Turn A Bar of Soap Into Liquid Hand Soap

Filed under: Money — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:33 am on Wednesday, February 23, 2011

savvyhouskeeping how to turn a bar of soap into liquid hand soap

I have a confession to make: I hate bar soap. It gets dirty, is annoying to handle, and takes too long to use up.

Despite this, people like to give me bar soap as a gift, which I feel guilty not using. So I’ve been buying liquid hand soap at $3 a bottle and putting the bar soap in a box with the intention of finding a use for it.

Then it occurred to me that I might be able to convert the bar soap into liquid hand soap. Why didn’t I think of it before? I did some research and found out that it is easy to do. All it takes is melting the soap with water, adding a little vegetable glycerin, and voilà, you have liquid hand soap.

savvyhouskeeping how to turn a bar of soap into liquid hand soap

So I tried it and was thrilled to find that it works great! From one bar of soap, I made close to 2 liters of hand soap, which will last a long time. The only thing I purchased for this project was a $2 bottle of glycerin at my local drug store:

savvyhouskeeping how to turn a bar of soap into liquid hand soap

Glycerin is made from plant oils and is commonly used in soaps, shampoos, and moisturizers. Since bar soap already has glycerin in it, I tried this experiment both ways, with and without the added glycerin. I found that the below recipe worked fine without glycerin, except that the soap tended to clump and didn’t have as smooth a texture. It made enough of a difference that I would recommend adding the glycerin, but you can also try the recipe without it, if you want.

How To Turn A Bar of Soap Into Liquid Hand Soap


    1 c soap flakes
    10 c water
    1 Tbs glycerin


    Cheese grater
    A large pot
    Measuring cup and spoons
    A spatula for stirring
    A soap container with a hand pump
    A container to hold excess soap


First, grate the soap. Get out your cheese grater, grab the soap, and get grating. I found this to be surprisingly easy, although the soap particles tend to float in the air as you grate. You can wear a mask to avoid breathing it in. When you’re done, the soap flakes look like grated Parmesan:

savvyhouskeeping how to turn a bar of soap into liquid hand soap

One bar of soap yielded a little over 1.5 cups of flakes. The recipe only uses one cup of soap flakes, so I put the remaining soap in a jar for later use.

In a large pot, combine 1 cup soap flakes, 10 cups water, and 1 Tbs glycerin. Turn on medium-low heat and stir until the soap dissolves. This happens fast, about a minute or two.

Let the soap cool completely, then pour into containers using a funnel. That’s all there is to it!

savvyhouskeeping how to turn a bar of soap into liquid hand soap

As I mentioned, this recipe makes a lot of soap, about 6 bottles worth. I put the excess in a large bottle and am storing it under the sink until I need more.

You can also use this soap as body wash. To make it smell nice, add a drop or two of essential oil to the mix.

As I mentioned, the only thing I bought for this experiment was the glycerin. I reused the bottles and the soap was a gift. In the end, I used about $.40 worth of glycerin to make the equivalent of 6 bottles of hand soap. That’s a savings $17.60, well worth the half hour of my time it took to make the soap.

savvyhousekeeping dove soap liquid hand soap

UPDATE: I tried this with Dove Sensitive Skin Soap too. If you want to turn a bar of DOVE soap into liquid soap, click here for the recipe.

ETA: The kind of soap you use may be a bit of a wild card, since every soap will have different ingredients in it. I got the best results with a bar of Yardley soap, which did not even need the glycerin to become hand soap.

Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar seems to be more difficult to turn into hand soap, which I would guess has something to do with the “sensitive” formula.

ETA II: I’m happy so many of you are finding this recipe helpful. If you are having trouble, such as thin or watery soap or “snot-like” soap, I encourage you to read through the comments. Lots of people have reported back with their experiences with the recipe and troubleshooted the problems. It seems that sometimes letting the soap sit to thicken in the pot or hacking it with a hand blender to loosen it does the trick.

ETA III: For a solution on getting the soap to lather, try a foaming soap dispenser.

Good luck!


Comment by WolfSong

February 23, 2011 @ 8:49 am

I am going to have to try this.

My Kid has very sensitive skin, and in her lifetime, I have only found 1 soap that doesn’t irritate her…and it’s in bar form. Nasty on the side of the sink!

I also use that same bar for making laundry soap…I wonder if adding the extra glycerin would help keep the soap from clumping as it cools…I will have to try that too!

Comment by Savvy Housekeeper

February 23, 2011 @ 5:25 pm

Wolfsong, I hope it works for you. Just so you know, I read that vegetable glycerin can be used on sensitive skin.

Comment by Cathy

February 24, 2011 @ 8:37 am

this is a great idea! when I run out of soap refills, I’m going to try this. I buy large jars of soap to refill the little ones, but bar soap is much cheaper than the liquid ones.

Comment by Fabrizio

March 2, 2011 @ 12:46 pm

That’s brilliant ! I’ll give it a try. I just got a new liquid soap dispenser and this is going to make it so good value to refill it…Thank you !

Comment by Cherished Hearts Vintage

March 2, 2011 @ 12:57 pm

Thank you! I’m going to pick up the glycerin and some oils and make the scent combinations that I want in the shower.

Just found you and will be back!

Comment by Heather

March 2, 2011 @ 1:01 pm

Hi, this is a great idea! I was wondering though if I can just use my regular grater and pot or does the process foul up everything? I once melted wax to make a candle in my everyday pots and …. lesson learned! Just want to make sure I can clean this up when I am done!

Thanks, Heather

Comment by Amy's Stocking Stuffers

March 2, 2011 @ 1:57 pm

This is terrific! My husband has 5 million little bars of opened hotel soap because he travels constantly and we can’t bear to leave them to be thrown out. I tried making liquid soap once but it clumped so much I couldn’t get it out of the dispenser. I did not know to 1) grate, and 2) use glycerin. I will be trying again!

Comment by Julianna

March 2, 2011 @ 2:15 pm

Oh.my. This is fabulous! I always hate buying more, More & MORE plastic… And I don’t like most of the fruity scents that are most easily available. I can’t wait to try this with a few drops of sandalwood! Thanks for the wonderful tip!

Comment by woisme

March 2, 2011 @ 2:40 pm

Thank you so much, I have been wanting to convert my bars of soap into liquid for a long time… I can’t wait to try this.

Comment by Kristin

March 2, 2011 @ 3:00 pm

Not only is it cheaper but bar soap packaging is much more environmentally friendly than all those empty containers of liquid soap.

Comment by green

March 2, 2011 @ 3:04 pm

I get soap as gifts, too! And, I was wanting a better bath soap in liquid form… you beat me to this!

I have used my food processor on the shred blade to shred bar soap. As it is just soap, it washes off easily … I use a brush to avoid cutting my fingers. You can then either use the regular blade in the processor to grind it to a powder or melt it as it is… either would work fine. For laundry soap, I grind it up more.

OK, now to make some bath soap… no more bad chemical stuff for me!

Comment by Feltedfrog

March 2, 2011 @ 3:16 pm

This is so clever and frugal. I love it!

Comment by Priscilla

March 2, 2011 @ 3:30 pm

Hate waste, kind of hate those tiny little leftover bars of soap. LOVE this – one one way for me to waste less and use more homemade stuff. Thank you for posting it.

Comment by BearyAnn

March 2, 2011 @ 5:27 pm

Thank you! This is a great idea. I’ve always wondered what to do with those small soaps.

Comment by Savvy Housekeeper

March 2, 2011 @ 5:28 pm

Wow, thanks everyone! I’m glad you like the post.

As for using your usual pot/cheese grater to do this, feel free. It’s just soap–it washes right off. Heck, it will get everything you use extra clean.

Comment by vijaya

March 2, 2011 @ 5:37 pm

Great idea. thank you for posting this.

Comment by rashmi

March 2, 2011 @ 7:36 pm

Just found your blog through one pretty thing. Your post was so aptly timed!. i emptied my guest bathroom yesterday and found 3 huge bars of soaps. I was wondering what to do with them. Now i can make my own refills. Thanks a Tonne!

Comment by Melissa A.

March 2, 2011 @ 7:48 pm

This is brilliant!

Comment by Ivory

March 3, 2011 @ 1:39 am

OMG! Amazing idea! I don’t know why I never thought of doing this before. I love those handmade soaps they sell at fairs and stuff, with the hatural ingredients and they always smell awsome but I hate bar soap, sitting there all nasty in a puddle of water on the side of the sink. Now when I find a pretty smelling handmade soap I can just turn it into a liquid soap. Thanks so much for sharing!

Comment by Devon

March 3, 2011 @ 7:25 am

Will this work with any type of soap, like goat’s milk vs. straight glycerin soap?

Comment by Margaret

March 3, 2011 @ 10:25 am

I’m going to try this too. I just bought glycerin yesterday b/c someone suggested it would be good for my son’s excema. Moisturizing soap that is cheep would be GREAT.

@Heather – next time you melt wax, use an old coffee can, set inside a regular pot of water.

Comment by Savvy Housekeeper

March 4, 2011 @ 3:52 pm

Devon, obviously I haven’t tried it with goat’s milk soap, but it’s worth a try. If it doesn’t thicken enough for you, add a bit more glycerin.

Comment by Debbie

March 4, 2011 @ 3:53 pm

I’m so delighted you shared this recipe! I started making my own liquid soap with just soap and water and invariably it thickens in the bottle. FInding out glycerine is the magic element is so good to know. I bought some today–thank you!

Comment by Stephanie

March 4, 2011 @ 4:37 pm

Thanks for the recipe! This will be a wonderful way to save money, but still have the luscious liquid soaps I love. I can’t way to try this for body wash too.

Comment by JBB

March 8, 2011 @ 3:18 am

Trick I’ve mentioned elsewhere… Microwave the bar of soap for several minutes. Watch it as you microwave it — in a few seconds it starts to foam up as the air inside the bar of soap expands. When the foaming finishes, turn off the microwave and let it cool. The foam will crumble into dust-like particles for the most part. As mentioned, don’t breathe it in. I don’t like using knuckle-graters.


March 9, 2011 @ 11:39 am


Comment by Joscie, rhymes with bossy

March 9, 2011 @ 5:07 pm

I have done this same thing with dove soap as we have lots of soap allergies in our home. You do need to be careful with keeping everything clean so you don’t end up with contaminated soap.

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March 11, 2011 @ 11:31 am

[...] DIY: How to turn a bar of soap into liquid soap. Brilliant! [Savvy Housekeeping] [...]

