Homemade Liquid Hand Soap

| July 5, 2007

Have we allowed the advertisers and marketers to dictate our tastes and preferences or are we in control and we determine what we need and want?

Just turn on your TV and you are told that you are not happy unless you are wearing the latest style in clothes, driving the most up to date car while taking the prescription drug du jour (with those nasty little side effects). Fido will live longer if you Washing Handsfeed him the appropriate dog food and your kids can never be happy unless they have the latest thumb strengthening electronic gadget.

Now, pretend that you live in a remote location without the benefit of television and constant radio advertisements. You and you alone determine what makes you happy and what you need in order to survive. The ‘keeping up with the Joneses advertising’ does not exist.

I took you through that mental exercise because I wanted to talk to you about making homemade liquid hand soap. Yeah, I know, I just ragged on the advertising industry, now I’m going to talk about making something that they have ‘created a need’ for in our homes. Let’s face it, I don’t know about you but when I was a child, we used bar soap to wash our hands before dinner and it worked just fine

Anyhow, now that liquid hand soap has become a ‘necessity’ let’s make our own instead of buying it from the store. The recipe is not complicated and the soap achieves the affect that soap was created for. It thoroughly cleans your hands.

There is no magic formula. Don’t be led astray by all of the complicated formulas and ingredients. What we’re going to make here is basic homemade liquid hand soap. The most economical way to make it is to save all of the small soap fragments that you’ve collected over time. However, if you don’t have saved soap fragments, a bar of soap will work just as well.

Here’s what you do:

In a pot, bring about 3 cups of water to a boil. While the water is coming to a Soap Dispenserboil, shave the bar of soap into fragments, or break up the already small pieces of left over soap. The smaller the fragments, the quicker they will dissolve in the boiling water.

Stir the soap into the boiling water until the soap completely dissolves. Once the mixture is cool, pour it into your old soap dispenser. You will note the mixture is not as thick as store-bought soap (if consistency is an issue for you, use less water and more soap). However, you’ll find the watery hand soap mixture works exceedingly well in creating a lather and cleaning your hands.

Here’s where the advertising and marketing exercise from above comes into play. The advertisers will have us believe that the thick gel type liquid hand soap is necessary to get our hands clean. Oh contraire!

If you prefer to have a different scent, experiment with essential oils. Only a drop or two is necessary.

This is a basic no fluff recipe for homemade liquid hand soap. It will clean your hands thoroughly. After all, that’s what you want the soap to do, isn’t it?

By the way, how much did this cost you?

Score another one for thinking blulow!

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Category: Cleaning, Featured

About the Author ()

Felicia is a bit of a tree hugger and likes to share ways to lighten the toxic burden on the environment.

Comments (106)

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  1. Ana says:

    I use foam pump but buy regular liquid refill soap. I kept one old big bottle to mix the liquid soap with warm/hot tap water. I use about 1/3 liquid soap and the rest is warm/hot water. I really doesn’t matter how warm the water is, the warmer the sooner it will mix well. I still have gallon size liquid refill bottle that was bought almost 2 years ago and there is 4 of us. Washing hands all the time. I do use already made liquid soap but the recipe should work with your home made liquid soap as well. For the foam pump that is. As far as the pump goes, in the past 3 years I had to replace it once. And I got it cheap, for $1.

  2. Talitha says:

    hello Felicia, i’m a new reader and your articles will be very helpful. The laundry soap, and hand soap is as far as i have gotten. I look forward to any other ideas and finding you discover.

  3. Heather says:

    Thank you ever so much for these recipes! If you have any other recipes I would be thrilled to start making them! I am going to be saving so much money. You are great, thank you again. Feel free to email me to discuss more ways to save money around the house!


