Moisturizing Hand Soap

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Recently I had the chance to write a couple of guest posts for another blog, and the first post is up today! Check out Poverty Luxe for a hand lotion recipe if you’re interested.  You won’t want to miss it! I’ve had so many compliments from people who I’ve given jars of this lotion to. If you’ve found my blog from Poverty Luxe, welcome! I’m glad you’ve taken a moment to stop by.

Hand soap is a super easy thing to make at home. The base is simply soap flakes and water. I personally use Dr Bronner’s Castile bar soap when making this but you can use any soap you have laying around. You could use those bits of leftover soap you might have laying in a drawer, or even those little bars of soap from hotels. This soap will have a gel like consistency. I find I prefer that since it makes me feel like I’ve actually washed my hands.

By using coconut milk and shea butter in the soap it is highly moisturizing. It is completely optional, but you do get a smoother product that counteracts the drying effects of the castile soap if you use it. You want to make sure that you don’t use the coconut milk from the refrigerated aisle. You want the real stuff from the can, you will get far better results this way.

Vegetable glycerin is a natural substitute for Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS). SLS is an ingredient found in commercial hand soaps to make it foamier. It also happens to be a know carcinogen so I’ve been trying to remove it from our household products. Vegetable glycerin gives a foamier product while still being completely natural and organic. It is not necessary to add this to the soap, however you will get a more “soap” like feel if you do use it.

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The essential oil blend I’ve created for this shower gel is a wonderful smell as we are heading into autumn. If you don’t have these EO’s on hand you can substitute whatever you do have, just make sure to add 35-50 drops of oils. Make sure to include Tea Tree or Lavender oils since they have antibacterial properties.

If you are interested in the container, I found the lid at the Target dollar spot. The jar was leftover from last year’s canning and I purchased the pump on Amazon. Any size regular mouth canning jar will work. I used Kerr brand because that is what I had on hand. The pump fit through the pre-made hole in the lid. I simply trimmed the straw to the appropriate length before attaching it. Due to the tight fit of the pump through the hole I did not need to add any sort of adhesive to the lid. If you are worried about them separating you can always add something to seal it up. The recipe below will make one 8oz container (pint canning jar size) of hand soap.

Moisturizing Hand Soap


  • 1 Cup Grated Soap Flakes
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Milk (Not the stuff in the refrigerated aisle, the real stuff from the can)
  • 2 Tablespoons Shea Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Vegetable Glycerin
  • 15 Drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
  • 10 Drops Frankincense Essential Oil
  • 5 Drops Clove Bud Essential Oil
  • 5 Drops Tea Tree Essential Oil

Grate the soap flakes in a food processor. (You can store any leftover soap flakes in a Mason jar for your next batch.)

Put the soap flakes, water, shea butter and vegetable glycerin on the stove and stir until melted.

Once melted add the coconut milk.

Let cool to room temperature, then add the essential oils.

Transfer the cooled soap into a dispenser with a pump. It will still be fairly liquid at this point, simply let it sit to finish thickening.

Use as you would normal hand soap.