Make your own foaming soap

13 03 2009
Make your own foaming soap in minutes for pennies

Make your own foaming soap in minutes for pennies

My kids have long since outgrown the whole love affair with foaming soap, but I’m adding it to all our bathrooms anyway because I’ll never outgrow my love affair with saving money. Don’t worry, I’m not going to pay extra for that foam, I’m going to make my own.

Everything you need to make your own foaming soap

Everything you need to make your own foaming soap

This is one of those things I’ve been meaning to do forever but never got around to actually doing. As I wrote when I started this blog, I was hopeful that writing five days a week about frugal living would keep me honest and on my toes as I try to live out a frugal lifestyle. Just like anyone, I get lazy, or too busy, or whatever, and push things to the bottom of my to-do list. In fact, this blog has been a HUGE motivator.

Back to my soap story.

We go through A LOT of liquid hand soap. And I guess that’s a good thing. But I’ve always been struck by the wastefulness of the disposable pumps and the amazing rate at which we empty those bottles. I do recycle the bottles, but the pumps have to go in the trash. And then there is the expense. While I always buy them with the help of double or triple coupons, they still cost money.

Add soap

Add soap

After I ran across a few recipes online for foaming hand soap, I started thinking: What if I could stretch my savings even further?

I decided to employ a little kitchen science and see if the recipes online work and how much more I could save. It’s so easy, I’m embarrassed it took me so long to try it. Even a 2-year-old could do it with supervision.

In fact, I highly recommend it as an activity for parents to do with the kids. What better way to get your kids to buy into hand-washing.

Foaming Soap Recipe

1  1/2 Tablespoons liquid hand soap

warm tap water

Put liquid hand soap in empty foaming soap container. Add warm tap water, leaving enough room to shake. Replace pump lid and shake. Pump once or twice to prime. That’s it.

Note: The recipes I referenced called for anywhere from 1 to 3 tablespoons of liquid hand soap. I used 1 1/2, which was plenty. Next time, I may cut it to 1 tablespoon.




Add warm water.

Add warm water.

OK, what about the savings?

First, the start-up costs. I had two empty Dial Foaming Soap containers on hand that I had purchased with coupons more than a year ago. They were sitting in the bottom of a kitchen cabinet so I’m going to cheat and say my cost was $0 since the little bit of money I spent was so long ago. For anyone starting out, a 7.5 oz size of Dial Foaming Soap is on sale this week at Harris Teeter for $2.29. Using the 35-cent coupon that is currently available brings the cost down to $1.59 with double coupons.

You can also spend $9 plus shipping and handling to purchase a foaming soap dispenser from Pampered Chef but I’m not sure why any frugal person would do this.

Two bottles were ready in about 3 minutes.
Two bottles were ready in about 3 minutes.

Next up, the recurring costs. Harris Teeter sells a 32 oz. refill bottle of  “foaming soap” for $5.99. This week it’s on sale for $5.49. You could completely refill just four bottles with this, which is most definitely NOT frugal.

I opted to use a 64 oz. jug of regular liquid soap, which can be routinely found at Target or Walmart for $5. I bought mine ages ago at Walgreens using a gift card. Using the 1 1/2-tablespoon recipe, you can refill a whopping 85 bottles! Holy cow, that is so good I can hardly believe it. And if you follow the 1-tablespoon recipe, you can fill 128 bottles…….for $5 or less if you use coupons!

I don’t know about you, but I’m sold.

One final note: During my Internet surfing, there was discussion about the foaming pump bottles not functioning properly after multiple uses. Rinse your pump periodically with vinegar and water and you should be good to go.




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