  4. Cathy says:

    I like the way you think! 🙂

  5. Janice says:

    Thanks Felicia for the info. I do have another question though. Do I need to put the soap on the stove every time I need to dilute it or will hot tap water be enough. Thanks

  6. Janice says:

    I used 1 bar of soap and 3 cups of water at first and then when it gelled up I put 2 bowls full of water in it and it has made a 64 oz bottle of soap and still gelled up and it hardly lathers when I use it so I have no Idea what went wrong. I cant believe I made a mess of something that simple.

    • Felicia says:

      LOL, Janice, it sounds like its time for you to make lemonade out of your lemons. 🙂

      When I made my soap I used soap remnants. I pieced together a couple of remnants and added water. If your soap gelled then it sounds like you can use it to make liquid soap enough to last the rest of the year. I would probably continue to dilute it a bit and put it in a separate container. When I needed more, I’d dilute the gel a bit more.

      That’s the beauty of this stuff; as long as your hands get clean it works! The soap commercials have done a great job in telling us what soap is supposed to look like. My watery soap kicks up a good lather and does a great job in cleaning our hands. Don’t give up Janice. Just think how far you’ve stretched one bar of soap.

  7. Janice says:

    Okay so I woke up this morning and checked my liquid hand soap and once again it has solidified. it is not completely solid but it is the consistancy of lard. As a matter of fact it looks like pink lard lol. So I was thinking that maybe it is doing this because I used glycerin soap instead of regular soap. Could this be the reason. I dont know what to do now.

    • Felicia says:

      Janice, it sounds like too much soap and not enough water. When I create my soap it’s rather watery, but it does the trick.

  8. janice says:

    Ok so I tried the liquid hand soap recipe and I dont have a clue what I did wrong. I used a 4 oz bar of dial soap and I melted it in 3 cups of water and when it cooled it looked like lard. It wasn’t solid of course because of the water but it wasn’t a liquid either. I added some more water to it and I think I made it to thin but I put it in a foaming soap dispenser and it seems to work okay but I think it still needs to be a little thicker. Any suggestions?

  9. Janice says:

    I am so glad that I found this website, there is so much useful information on here. I have been looking for different ways of saving money because my husband and I have a 5 month old daughter that was born with a birth defect in her left leg and she is going to have to have surgey to correct it so we are trying to save for when she has surgery. I am going to try the liquid handsoap recipe tonight and I have ordered the arm and hammer washing soda and the fels naptha soap and it will be in tuesday so I can make my laundry soap and my dish washer soap tuesday, I already have borax. I also bought some vinagar and some baking soda today. I am also interested in making liquid dish soap for hand washing the baby bottles and other things if anyone has a recipe for that and I am also wanting to make bar soap so if anyone has a recipe for that it would be great. I am not to crazy about the idea of using lye but if it will save me some money I will try to use it. I dont want to buy the soap base because it is way to expensive. I can buy regular bar soap at walmart for cheaper than what I would pay for soap base, molds, oils, and colorings. Thank you all for all of this helpful information.

  10. Patricia says:

    Washing soda and borax can be found at http://www.AceHardware.com The local store here also had a recipe on the shelf. Handy.

  11. Jenniferbee says:

    For everyone who can’t find A&H Washing Soda: buy PH UP in the swimming pool section at any walmart, hardware store, etc. It’s sodium carbonate, the exact ingredient of Washing Soda! I found this out on another website(can’t remember which one!). I went to walmart, picked up some PH UP and checked the ingredient, and sure enough, it’s sodium carbonate. It’s a lot cheaper than the washing soda too.

    I use the Zote soap also, and I love it! It takes out stains on my 19 month-old’s clothes VERY well! I just wet the area of clothing that has a stain, and rub some of the Zote on it. It has a wonderful smell too. I read that it’s also good for catfishing, and for bathing. I looked up the MSDS and couldn’t find anything wrong with it. Still haven’t tried bathing with it though : )

  12. Jett Leann says:

    Lois, I currently use the dishwasher recipe that calls for the 4 ingredients you mentioned: washing soda, Borax, kosher salt and citric acid, with white vinegar as the rinsing agent. Works great!

