DIY Foaming Hand Soap - What You Should Know

Posted by RAIL19 on Mar 11th 2020

DIY Foaming Hand Soap - What You Should Know

As the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spreads to the United States, everyone is searching for ways to protect themselves and prevent the spreading of germs.  Across the board, hand washing makes it to the top of the list. The Mayo Clinic suggests "practicing everyday prevention" by washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 second. 

With the increased number of times you may be hand washing in the coming months, you may be tempted to make your own foaming soap to save on money, or to avoid the crowds, or it may be that stores shelves low or out of hand soap. Whatever the reason, making your own foam soap is simple, but there are few things you might want to know beforehand. We have created a short list of helpful tips when making your own foaming soap; some you may already know, while some might surprise you. 

Making foaming soap with non-foaming soap 


5 parts water + 1 part non-foaming hand soap

A very important part of the mixture is the actual mixing. It's never recommended to shake or stir your mixture with a closed lid. Instead, use a spoon to stir your non-foaming soap and water thoroughly. Be sure that your 2 ingredients are completely dissolved together.


This is a very IMPORTANT note. Although its much simpler to use good ole tap water (or filtered) to fill up your soap dispenser, over time this can cause microbial contamination. You may opt to distill your water through a boiling process, although these can be more time consuming. 

Using un-distilled water can also cause a decreased cleansing abilities and poor lather performance.

THERE IS AN EXPIRATION (sorry it doesn't last forever)

Although you may go through your soap pretty quickly, we thought it worth mentioning just in case you use your soap slowly. Using the DIY foam mixture within 30 days is recommended. Once finished or at the end of 30 days, wash your soap dispenser base with clean soap and water and then refill. If your glass soap dispenser base is dishwasher safe, this is the easiest way to clean or sanitize before your next refill. 

And, although we are on the subject of DIY foaming soap, checking expirations for any on-body product such as lotions, make-up, shampoos, etc is wise, as they most likely have an expiration. Even hand sanitizer expires! 

Essential Oils / Oils + Other Ingredients

Do you add essential oils and other ingredients to your mix? If so, you might want to check the shelf life before doing so. While your water might be good for a period of time, and your soap is good for a period of time, this doesn't mean your oil/essential oil (or any other added ingredient) is good for the same amount of time. And, this can cause your entire batch to go rancid. Check all ingredients for shelf life before added to your mix.

If you find that your pump is sticking or refusing to foam, check that your essential oil is not the culprit. Some oils can create a build up on the inner filters; damaging the pump. 


When selecting your foaming soap container, you may consider whether you should use plastic or glass. We of course recommend a glass foam soap dispenser with a metal foam pump. 

Some people will purchase a 1-use-only plastic dispenser bottle and continue to refill this same plastic bottle over and over. And, while they have the best intentions to stop the waste of plastic, there are some troubling issues when reusing plastic soap bottles. 

Most importantly when you reuse plastic soap bottles over and over they can leach chemicals. Most kitchens and bathrooms (especially shower rooms) can get steamy and hot which may only increase the leaching process. Some soap companies and food companies have began putting notices on their plastic bottles to not reuse them. 

We hope these tips are helpful to you and keep you informed. Whether you make your own foam soap or use premixed, keeping your hands clean is always a good choice. 

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