The BEST DIY Foaming Hand Soap Recipe with Essential Oils (Pumpkin Spice Included!)

Oct 14, 2021DIY & Crafts

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The BEST DIY Foaming Hand Soap Recipe with Essential Oils (Pumpkin Spice Included!)

Are you interested in making your own foaming hand soap with essential oils? Good news: it’s easier than you probably imagined.

This DIY foaming soap recipe with Castile soap and essential oils is as easy as mixing the ingredients and putting them in a soap dispenser. No heating, no cooling, no tempering – just mix and enjoy.

Perhaps the best part is you can customize this recipe with any fragrance you like. Do you want to dupe the expensive Aesop soap? Easy. Want some festive soap scents, like pumpkin spice for autumn or spruce for Christmas? Also easy!

If you’ve been wanting to make your own soap that’s nourishing to your hands, lovely to smell, and free of ingredients like sulfates, sodium chloride, perfumes, and Cocamidopropyl betaine, this DIY liquid hand soap recipe is for you.


How do you make foaming soap with essential oils?

To make foaming soap with essential oils, you need the following:

  • ½ cup Castile soap: an eco-friendly, mild soap that’s excellent at cleansing
  • ½ cup Distilled water: to dilute the mixture to a good soapy consistency
  • 1 TB Carrier oil (like almond oil): to dilute essential oils and carry them to your skin
  • 1 TB Vitamin E oil: for moisturizing the skin and leaving your hands feeling soft
  • 25 drops Essential oil: primarily for the scent, though many oils have other benefits
  • Foaming soap dispenser: to deliver the natural soap in the best way
pumpking pie soap ingredients

Making your own liquid foaming hand soap is as easy as mixing those ingredients together in your dispenser and shaking it! Here’s a recipe for pumpkin spice foaming hand soap:

homemade pumpkin pie soap

DIY Pumpkin Spice Foaming Hand Soap

Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins

Equipment

  • Foaming hand soap dispenser

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup liquid castile soap, unscented
  • 1/2 cup distilled water
  • 1 TB sweet almond carrier oil
  • 1 TB Vitamin E oil
  • 25 drops pumpkin spice essential oil blend

Instructions
 

  • Add all ingredients to your hand soap dispenser. Shake well.

All you need to do is add all of the ingredients to a soap dispenser.

The pumpkin spice scent in this recipe is DIVINE. We just got ours from Walmart. I find myself washing my hands more frequently just for the scent and moisturizing effects. 

This recipe creates a very watery, thin soap. If you don’t like this consistency, we have two solutions. First, you can use this soap in a foaming dispenser to create a luscious, velvety lather. Another option is thickening the soap with saltwater. 

homemade pumpkin pie soap display

Also, if you end up purchasing the foaming hand dispensers, the mason jar ones were perfect! They have a measuring tool on the side, so you can just measure your ingredients right in the jar.

cups on side of foaming hand soap dispenser

How do I thicken homemade hand soap?

You can thicken your homemade hand soap by adding small amounts of saltwater. I recommend a 2:1 ratio of water to salt. For example, mix together 1 cup of water and ½ cup of salt to create your saltwater mixture. You can heat up your water in the microwave before adding the salt to help the salt dissolve faster, but this isn’t required.  

Once you have your saltwater prepared, use a spoon to add small amounts to the soap at a time. Take your time with it. If you add too much saltwater, the soap will thicken too much creating a consistency similar to curdled milk. 

The soap will also continue to thicken as it cools back to room temperature, so keep this in mind as you add your saltwater mixture to your soap. You can always add more saltwater after a couple of hours if your soap is still too thin. 

Can I use my homemade hand soap in a foaming dispenser?

Yes, you can definitely use your homemade hand soap in a foaming dispenser. In fact, Bethany recommends it! Using a foaming dispenser creates a much creamier, thicker consistency without adding any salt to the product. 

foaming hand soap citrus blend in action

Using a foaming dispenser elevated this product from a mediocre soap to my favorite soap of all time. The regular consistency of this soap without adding any saltwater is very thin and watery. But once you put it into a foaming dispenser, the lather is phenomenal and the consistency is luscious.

separated foaming hand soap

Do I have to use distilled water for making soap?