  13. Stacy R says:

    Very good info. planning to try this later today as well as the laundry det. My grandmother always believed in the more natural way of doing things and she is on her way to being 99 years old this year. I say it sure can’t hurt to try it! LOL

  14. Crystal says:

    I DO live in a remote location without the benefit of television and constant radio advertising! And you’re right – we decide what makes us happy and there is no one we need to keep up with. We also make a lot of our own cleaners (and a whole lot of other stuff, too) but I learned a few new tricks here so thanks for the post and thanks to all who left comments. I’m so glad I reconnected with this site.

  15. Wendy-Jo says:

    I have made the laundry detergent for over a year now. And love it. I use ZOte soap for .97 a double bar at Walmart in PA. It has citronella in it and I find when I hang my laundry out to dry I have less gnats also when kids are playing outside less mosquito bites. I do foster care. I make the detergent with dove sensitive soap for the babies detergent. it works good and no reaction.
    I use white vinegar in my laundry rinse spot and my friend uses it in the downy ball. It rinse the ammonia from urine when the babies pee.
    I Also use white vinegar in my dishwasher rinse cycle. Takes all white film and spots away.
    I finally used all my bars and bottles of soap I had stock piled. Now I am onto making my own.
    My daughter started putting her shampoo & conditioner in squirt bottles and dilutes it and sprays it on. It last so much longer because it lathers just as well.
    We compost everything and plant a nice garden. We bought funky food this year. red carrots, blue and red potatoes, pink & purple tomatoes as well and red, white and blue corn on the cob. I can not wait to get planting.
    I am hoping to find some more good ideas on this site.

    • Felicia says:

      Wendy-Jo, thanks for sharing your great tips. Let us know how your colorful fruits and veggies come out.

  16. Lois says:

    I’ve seen a recipe for dishwasher detergent that is A & H washing soda, Borax, kosher salt and citric acid. Has anyone tried this? I believe the citric acid is used to eliminate the white/cloudy residue. They also suggest vinegar for the rinse agent.

    I’d just like a little feedback if anyone has used these four ingredients together.

  17. sherry says:

    Stacy how much grated soap did u use for the gallon of water? Did you try the dollar store for containers? They usually have that kind of stuff in ours, just a thought or a milk jug…

  18. Stacy says:

    My first batch of liquid soap worked great. I used an electric mixer with grater attachment to grate the bar of soap in a few minutes. Brought 1 gal ___ water almost to boil, added the grated soap and let it melt and added 2 tsp coconut oil (health food store) which thickens it, did not have any essential oil. When almost cool I used my hand blender, let sit overnight and blended again. I use it for hand soap and it made my dishes shine. Only problem is finding containers. I’m using recycled spice jars and whatever I can find. I don’t want to spend $1.50 for plastic with pump tops for a product that cost me $2 per gal. I use half/half vinegar & hydrogen peroxide to clean my sink & counters since I feed my dogs raw chicken. Thanks for the recipies and tips. I’m going to make the clothes washing detergent next. Check “Chronic Health Effects” section of the National Institutes of Health’s MSDS for Fels-Naptha dangers. I’ll stick with Ivory.

  19. Judi says:

    Love the soap ideas.

    I made liquid laundry soap with some castile soap (@1/3 of the bar) and a bar of handmade (cold process) soap (@ 1/2 the bar)..

    I am going to try the hand soap too.. too easy. 🙂

  20. Sarah says:

    Washing soda: I found it at Alice.com for about $2.50/box and Alice.com always has free shipping as long as you order 6 items. They also had the borax and ivory soap. I’m still trying to find fels-naptha locally because I’d like to try it.
    Thanks for all the great ideas!

  21. Becki says:

    I have just starting making my own liquid soap and do not really like how “thin” it is. I was wondering, has anyone tried to add oatmeal to thicken it?

    • Felicia says:

      Not so sure how that would work, but no. I’ve never tried to thicken it with oatmeal.