Comment by Barbara

March 11, 2011 @ 8:26 pm

Several people on this blog mentioned making laundry soap. How do you do that??

Comment by Emmy

March 11, 2011 @ 10:39 pm

Clever, clever. This would be a great way to up tiny slips of bar soap, thanks.

Comment by Grace

March 12, 2011 @ 1:37 am

I adore this idea. Easily the most useful diy I’ve seen this year. Thanks so much!

Comment by Jodi

March 13, 2011 @ 11:19 am

This is a grate(lol) idea. I make my own soap and have asked in several places how to make a liquid bath soap and was told every time to buy the other lye. There are 2 types, one I can find at the hardware store and the other I would have to order special(the other Lye). I want to use what I have on hand whenever I can. Thank you for this because it makes my soap making even better.

Comment by Barbara

“Several people on this blog mentioned making laundry soap. How do you do that??”

Hi Barbara, google how to make laundry soap and you will find a lot of links. It is easy. I make a powdered laundry soap with a bar of Ivory, 2 cups borax, and 2 cups washing soda mixed together. When ready to do laundry I use 2 tbs in hot, but you can use it in cold with good results. HTH.

Comment by Tammy

March 18, 2011 @ 1:26 pm

I followed this recipe and it came out the consistency of skim milk. Because of my allergies I used a bar of Dove unscented. I ended up adding the other half of the bar (total of 2 Cups) and another tablespoon of glycerin (which totaled 2 T.), and it still didn’t thicken up. Is there a typo on this recipe? Should the 10 cups of water be a lesser amount? Or should I be using a different type of bar to have a thicker liquid result? Thanks so much! I can’t wait for this to work out. I’m going to use the thinner stuff, but my hubbby will hate it. LOL I won’t begrudge it. He hates using bars, and I hate using other liquids. I wash my hands a LOT since I’m in the kitchen so much due to my food allergies, and my hands dry out, crack and bleed from all the washing. I’m hoping this will help alleviate that problem. =) Love your blog site!

Comment by Caroline

March 18, 2011 @ 7:41 pm

I’ve tried this twice with two different types of soap. The first one didn’t need any glycerin but needed twice the water, and the second I had the same problem as Tammy – 8 tbsp of glycerin and it’s still very, very runny.

First bar was a Trader Joe’s tea tree oil bar, second was Dove unscented/sensitive skin.

I love the blog and this idea – maybe I’m just messing up this recipe?

Comment by Savvy

March 19, 2011 @ 8:02 am

Caroline and Tammy: Sorry to hear you are having problems with the recipe! It’s hard for me to reply without seeing what you did, especially if you are doing things like adding twice the water (of course it was runny?) and 8 times the glycerin.

I can say that I tried this recipe out several different ways and it worked great every time, as you can see by the post. The only wild card here is the kind of bar of soap, since they all have different ingredients. I got the best results with a bar of Yardley soap. It sounds like Dove soap in particular doesn’t work as well. Try a higher quality soap?

Comment by Janey

March 19, 2011 @ 2:22 pm

Hi, I’m having a similar experience as Tammy. I tried Irish Spring, which is my son’s favorite soap. First, it didn’t become crumbs, but grated off in little strips. I didn’t think it would matter in the long run, but it definitely didn’t thicken in the water. I waited a long time after it cooled to see if anything happened, but it stayed thin and runny. I eventually added in the entire bar and it stayed like water. Maybe it has to be a ‘dry’ type of bar soap?

Comment by Janey

March 20, 2011 @ 8:06 am

I know I posted a comment yesterday that the soap didn’t thicken, but I left it out all night and this morning it just as I expected it to be. It did clump a little, but I stirred it and spooned it into the bottle and it was fine. I guess it just needed time to ‘gel’. Thanks for the recipe!

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March 22, 2011 @ 6:26 am

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Comment by Savvy Housekeeper

March 22, 2011 @ 9:32 am

Janey, I’m glad to hear it!

Comment by Tammy

March 23, 2011 @ 5:25 pm

I followed the recipe exactly, except when it turned out so thin (even waiting until the next morning), I only doubled the Dove and glycerin and kept the water to the original 10 cups the recipe called for. I’m not sure what you mean by higher quality soap…Dove is pretty darn expensive according to my checkbook. LOL I can get Yardley at Dollar Tree, if it’s the one I’m thinking of. I can only use unscented certain kinds of soaps due to allergies, so I’m not even sure I can tolerate Yardley anymore. I was wondering if there was a typo, or if anyone had any tips on whether I should just cut back on the water to make it thicker. I’ve never used glycerin, so I was just thinking that it was for moisturizing and wouldn’t really affect the gelling property…but was desperate not to waste the recipe, so I tried it anyway. LOL

Comment by Savvy Housekeeper

March 23, 2011 @ 6:07 pm

Tammy, sorry to hear you’re still having trouble. No, there is no typo. All I can say is, if it were me and it really did end up runny as you claim, I would try adding a second bar of soap to the mix. If that thickened it, then I would know why Dove is for sensitive skin–it’s weaker soap. That’s just a theory, though. If I had a bar of Dove around, I would try it, but unfortunately, I don’t. Good luck.

Comment by Tammy

March 24, 2011 @ 12:04 pm

Wow! I’d so love to live where you do. The cheapest I can get it in Oklahoma is Sam’s Club for $12.98 for a 14 pk. And that is still 3-4 times the cost of Ivory (which I used to use but it dried out my skin) and hubby’s beloved Irish Spring. Now I’m so stinking sensitive to perfumes and stuff I don’t have many choices for affordable, unscented products. But, I’ll keep using this recipe for me. I don’t mind that it’s runny. I was just hoping someone would have more knowledge as to how to modify the recipe for Dove with a good result. Then I wouldn’t have to buy hubby the other stuff, too. I don’t mind using a bar of Dove at the sink, but he hates bar soaps because his hands get so grimy. I’ll try that two bar suggestion. Thanks so much! Appreciate all your help! So glad I found this site! :)

Comment by Kim

April 3, 2011 @ 2:29 pm

I tried this over the weekend with some… interesting results. I wanted to make a half batch of liquid soap (not having space to store 6 bottles!) but after reading the comments above, and considering the texture of the grated soap, though I had better put all of the bar into the pot. I thought that it would be much easier to water down the end product than to make it less runny, especially as I had no more of the same soap. I was so disappointed when I finished as it was just like water, but I let it sit and cool and came back to a semi-solid (very nice smelling) jelly. I reheated, added more water, cooled, still had jelly, so reheated added water and cooled again. Finally, it’s a plunger bottle soap consistency. I think I could have added a little extra water to make it less sticky, but I’m happy with the result now. I used a bar of passionfruit soap from the Body Shop which was almost transparent, rather than the creamy Dove-type soap, which I think accounts for the difference in texture. Thanks for posting this, a great idea, and with some patience, perseverance, and experimentation, I think it will work for any soap!

Comment by Bethany

April 7, 2011 @ 8:38 am

@Kim, I had the same jelly (more like jello, actually!) experience, except I followed the recipe exactly. Not sure what went wrong, but I’m going to try reheating and adding water to see if that works.

Comment by Kathy McCreedy

April 10, 2011 @ 7:16 am

This really is BRILLIANT!!! Thank you so much for sharing this with us!!! I’m delighted to have a way to make liquid soap from my fav bar soaps.

Comment by Rachelle

April 16, 2011 @ 2:02 pm

I made this using a bar of Ivory soap (actually about 2/3 of a bar = 1 cup grated). I really wanted to love this, but honestly I am disappointed by the fact that there are no suds. I certainly love the price and the DIY aspect, but it feels weird to wash my hands with no suds at all. Did anyone else get suds using a different soap?

Comment by Cathy

April 18, 2011 @ 9:14 am

I’m searching for glycerin now, as I’m almost out of the giant bottle of soap. What section of the store did you find it in? I saw vegetable glycerin near the jojoba oil in the organic section of the health food store. Not sure if that’s the correct one.

Comment by Cathy

April 18, 2011 @ 9:18 am

ha! just read that yours was vegetable glycerin too…

Comment by NCL82

April 19, 2011 @ 6:18 pm

To thicken the soap, mix 3tbsp. table salt into 8oz hot water until dissolved, whisk the salt solution a little at a time into your runny soap mixture until desired thickness, (soap mixture does not have to be hot, can be room temp) you may need more of the salt solution. I make a liquid soap using, 1 grated 4oz bar of Kirk’s Original Castile and a gallon of distilled water and the salt solution.

Comment by Jennifer

May 8, 2011 @ 6:54 pm

I have tried multiple times to make some soap. I think I have the right consistency but now it does not lather. :O( Any suggestions?

Comment by Stacey

May 19, 2011 @ 11:52 am

For those that have tried with Dove soap, the reason that it won’t work is because it isn’t really a normal soap. It’s a moisturizing soap, so much less “soap” than usual.

I’m definitely going to try this!

Comment by Stacey

May 19, 2011 @ 11:52 am

Oh, and a suggestion for those with runny soap… try putting it in a foamer bottle. It may be perfect for that!

Comment by Valerie

May 23, 2011 @ 9:49 am

Hi there. just tried this out. was wondering how long it should take to thicken up (and how thick it gets)- at the moment it is cool but just slightly thicker than water. Add more glycerine?

Comment by Valerie

May 23, 2011 @ 9:54 am

Never mind – read some of the suggestions and it seems it will work itself out just fine. Thanks for the recipe!!

Comment by Renee

June 1, 2011 @ 4:53 pm

I followed your recipe to a T, then tried all the things I read in the comments…still gelatinous goop. I think I’ll just toss the batch I’ve been working on for the past two days! I blame it on the homemade soap bar, and will try again once I get some Yardley soap!

Comment by Jasmin

June 13, 2011 @ 5:58 am

Hi, I followed the recipe and added some freshly ground cinnamon and sweet orange EO at the end. Mine turned out watery after cooling. However, I used my hand blender to whip it up and in ten seconds flat, I had thick and creamy liquid soap. Hope this helps others.

Thanks a lot for this recipe. So far, its the simplest on the net :D

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June 15, 2011 @ 8:16 am

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Comment by Rave

June 23, 2011 @ 2:00 pm

I just made this liquid soap this morning. I was worried it wouldn’t gel right as it seemed watery.
After several hours (maybe 6 or 7) it finally started to gel.

