DIY Foaming Hand Soap

Rebecca blogs at Stapler Confessions about her journey paying off $200,000 in student loans by living frugally and snagging free batteries. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter to find out about great deals.  

Have you ever used foaming hand soap? I love them because they feel a little luxurious. My son loves them because he has instant suds, which he just generally thinks are cool.

Have you ever bought foaming hand soap? You may have noticed that it has a big markup.


Yet, there is actually less soap in that pricey foaming soap dispenser. In fact, you can easily make your own foaming hand soap at home, using 80% less than the soap you would usually use.

Here’s how: Use a foaming hand soap dispenser (they have the extra-wide spout); fill with 20% soap, 60% water and 20% air; then shake. It’s so easy and cost-effective that you may never use the old bottles again. Just remember the 20/60/20 ratio and you’ve cut your soap costs by 80%.

Is using a hand soap with less actual soap still effective? You bet. A little tip I learned in the Peace Corps, and supported by the Centers for Disease Control, is that friction plays a big part in cleaning your hands when washing them. Both soap and friction lift dirt, grease, and microbes from skin. When you lather up and scrub your hands, you’re not just distributing soap around, but creating friction as well. That’s why it’s recommended that you sing “Happy Birthday” twice or the “ABC’s” while washing your hands. The longer you scrub your hands, the more microbes you’ll remove.

As long as you scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds, the type of soap you use shouldn’t make a difference in how clean your hands are. Now, if you are washing your hands after mucking around in the mud or changing the oil on your car, you’ll probably need more than 20 seconds. But for the average handwash, using diluted soap isn’t likely to make a big difference. Although, in my son’s case, it does make a difference – I have noticed that he washes his hands longer when he uses foaming soap than when he uses regular liquid soap.

If you would prefer a non-disposable dispenser, get one with a clear soap chamber. That will help you when you’re measuring out how much soap and water to add.

Here’s a great foaming soap dispenser to use at home if you’re interested

61yRkj7-V9L._SL1500_Otherwise, you can mark the inside of the soap dispenser with the 20% line and the 60% line with a permanent marker.

What do you think: Are you ready to give it a try? It costs only a few bucks to pick up a foaming hand soap bottle to give it a whirl. 

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