DIY Foaming hand soap refill

I understand big business, really I do. Maybe that's why I think the whole 'foaming hand soap' thing is utterly brilliant. Have you bought one of those soaps? Shake the bottle a little. It's almost all water in there. The foaming mechanism is in the bottle top....there's not some special ingredient in the soap!

Foaming soap being pumped onto a hand

It's just really watered down, regular hand soap. Plus kids love using this stuff! It shoots out like the 'whipped cream of hand soap'. Pure awesomeness, right?

This stuff can be expensive though. Add that to the fact that a moms most uttered phrase is probably "wash your hands" and you can spend a good deal of money on something that gets rinsed right down the drain. 

Most of us have tried getting the kids to use less hand soap. Watering it down a little is good. Water it down too much though and the kids just use 2 pumps instead of 1 and we're still wasting money. I started refilling the foaming soap containers and found out you can save a ton of cash by reusing these bad boys!

How to make foaming hand soap

The dirty little secret behind these hand cleansers is in the pump! The foaming mechanism is inside the cap, not in any special soap formula. It's basically watered down soap that's been injected with air. Luckily, any hand soap can be used to refill them.

I've found that I can re-use the same bottle for several months before it eventually gives out and I need to replace it. Any foaming soap container will work, though the ones from bath and body works seem to wear out quicker. Or maybe my kids are just rough on your mileage may vary!

You can buy foaming hand soap containers on Amazon if you prefer the brushed steel look. There are actually lots of options, like this 2 pack if you prefer glass. Or just reuse the plastic ones from the grocery store.

It's super easy: fill a foaming soap container 3/4 full of water first, then add about 5 pumps of liquid hand soap. You can add a few drops of essential oils and a drop of liquid food coloring if you like. Shake a bit and you're good to go. 

Foaming pump soap refill instructions.

This works with almost any brand of liquid hand soap. You still get the scent, your hands get clean and it's loads cheaper! You can also use

The only formulas you can't use in the foaming soap containers are the exfoliating soaps. The rough particles that are designed to scrub your hands will clog up the chambers in the pump that hold the soap before the air is inserted into it. 

You can use any liquid soap and essential oil. I like castile soap, personally. It comes in scented and unscented...the original and baby formulas are my favorite! I small bottle of castile soap can last a whole year when used in a foaming pump bottle and it only cost about $5. That's a huge savings!

save money on hand soap

I've been doing this with Bath & Body Works soaps for years now. They have many of the same scents every season so it's easy to get refills for whatever container I already have.

Think of all the money you can save, plus the amount of plastic not being added to the environment! 

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  1. I started doing the same thing a while back. I love the soaps from the Bath and Body Shop & always wait for their sales, but it's also nice to make those sale purchases go even further. I've also been checking at JoAnn's any time I'm in there. They have liquid gel soaps for $1 and I dilute those & put them in one of my recycled pump bottles.

    1. JoAnns has soaps? Oh, awesome! I'll look next time I'm there!


  2. I love their soaps too. I will only buy them at 75% off though. I will try your tip when my bottles are empty. Thanks!

    1. They are pricy. I always catch the sales too, I stock up when they're that cheap!