One thing I did do that was not mentioned in any post or comment-
I made sure I used a dry measuring cup for the shaved soap (I used Ivory), and a liquid measuring cup for the water.

Hope this helps people a bit more!

Comment by Lisa Margreet

June 26, 2011 @ 1:25 am

This is fantastic, I can’t wait to try it! Love the thriftiness of converting a bar of soap into a longer lasting product and the sustainability of being able to reuse the plastic bottle dispenser. Thanks so much for sharing!

Comment by Carrie

June 27, 2011 @ 8:04 am

Thanks for this recipe. I tried it using a bar of Yardley and your exact recipe and it is watery. I’m hoping that it just needs to evaporate some of the water. I’m wondering if we are all in different altitudes and that might account for why it works for some and not others?

Comment by Carrie

June 27, 2011 @ 7:07 pm

Some of the water evaporated and it congealed into what can best be described as “snot” consistency. My husband took one look at it and said, “Honey, I don’t think I can wash my hands with that.” :) I followed the recipe exactly so I’m confused about what I did wrong. I’m wondering if the type of glycerin matters. Anyway, I still want to thank you for posting the recipe. I just wish I had been able to make it work! :)

Comment by Liz S.

July 1, 2011 @ 7:00 am

I came to your site from a comment left on The Art of Doing Stuff’s blog (http://www.theartofdoingstuff.com/broccoli-soup-the-hairy-soap)
I will be making some soap this weekend. My sister-in-law sent me some wonderful smelling soap from Paris but it’s bar soap and I hate bar soap. This will make some heavenly smelling body wash.

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July 5, 2011 @ 9:28 am

[...] Housekeeping shows you how to make liquid hand soap from a bar of soap. Do you have a fun and frugal DIY idea to share? I’d love to hear about it! Read the [...]

Comment by celeste

July 5, 2011 @ 9:44 am

I have tried this and it does work, thought sometimes it is a bit watery…it works well.
My boyfriend came up with a recipe for laundry detergent and I have been using it for well over 2 years…it is not as sudsy which I think is good as it is easier to rinse.
Making your own is a great money saver and you can use whatever soap/smell you desire.
Give it a try!

Comment by Tiffany

July 5, 2011 @ 10:14 am

Thank you so much for this! I can’t believe how expensive liquid hand soap is. This should really save me a ton of money.

Comment by Jaid

July 5, 2011 @ 10:20 am

Great idea! Thank you. I have a question, if you are able to stretch this even further and put the soap in a foam pump dispenser? Is if soapy enough to foam or will it just stay soapy/gooey?

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July 5, 2011 @ 11:56 am

[...] [...]

Comment by Shanna

July 5, 2011 @ 12:25 pm

Thanks for the idea! I posted it to my blog :)

I hate it when my soap (supposedly clean) ends up looking icky! I will have to try it!


Comment by janet

July 5, 2011 @ 1:15 pm

I have been doing this for almost two years now and I hardly ever have to buy soap if you think back to old days when folks grew all their own food and made do with what they had the main two or three things that they purchased in town would be soap, candles and or lamp oil.
To this day if you were in survival mode food, soap, and candles would be very handy.

I taught tutorial on making slivers into liquid soap about four years ago but I must say you make it easier here in this tutorial would love to invite you to post this as a guest post on my site.

Comment by Charolette Franklin

July 5, 2011 @ 7:57 pm

Thank you so much! This is great and my kids are in awe of how much money we saved.

Comment by Sabrina Sumsion

July 5, 2011 @ 9:11 pm

I love this idea! I’ll be blogging about it and give the results of my go.

In the meantime, I make my own lotions so I’ve been learning about the ingredients and what they do. Several people have mentioned that there are few to no suds. This isn’t a problem!

The sudsing effect is actually added to all store bought cleansing beauty products. The reason is because of marketing. To convince women to stop making their own products and buy off the shelf, they spent a lot of money to sell the idea that suds are necessary to prove a cleanser is working. Since homemade products rarely produce suds (because it’s not necessary) they were portrayed as inferior.

Hope ya’ll will forgive my history lesson there. The short answer is the suds come from added ingredients. Your bar may have a lower ratio of “sudsers” in the ingredients and when diluted further, the sudsing effect is basically negated.

The glycerin many of you discussed is a humectant. It draws moisture into your skin and prevents the drying effect that many bars of soap cause. It is thicker than water and thus will help the soap end up thicker but it’s not a thickening agent. Many of you mentioned reheating the mixture and adding more ingredients. Another solution for thickening with your particular bar of soap would be to simply boil off some of the water.

I’m so excited to find your blog and I can’t wait to see what other ideas I can pick up! :)


Comment by Rebecca

July 6, 2011 @ 5:00 am

I made this yesterday, and today it is nice and ready to use! I substituted olive oil for glycerin and only added 9 cups of water. I guess I was afraid 10 cups would dilute it too much. I’m going to let my 10-year-old use it as a body wash, because she uses hers up too quickly. This is perfect!

Comment by Tonya

July 6, 2011 @ 8:52 am

My first try at this yielded watery soap, too. I used Lever 2000 (moisturizing). I assume from earlier posts this was my problem. I ended up with 2 full bars of grated soap and 2 Tablespoons of glycerin to 10 cups of water. I also used my electric mixer and mixed until soap had doubled. This took only a minute. I stirred periodically until the foam settled and dissolved. The soap got a foamy fluffy consistency. I poured it into my containers. It suds great and is a wonderful texture. I am glad I didn’t give up. Thanks for the idea.

Comment by Savvy Housekeeper

July 6, 2011 @ 8:55 am

Welcome all new readers. I am enjoying hearing how well this is working for so many of you.

Sabrina Sumsion–that is so interesting about the soap suds. Thanks for sharing.

Comment by Lynette

July 7, 2011 @ 7:11 am

Print button please!!

Comment by Shelley

July 7, 2011 @ 2:35 pm

I think my husband is addicted to soap and cleaning. Even with coupons, it is so hard to keep up with him when he goes through all soap so fast, especially liquid hand soap. I’m sure I can find some cheap bar soap and do this. Thanks!

Comment by Angela

July 7, 2011 @ 5:52 pm

I’ve tried this without the Glycerin with no luck. Gonna get some Glycerin to try. Looked for it in our Pharmacy and couldn’t find it. What would it be located by?

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July 12, 2011 @ 4:31 am

[...] 8. Homemade Liquid Soap from Bar Soap [...]

Comment by Sarah

July 12, 2011 @ 9:34 am

Love your site! Could spend hours here…so many great ideas. I followed the recipe to the letter, even had the Yardley soap, but I also got “snot.” Not sure what I can do to fix that. I’m gonna look online for some suggestions, but maybe you know what I’ve done or what I can do to fix it. :)

Comment by Carmella

July 15, 2011 @ 3:26 pm

I used glycerin soap base to make shower gel, followed a recipe to the T came great, But its turned out like slime, added a pitch of borax,water,glycerin,soap base, melted it slowly on the stove ? what did I do wrong? Thank You

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July 15, 2011 @ 10:33 pm

[...] Making liquid hand soap with a bar of soap! [...]

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July 19, 2011 @ 7:55 pm

[...] is a great post from homemade liquid hand soap! I’ve been using my bars of Ivory Soap I got from free from my stockpile in my bathroom for [...]

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July 20, 2011 @ 4:03 pm

[...] Hello friends! I hope you are all having a lovely summer. This summer has been busier than I expected, but I am thankful for the work. Today, I took a break from work to try my hand at making some homemade cleaning products. My adventures of choice were homemade laundry detergent and homemade liquid hand soap. [...]

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July 22, 2011 @ 7:01 am

[...] so excited about this post by Savvy Housekeeping. We go through a lot of hand soap in my house. My husband is a germaphobe and washes his hands [...]

Comment by Kay Day

July 24, 2011 @ 7:38 am

I made this last night using a bar of goat’s milk/shea butter soap from Whole Foods.
At first I thought it was way too watery and contemplated adding more soap, but I decided to wait, since it was still warm.
It thickened up a lot! Almost as if it had gelatin in it. I used my whisk to stir it up and then put it into bottles. It does have a very snot like consistency. But it’s still soap, so I’m going to use it!
I’m going to try a different soap next time and see how the results differ.

Comment by Linda

July 25, 2011 @ 11:15 am

Still trying to find glycerin.Any help.Where should I be looking for it at the store.What Deptment? Thanks for idea

Comment by Beth

July 27, 2011 @ 2:47 pm

You can find glycerin in the pharmacy dept. I just found some at Walmart by the band aids & hand sanitizer. Hope this helps.

Comment by Leah

July 27, 2011 @ 6:56 pm

I found glycerin at Hobby Lobby in the soap making aisle. I used one of their 40% off coupons, which made it very cheap.

Whipping some air into the soap made it thicken. My first attempt wasn’t perfect, but that’s the way it goes with most new recipes that I try, lol.

I am very happy to have used soap I got free with a coupon to make something I needed more. I had just emptied our large refill bottle of hand soap and this recipe filled it up for less than a dollar. Thank you so much!

Comment by Sheri

July 27, 2011 @ 7:05 pm

I made this tonight. I used the Yardley soap and after reading the post I decided to use the whole bar for my batch. It started out watery and after only two hours of cooling I was really pleases, just a tad thick but I can always add a little more water. Thanks so much for the wonderful idea. I will be making more. Wal-Greens has Yardley soap on sale for 0.69 a bar, great price.

Comment by Savvy Housekeeper

July 28, 2011 @ 7:50 am

Beth, have you tried asking in the store? When I bought mine, it was in the pharmacy. You can also search glycerin online and buy it that way.

Comment by Veronica m

July 29, 2011 @ 8:23 am

Thank you for sharing this recipe, I’m super excited to try! I just bought some pomegranate soap from whole foods, I hope it works well.

Any recommendations on making dish soap? I go through a ton of that with all the dishes and baby bottles I wash. Tia!!

Comment by Debbie

August 1, 2011 @ 5:23 pm

I made a batch for our family from left over slivers of Irish Spring and it turned out fine. It has a little different consistency but it works great! Then I made a batch for my MIL with a bar of soap she gave me because her skin is also sensitive and it seems to be fine also. I didn’t use glycerin in ours ( I hadn’t found it yet) but I found it at CVS and used it in hers. Both turned out great! Thank you so much, I have been saving those slivers for a long time wondering what to do with them! Lol!