      You could give it a try to see if you’re happy with the results.

  22. Angela says:

    I have a question regarding changing the chemical makeup of baking soda to washing soda. I live at a high altitude which effects all my baking. Would I need to consider the altitude for the chemical change?

    • Felicia says:

      Angela, sorry for the late response, but I’m no chemistry expert. I hope one of my readers can give you the right answer.

  23. Hunna says:

    i made hand soap but i find it does not lather has anyone esle have this happen i used a bar of ivory

  24. Linda says:

    WE live in Minnesota and the Coborns stores have washing soda and Fel Naptha to make laundry soap! Most places have borax!

  25. sarah says:

    cheapest handsoap ever-use a foaming type handsoap dispenser, choose your favorite liquid dish soap, fill container with warm water leave about 1 inch space from top, add soap, screw on cap, shake,
    voila-handsoap. Virtually free.

  26. Rhea says:

    My town also did not carry Washing Soda anywhere but Ace Hardware stores supply it often. I ordered it on their website to be shipped to their store for FREE and then picked it up for the small price of $3.79. Also, white vinegar is great for the white buildup on your dishes that homemade detergent leaves and some recipes call for citric acid to help with that too. I would recommend looking at other sites first before just going ahead and making one of these recipes because depending on your septic tank, water hardness/softness, type of dishwasher/washing machine certain recipes work better than others and each of them have tricks to help you if a recipe bombs.

  27. Liv says:

    Donnie is correct.

  28. sherry says:

    I make cold process soap so I will try using them, they already have essential oils and are great for your skin too. If anyone has tried by using this let me know how it turned out

  29. KinKStar says:

    Sorry Lori, Bon Ami is a non-abasive cleanser, used to clean hard surfaces. It is not the same as Borax.

    If Borax isn’t in your local stores, you might try asking the store manager if they can get it for you. You can always order it online! I don’t know if they offer free shipping if you order a certain amount, but if so, then see about getting a friend or neighbor to order with you to qualify.

    You might even find it on eBay at a reasonable price! Good Luck!

  30. Lori says:

    Can anyone tell me if Bon Ami is the same as Borax, since I have not seen Borax in my local stores? Thanks for all the tips!

  31. Dwayne says:

    We made the powder laundry detergent last night. It seemed to work just fine. Sure will save a lot of money in the future. Thank you very much, and have a wonderful day.

  32. Dwayne says:


    Absolutely wonderful site. I am going to make the various soaps to save some money. We have a water softener. I was wondering if this would make a difference in the amounts of the ingredients?

    Thanks for your suggestions.

    • Felicia says:

      A water softener will help the detergent to work better. I have one also. You can try backing down on the amounts of detergent because your water is soft, but I use the amounts as indicated in the recipe.

  33. Felicia says:

    Hi Renee,

    The baking soda helps to soften the water which allows the detergent to do its job better. In theory it might help to make clothes brighter if the detergent works better. On occasion I put baking soda in the wash but I haven’t done it on a regular basis to tell if it makes much of a difference.

    Some folks use vinegar as a fabric softener. Either way adding baking soda and/or vinegar to the laundry won’t hurt, but I can’t tell you from experience how much brighter the wash will be.

    Try experimenting to see which one works best for you.

  34. Julie says:

    Thank you so much for the great information. I had been using Borax with my detergent for years, but when I figured out how to make my own it has saved us SO MUCH MONEY! I have a family of 6 and my youngest has SEVERE allergies and asthma. We have switched several families over to making their own laundry soap. Hopefully within the next year I’ll have a dishwasher and will get to use the recipe for that too…I’m sure it will be great. I’m going to try the hand soap recipe with the kids as a great activity this afternoon. Thanks for the tips and advice.

  35. Vinny David says:

    I know Publix or the now almost defunct “mom and pop” neighborhood grocery stores carry the A & H Super Washing Soda. Also, another way to conserve old smaller ‘unusable’ remnants of regular soaps is to wet two or more pieces and press them together so they “weld” into each other, Now they are large enough to be handled easily and used as hand washing soap!!

