Person Getting Hand Soap
hand soap
(Image credit: PORNCHAI SODA)

When it comes to virus control, washing our hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or longer, is extremely effective. While hand sanitizers are useful in a pinch, the chemicals in hand sanitizers are unhealthy for you, and may eventually contribute to bacterial resistance. Hand sanitizers are also harmful to the environment.

Making hand soap at home is fun, easy, and inexpensive. Check out the following homemade hand soap recipes.

Making Natural Hand Soap at Home

Here are some easy ways to make your own hand soap:

Natural Hand Soap Using Bar Soap

Start with a bar of soap. Look for a chemical-free bar soap with 100 percent natural ingredients. Natural bar soaps are available commercially, but you may enjoy using homemade herbal soaps from your local farmers market. Handmade soap usually contains no preservatives or fillers.

  • Grate about one-quarter of the bar with a fine grater. You can also chop the soap very quickly in a food processor.
  • Put the grated soap in a saucepan, along with 1 quart (1 L.) of bottled or distilled water.
  • Turn the burner to medium and warm the mixture, stirring constantly, until the soap has completely dissolved.
  • Let the mixture cool, then pour it into a container. Let it sit about 24 hours then shake well to blend. The hand soap will thicken, but don’t expect it to be as thick as commercial hand soaps. Don’t worry, it’s just as effective.

Homemade Hand Soap Recipe Using Liquid Soap

To make natural hand soap with liquid soap instead of bar soap, just combine the following ingredients and mix well:

  • 1 ½ cups (355 ml.) of filtered or distilled water. You can also use herbal tea but make it about three times stronger than usual.
  • Approximately 6 tablespoons (89 ml.) of liquid castile soap. Castile soap is gentle and toxin-free.
  • About 2 tablespoons (30 ml.) of coconut oil, almond oil, or glycerine, which will add moisturizing properties to your hand soap. You can also mix in a few drops of vitamin E oil.

Adding Essential Oils to Your Natural Hand Soap

Essential oils work well in both of the above homemade hand soap recipes. The oils make your soap smell great, and they may boost their effectiveness.

Be sure to use a glass container if you’re adding essential oils because some oils can degrade plastic. Always keep essential oils out of reach of pets and children; some can be toxic when ingested or poured on the skin.

The oils should be well diluted to avoid skin irritation. As a general rule, 20 drops of essential oil per batch is sufficient when you’re making hand soap at home.

The following essential oils work well in natural hand soap:

This easy DIY gift idea is one of many projects featured in our latest eBook, Bring Your Garden Indoors: 13 DIY Projects for the Fall and Winter. Learn how downloading our latest eBook can help your neighbors in need by clicking here.

Mary H. Dyer

A Credentialed Garden Writer, Mary H. Dyer was with Gardening Know How in the very beginning, publishing articles as early as 2007.