Comment by Brandi

August 9, 2011 @ 8:29 am

Turning a GOOD bar of soap into liquid just makes no sense to me. Bar soap uses less packaging, has less harmful chemicals, gets to the point, costs less and lasts longer!
However, what a great idea for being resourceful with scraps or soaps with yucky scents!

Comment by jeriwho

August 9, 2011 @ 12:02 pm

I tried this with a bar of Camay that has been sitting in my airtight bathroom storage box under my sink for about 17 years. I got a liquid soap with a very watery consistency, but it dissolved with minimal heating. I looked up Camay on the internet, and it is a “tallow-based” soap; ie, real, traditional soap. And it contains glycerine.

I didn’t let it sit for hours and hours. Because it took only a little heat to melt, it was cool (well, lukewarm) in less than an hour. It was so watery that I used the whole bar (1.5 cups), and I added another half tablespoon of glycerin.

I poured it into dispensers that I got on sale at K-Mart. It squirts out just fine, though a little thin textured. But it cleans your hands, and it hasn’t lost that distinctive Camay smell, not even after all those years enclosed in a box. Thanks for the great recipe and tutorial!

Comment by angela

August 10, 2011 @ 5:33 pm

How do you go about fixing it if it comes out too runny? More glycerin? More soap flakes? Mine was like water and I can only imagine my kids squirting it out and it shooting across the bathroom! Help! :)

Comment by Holly

August 13, 2011 @ 8:08 pm

I just tried this recipe today. I used a 4 oz bar of Burt’s Bees Milk and Shea Butter, and had some shavings left over. I followed the recipe exactly and it came out watery and like fluid. For those of you looking for a fix to this, here is what I did:
I used my hand mixer on a low speed for a minute or two. This created a lot of suds so you may have to wait for the suds to go down before the next step.
Next I brought the mixture to a boil. This also created suds but I removed them with my spatula and rinsed them in the sink. I kept it boiling for a minute or two, then removed from heat and set it aside to settle. This took a few hours. ALSO, I wondered if others did this: you need to make sure the lid is not on the pot while it is boiling and settling. You’re boiling it so it will evaporate some of the water!
The end result was a little different consistency than what is on the shelves, but it will do. It’s still a little thinner than I would like so I think next time I will add more soap flakes.
Since the bar of soap I bought was 99% natural, there were no suds to begin with. This doesn’t bother me though, I know it’s still soap!
I can’t wait to try this tomorrow morning as body wash! Thanks for the recipe!

Comment by dewi

August 15, 2011 @ 10:37 pm

hi from Bombay..
I tried your recipe but the result is very watery, not thick like yours does..i wonder what i did wrong..i would love it to be thick just like store bought..

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August 21, 2011 @ 6:21 am

[...] ik op Pinterest dan ook deze tutorial vond, wist ik meteen dat dit geen gewone pin zou blijven, maar iets wat ik ook effectief zou gaan [...]

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August 22, 2011 @ 1:40 pm

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Comment by Jewels

August 23, 2011 @ 10:25 am

Hi. I used a bar of dial soap for this project and the finished product was very snotty. So I put it back on the heat and let it sit for a little while longer and then let it cool. Now I can’t get it to thicken in to more of a liquid soap texture. It’s very runny now. Any suggestions as to what I could do to fix it.

Comment by Christy

August 24, 2011 @ 6:15 pm

I made this using Yardley soap, which I love anyway, and no glycerin. stores will run Yardley BOGO lots of times. It was very thin when I made it, however I just put a lid on the pot,left it to sit and next morning it was perfect!! Thanks for sharing!!

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August 25, 2011 @ 1:18 pm

[...]   Hand Soap from Bar Soap Adapted from Savvy Housekeeping [...]

Comment by Barbara Platt

August 30, 2011 @ 2:34 pm

MOMtreprenuer Tip of the Day: Turn a bar of soap into liquid hand soap

Comment by Sarah

September 1, 2011 @ 6:00 am

Great idea, thanks! I had one question though. In what section of the store do you find liquid glycerin? Is it near the regular handsoap? I have never bought it before.

Comment by Tiff

September 8, 2011 @ 7:38 am

Thanks for this money-saving idea. I tried it today but unfortunately the texture can only be described as snot-like. It was super difficult to decant into bottles because it held together like slimy mucous! It makes me feel a little queasy to use! I put about 1/2 tspn tea tree oil in it and wondered if that may have contributed to the texture problem? Or, is the texture meant to be like that and I’m just a wimp?! I’d love to give it another go though.

Comment by Tana

September 8, 2011 @ 10:43 pm

I made this exactly according to the recipe, and just got soapy water. I used Dove, which by reading the comments seems to be the downfall. I added another two tiny bars of hotel soap, reboiled it, but it’s still pretty thin, even after sitting overnight. Not ready to give up though, I’ll boil it some more and see if that helps, and if necessary use another brand of soap next time.

For those having troube finding glycerin, I bought mine at Michael’s craft store, in the cake decorating aisle ($2.99 for 2 oz, plus I used a 40% off coupon). I didn’t have any luck finding it at any other stores.

Comment by Gracie

September 9, 2011 @ 2:06 pm

This is really wonderful, I’m so happy to have found a thrifty way to indulge in liquid soap now! Thank you!

Comment by Marti

September 12, 2011 @ 2:39 pm

I made this exactly according to instructions, including the Yardley and glycerin (both carried by Walmart). It came out runny as people mentioned, BUT, it wasn’t all the way cooled when I put it in bottles. The remainder in the pot thickened like the above mentioned snot, and what I had put in the bottles was snot-like as well. So I dumped all of it back in the pan, and got out my trusty stick blender and whizzed it around for a couple minutes. Voilá! Perfect texture. I re-bottled and tested each one, and they’re just right. Thank you, Savvy ♥♥♥

Comment by Marti

September 12, 2011 @ 2:42 pm

Oh, the glycerin at Walmart is in the health section– the pharmacy worker showed me. Just ask.

Comment by Joanne

September 13, 2011 @ 9:26 am

I tried this recipe because i needed to find ways to save money on good quality face soap….wow….I am very pleased!!!! My daughters and I use a liquid Cetaphil face soap which costs us $9.56 a bottle…Cetaphil also comes in a bar soap so that is what I used…the bar of soap cost approx $3…..I made this recipe as stated and it came out wonderful….I was able to get at least 5 bottles out of this one recipe at a cost of approx 70 cents per bottle..compared to $45 for 5 bottles!!!!! I did use the whole bar of soap for 10 c of water, and as of yet it is not completely cooled so I am a little nervous after reading some of the comments above. Even if I have to tweek it…..it is absolutely worth the time!!! Thanks for sharing!

Comment by Ngozi

September 14, 2011 @ 4:54 pm

Thanks so much for this idea! I appreciate it when people take time out of their busy lives to share good ideas with others. God bless you and yours!

Comment by Sharon

September 15, 2011 @ 2:59 am

Has anyone figured out a “fix” for the soap that is too watery? Mine is like water and I don’t know how to fix it.

Comment by nicole w.

September 15, 2011 @ 9:50 pm

I made this recipe this past weekend and was rather pleased with how it came out. My only complaint is that it seems to be very drying on my hands compared to the usual softsoap we had been buying for years. The soap I used was the ivory bar soap. If anyone has any suggestions they would be greatly appreciated.

Comment by florencia

September 18, 2011 @ 4:12 pm

Nicole, you should try adding almond oil to the mix.

Comment by Kelli

September 18, 2011 @ 6:52 pm

Nicole – my suggestion is to NOT use Ivory soap. That is very alkaline and drying soap, and it will make most people’s skin irritated with regular use.

Try a more moisturizing soap, but in the meantime, add more glycerine (moisturizer) to the Ivory soap you’ve already whipped up. Softsoap has more moisturizers than Ivory bar soap would.

Comment by Robin

September 20, 2011 @ 11:14 am


How did your Cetaphil work out??? I, too use Cetaphil and it is very pricey. I’d love it if this worked as well!

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September 20, 2011 @ 1:35 pm

[...] Receita do Sabonete em inglês [...]

Comment by Karen

September 22, 2011 @ 6:18 pm

I’m having such a hard time getting it to thicken. I used Caress and it just is too watery. This is my third day and third bar added to 10 cups of water and 2T of glycerine. Should I boil off some of the water, add something to it? I just don’t want to give up.

Comment by Christina

September 22, 2011 @ 8:51 pm

So I just want to say, 1st, I love the recipe. I make my own bar soap, just started. My sister, however prefers liquid soap, so she inspired me to look for a recipe to try and convert my bar soap into liquid. This is the first recipe I tried. I ended up using 4.5 oz of soap + 10c. water + 1Tbs vegetable based glycerin (found in my local health food store). Like many people have said, mine turned out watery. Determined to make it work, I tried letting it sit overnight, reboiled it to boil off some of the water, and still it was watery. Then I tried the salt-solution someone (NCL82) had posted on here (3Tbs table salt + 8oz hot water) and sure enough! It worked! I didn’t even need the whole salt-solution ammount. I’m thrilled! Thank you for the recipe and thank you, NCL82, for the salt-solution recipe :)

Comment by Jenn L.

September 25, 2011 @ 3:38 pm

Just want to post I found Glycerin at Walmart right next to the Isoprpyl Alcohol in the pharmacy section. It was $2.38 for 6oz.

I’ve got my first batch using Yardley Oatmeal & Almond on the stove! Thinking about adding a drop or 2 of pure almond extract to enhance the smell.

Thanks for the great “recipe”.

Comment by Shawna

September 26, 2011 @ 8:42 am

Yardley’s is on sale at Walgreens this week (9/20/11-10/1/11) for $.69 each with their sale flyer coupon (limit 3). If you receive “All You” magazine, there is also a $.25 coupon in the September edition, making it $.44!!!

Comment by Louise

September 29, 2011 @ 5:08 pm

Now I know what to do with all of those teeny bars from hotels. Why didn’t I think of that? Just finished making the second pot. Now I’m good for the next decade!

Comment by Jessica

October 1, 2011 @ 10:19 am

I would also like to know how the Cetaphil worked out. I’m almost finished with my current face wash and would love to make my own.

I made my liquid soap with Yardly soap and I love it! It does have a odd consistency, but it works. I added a couple drops of tea tree oil to mine, just because I love that stuff. Thanks for the post.