  36. June in AK says:

    What information I’ve gleaned from reading these posts. Thank you. I’ve been using the homemade laundry detergent for about 4 months. It cleans very well. I do add about 1/2 cup of my Melaluca laundry soap, #1 because I still have some, and #2 for some of the scent it provides. As I line dry my laundry, it could go without it, though. I noticed that spot treating stains, the homemade stuff works great, though you shouldn’t let it sit too long, as I could literally bleach areas of your clothing.
    Lemon juice and good ‘ole sunshine was the old way to “bleach” whites with stains…

  37. Meme says:

    I used food dye for the liquid hand soap– blue as I used white ivory bar and it turned out fine- just a few drops- also had one teaspoon of hand dish washing soap to the mix after it was whipped- this keeps that scum that accumulates on the sink- (if soap does not get completely rinsed down the sink- rather do that than run water longer- )

  38. Donnie says:

    If you can not find the washing soda her is how to change the chemicail makeup of baking soda to make it washing soda.

    Heat oven to 450*
    spread out the baking soda on a cookie sheet
    Leave in the oven for 30 min.

    Here is why: as the soda temp reaches 250* it will release Cardon Dioxide and hydrogen into the atmosphere but is not enough to harm you. This will chemically change the Sodium dicarbon to Sodium Cardon or Baking Soda to Washing Soda.

  39. meccano says:

    Because Washing Soda (sodium carbonate) isn’t a expensive money maker, I have found that stores often stock it on the very bottom shelf or the very top shelf out of the way and hard to find in the laundry powder section. It always seems to be right next to the 20 Mule Team Borax. Baking Soda is sodium BIcarbonate and is also a great cleaner. I have read that if you have Baking Soda, Washing Soda, Vinegar and Borax you can pretty much clean anything. Oxy Clean / Oxiclean does have Washing Soda in it…sort of, but it is the sodium percarbonate in those type products that makes unique. When sodium percarbonate is mixed with water it creates hydrogen peroxide and sodium carbonate. The hydrogen peroxide acts as a natural bleaching agent that will degrade naturally while the sodium carbonate acts as a detergent. Anyways, I don’t pretend to understand the whole chemical reaction that occurs with OxiClean but I have read that it works best on organic stains. The sodium carbonate that is released in OxiClean is what makes it feel slimmy (if you’ve ever mixed it in a bucket you know what I mean), but that is great for the laundry because it is acting like a water softener (anyone remember Calgon?) that will help keep hard water from building up and killing the washing machine as well as keeping you cloths cleaner and softer because the hard water elements aren’t getting stuck in your clothes.

  40. Molly says:

    Ozy Clean, and the generic brands..is washing soda! Works very

  41. Lori says:

    I have always had to be very careful in my laundry detergent choices as most of them give me a rash. I’m on my third batch of homemade now (made with Ivory) and have had no skin problems from it! And it still gets perspiration stains and odors out of t-shirts.
    Washing soda isn’t available within 100 miles of here, so I ordered it by phone. A bit pricey that way. So I checked ingredients in the laundry area and bought Purex 2 color safe bleach to try. It’s around $1.97 for a 29 oz box. So far so good. Laundry seems fine so far and no rash yet. I’d appreciate any comments on using the Purex vs the Arm & Hammer. I’m also interested in heating baking soda. Off to Google…

    • Felicia says:

      Thanks for the info Lori. I haven’t experimented too much with the recipe because it worked fine for me. I’m glad to know that there are variations that work.

  42. KinKStar says:

    Oops . . .

  43. KinKStar says:

    If you’re old enough to have lived through the 80’s, you might recall the chatter of that time about cocaine and how crack came to be . . . Yes, heating baking soda creates sodium carbonate. It’s what put the ‘crack’ in crack, and made a little bit of cocaine go a longer way, or so ‘they’ say!

