HOW TO: Turn Bar Soap into Liquid Soap


I hate bar soap. Everything about it. It gets slimy while sitting in the soap dish, it gets covered with dirt, hair, etc., and it feels like it just harbours all kinds of germs. I may be a little overboard, but that’s just the way I feel about bar soap.

On the other hand, I love liquid soap – for my hands, my body, my face…but liquid hand soap and body wash can get pretty expensive, especially if you’re using a natural brand. So you can imagine my excitement when I happened upon this article I found on Pinterest about DIY Body Wash. Apparently, I’m not alone in my hatred for bar soap :)

All you need is 8 oz bar soap, some glycerin, and water – super easy! You can use any bar soap, as long as it’s 8 oz (which may be 1 or 2 bars, so check the label!). We were actually in a bind and needed body wash right away. So instead of going to the store, I found a couple of Dove soap bars lying around and just used those. (I have no idea where the bars came from LOL, but I figured I’d use them to test out this recipe). Next time, I’ll try it with some Dr. Bronner’s castile soap bars! I may even try adding some essential oils for added fragrance and aromatherapy :)

The glycerin is very easy to find at your drug store. It should be near the band-aids, alcohol, peroxide, etc. EDIT: The glycerin is mostly for moisturizing purposes and can be omitted if you want. I’ve made the soap without it and it was totally fine.

What You Need:

  • 8 oz. bar of soap (could be 1, 2, or even 3 bars, depending on the kind)
  • 2 T. glycerin
  • 1 gallon (16 cups) water
  • Large pot
  • Container(s) to hold the soap

What To Do:

  1. Put water in a large pot.
  2. Grate the soap bar(s) and add to the water. (If you don’t have a grater, just chunk it up very small)

    Grated soap

  3. Add the glycerin.

    Water, Soap, and Glycerin

  4. Heat the soap mixture on medium heat until all the soap is dissolved, about 15 minutes. (Longer if your soap is chunked, instead of grated)
  5. Once dissolved, take off the heat and let it rest for 12-24 hours.

    Soapy water

  6. Beat with a hand mixer, adding more water to achieve desired consistency. (Mine was pretty runny as is, so I just skipped adding the water). This is also where you’d add any essential oils if you want.

    Kinda runny, but still soapy and frothy

  7. Once you’ve mixed it well, just pour it into your container(s) using a funnel.

    I used an old body wash bottle

That’s it! I turned 2 bars of Dove soap ($3) into 1 gallon of body wash/hand soap.

1 gallon of liquid soap!

And just for sake of providing some actual feedback on the soap, here’s a text conversation I had with the hubby, since he was the first to use it:

The hubby approves :)


Since I want to try this with Dr. Bronner’s castile soap next time, let’s break down the cost using Bronner’s as an example:

1 gallon of Bronner’s ~ $35 on Amazon
(For body wash, I would dilute it with equal parts water, so the gallon now costs ~ $17)

1 bar of Bronner’s ~ $2 on Amazon
(For this recipe, I would use a little less than 2 bars, so let’s just say ~ $4)

That’s more than 4 times the price for a gallon of diluted Bronner’s vs. a gallon of homemade liquid Bronner’s! Sounds like an easy decision to make :)

So, what do you think? Would you try this? Have you tried this? What are your thoughts? Would love to hear about your experience!

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Sarah UmmYusuf is a former school teacher turned stay-at-home wife and mama with a passion for all things simple, natural, and homemade. She loves the natural world, and believes the solutions to many of the world’s ailments lie in nature. Her blog, , began as a way to document her family’s journey to a greener home, but has since become a thriving community and resource for those wishing to take small steps towards a more eco-friendly, natural and sustainable lifestyle. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

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