Comment by Kayla

October 2, 2011 @ 12:07 pm

I made this yesterday using a glycerin soap bar and no additional glycerin. The texture turned out to be like snot which is ok. What’s really bothering me is it doesn’t appear to clean well and leaves a residue behind. At first, I thought it was the moisturizer in the soap but when I tried cleaning a glass with it, the glass came out streaky with residue. The glass was clean beforehand so the residue was from soap. Is anyone else having the same problem?

Comment by Mindi

October 3, 2011 @ 2:52 pm

Just made my batch. Now waiting til it cools. Like many above me, it is a watery consistency, but I’ll wait it out. Even if it doesn’t thick like it should, it’s still soapy, and will still clean!

Also, some cannot find the Glycerin…I found mine at Hobby Lobby, if you have that store near. Great buy for so cheap!

Comment by Mindi

October 3, 2011 @ 3:50 pm

So after getting impatient, I put my watery pot of soap in the fridge. 30 minutes later it had gelatinized (did I just make that up? Yes.), and it’s now in bottles! So if you are like me and very impatient, try putting your pot of watery soap in the fridge!!

Thanks again for the recipe!

Comment by Marilyn

October 3, 2011 @ 7:14 pm

We all have those little pieces of bar soap in the shower and on the sink that you hate using because they break or you just don’t want to be wasteful! Now, I plan to use your recipe for all of my “leftover” bar soaps! When you are tempted to open a new bar of soap, because the old one just broke in half, do it! Just grate that baby bar up and save it until you have enough for a recipe! Thank you so much for the “green” idea!

Comment by Susie

October 5, 2011 @ 6:43 am

I was so excited to find this recipe. I recently bought a bar of Goat’s Milk Soap at a Swap meet. I decided to try this recipe with this soap. I followed it to a T and it is so watery. Next day I put the whole bar of soap in, instead of just 1 cup. Still watery, added more glycerin, still watery. Now im trying the salt in hot water method and see if that works. Wish me luck!

Comment by AJ Rodriguez

October 9, 2011 @ 8:18 pm

I searched google a few hours ago for sites on how to turn bar soap into liquid soap and I came across your site. I took out my old pots that I use for crafting and went to work. I used 2 quarts of water, 2 tablespoons of glycerin and shredded/grated 4 bars of soap. These were soaps that I’ve had hanging around forever and kept meaning to turn into liquid soap. It added up to 16.75 oz of soap flakes. After my process, I now have creamy soft soap that actually feels and smells luxurious. This was a great tip. Thanks much.

Comment by AJ Rodriguez

October 10, 2011 @ 5:09 am

Part 2 – I used 16.75 oz of bar soap with 2 quarts of water. This is a follow-up.

I let the soap cool overnight and it became a soft solid, like a custard/flan consistency. I added 1½ cups of water to get it through the pump. I’m giving it a couple of hours to see if it solidifies again. I’ll just keep thinning it out until it’s just the right liquid consistency. Still a great idea. I made a facial cleanser/scrub, a body wash and kept some of the soft solid form for later. I think I’m good until New Year’s Eve. :)

Comment by Erica

October 11, 2011 @ 1:50 am

It is 1:45 am and I am just getting around to making my first batch. So excited! The only thing I could find to contain it was an old wine bottle I was using as decoration, lol. Hopefully when I wake up in the morning, it will be ready for us to use.

SN: I was able to find glycerine at CVS in the medicine aisle, $1.99 here in sunny SoCal.

Comment by Sherri

October 11, 2011 @ 4:34 am

I used Ivory with great results. I did use a tiny bit over one cup to make it cuz I never measure a perfect anything.:) Couldn’t have come out better. I think everyone trying this with runny results should think of it as making jello, it needs time to set. Plus I heated my water while I was grating my soap. Maybe your not getting your water hot enough?

Comment by Melissa

October 11, 2011 @ 12:08 pm

I just made this yesterday. It was “runny” but this morning when I got up it was PERFECT! Thank you so much for sharing this idea!! So much cheaper than having to buy it.

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October 12, 2011 @ 2:26 pm

[...] Savvy Housekeeping | Turn A Bar of Soap Into Liquid Hand Soap Category : How To facebook Twitter del.icio.us digg stumbleupon [...]

Comment by jamie

October 13, 2011 @ 5:06 pm

just made this with baby clean bar soap for my son. for 5$ u get three bars or for the same price you can by a small liquid container. at first it was very runny but after a few hours i noticed it starting to gel on my spoon and i realized the pot is keeping it insulated and not cooling fast enough so give it time. i used half a bar which equaled one cup and it made enough to fill up a well cleaned empty laundry detergent container.

Comment by Pat

October 14, 2011 @ 11:35 am

Thanks for this recipe and thanks everyone for their comments!!! I can’t wait to try this. Going to Walmart today to buy my Glycerin. Just wondering if anyone has tried mixing a couple of different scented bar soaps together to make 1 liquid soap and what kind of results they got. I have several old boxes of bars of Avon soaps and a bar of some generic soap that someone gave me. I am planning on melting the generic soap down and was wondering what would happen if I added a part of a bar of the better smelling Avon to it.

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October 14, 2011 @ 1:42 pm

[...] was right in gear just to keep going, so I found Dish Washer Detergent, Laundry Detergent, and Liquid Hand Soap to go with [...]

Comment by Alicia

October 14, 2011 @ 2:41 pm

Thank you so much for the recipe!! I used the Neutregena Facial bar that is 1.97, and I got a coupon for it on their website for 1 dollar off, so 97 cents what I spent. I followed the recipe as you put it, and it has worked wonderfully! Now I have face soap for a long time! (and cheap)

I found my glycerin in the Pharmacy Dept in my local Wal-Mart

Comment by Alicia

October 14, 2011 @ 2:43 pm

One more thing…I used empty drinking water bottles to store the extra! Works perfect!

Comment by Carrie

October 15, 2011 @ 6:08 am

For those of you who are having problems you may be getting your water too hot. For my first batch I let the water and soap boil and no matter what I did my soap would not thicken. I did some research and none of the soap making instructions on the web told me to do that, they all told me to have the water just starting to steam and take it off the heat. For my second batch, I followed the instructions to the letter and I now have a ton of perfect liquid soap.

Comment by Lesleigh

October 15, 2011 @ 8:08 pm

I made this tonight out of a bar of Cetaphil. My skin is extremely sensitive. I LOVE the Cetaphil line of products. The face cleanser is amazing and the jar of moisturizer is my favorite product on the PLANET!! When I found out I was pregnant I started that day rubbing the moisturizer on my belly twice a day and I hardly have any stretch marks. Also, I don’t know what’s wrong, but every year from fall until the following summer my hands and forearms are EXTREMELY sensitive. Even plain water will light me on fire! My hands dry out, crack and bleed and my arms will look like a cat scratched me. All this to say that the Cetaphil line of products is the ONLY thing that does not irritate, but also soothes and heals. I wash my hands ALL DAY LONG. I work in a restaurant and have a two year old that is potty training. So you can imagine. When I saw this, I thought I’d get a bar of the Cetaphil (tried it once and loved the results, but at $4.79/bar I can’t afford to just keep buying it to wash my hands in) and try this. I had no problems with it. The bar yielded 1 1/2 Cups of shavings and I ended up using all of it and another 1/2 C of the glycerin. It’s somewhat runny, but the cooler it gets and the longer it sits, it’s thickening. I don’t care if it’s runny or thick, just as long as it helps my condition and doesn’t break the bank!! THANKS!!

Comment by Paula

October 16, 2011 @ 3:34 pm

I read all of the comments above and combined them and came up with this: one bar of Ivory soap, 10 cups of water (heating while I shredded the soap), and about a tablespoon of olive oil (since I’ve never been able to find glycerin). I got the watery consistency everyone talked about, so I put it in the fridge as Mindi suggested above and it changed to the snot consistency. I then mixed it on high in my mixer for about a minute. Turned out great! Thanks for the recipe and for all of the commenters’ advice!

Comment by Cassie

October 17, 2011 @ 2:34 pm

Has anyone tried this with the Dove Men+Care??? I coupon so I have a great supply of this and ivory bar soaps. I would like to turn the Dove into a body wash for great gifts. I will start with the ivory. I was able to get all of this soap for free but I would like to turn them into liquids… not many people use bar soap anymore.

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October 20, 2011 @ 5:41 am

[...] to Savvy Housekeeping for showing us how to turn a bar of soap into liquid soap!  Seems pretty easy!  Have any of you [...]

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October 21, 2011 @ 10:09 am

[...] and bar soaps generally have far less plastic to their packaging than body wash. And…you can easily turn bar soap into liquid soap.  Which is great, because we use Dr. Bonners, which is much more affordable in bar form. You can [...]

Comment by Mayra

October 21, 2011 @ 5:31 pm

I made this soap and I am happy with the result, the only thing that puzzles me is that the soap does not produce any lather opr foam at all. How can I make liquid soap that lathers well?


Comment by Mayra

October 21, 2011 @ 5:33 pm

I made this soap and I am happy with the result, the only thing that puzzles me is that the soap does not produce any lather or foam at all. How can I make liquid soap that lathers well?


Comment by Sarah T.

October 24, 2011 @ 10:24 pm

just made this recipe, how awesome. i used the exact measurements on one batch, and halved the recipe on another batch cause i had a smaller pot and a different type of soap. here are my results, products, helpful hints:

for the whole batch i did i used 1 cup of assorted hotel soaps. had a bunch lying around. it took 3 hotel sized soaps for me to get a cup. took longer than 2 minutes to dissolve, but i just stirred on “4″ or med-low heat till it all dissolved and was liquid. the soap made slight bubbles in the pot, so i knew it was going to be sudsy as a final product.

for the half batch, i used some soap my mom happily handed over when she heard i was making it into liquid. some sort of fancy boxed french vanilla scented stuff. didn’t used mixed soaps in this batch. used half a cup of soap flakes, 5 cups water and 1 1/2 tsp of glycerine.

i got pretty much the same result out of both batches! both are holding a great consistancy at 75 degrees, kinda a super slick snotty thing like regular liquid soap. i checked the temp with a thermometer to be sure. they are both sudsy/ bubbly when used, so anyone who isn’t seeing bubbles probably is using a soap that just doesn’t bubble.

hugely helpful hint if you’re impatient like i am, once you’ve taken the soap off the heat, you can either transfer it to a glass or metal bowl, or just use the pan, and put it in an ice bath!! (fill a larger bowl or the sink with ice and water, and submerge part of the soap bowl in the water) i kept
stirring my soaps, both with a spoon, and then with a whisk as it thickened. i am not patient enough to wait for hours to see if it will work! in a short time i was able to see that this really did thicken up. i’m super excited!

thank you so much for this recipe, it is so incredibly helpful!