    Also, I read ‘somewhere’ that baking soda can be used to remove a bad temporary hair color product, which might indicate that it’s a bit abrasive. It might be wise to take a clue from commercial hair makers here. Where baking soda is in every other kind of cleaning agent, including toothpaste, detergents, even feminine products, but never in hair products.

  44. Jackie says:

    I have just found your site & I think it is wonderful. Fortunately most of the ingredients you talk about are available at WalMart stores or grocery stores here in Canada as well. I have seen soap making recipes before, and always decided against it because of the lye. I already use Borax when doing laundry, and have used the Washing Soda, so the receipes for laundry & dishwasher detergents really don’t require me to get a whole lot of new products.
    Thanks again for the great site. Keep up the good work!

  45. Wyo-helpmeet says:

    A couple dashes of salt will also thicken up soap. Recently learned this for diluted soap. We’re going natural, but in the meantime have been using our conventional items. With 3 little boys & daycare kids, I need all the stretching I can get!

  46. Debbie says:

    I can’t remember where I saw this but it said if you heat baking soda(sodium bicarbonate) at 300 degrees for 1-2 hours(it dosn’t hurt to go over time) it will become sodium carbonate. Any chemists out there to confirm this?

  47. Felicia says:

    Baking soda for the hair is a new one for me.

  48. makintraks says:

    Shampoo, wash you rhair with baking soda!, it feels rather grainy at first but once it works in (doesnt take long) it feels wonderfully soft.

  49. Felicia says:

    Hi Tammy Jo,

    I’ve not added color to the liquid hand soap, so I can’t answer that question. I’m pretty much a basic type of person, if the soap works, color isn’t that important to me.

    As far as rashes with the home laundry detergent, no one in my family has had one yet and I’ve used the homemade detergent for over a year.

    Does anyone else have any advice about adding color to the liquid hand soap?

  50. Tammy Jo says:

    Does anyone know if coloring can be added when making the liquid hand soap? If I use a bar soap that is already colored will this give me at least a subtle color? Also, I am interested in creating the laundry detergent however, I have a family member who gets a rash when I use the cheaper versions of detergent. Has anyone experienced any side effects such as an itchy rash from the homemade laundry detergent? Thanks to all of you who have already answered other questions that I would have had before trying these formulas. Your comments are acknowledged and greatly appreciated. Keep on pinching those pennies!

  51. Amy says:

    I just wanted to confirm a few of the comments I saw here about a substitute for Washing Soda. I also had trouble finding it locally, but Washing Soda is a chemical called Solium Carbonate (NOT bicarbonate- that is baking soda and is not the same.) But Sodiam CARBONATE is also available at Wal Mart in the swimming pool section next to the toys. It is called “pH Plus Balancer”. The ones I saw were tall white bottles with a pink lid. It’s the exact same thing and costs about the same as the Washing Soda on a per-ounce basis. It was about $8 for 5 lbs. I am certain it is available in any pool supply store, though. Just tell them you need Sodium Carbonate, and they will know. Enjoy all!

  52. Linda Keith says:

    Glycerine is usually available at your local pharmacy.

  53. Carol Moina says:

    I am very happy I discovered this site. I am excited about making my own detergent, hand soap. Thank you for your info.

  54. Erin says:

    I’ve heard that another alternate for the soda ash is pH up (the pool aisle at stores like Lowe’s Home Improvements, etc).

  55. Allison says:

    Oh, another idea about the homemade hand soap too watery….
    I put my homemade soap into my “foam” type dispensers and foams nicely. IF you added too much water to your recipe it will be too watery, just add a little more soap.

  56. Allison says:

    By the way, in Raleigh, North Carolina, Arm & Hammer Washing Soda is available at Kroger Stores and Harris Teeter. Also was able to get Borax in Target and Harris Teeter Stores.

