Creamy Homemade Body Wash and Hand Soap


Well, I know this is a “food” blog. But food making isn’t the only “from scratch” thing that goes on in my kitchen. I also make a lot of my health, home and beauty products from scratch. Over the years I have started making my own body scrubs, lotions, lip and hand balms, laundry soap, cleaning products, and this body wash and hand soap– which I am sharing today. This is one of my favorites and a huge money saver in this house. The only ingredients you need are bar soap and water- glycerin and essential oils are optional. I only use  Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap , usually the baby mild bar, but there are a lot of other scents.  I have tried Kirk’s castile soap, but I don’t care for the results. The Dr Bronner’s  bars run from $4 to $6 apiece and can be cheaper bought in bulk. I know that sounds pricey at first, but consider you are making 1 gallon of body wash/hand soap (easily $20-25 for cheap stuff in this quantity, much much more if buying the liquid Dr Bronner’s castile soap). I use this gallon to refill all my hand soap and body wash containers and it lasts quite a while even with 6 of us. 


For a while I was on the bandwagon with the antibacterial body washes and soaps (I know better now), especially when my family struggled with some skin infections. One day I received wisdom from above that maybe these antibacterial soaps were causing the issue. So I tried making my own body wash, adding a bit of the antibacterial tea tree essential oil. I loved how it felt on my skin and my girls stopped complaining of skin irritation. I can’t say for sure if this is what really helped, but since the switch (1 and 1/2 years ago) we have had no further skin infections!! I also use this as my face wash and it works great- I have super sensitive skin too that breaks out easily.  It is a much milder soap and has reduced my eczema. I have even used it as a shampoo- it doesn’t strip your hair at all and I think it works well. 


I have changed the method a bit since I first started making it and added different essential oils in here and there. It gets kinda of congealed when it sits for a while, so I use my immersion blender or blender to emulsify the soap prior to filling my containers- this makes it super smooth and creamy- way better than any store bought stuff. 

Homemade Body Wash and Hand Soap
  1. 1 Bar of castile soap- recommended Dr Bronner's bar soap
  2. 1 Gallon of water (I use filtered water for best results)
  1. 1 Tablespoon of Glycerin
  2. Essential oil for scenting
  1. Shred the bar of Soap. I have found the easiest way is to use a heavy serrated bread knife and shave the soap- it only takes a minute this way and less mess. You can also shred the soap with a box grater or food processor with shredding disk.
  2. Place shredded soap in a large stockpot. Add 1 Gallon of water and heat on stove over medium/low heat until all the soap pieces are melted.
  3. Remove from heat- stir in glycerin (if using) at this time. It will be very thin and watery. Cover and allow to sit at room temp about 24 hours- you will see it turn white and thick.
  4. At this point, you can just whisk in essential oils to your preference and use as is, but I highly recommend blending-- either by doing batches in a blender or food processor or my preference, using an immersion blender. This emulsifies it and makes it smooth, silky and creamy and it wont be "stringy" or "congealed" when using. I will blend it, fill my bottles, and it stays creamy for a long time.
  5. Store the remainder until ready to use. If has been a long time I will usually quickly re-blend it before filling my soap dispensers.
  1. The easiest way to fill bottles or jars with the soap is using a funnel and carefully pouring or spooning the soap in.
Amy Kay's Kitchen

3 Responses to Creamy Homemade Body Wash and Hand Soap

  1. I was hoping to find answers on this too. I made this recipe and it’s been 24 hours and mine is also still very watery. Feeling disappointed and wishing I could find a solution.

    • I made this again just this week-It actually thickened (congealed) in less than 24 hours. I really only recommend using Dr Bronner’s castile soap as I have not had good luck with other brands. I am not sure beyond that why it wouldn’t set up?

  2. Hello! Does this recepi still work? I made mine yesterday at 7pm its been 22hrs and its still looks like water. I do how ever live in PR were is super hot over here. Do you think they have changed maybe there ingredients or something? When was the last time you did this?

    Thank you for your time!

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