You do not have to use distilled water; however, any product you create with water has the potential for bacterial growth. Using water from your tap increases the chances of bacteria growing in your hand soap.

We recommend using distilled water and only making small batches of hand soap at a time in order to limit the likelihood of bacteria in your homemade soap.

Is there a way to prevent homemade hand soap from separating?

There are chemical additives you can add to your homemade hand soap to act as emulsifiers and prevent separating; however, we feel this defeats the purpose of making your own hand soap from scratch. We love that our soap only contains what we need to clean our hands (plus some AH-MAZING fragrance depending on which essential oils you include). 

I give my hand soap a few shakes before each use, and it’s ready to go.

I found it a little annoying at first, but the longer I use homemade soap, the less it bothers me. Remixing before each use is definitely the biggest drawback to making your own soap at home, but it’s worth it to me considering how velvety and smooth the foaming soap is on my skin. 

Testing note: Rebekah tried blending all the ingredients at the highest speed in her Vitamix. It appeared the soap came together, but over a few hours, it separated again. Skip this and just add the ingredients to your soap dispenser and shake!

What essential oils are good for hand soap?

For us, the essential oils used were almost entirely for the scent. Our mom liked using pumpkin spice to get into the autumn mood, our dad requested grapefruit because it’s his favorite scent, and Rebekah liked using a citrus “Unwind” blend.

The fun of adding essential oils to your homemade hand soap is you can customize the fragrance.

However, certain essential oils do claim to have different health benefits, though many claims aren’t verified by enough research, so you need to take them with a grain of salt.

  • Lavender essential oil: good for relaxation, sleep, reducing redness, and hydrating dry skin
  • Sandalwood: good for reducing inflammation and promoting moisture in the skin
  • Rosemary: anti-inflammatory, good for oily skin
  • Lemon: fights inflammation and is said to help reduce signs of aging
  • Lemongrass: antimicrobial, helps remove excess dead skin cells
  • Cinnamon: anti-inflammatory
  • Tea tree: fights bacteria and inflammation
  • Peppermint and wintergreen: cooling effect, which is good for skin rashes
  • Eucalyptus: relieves pain and provides moisture
  • Patchouli: reduces pain and inflammation; good for eczema
  • Tangerine: promotes smoother, more toned skin
  • Carrot seed: reduces scarring and wrinkles
  • Ylang ylang: reduces skin pigmentation
  • Rose: promoted cell turnover, which can help reduce signs of aging

It can be nice to come up with a blend that checks all the boxes for healthy skin, but getting the scent right is a big challenge.

Purchasing an essential oil blend is often a good way to get multiple skin benefits while ensuring the scent is pleasant. 

How do I make foaming hand soap like Bath and Body Works?

Ahhh, the smell of the Bath and Body Works shop in the mall – you can smell it half a mile away.

The good news is our recipe for foaming hand soap delivers an end result that rivals Bath and Body Works soaps!

For example, the Kitchen Lemon foaming hand soap boasts essential oils (check) and vitamin E (check). The fragrance is a blend of lemon, citrus, and Italian bergamot. By making your own hand soap, you can avoid some of the ingredients Bath and Body Works adds, like artificial colors and alcohol. 

all ingredients for bath and body works kitchen lemon hand soap dupe

DIY Bath and Body Works “Kitchen Lemon” Hand Soap Recipe

Our recipe for foaming hand soap delivers an end result that rivals Bath and Body Works soaps!
Prep Time 5 mins

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup Castile soap
  • ½ cup distilled water
  • 1 TB sweet almond carrier oil
  • 1 TB Vitamin E oil
  • 10 drops lemon essential oil
  • 8 drops orange sweet essential oil
  • 7 drops bergamot essential oil

Notes

If you like another particular scent, just navigate to it on the Bath and Body Works website and check out the fragrance tab. You can often recreate those fragrances by getting matching essential oils!
And to make your hand soap foamy, just purchase a foaming hand soap dispenser. You do need to shake the bottle before use, but that’s a side effect of ditching all the harmful ingredients in most mass-made hand soaps.

