I’ve seen a lot of frugal hacks for liquid hand soap going around Pinterest. Most of them involve grating a bar of soap, adding water, and voila! You have a ton of liquid hand soap to use as a refill. However, since there are no preservatives, you are inviting a bunch of bacteria to live in your gallon of liquid hand soap for several months until you get around to using it all up.
I actually prefer foaming hand soap to straight liquid soap, but either way it’s pretty expensive…especially with five kiddos. I sometimes wonder how we have so much water and soap sitting on the bathroom counter every time I go in there. It’s like…could they have even gotten any of it on their hands?!?! So – we definitely needed a frugal hand soap refill option.
I make small batches of homemade foaming hand soap refill. This is how I do it…
I use Dial foaming hand soap dispensers. I’ve tried several brands, including Bath & Body Works, but none of them hold up to constant refilling like the Dial dispensers. They are several bucks to buy in the store (full of soap, of course), but you can use them over and over again.
To refill my Dial dispenser bottles, I use Dawn Hand Renewal dish soap. I like the Hand Renewal version because it’s less harsh on skin even with constant use. I also always have it on hand, because that’s what I use to wash my dishes.
To make your refill, squirt about 1/2” inch of soap in the bottom of an empty Dial dispenser. I don’t measure… I just eyeball it. It looks about like this:
Then fill the bottle up with warm water On the back of the Dial bottle there is actually a sticker with a line that says “Fill to Here” (in case you are buying the Dial refills in the store). So, I fill it to that line. Then replace the lid and gently shake it to combine the dish soap and water.
I’ve read before that the filter which turns the soap into creamy foam is pretty delicate, and you shouldn’t use it with hot water. I try not to use my soap pump right away after refilling it, but I’ve honestly never had a problem either way.
There you have it. Rich, creamy, foaming hand soap for a few cents per refill. Kid friendly, skin friendly, and you’ll use it up before the bacteria takes over. Some people also add essential oils, but I think that the safest method to use EO’s is diffusing, and to only use topically (and rarely internally) for acute issues. So…I don’t want them in my daily use hand soap.