angel December 8, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Cheaper alternatives to Dr. Bonner’s liquid & bar soaps. . .

Kirk’s Castle (bar) soap (100% coconut oil). . .
Available at Walmart and you get 2 or 3 bars in a pack for about $3.50

Ivory (bar soap)… (but its not good to use it in making dish soap).

Baby shampoo (although not entirely all natural), is available at Dollar Tree— $1.00 for about 12 or 16oz. (Stores are “down-sizing again”)

Dollar Tree also carries a shampoo that is clear (no color & has a light scent)

I have tried all of the above, but I prefer my own. . . It just seems to work better. . . And I know Exactly what is in it!

I make my own All Natural Liquid Castle soaps, which I sell in my stores on 2 of the auction sites I use. . . . I also sell liquid laundry soap kits, that you make your self with pre-measured packs of ingredients..

Hope this helps with alternatives to Dr. Bonner’s. No offense to the product, just an aversion to the price. . . LOL


30 Tiffany December 22, 2013 at 9:36 am

Hi! Dr. Bronners is wonderful stuff, although a little pricey compared to some other alternatives, but I’d like to offer another option, not previously mentioned, for others like myself with a coconut allergy. Kiss My Face makes a pure olive oil soap. The ingredients are Olive Oil, Water and Salt. I’m sure there was an agent for saponification that is used but it isn’t listed as is isn’t in the final product. I use it for all of my personal hygiene washing formula needs: shampoo, bar soap, shower gel, hand soap, and a mild facial cleanser for days I don’t use a honey baking soda exfoliating cleansing scrub with vinegar and water toner. I just wanted to put that out there. The pure olive oil one has no added fragrance or color, but is very green. Another benefit, it’s usually only $3-$4 per EIGHT (8) ounce bar. I just found it for sale online for $2.15 per 8 oz bar.
Have fun!


31 precious December 24, 2013 at 2:10 pm

I’m so excited. I’ve always wanted to make my own bathing soap. Thanks.


32 Rebecca December 31, 2013 at 4:37 pm

I, too, was intimidated by the idea of making my own soap and it remained just a dream for years. I finally tried it recently and I honestly wondered, “This is all it is?” Read up on recipes and watch some how-to videos online, then take the plunge. I have extremely dry 60 year old skin and make superfatted (5%) soap. You do spend a bit at first, but those ingredients last through numerous batches. I made a list of “wish-for” ingredients and gave it out to my family and friends for gift ideas. Also, check out places like Big Lots and Ollie’s Bargain Outlet that carry unusual food items. I found grapeseed oil really cheap. My last batch made 9 bars or luxurious soap for a total of about 3 pounds of soap and cost me about $1.50 a bar (even with essential oils). Look for a soap recipe calculator. You can choose you ingredients by quality and it will calculate the recipe precisely. Just print it out! Good luck! You’ll never go back to store bought soap again!


33 Reen January 2, 2014 at 11:13 am

This sounds great! I have a tin bucket where I have been keeping my bits and pieces of soaps waiting for an idea to pop up on facebook to tell me what to do with them!! Thanks so much!


34 Merissa January 2, 2014 at 11:15 am

I’m glad we could help! 🙂


35 Brenda January 2, 2014 at 2:45 pm

I saw a post about this a few months ago and decided that I would do this for Christmas gifts this year. I tried to find a bar of Mrs. Murphy’s soap which was the recommended soap and couldn’t find it at my local stores. I did however find Dr. Bronner’s Magic soap in Peppermint! I made my soap (adding a bit of glycerin) and collected some mason jars, begged for soft soap pumps through Freecycle (and hit the jackpot when a fellow freecycler gave me over 100!). I prettied up the jars with raffia and handmade Christmas tags and even glued a mini candy cane to the raffia and they came out super cute and my friends and family loved them. 🙂


36 Merissa January 2, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Great gift idea! I bet they were super cute 🙂


37 michael davis January 7, 2014 at 2:56 pm

Hello, I really enjoyed your blog; I’m in Ohio and am waiting for the snow to disappear so I can collect the herbs that grow on my mom’s 14 acres. Thanks for all the info on making soap.


38 Crystal Mickle January 19, 2014 at 12:10 pm

I am a rookie (lol!)… How much soap to one gallon of water? Thx!


39 Merissa January 19, 2014 at 9:09 pm

One bar of soap for one gallon of water 🙂


40 Claudia Pannetti January 29, 2014 at 3:02 pm

I made this today and it is really goopy. Is it supposed to be liketh at? Is there a way to get it not so goopy? Thanks. 🙂


41 Best anti fungal body soap April 18, 2014 at 6:32 am

Thanks for sharing,, One must do little research to find the soap that is most suitable for the skin..


42 Cooksalot May 7, 2014 at 5:15 am

I love making soap. Not the melt a pour type either. I am so glad to be back in a house so I can make soap again.


43 Eileen July 9, 2015 at 9:35 pm

How long will this keep? Does it get moldy since it has water


44 Merissa July 9, 2015 at 10:21 pm

It will last for several weeks. Make sure to store it in a cool dark place.


Leave a Comment

Thanks for taking a moment to share your thoughts and your story. I love to hear from you and love when you are able to add something constructive to the conversation! Please remember this is a supportive and encouraging community. LHL reserves the right to delete any personal attacks, rude or offensive language, or anything not deemed family friendly. If you don't have anything nice to say, please keep it to yourself.

See our Comment Policy for more information.