Need to shop the ingredients? Here are links to all of them:

I also personally had the doTERRA Citrus Blend on hand, and it has very similar essential oils to the Bath and Body Works Kitchen Lemon. I am loving it!

foaming hand soap mixed up before use

If you like another particular scent, just navigate to it on the Bath and Body Works website and check out the fragrance tab. You can often recreate those fragrances by getting matching essential oils!

And to make your hand soap foamy, just purchase a foaming hand soap dispenser. You do need to shake the bottle before use, but that’s a side effect of ditching all the harmful ingredients in most mass-made hand soaps. Worth it!

How do I recreate the Aesop hand soap?

If you’re a big fan of the ultra-expensive Aesop hand soaps, try out our Aesop hand soap dupe recipe!

aesop hand soap

Plus, a big bonus – our recipe doesn’t have sulfates. 

You will need to shake the soap before use, but you’ll still get to enjoy that classic, fresh, Aesop scent.

DIY Aesop Hand Soap Recipe

If you’re a big fan of the ultra-expensive Aesop hand soaps, try out our Aesop hand soap dupe recipe! Plus, a big bonus – our recipe doesn’t have sulfates.
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins

Equipment

  • Foaming hand soap dispenser

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup Castile soap
  • ½ cup distilled water
  • 1 TB sweet almond carrier oil
  • 1 TB Vitamin E oil
  • 10 drops bergamot essential oil
  • 8 drops mandarin orange essential oil
  • 7 drops geranium essential oil

Notes

If you’d rather buy an essential oil blend, we couldn’t find one that included the exact oils as Aesop, but we did find some that are very similar.
Consider trying the Moonbeam Blend from Vitruvi, which has the same fresh scent with a bit of a twist.

Here are links to the ingredients you’ll need:

If you’d rather buy an essential oil blend, we couldn’t find one that included the exact oils as Aesop, but we did find some that are very similar.

Consider trying the Moonbeam Blend from Vitruvi, which has the same fresh scent with a bit of a twist.

How much does it cost to create your own hand soap?

It cost us $4.12 to create one batch of pumpkin pie hand soap using our recipe. With our first purchase of ingredients, we were able to make 4 batches of hand soap and had some of our ingredients left over. We mainly just needed more castile soap, which we plan to buy in bulk to lower our costs even more.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Distilled Water: $.99
  • Castile Soap, 16 oz: $9.98
  • Vitamin E Oil: $10.99 (used ⅕ of the bottle)
  • Almond Oil: $8.95 (used ⅕ of the bottle)
  • Pumpkin Pie Oil: $4.75 at local Walmart (used ⅓ of the bottle)

If you love making homemade soap, I’d recommend purchasing these ingredients in bulk to bring down the cost of each bottle of soap you make. Or better yet, have a soap-making party with friends and everyone can pitch in on some of the ingredients. 

Also, shop around for your ingredients. We found that Hobby Lobby had their castile soap on sale which could really bring down the cost of this homemade foaming hand soap. 

Conclusion

Making your own foaming hand soap could not be any easier! You don’t need any special equipment – just mix the ingredients and add them to your soap dispenser. The best part is the scent is completely customizable. 

Try out some seasonal scents (like Balsam for Christmas) or mix your own essential oils together for a completely custom blend!

If you make your own hand soap, please leave a comment below or tag us on Instagram @thetwomamabears! Happy soap-making!

By Rebekah and Bethany

By Rebekah and Bethany

Two moms living very different lifestyles, yet experiencing the same everyday mom dilemmas. We are the Two Mama Bears.

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