  57. Felicia says:

    Hi Vicky,

    My liquid hand soap is very watery, but it works. I don’t think you can make a mistake. Some of the readers recommend adding glycerin to thicken up the mixture.

    I think you’ll have to play around with it a bit, but I just added water and it works fine. I keep saying that I’ll try adding glycerin, but I just never seem to get around to it.

    Let us know how it comes out.

  58. Vicky says:

    About how much soap must I add per cup of water? I’m afraid I’ll make it and then it will be too watery or perhaps too solid. Well, on the other side, I don’t have much to lose if it’s a flop. Haha, thanks for your help, if anybody can answer me.

  59. Felicia says:

    If you can’t find it locally, Amazon sells glycerin.

  60. Janie Woods says:

    I am 56 years old. I have toyed with the idea of making my own soap for years. I thought you had to go thru the whole lye soap making process. I am so thrilled to find all these homemade laundry soap, liquid hand soap and dishwasher soap recipes. I just made my first batch of the laundry soap recipe using the Fels Naptha Bar. It is so simple to make, so inexpensive and works great. An added bonus is the wonderful, c lean-“fresh-air” smell of my laundry. I am now going to try the dishwasher soap, making my own liquid hand soap and am shooting for finding a good shampoo and hand lotion recipe. Any suggestions? Where can I buy glycerin? Email me @ janiewoods510@yahoo.com. Thanks.

  61. Felicia says:

    I’ve not added glycerin to my soap, but you can give it a try.

  62. itsmelaurie says:

    Instead of buying a bottle of liquid glycerin, can I cut i little bit off a glycerin bar of soap to add to my homemade liquid soap to thicken it?

  63. Jessica says:

    Thanks for the update. I will give it a whirl. I really like the idea of making my own items. I know what I am adding and what is left out. Very simple. My daughter and I cannot wait to try the laundry recipe. Going to buy the ingedients this weekend. Thanks again.

  64. Felicia says:


    Thanks for the soap resource. It will come in handy for those folks who cannot buy the necessary ingredients locally.

  65. Felicia says:

    Hi Jessica,

    Actually I don’t measure how much soap I use. I accumulate left over soap and then add water. You’ll find that it really doesn’t take very much soap to make liquid hand soap. I think we’re trained by the soap manufacturers to think that thick creamy soap is the only soap that works.

    Play around with it to find the consistency that works for your.

  66. Neenie says:

    all the soaps needed to make your own laundry detergent, etc. are available at a site called soapsgoneby.com – I order by the case from this company.

  67. Jessica says:

    When making the homemade liquid handsoap, how much soap are you adding if you just have left over bits of soap? Is it a cup worth? Just want to make sure to add enough. Thanks.

  68. Felicia says:

    I found that over time the homemade dishwasher soap seemed to leave a slight film on the dishes.

    I added a little baking soda from time to time which seemed to have resolved the issue.

    Let me know how it goes.

  69. Bobbi says:

    I am in Orlando, FL and could not find the Washing Soda at any of the local Walmarts or Targets. It was in the laundry isle of Publix though. It was $2.19 for a 3lb 7oz. pkg. I love the homemade laundry powdered soap. I am making my second batch now. I am storing mine in the tall Dannon Activia Yogurt containers.
    My homemade dishwasher soap does not work that well at all, but, I did make it before I found the Washing Soda. BTW, I bought a 4lb container of PH up,(soda ash) from Walmart and it was $6.99. I am returning it on the next trip since I found the w s at Publix.

  70. Beboppinlucy says:

    Hi. Have you tried WalMart? They carry washing soda and borax too, if you are in need of it. I am an otr truck driver and those are two of the products I deliver fairly frequently.

  71. Felicia says:

    It’s unfortunate that you can’t get it locally. It would probably save you about $1.50 per box.

    Oh well, even with spending $3.99 you’re going to save so much money by making your own laundry detergent.