Comment by Sarah T.

October 25, 2011 @ 6:49 pm

i’d like to correct my post slightly, after the soaps sat overnight, the end product became very thick and jelly as other commenters have mentioned. both the “fancy” soap half recipe and the hotel soaps full recipe had the same result. i added 1 1/2 cups of lukewarm water to the halved recipe, and 3 cups to the full recipe. i used a hand mixer to make sure the water was evenly blended into the rest of the mixture, and came out with a great slippery liquid soap without any extra reheating. my full recipe has filled 2 64oz containers, and a quart sized canning jar, all from 3 little hotel soap bars. i’m thrilled. for those whose mixtures are still very jelly, just keep adding water and blending thoroughly until you have a runnier consistency.

Comment by Greg Szafir

October 26, 2011 @ 2:54 pm

This Is An Awesome Idea… I Cant Wait To Try It… Thinkin About Putting Some Jojoba Oil In It… I Love That Stuff Its Amazing…

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October 28, 2011 @ 12:32 pm

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Comment by Cindy

October 28, 2011 @ 4:36 pm

This looks like a great idea. I have also taken hand soap and put it in the foaming soap dispensers, add water and it makes it go a long way!

Comment by Martha

October 29, 2011 @ 12:45 pm

How/where should we store it until it is used up?

Comment by Stephanie

October 29, 2011 @ 2:35 pm

For those who were using Dove: Dove is a beauty bar. While it is has soap in it, 1/4 of the entire bar is moisturizers, so it won’t work as well as something marked “soap” instead of “beauty bar.” I just used 1/2 a bar of a used Dr Bronner’s baby mild bar soap with 5 cups of water and no glycerin, since it is a high glycerin soap. While it is runnier than most soap, it lathers really well.

Comment by Sandy

October 31, 2011 @ 9:17 am

I can’t wait to try this! I currently dilute liquid soap with water to make it go farther so watery would not be an issue if it turns out that way.

Comment by Dawn E.

November 1, 2011 @ 1:35 pm

Okay then. I finally got around to trying this. Here’s my experience!

1) Target had a small bottle of glycerin in the pharmacy for $5.

2) As I’ve aged (and I’m only 29!) and had babies, my skin has been drying out like crazy. We’re talking going from Clean & Clear hard core as a teen to olive oil and coconut oil. :-P So I desperately wanted to try my favorite Dove “go fresh” (the peach one) bar soap despite the not-so-good results others have had with Dove.

3) I used about 1 1/4 cup shavings (because that’s all I cared to grate), 5 cups water, and 1/2 Tbs glycerin. It took me quite a while to make sure all the shavings were dissolved — about 10 minutes on medium heat.

4) I was too impatient to let it cool ALL the way, so when it was warm, I poured it into my reused-alot Dial foam dispensers. I bought several one time and have since been mixing bulk hand soap with water. Love the foam. Hate the cost of “special” refills. Yes, the Dove-to-hand-soap is watery (though mine does have a smidge of gelatiny to it), but it’s PERFECT for the foam dispensers. I used it from the foam dispenser while still warm and got a nice handful of suds. I hope it doesn’t gel up too much over time and clog the Dial dispensers. :-P Consequence of impatience if that happens.

Thanks again, Savvy Housekeeper!

Comment by Betty

November 1, 2011 @ 10:43 pm

Made this soap w/ Ivory. It turned out good. It was a little thick, but my family is using this. I’m not selling it, so thick doesn’t matter to me. I will never buy liquid soap from grocery store again! Love this money saving tip!

Pingback by Savvy Housekeeping » Foaming Soap Dispenser

November 2, 2011 @ 8:47 am

[...] thing I have learned from my post on turning a bar of soap into liquid hand soap is that some people prefer soap to have lots of foam. The homemade liquid hand soap doesn’t [...]

Comment by Cassie

November 4, 2011 @ 1:06 pm

I am def going to try this. I read a few comments about Dove not working. Dove is soap-free, maybe why it does not work.

Comment by Julie

November 7, 2011 @ 7:15 pm

This works! I make my own soap and was wondering how to turn the bars into a liquid soap. At first it was very runny, but I used a suggestion posted earlier in the comments about using a salt water solution to thicken it up. That worked! Thanks for the great post.

Comment by Lori

November 8, 2011 @ 3:55 pm

I made a batch today. It was very watery at first, but now has thickened into the ‘snot’ consistency. I used Yardley lavender and added glycerin. Any suggestions to fix the texture?

Comment by Andrea, Iceland

November 9, 2011 @ 2:29 am

Well, like most of you I was looking for a way to turn those boring bars in to liquid gold :p

I put my soap gratings into a aluminium bowl, poured 5 cups of hot boiled water over it and put in a few drops of cooking oil (it’s hard to find glyserin here in Iceland).
Now I’m going to take a nap while it cools outside in the -5c° we have today :)

Pingback by » My Crafty Side:Turn a bar of soap into liquid hand soap Blog de Cristina

November 9, 2011 @ 8:05 am

[...] Savvy Housekeping. Click here to read the article and good luck Posted in My Crafty Side. RSS. [...]

Pingback by Bar to Liquid Body Wash «

November 11, 2011 @ 10:50 am

[...] started googling around, and I mainly followed this blog. It’s the one I recommend because she has fairly exact directions, measurements, and she [...]

Comment by Kate

November 13, 2011 @ 4:45 pm

I have just this minute made this. It is cooling in the pot. Unfortuntaly it is very watery…but I will give it time (ovenight). My soap didn’t flake…it sort of made peels…maybe this is the key? drier soap???

Pingback by Tip – turn bar soap into liquid | Outtakes on the Outskirts

November 14, 2011 @ 3:42 pm

[...] the power of a Google search, which lead me to the Savvy Housekeeping blog’s post on how to turn bar soap into a liquid soap. All you need is water, a bar of soap and some [...]

Comment by Heather

November 14, 2011 @ 10:57 pm

What a fun and wonderful idea! I make liquid soap from complete scratch. But it’s so time consuming. I am going to try this and see how it does with my already hand made bar soap. I skimmed over a good portion of these posts and I keep reading everyone’s problem with using Dove soap. If it hasn’t already been addressed it is because dove soap isn’t entirely soap. It is more lotion based which is why many claim it is milder. Any soap that has too much lotion in it will not thicken up as much as desired. I personally don’t care for dove it has soo many terrible additives in it that aren’t natural. But that’s just me.

Hope that might clear up a few things for others on their dove problems.

Comment by Jen

November 15, 2011 @ 6:02 pm

I used xanthan gum with the Dove soap to thicken the mixture. It seems to work. Xanthan gum can be found at health food stores. It is a non-caloric food thickening agent and acts similar to corn starch in cooking.

Wiki link for more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xanthan_gum

Comment by SHARON C

November 18, 2011 @ 9:46 am

I used 1 8 oz bar Mrs Meyers All Purpose soap (I Love Lavender but any scent will work),
1 Gallon water
and 2T glycerin
Grate up soap with cheese grater or food processor
put 1 gallon water in large pot
added soap and glycerin and warmed it on low/medium heat
and stir until soap is melted completely
turn off heat and let sit for about 12 hours
starts to cloud after about 3 hours and will thicken as it sits
if its to thick after 12 hours add a little water and beat with an electric mixer until its the consistency you desire
store in a 1 gallon container until you are ready to use it and refill your hand soap dispensers as needed

Comment by Dalia

November 23, 2011 @ 5:08 pm

what if the stores don’t have glycerin

Comment by Dalia

November 23, 2011 @ 5:13 pm

where should I get it?

Comment by Samantha

November 25, 2011 @ 12:29 am

I have a tip for all you peeps having trouble with your soap thickening up!! If its a little too runny, use it with a foaming bottle dispenser instead of the normal pumping one! I’ve seen this trick on a different website and everyone raved about how well it worked for their “runny” soap. I unfortunately have not had the chance to put it to the test because when I made my soap, it was so thick! Nothing I did fixed it. I haven’t had the opportunity to try again.

Comment by Amy

November 25, 2011 @ 11:51 am

I used 2 Cetaphil Antibacterial bar soaps, 2 T glycerin, 1 gallon of distilled water, .2% Methylparaben (preservative) and needed 2 1/2 teaspoons of Xanthan gum to thicken.

The xanthan gum needs to be blended in order to thicken properly and the soap ended up just being micro bubbles. It works ok but next time I will try salt to thicken it. I ended up with 2 gallons of soap it was so full of bubbles.

Comment by claire

November 26, 2011 @ 10:22 am

I shall try this soon. I will use the Yardly for sure! I didn’t read every post just most of them so If this was asked sorry. I make faoming hand soap using liquid soap. Anyone try it with this hand made soap? I add 2 tbs. of liquid soap to a faom soap bottle then fill w/ water and shake. works great. It would save me a ton of $$ if this worked.

Comment by Aubrey

November 29, 2011 @ 7:33 pm

I just tried this out with the dial cranberry antioxidant bar for a festive christmas soap. I am very pleased with how cheap and easy this was. My soap did come out watery, but as suggested by other reviewers, I let it sit for a few more hours and it is just like the consistency that I buy from softsoap. PERFECT!!! It also made my house smell wonderful during the hours of waiting. Thanks so much!!

Comment by Melissa

November 29, 2011 @ 10:59 pm

I had a problem with mine being TOOOOOO runny. I doubled the recipe even added the entire bottle of glycerin. Its been a month. It kept separating and I thought it was working only it wasn’t. BUT I read a comment saying to mix 3 tbsp salt in hot 8 oz water then add to soap. So I did this. Then I boiled it. It slowly got thicker. I did a little at a time. Probably about 2 cups of soap to 1 cup salt mixture. Its so thick that I am going to slowly add soap to this mixture and let it boil as it goes. I boiled it to where it looked like candy. So those with dove soap do the salt mixture then boil the water out! It took about 20 minutes to get it ti thicken up! Happy soaping!

Pingback by How to turn a bar of soap into liquid hand soap | A mom on a money saving mission!

November 30, 2011 @ 12:50 pm

[...] this Savvy Housekeeping blog for an explanation of how to convert your soap! GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); [...]

