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If you’re trying to switch over to natural body care products, you might be wondering about hand soap. Before I learned how to make foaming hand soap from castile soap, I used conventional soap and my hands were always dry and would sometimes crack and bleed!

I thought the solution was to use more lotion. The problem with using most conventional moisturizers is that you eventually have to wash them off and then you’re back at square one again.

It finally clicked that the ingredients in my conventional hand soap were drying out my skin. Skin is the largest organ and has the amazing ability to absorb chemical compounds.

Have you seen the ingredient lists on some of the conventional hand soaps out there? Most of the ingredients I can’t even pronounce. It’s no wonder they strip natural oils from the hands and cause skin to become dry and cracked! Plus they cost $3-$4 for just one 8 oz. bottle!

All-natural diy castile foaming hand soap is an amazing substitute for harsh conventional soaps. It’s gentle on the skin, cost effective, and extremely easy to make! In fact it only requires two ingredients: castile soap and water!


How to make castile foaming hand soap



  • Add one part castile soap to your soap dispenser and ten parts water. That’s it!

What is Castile soap?

Castile soap originated in Castile, Spain where it was traditionally made with olive oil. Today castile soap can be derived from different kinds of plant-based oils, but it’s distinct from other natural soaps in that it never contains animal fats.

Castile soap is non-toxic and usually contains a small handful of ingredients. Because of its plant-based composition, it’s also completely vegan!

One of the most common castile soap brands is Dr. Bronners, which comes in both liquid and bar form. I love Dr. Bronners castile soap because it contains a special blend of moisturizing plant-based fats as well as essential oils, as opposed to synthetic fragrance. You’ve probably seen the liquid form in stores.


How is castile soap different than regular soap?

Not all soaps are created equal. In fact, many of the products we call “soap” aren’t actually soaps at all, but rather detergents. True soap must go through a process known as saponification.

When a fat or oil and either potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide (also known as lye) are mixed together, it creates a chemical reaction that produces soap.


Are potassium hydroxide and sodium hydroxide safe? (they sound a bit chemical-y to me!)


The short answer is no. Both potassium hydroxide and sodium hydroxide in their raw form are extremely corrosive and can damage skin. BUT (and that’s a big but!), the process of saponification rids castile soap of virtually all of these harsh chemical compounds.

Since no trace of potassium hydroxide and sodium hydroxide gets left in the final product, castile soap is 100% non-toxic and safe to use.


Benefits of foaming castile hand soap

1. Non-toxic formula

You can’t get much safer than all natural castile soap. Although not all brands are created equal and I encourage you to read labels, Dr. Bronner’s most natural castile soaps contain minimal safe ingredients. All that remain in the final product of Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile soap are vegetable oils, mild essential oils, and vitamin E.

2. Better for your skin

Thanks to its emollient plant oils, castile foaming hand soap nourishes skin instead of stripping it of natural oils. I’ve noticed a HUGE difference in the softness and elasticity of my skin since I started using natural castile foaming hand soap.

3. Better for the environment

Castile foaming hand soap is biodegradable so its actually better for the environment than conventional soaps. Because castile soap is very concentrated, it works well even when heavily diluted. By diluting your soap and using a refillable foaming hand soap pump, you will reduce waste compared to what would get produced if you purchased ready-made foaming hand soap.

4. Fragrance-free options available

The ingredient manufacturers label as “fragrance” can literally refer to hundreds of chemicals they aren’t required by law to disclose. That’s a good reason to avoid body care products with “fragrance” altogether.

Thankfully there are castile soaps on the market without this mystery ingredient. Natural castile soaps rely on essential oils for their scent.

However, even within brands, you need to read labels! Dr. Bronners sells almond-scented and rose-scented castile soaps which contain “natural almond fragrance” and “natural rose fragrance”. Since these terms don’t disclose what said fragrances consist of, I simply avoid them when making castile foaming hand soap, and choose from Dr. Bronner’s other scents which do not contain fragrance.

5. Multiple uses

You already know that castile soap makes an awesome foaming hand soap, but did you know it can also be used for diy laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid, shampoo and body wash, as a natural cleaning spray, and as a bug repellent?

That’s not all! In fact, Dr. Bronner’s boasts 18 uses for its aptly-named “magic soap”. Pretty nifty if you ask me.

6. Fun to use!

My favorite thing about castile foaming hand soap is that it helps my kids actually want to wash their hands. I guess there’s just something a little extra fun and special for kids about pumping a fluffy cloud of foaming soap right into your hands. If it helps my mud-loving boys get clean, I’m all for it!


Important notes about castile soap

When making diy cleaners

There are several recipes online for homemade cleaners that combine castile soap with acids such as vinegar or lemon juice. Whatever you do, please do not combine these ingredients in the same bottle for cleaning! Acids break down castile soap into an oily mess and will render your diy cleaner totally useless.

If you have hard water

Hard water can cause castile soap to leave behind a white filmy residue on dishes or laundry. Acid can actually be your friend If you use castile soap for dishes and notice this residue. Try a vinegar rinse to easily wash away any film that might have formed on your dishes or sink. 

Have you ever tried castile soap?

Are you a fan of castile soap? What’s your favorite use for it? Tell me all about it in the comments below!


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