  72. Carla says:

    I was able to call Church & Dwight the suppliers/makers for Arm &; Hammer Washing Soda…1800-524-1328…gave them a UPC # 33200-03020. They told me the closest store to purchase it…still an hour away. They told me I could order it directly from them…$3.99 plus shipping, at this time it is $6.39 to ship. BUT…they told me if I bought 4 boxes from them I will get free shipping. $15.96plus tax .96 cents =total $16.92 for 4 boxes This will probably last me the rest of my life since you use so litle at a time.

  73. Bubbles says:

    Uh, Regina?
    Sodium bicarbonate IS baking soda. I think you mean Sodium Carbonate, which is what super washing soda is. Also know as Soda Ash.

  74. Regina says:

    You can also buy sodium bicarbonate (washing ash) from pool suppliers or chemical supply companies. or you can ask your local grocer to order it for you. It is much cheaper to buy from a chemical company though. Make sure it is 100% sodium bicarbonate. (yes there is a difference between baking soda and washing soda)

  75. Felicia says:

    Wow, did you try Amazon.com? It’s better to buy it locally so you won’t have to pay the shipping and handling charges, but Amazon sells Super Washing Soda.

    Fortunately the grocery stores in my area carry it in the detergent aisle.

  76. StayAtHomeJen says:

    I had trouble finding washing soda in my area. I emailed Arm and Hammer directly and they sent me a list of stores near me that carry washing soda. It took a week or so for them to respond , so have patience. 🙂

  77. Tiffany says:

    Washing soda is also known as “soda ash fixer” – I like to buy mine from the Dharma Trading Company, when I am buying fabric dyes anyway.

  78. Felicia says:

    Hi Mary,

    I’m not sure if there is a substitute for the Super Washing Soda. If you have a tough time finding it in your local stores, you can order it from Amazon. It will cost a bit more because of the shipping and handling charges.

    I think Super Washing Soda is pretty common. Try calling the stores in your area, hopefully they will have it.

  79. Mary says:

    I came to this site looking for ideas on dishwashing liquid to hand wash dishes. I have a dishwasher, but because I lived on the farm for years and rinsing the water under running water was not real good for spot free dishes, I used to use a plastic bowl or container in the sink with some vinegar i and hot water in it for the rinse. I no longer live on the farm, but when I see people rinsing dishes with the water running I see dollars running down the drain! I will see if I can find the Super Washing Soda in our stores, but if I can’t, is there some sort of alternative? Mary

  80. Felicia says:

    You can buy Super Washing Soda at most grocery stores. It’s usually in the aisle with the laundry or cleaning products.

  81. Anonymous says:


  82. Anonymous says:

    perhaps not enough water,next time add more water

  83. Angry man says:

    can anybody tell me why this happened

  84. Angry man says:

    sorry for the comment
    i made the recipe and i slept so happy after i washed my hands with the great liquid hand soap
    and i waked up happily going to my bathroom
    and i found my soap turned solid in the bottle again.

  85. Liz Valette says:

    Before the advent of liquid dish washing soap my Mum used washing soda crystals. It’s a bit harsh on the skin though.

  86. Felicia says:

    Thanks for the tip seventh sister.

  87. If you are going to add essential oils, it is best to mix the oils with a small amount of alcohol. (I like Everclear but rubbing alcohol will work if that is all you have.) This will allow the oils to mix with the water. Otherwise, they will just sit on top your soap.

  88. Felicia says:

    Hmmm, that’s an interesting thought. I never thought of making dish detergent for hand washed dishes. Great idea.

    I probably would use a soap like Ivory as the base because it doesn’t have all of the extra fragrance and lotions that other soaps have. You could probably add your own scent using essential oils or what ever you prefer.

    I think I’ll have to give it a try.

    Thanks for get great suggestion, Louise!

  89. Louise says:

    Can I also use this recipe to be my dish washing detergent? I handwash all my dishes. Thanks to anyone who answer this question.

  90. Jessica says:

    By adding a couple teaspoons of glycerin to this mixture it will thicken it up.