DIY antibacterial & moisturizing all-natural foaming handsoap

DIY antibacterial & moisturizing all-natural foaming handsoap

There’s a chill in the air…

And this means a number of things for me: (1) Boots and sweaters! By far my favorite articles of clothing. (2) Faking my way through football season like the good girlfriend I am (at least I get a lot of thinking done while staring at the TV). (3) Trying my darndest to stay healthy and not catch a cold. (4) Chapped winter skin.

The last of these two go hand-in-hand: I find myself washing my hands A LOT trying to avoid any germs from coworkers, fellow bus riders, etc., but this dries my already chapped hands even more!

This DIY antibacterial and moisturizing foaming handsoap is bound to be my saving grace in the upcoming months. Best yet, it’s all-natural, unlike those toxic store-bought antibacterial handsoaps (yeah, I’m looking at you, triclosan). Lemon essential oil and red thyme essential oil both have strong natural antibacterial properties. The vegetable glycerine and sweet almond oil leave hands subtly moisturized, while the vegetable glycerine also increases the foaming power of the soap. Rosemary essential oil acts as a natural preservative (which is necessary given the fact that the recipe includes water).

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What you’ll need:

*Note: you can make the soap without these ingredients. They simply add to the antibacterial/moisturizing properties of the soap.


Add the ingredients in the order listed (if you add the soap before the water, it will become a sudsy explosion!). Stir the mixture gently, mixing everything together. The castile soap will cause the mixture to look cloudy. Put the mixture into your foaming handsoap dispenser and voilà! Now you have an all-natural, antibacterial and moisturizing foaming handsoap, and you made it! Give yourself a pat on the back while saying, “I’m so clever.”

The mixture will separate, so give it a little shake before each use!

P.S Like my homemade mason jar foaming soap dispenser? Check out how easy it is to make your own!

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33 Responses to DIY antibacterial & moisturizing all-natural foaming handsoap

  1. I assume you need to wash this off your hands with water? Can you suggest a small purse spray on version for on the go germ protection? Something with maybe a glycerin and thieves essential oil? or cinnamon or pine for holiday scents? Makes for a great co-worker gift, stocking stuffer, hostess gift or travel must item. Can you put your wonderful skills to this one?

  2. First time I read this and I love it. However, why do we need antibacterial soaps when colds and the flu are caused by viruses? Antibacterial soaps, seems to me, would strip your hands of your own “good” bacteria which have found a good way to protect you from “bad” foreign bacteria that might make you ill. Soap and water will flush away “visiting” bacteria, including pathogenic ones, while leaving your regular “resident” bacteria there. So the post is still great. but i might pass on the antibacterial part.

  3. Hi, Angelica. It is true that regular ol’ soap and warm water and proper cleaning (long enough amount of time, rubbing hands together, etc) do help wash away bacteria and viruses from the hands. But this simply gives it a little boost for those who want it (myself in included)! And for those with kids, most of whom don’t master proper cleaning techniques until they’re a little older :) this is a good option.

  4. This sounds great! I’m going to give it a try. There is only one problem, I’m from Europe and we messure with milliliters (ml). I haven’t got the slightest idea how many ml a cup would be. Does anyone know how to convert cups into ml?

  5. Angelica – then why do Doctors and Nurses and Dentists alike wash their hands between patients? Flu is indeed a virus BUT here are plenty of bacteria incited illnesses that attack and can be passed on… Our skin is meant to be a “barrier” to protecting our bodies organs and body temperature anon. We must wash off the contaminants off our skin (which is like a sponge to your bloodstream) and keep it clean and add additional protection as required such as Sunblocks, creams and lotions as required. I think the idea presented to use as a hand wash is excellent… especially since it uses essential oils that get into your bloodstream in 60 seconds from contact, thereby boosting your overall immune system put in place to protect you.

  6. Thanks, Kim! Yes, for those who want antibacterial protection, this is a much safer choice than harsh, chemical-filled store-bought products.

  7. Wondering if using glycerine soap instead of castile and vegetable glycerine would work? I have extremely dry skin, especially on my hands due to hand washing, and the lye contained in castile soap is very drying.

  8. Are the thyme and rosemary essential oils just for fragrance? I don’t have either of them in my current collection but I’m thinking some tea tree might work here. My hands are very dry and cracking and winter is just beginning so I’m hoping for a soap to help moisturize and heal after it cleans.

  9. Hi, Bonnie. No they are preservatives and antibacterial. It is very important to have a preservative in DIYs that call for water. The red thyme at a minimum is a must!! Otherwise, some not-so-great things could grow in there.

  10. I find that the oils separate from the other ingredients once mixed and left in the bottle to settle. I can give it a good shake before using, but that’s getting annoying. It also seems to be a bit drying even though I chose your recipe because it had oils and glycerine both. Any tips?

  11. Hi, Kelly. It also separates for me and I meant to make note of this in the post – thanks for reminding me. Oh no! I have not had this issue but you could try adding more glycerin (it will make it more foamy and also likely more moisturizing).

  12. I made this (with a few adaptations for what I have on hand) and LOVE it but I’m a little worried about the oils and our plumbing. Do you know if the almond oil will build up in the pipes like one has to be cautious about food oils going down the kitchen drain? Or is there a way to routinely maintain the drain to help get rid of any oil build up that you know of? (I added a little Vit E oil as a preservative and also used tea tree but won’t do that in the future as I just found out it is toxic to cats)

  13. I am glad you didn’t forget my favorite ingredient Glycerin. It provides us with that wonderful feeling of soft, smooth, moist skin. The feeling all of us, men as well as women, want their skin to have. :)

  14. Bonnie, just poor some washing soda in your sink once in a while ;)
    It works perfect for me! (This tip is brought to you by rosies dutch grandma)

  15. Since there’s water in the recipe, it is best to use an EO to help preserve the soap even though the castile does have some.

  16. I am also wondering about using tea tree instead of the oils you listed. Wouldn’t that be a preservative? Thanks! Love your site and recipe, by the way, thanks for sharing!

  17. That will depend on how much you get all of the ingredients for… and how many batches they will make.

  18. Essential oils can lead to chemical leeching from the plastic container. Nadia, in what concentrations is it not dangerous to use EOs in the presence of plastics? Even if someone is using a DIY mason jar-style soap container, the dispenser itself is still made of plastic.

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