DIY: Foaming Antibacterial Hand Soap


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Last week, we discussed antibacterial soaps and why you should avoid them. Today I’d like to share with you a recipe for hand soap that will not only keep you safe from harmful ingredients in antibacterial soap, but it will save you money and reduce waste. Triple win!

First, you will need a foaming hand soap dispenser. You can find these online or at stores like Bed Bath and Beyond. But I’m not interested in spending $15 on an empty soap dispenser, so I bought some foaming hand soap at the grocery store and once I used it up, I kept the empty dispenser and made my own refill liquid using the following recipe:


  • 6 oz. of distilled water (I use distilled water to keep the dispenser from clogging and to ensure the solution has a longer shelf-life. That said, I go through this pretty quickly, so I don’t think using tap water would be a problem if you clean the pump between refills.)
  • 1.5 TBSP of Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap (I use Peppermint, but I think I’ll buy the unscented liquid castile next time and add about 10 drops of my own essential oils to each batch)
  • 1 TBSP vegetable glycerin or Vitamin E oil (or a mix of both)

First, add six ounces of distilled water to your empty foaming dispenser.

Next, add the castile soap and vegetable glycerin or Vitamin E oil.

Finally, put screw on the top of the dispenser and shake.

You can skip the vegetable glycerin/Vitamin E, but if your hands tend to be dry, I wouldn’t recommend it. The castile soap can be a bit harsh on dry skin.

Let me know how it works out for you! Happy hand washing!

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  1. Hi Amanda,
    I live in New Zealand and have not heard of Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap. Is there someone out there who knows what brand of liquid soap would be suitable in it’s place (bought in NZ)?

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