How to make foaming hand soap with essential oils

Homemade foaming soap with young living essential oils and dr bronners

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“Did you wash your hands?” is probably the most common question asked around this house. With 3 kids under 5 we are constantly washing hands clean from crafts, mud pies and well, bathroom germs. And with all this hand washing going on that means we go through a lot of soap, especially the really fun foamy soap. That is far their favourite!

Because the littles love the foamy soap so much, and I am not a fan of overly perfumed products I decided that it was time to start making it myself. Enter Castile Soap, Water and Essential Oils. This DIY is so so easy even my preschoolers can get in on the action.

Let’s talk about how to make your own foaming hand soap that is completely plant based!

What is Castile Soap?

Unlike detergents and animal fat based soaps, Castile soap is a plant based soap made from oils such a as olive, hemp and coconut. It can be found either as a liquid based soap (potassium hydroxide) or a solid bar soap (sodium hydroxide).

Castile soap is named after the Castile region of Spain, known for it’s abundance of olive oil. Vegetable oil soap making became popular in the region in the 12th century when Muslim soap makers settled in the region after the crusades.

It’s important to note that just because a soap is liquid does not mean it is a Castile soap. In order to for it to be designated as such it must be made from plant based oils. True soaps are either made of animal fats or vegetable oils; all other “soaps” are actually detergents.

Why use Castile soap?

There are many benefits of Castile soap as opposed to detergents, but for us it’s namely the fact that it is free of toxins and extremely versatile. A bottle of Castile soap can be used for everything from washing your babies to washing your car; because the soap is so heavily concentrated in its liquid form it can be diluted and combined with other ingredients such as baking soda or essential oils to make completely different cleaning products.

Here are just a few ways you can use Castile soap around the home:

  • Hand soap and body wash
  • All purpose spray cleaners
  • Vegetable and fruit soaks
  • Wash your car
  • Shampoo carpets
  • Mopping floors

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are concentrated aromatic oils extracted from plants. The name essential comes from the term essence. As the oil carries the essence of the plant’s sent making them a key component in aromatherapy. Many believe that the oils also have medicinal properties as well, making them popular since the time of the Old Testament.

I like to use Lemon essential oil in my hand soaps because it hans an amazing ability to cut that lingering garlic and onion smell that tends to stick to your fingers when cooking. Plus it feels like a warm summer day every time wash my hands.

That’s one of the beautiful parts of making your own foaming hand soap is you can adjust it to your needs. Want a soft floral scent add rose oil. Looking for a warm and cozy winter feel try a blend with cinnamon or clove. Missing the beach and want to smell like a margarita, lime’s you girl… I may or may not make this one for my own bathroom sink. Regardless of which scent you choose essential oils are a safe natural way to add fragrances to your soaps.

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How to make your own foaming hand soap

Yield: 1 jar

Foaming Hand Soap

Homemade foaming soap with young living essential oils and dr bronners
Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Difficulty Easy


  • Castile Soap
  • Lemon Essential Oil
  • Water
  • Mason Jar
  • Foaming Soap Lid


  1. Add 1 1/4 cup Water, 1/4 cup of Castile Soap to the Mason Jar
  2. Add 5-10 drops of lemon oil to mason jar (the more drops the stronger the smell)
  3. Replace lid and shake


The soap and water can separate at times, just give the soap a good shake before use.

Did you make this project?

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Bonus Benefits

Benefit #1: Even though at first buying the foaming pumps and dispensers, soap, and oils it might seem like this is a lot more expensive than your typical soap from a chain soap store, I promise you it isn’t.

Here is the price breakdown

Big Box Store Soaps – approx $7/ bottle

That’s a 78% discount! Yes you will have to buy the Castile soap and essential oils at the start BUT you will get 16 bottles of soap out of 1 32oz bottle of Dr Bronners and 20-40 bottles from the 10ml bottle of Young Living Essential Oil. We are talking at least 6 months of hand soap for about $30.

Benefit #2: With the glass bottles like mason jars you are no longer putting all that plastic back into the environment anymore which is a huge benefit your grandchildren will thank you for. I used the same mason jars I use when canning with the foaming soap lid from Kolya Naturals in Edmonton, Alberta.

Now that you know that what, why and how of soap making be sure to get out there and give it a try! Once you do be sure to come back and tell me how it turned out. I would love to hear what scents you come up with, the possibilities are endless! Happy soap making!

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  1. I love Dr Brommers castile soap and had no idea you could easily turn it into a foaming hand soap. It’s amazing how many batches of soap you can make from one bottle. Thank you for sharing!

    1. It’s so versatile! I love it!

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