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July 2018

DIY Foaming Liquid Soap Refill


Normally we’re a bar soap family.  For a number of reasons, I’ve been making soap from scratch for my family since college (it’s actually what ultimately led to our ownership of The Weed Patch, but that’s another longer story for another day!).  As I reckon most homemade soap users will say, once you start using made-from-scratch soap, you just can’t go back to the store bought stuff.


However, that said, we are a busy family that includes two grungy little monsters, which tends to result in a bathroom counter covered in soap scum and bits of soap melting in pools of water.  99.9% of the time, handmade bar soap is fantastic.  However, in a high traffic bathroom used by messy children, it isn’t the best.

Thus I confess my love for those foaming liquid soap pumps.  I LOVE those.  Liquid soap, already sudsy, quick to use, leaving little to no mess on my counter.   Great for kitchens, high traffic bathrooms, or anywhere a lot of hand washing is happening.  However - 1.  I’m cheap, and soap refills add up; and 2. I love handmade soap, and really don’t like commercial “soaps,” liquid or bar.


Well, I’m happy to say you can have the best of both worlds!  We had this foaming soap dispenser on hand, leftover from a gift package we received at some point.  We’ve happily kept it refilled, using my own handmade soap!  If you, like us, prefer to use natural soaps (instead of commercial “soap” bars), want to save on liquid soap refills, or just have a bar soap you love that would be great to have in liquid format, then this DIY is for you.

  1. Grate a little bit of your bar soap using a regular kitchen grater – we used roughly 2 slightly heaping tablespoons of grated soap.
  2. Put the soap flakes into your empty bottle. Fill bottle with hot water (as hot as you can get it without melting the bottle or burning yourself).
  3. Put the foaming dispenser lid back on the bottle, and swirl or VERY gently/slowly shake to help melt the soap. Do NOT vigorously shake the bottle, or you’ll create a huge foamy mess (ask me how I know).


When the soap is melted, it’s ready to use!  Give it a try – if you get foam, but it doesn’t feel very “soapy,” then add a little more soap next time (or add it right away while the liquid in the bottle is still hot).  We added only about a tablespoon the first time around, and it wasn’t soapy enough.  Two tablespoons was perfect.


One bar of soap will provide enough for many refills.  We’ve refilled this bottle several times already, and you can see we’ve only used about ¼ of the bar.  Plus, we get the benefits of natural soap but in liquid format, AND we’re helping the environment a little bit by not buying a soap refill in a new plastic bottle!

As my soap is already scented with essential oils, I didn’t add anything for extra scent, however you are certainly welcome to add a few drops to the bottle before mixing!  You may need to periodically gently shake your bottle to redistribute the oils, as oil and water don’t mix, and they won’t fully emulsify in the soap/water mixture.


I have no idea how this will work on commercial “soaps.”  They are made with chemicals and thus legally cannot be labelled as soap, so they have a different make-up than natural handmade soap, and I couldn’t tell you for sure that they’ll work.  If you try it and it works, be sure to let us know!

Happy soaping! :)