Comment by Julie

December 1, 2011 @ 10:43 am

I am so excited about this Ive decided to make it my Christmas craft and send it to all my girlfriends! I found nice glass pump dispensers online for 2.75$ each (Montessoriservices.com) then I had cute little Christmas labels made for .58 cents each (myownlabels.com) and I bought a cranberry scented hand soap at Marshals for 4.99$. I think its a fun festive and easy to make gift that all my girlfriends will enjoy and get use out of! Plus with ingrediants and pumps labels and all Im spending just about 4$ per gift! Cant complain about that!

Comment by Rachel

December 3, 2011 @ 7:53 pm

Has any one tryed this with Zune bar soap. It has such a stong smell and it organic. Let me know if some one has already truer it. I would like a heads up if there will be any problems. Thanks

Comment by Teresa

December 3, 2011 @ 8:53 pm

Love the idea but ours turned out too watery for me. Less water? What would you advise and what kind of bar of soap did you use?

Comment by Caitlin J. P

December 4, 2011 @ 4:38 pm

What brand of soap do you use??

I’ve made liquid soap a few times with bar soaps and it always turns out super runny.

Comment by Sarah

December 9, 2011 @ 4:09 pm

Hi there! I am going to do this and give away as Christmas presents. Dove? Irish Spring? Really? All that trouble for that stuff? I am going to use Myers organic soap and Pacifica they smell wonderful!!!!

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December 13, 2011 @ 9:34 pm

[...] Savvy Housekeeping » Turn A Bar of Soap Into Liquid Hand Soap Funnel Directions: [...]

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December 15, 2011 @ 9:59 am

[...] My post on turning a bar of soap into liquid hand soap can also make a great Christmas present. Julie explained how she did it in the comments: I am so [...]

Comment by Stacey

December 15, 2011 @ 3:31 pm

I was intrigued and used the recipe to the T. I found the soap did have a thicker consistency after sitting all night but was still a little slimey/snotty so after a little reading I decided to use salt to thicken. I used approx. 1/2 tsp salt per cup of water. that is an estimate since I did not acutally measure it. So add a little salt at a time then mix with a hand mixer. I added the salt to the cold mixture. this made the salt nice and creamy not snotty. thank you whoever started this post you have saved me a lot of $!

I also used the same base to make body soap. Two cups of the hand soap, 1/4 cup of your favorite lotion, salt added a tsp at a time and mix with hand mixer to get a more viscous consistency until you get a loose pudding mix that will not run off the scrubber of the wash cloth. Smells and feels great!

Comment by Sarah

December 19, 2011 @ 1:56 pm

I tried making this today and so far it’s still really watery. I started out with the original recipe of 1c soap flakes, 10c water and 1 tbs glycerin. It was very watery, so added the rest of the flakes from the bar I shredded. I let it cool for a while and it wasn’t getting thicker, so I placed it back on the stove with another shredded bar of soap and another tbs of glycerin. I’m using Lever 2000. Letting it cool now. If it still won’t work I’m going to buy some Yardley!

Comment by Kim

December 27, 2011 @ 12:01 pm

I have a pot of liquid soap cooling on the stovetop as I write this. I used Yardley English Lavender and it smells wonderful. Thanks for the great idea.

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December 27, 2011 @ 1:17 pm

[...] is a decent drug store bar soap. I like to make liquid hand soap from bar soaps via this recipe here and it turns out different every time depending on what bar soap you use so I am curious to see how [...]

Comment by Jacqueline

December 28, 2011 @ 6:46 am

After making my way through everyone’s comments (many of them very helpful), I’m looking forward to trying this. Just one question that hasn’t been addressed: I heard on People’s Pharmacy that it isn’t a good idea to reuse soap dispenser bottles. Apparently, bacteria multiply and grow in them over time. So my addition to all this would be to suggest washing out the bottles really well in between uses (maybe in the dishwasher?).

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December 31, 2011 @ 8:56 am

[...] Turn a bar of soap into liquid hand soap. Just because it sounds pretty [...]

Comment by Liz

December 31, 2011 @ 10:37 am

Found this on pinterest, and had to try it! I grated a bar of Dial Gold (because that’s what I had) and have it cooling now. I agree with a lot of the comments-you don’t need suds to be clean. I made my own laundry detergent this past summer for the first time and love it because I can use it in my HE washer due to not sudsing. Save $, save the planet. No need to worry about recycling plastic bottles anymore!

Comment by Helen

December 31, 2011 @ 12:33 pm

Oliva bar soap ingredients: Saponified Olive Oil (ie, caustic soda/lye added – normal procedure for soap so I’ve learnt), water, & mineral salts. Am trying to find out just what these mineral salts are. If I can’t find out then they could be bad for you and I may as well be using ASDA’s own – Walmart to US readers!). Followed the recipee but only used 7 cups of water; and, solution is just like water. Currently outside on the step in the cold. Watching it with interest. Oliva soap is a castille soap (apart from the minerals which I am yet to find out what they are); difficult to find true Castille/olive oil soap. Anyone else used this soap? I can use it on my 50yr old face without any dryness.

Comment by Helen

December 31, 2011 @ 12:54 pm

Following on from above: just added the rest of the soap bar (now 125g in total); added a bit of water to the grated soap, microwaved it, poured off the unwanted water, and added to the pot of soap. Would not mix, so mixed with hand-held blender. Now outside again in the cold. Watch this space. Won’t be able to sleep – get a life!

Comment by Khris

January 1, 2012 @ 1:37 am

This is fantastic…thanks for sharing..I have shared this on Freebies For Crafters. Khris

Comment by Helen

January 1, 2012 @ 5:12 am

Following on from 149146 above, ie, me. Consistency stayed like water overnight, so added another bar of same soap; still nowt happened. Used salt and hot water and hey presto! Shop bought-like consistency. See entries above for how to do this. But don’t add the lot of salt/water at once! It goes thick in front of your eyes. Wonder what it would have been like with only 1 bar of soap, instead of adding the second in deparation! Didn’t know that salt thickened things. Is it not bad for you? Anyone know?

Comment by Lillian

January 1, 2012 @ 1:18 pm

Probably the issue with Dove is not the quality of the soap, but the content. All the ads say it’s one quarter moisturizing cream, i.e. not soap.

Was anyone ever able to get Dove to work?

Comment by Julie

January 4, 2012 @ 2:46 pm

I tried it and so far it is runny….but I am going to wait over night and we will see….worst case…I add more soap till it thickens…I LOVE this idea!!!

Comment by Stacey

January 7, 2012 @ 6:01 am

I have done this with both ivory and yardly soap. I found the ivory runny and the yardly snotty. After a little research I decided to add table salt to change the viscosity of my soap. I added a 1/2 tsp at a time to the cold mixtures and whipped with an electric mixer both soap got to the consistency I wanted! Not sure how much salt I added since I just did it until I liked what I saw and felt. I also added 1/4 cup of an Aloe based body lotion to 2 cups of the soap and a bit more salt to get a nice body wash!! Love the original post thanks! Now I would be happier if I can get it to suds without the foaming dispenser. I know it may be a it to sell soap but I love suds! Any ideas?

Comment by Darla

January 7, 2012 @ 11:45 am

I have done this it is amazing. You can even use it in the shower. Not only cheaper but way greener . I recycle my old liquid soap bottles.I have also made laundry detergent with simple ingredients. Google homemade laundry soap lots of recipes.I have been a convert for almost 2 years imagine the big soap bottles I have NOT bought.If more people would do this it would really help the environment! LOVE Savey Housekeeping.

Comment by Kathy

January 7, 2012 @ 3:17 pm

I honestly don’t know if this would make a difference or not, but tap water can be very different in cities throughout the country Perhaps the water itself is the problem. And if you have a water softener, wouldn’t it stand to reason that it could alter the final product? Just a thought.

Comment by Sarah

January 8, 2012 @ 2:05 pm

Used some random bars of soap (given to us years ago as a Gift with Purchase with a whole house water softener system for another home). Made the recipe exactly, worked perfectly, let it cool, got the Jello, then blended, turned out beautifully! We added about 15-20 drops of lavender essential oil & 1 T Real Vanilla Extract, as well as some purple food coloring (the kids’ idea) & it looks, feels, and smells wonderful! Thanks so much for the post! Keep it up, Savvy!

Comment by Amanda

January 8, 2012 @ 5:46 pm

I tried this with a total of 5 different types of soaps. The bottom line- it REALLY matters what soap you use! Overall I have learned that you want a “dry” almost chalky soap. Soaps like dove or others marked as “moisturizing bar” or “body bar” aren’t ideal. The more the soap looks like grated parmesan cheese, the better!
Here is my experience :

***Neutrogena brand facial bar. It is an amber colored glycerin based soap. I used One full bar and 8 cups of water, no glycerin. Was watery, did not set up. However, it will work for a facial soap in the shower. Too watery to use otherwise.
*** Olay Luscious Embrace Body bar. This one is a moisturizing bar. I started with 1 full bar (about 1 1/2 cups)looks like shredded cheese strips when grated. I used 10 cups of water and 1 TBS of glycerin. Which I found at JoAnn Crafts with the cake decorating stuff. I melted the soap with water and glycerin and let set… nothing. Refrigerated- still nothing, not even thick… like milk. SO, I added a whole other bar. Even after overnight setting, nothing, still milky. I tried adding the hot salt water, did no good.
***Hand made oil based soap. I had a bar of hand made olive oil soap. I don’t know for sure what all is in it however. When grated it comes out similar to the neutrogena soap. I added this bar (just over 1 cup) to just 4 cups of water. It also came out just as a liquid. Nothing seems to be thickening it up.
***Random bar of cheap soap that came with a bath set during christmas. This was a generic pink bar all it said was “bath soap, 2.6 oz” It was a very dry and almost chalky soap. I grated this one- i got pink “parmesan”. Made just UNDER one cup. Started with the soap flakes and just 5 cups of water. Heated, stirred and refrigerated. In the matter of about 20 min i had thick jello. I added water 2 cups at a time, stirring or mixing with hand blender. This worked pretty good. I did get the “snot” that people kept talking about, but it was thin enough to use as soap. However, it was VERY drying. I ended up all together with about 10 cups of liquid soap. It does feel different than store bought, but seems to clean hands just fine. I added about 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil and mixed well. This helps with the drying problem.
***Yardly soap oatmeal and almond. This was the recommended soap, so I tried it out. I still had the soapy water that was the olay moisturizing bar. I grated the whole bar of yardly soap and instead of adding water, i added the olay soap water. I started with 3 cups. I added water little by little. In the end I had about 6 cups. The mixture together made a WONDERFUL thick fluffy mixture. Much like the consistency of whipped frosting. I decided NOT to add more water. It smells great and feels silky, so I am using it as a body wash.

Overall, regular basic soap works best. I do like how the “body wash” turned out. I would try again using maybe using half a bar of yardly and half to one bar of olay and cutting the water way down (to about 5 cups) to make the body wash again. I think the moisture bar helps to make it creamy and frothy and adds moisture.

Comment by Tiffanie

January 15, 2012 @ 5:05 pm

I tried this with Yardly Almodd Oatmeal and it is amazing! I was able to fill 7 pump containers with one batch. It is very moisturizing and so inexpensive. I am thrilled!!!!

Comment by Cathy Snell

January 26, 2012 @ 1:33 am

I was told to use Epsoms salt not table salt in the solution.

Comment by Rachel

January 26, 2012 @ 8:44 pm

I made a batch using Yardley and one of Dial antibacterial. After cooling, both were gelatinous. I just added a little bit of water and shook them up and they were perfect! Thanks so much for this recipe!!

Comment by Karen

January 28, 2012 @ 10:57 am

Ok, I used a bar of Natural Good Natured Earthling soap, grated it, had 5 cups of soap flakes, put 1 in and it was so runny so I put another cup in and still runny, so I put the rest of the soap flakes in 3 cups and it is still runny, so I put in another T of glycerin and it is still runny now I don’t know what to try to thicken it, any suggestions?

Comment by Melva

February 2, 2012 @ 11:57 am

I have been trying to figure out what to do with the small soap scraps left over. My husband prefers bar soap and will not use one less than a 1/4 sized bar. I have been putting them in a puff and using in the shower, but my husband will not use those either. They build up faster than I can use them. I thought to make them into hand soap myself and after looking on internet, found that I am not the only one wishing to do so! This is wonderful! I will make this as soon as I can get the glycerine!

Comment by Nancy

February 3, 2012 @ 9:35 am

So I just made a batch of what I hope will be body wash with my FAVORITE scented bar soap by Auric, Egyptian Goddess. This is a glycerin based soap and pretty much melted in just hot tap water, so, I added a few tablespoons of solid coconut oil & 2 Tbl ground oatmeal and brought it to a boil to see if this will thicken it to the right consistency. Oh, I also added some vitamin e ;-) I will give an update to let you know if this worked!

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February 3, 2012 @ 9:48 pm

[...] the consistency I needed for the almighty foamer.  So I went online and found this recipe from Savvy Housekeeping for liquid hand soap from a bar.  The only issue I had was I had no where to put over ten cups of [...]

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February 3, 2012 @ 9:53 pm

[...] you’ll get soap? Neat, huh? I was originally inspired by Savvy Housekeeping a few months ago (http://www.savvyhousekeeping.com/how-to-turn-a-bar-of-soap-into-liquid-hand-soap/), but never got around to it. Just recently my sister and her roommate made some [...]

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February 4, 2012 @ 8:15 am

[...] over bar soaps you never use? Mine was. Then I decided to make my own liquid hand soap out of them. Here is a link to the directions. Save some money and sport clean, fantastic smelling hands Share [...]

Comment by Melanie

February 4, 2012 @ 8:40 am

LUV LUV LUV LUV LUV LUV This!!! Ihave suddenly taken an interest in making soap and lotion etc. and there NOOOOOO good liquid soap recipes! This was PEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRFFFFFFFFFEEEEECCCCCCCCCCCTTTTTT!!!!!!!!(perfect!)

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February 4, 2012 @ 4:17 pm

[...] love this post from Savvy Housekeeping on how to take all your dried-up bars of soap and make something useful from them–liquid [...]

Comment by Angi

February 4, 2012 @ 9:22 pm

went looking for the glycerin this weekend. I found some near the laxatives…decided that probably wasn’t what I wanted. I found it in the band-aid aisle at wal-mart. This bottle says it’s a skin protectant/natural skin softener…THAT sounded more like what I needed. Hope this helps anyone else. I was completely dumbfounded at the idea of using laxatives….LOL

Comment by Laurel

February 4, 2012 @ 10:52 pm

I make soap and can tell you that the water makes a big difference. Salt makes water softer (that’s what’s in a water softener). I suggest you buy and use a gallon of distilled water for about $.75. You can use the bottle to store your liquid soap. You can add the salt to the distilled water, just to make it extra soft (soft water also makes soap lather more). BTW, Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate and I don’t think they will soften water.

To Lesleigh:
It sounds like you have “Mother’s Eczema”. I had it and my daughter had it when she had my grandson. She couldn’t even wash her hair without gloves. Our fingers would split open and bleed….and were PAINFUL. She also worked at a restaurant and touched citrus fruit a lot. My experience is that you have to narrow down what it is that you’re coming in contact with that aggravates the problem. For me, it was citrus (not just fruit, but dish soap and everything else…also couldn’t have even a drop of lemon in my tea!), pineapple, chlorine (in the water, laundry, or cleaning products), and soaps (not all, but some). I learned to use baking soda to scrub tubs and sinks (or got my hubby to scrub them) and not to buy anything with citrus in it. I once visited a friend in another city and knew within 5 minutes of taking a shower that her city used chlorine in their water treatment (we had well water). I almost went insane with the itching! I also had to rinse WELL after swimming!

ANYWAY, the reason I started making soap was to help my daughter. I watched a Martha Stewart Show and thought “I can do that!” Here’s the link to the video: http://www.marthastewart.com/265890/dr-brent-ridges-goat-milk-soap

I learned that “SOAP” is made from a liquid (water or milk), oils, and lye, which is completely “eaten up” by the oils in the saponification process (no lye/no soap….PERIOD!). “Bath Bars” and “Body Bars” are a mess of chemicals and chemically treated animal fat. Now I LOVE making soap. I’ve made goat milk soap and pumpkin soap (GREAT for eczema!) My next batch will be a shampoo bar. NO sulfates!

I also carry a list of the Cetaphil ingredients in my wallet because I often find a generic brand at the dollar store. If it doesn’t have the EXACT same ingredients in the EXACT same order, I don’t buy it. I think last time I bought it, I bought 14 bottles for $14.

Hope this helps!

Comment by Cameron S.

February 6, 2012 @ 1:05 pm

This recipe can also be used as a laundry detergent. I found this recipe (minus the glycerin) on another blog when I was looking for a recipe for homemade laundry detergent. The finished product without glycerin does clump and separate slightly, but a little slosh of the bucket right before you use it helps that. The low lather is desirable for use in the washing machine–and this recipe is SO CHEAP! No more $10-$15 bottles or boxes of laundry detergent for me! I just got my KOH flakes that I bought on Ebay and now I’m so excited to make my first batch of liquid castile soap!

Comment by ashley

February 6, 2012 @ 8:07 pm

I read several comments from people that use Dove soap because of sensitivities. I wonder how they’d do with a castile soap? I use Kirk’s castile coconut oil soap (bar soap) for my little one in the bath.

I’ve seen it cheaper in a local store but here’s a websight with it so you can see what it looks like


I wonder if I would be able to make it a liquid? I currently use a different castile soap (shadow lake brand) in a foaming pump which makes it last longer but it’s still pricey for one of the ‘cheaper’ brands of liquid castile soap.

Maybe I’ll try this out!

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February 10, 2012 @ 6:01 pm

[...] don’t feel like keeping bags of grated soap in your cupboard,  this tested method from the savvy housekeeper works very [...]

Comment by Cyn

February 12, 2012 @ 7:40 am

I hope you add Pinterest to your following.

I would love to pin this.

Trying it next week, thanks!

Comment by fvg

February 13, 2012 @ 6:36 pm

For those with runny/watery soap, try putting it in a foaming soap dispenser- they actually require a more watery soap. I have to thin down my soap considerably from this recipe because I like the foam!

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February 15, 2012 @ 2:09 pm

[...] the process, and here’s the source for just one of the places I read about it [...]

Comment by Meliss W

February 16, 2012 @ 7:41 pm

I haven’t tried doing this yet but I have been researching it for quite some time. One site suggested something that I thought was a great idea, instead of using plain water, she used favored tea bags to get the scent (and color) in the water before making the soap. I thought it was a neat idea and just thought I’ share it…

Comment by Stephanie

February 17, 2012 @ 10:58 am

Thank you for this recipe. I just tried it and it turned out great! Its going to save my family and I a lot of money!

Comment by AimeeLou

February 18, 2012 @ 8:42 am

Thank you for this! I tried it first with some Pomegranate Rose Yardley soap from The Dollar Tree (because if it didn’t work I didn’t want to waste the money). Totally watery when done and I let it sit overnight. Like jello in the morning, but I just broke it up with my immersion blender and then it was perfect! It’s a little snot-like, but you don’t notice it when it comes out of the pump. Can’t wait to try it with some fancy stuff!

Comment by Goodie

February 19, 2012 @ 10:43 am

can I add honey to this receipe to keep the soap free from bacteria since it will be stored?

Comment by jamie

February 20, 2012 @ 8:13 pm

Im having a hard time finding glycerin. I’ve checked the local craft store, target and walmart. I still cant seem to find it. Can you help me? Thanks

Comment by Tim

February 22, 2012 @ 1:46 am

Making Hand soap and body wash is a wonderful idea. I make all the household chemicals I need with all natural ingredients, so no more allergies.

For those of you that like the suds created by so many commercial soaps, it is only added to the mix to satisfy your expectations. Suds have no cleaning power, so they are only for looks. Next time you load the front load washing machine, notice the low amount of suds in the wash.

My family has made our own laundry soap for well over two centuries. One thing I can tell you, different results will vary depending on water quality. I have found from moving around the country, all I have to do is adapt my recipe depending on results from different water sources. Try and Try again, it will turn out. Just remember to keep some kind of notes to be able to reproduce your results time and time again.

One place I have found some interesting reading of recipes is http://www.soapsgonebuy.com. There is also a site called earth clinic with some great insights. You will be amazed at how much money you can save by making your own cleaning products and seeing the doctors less.

Keep this in mind also, when post-it notes were made, it was an accident. They were trying to produce a very strong glue, and it was not strong, so post-it notes were born. My last attempt at Dish washing soap failed, but made a fantastic body wash with a few drops of Orange and Sandalwood essential oils. Keep up the good work! Thanks for sharing this recipe, it helped me with a missing part of the Dish washing soap formula.

Comment by Tim

February 22, 2012 @ 2:37 am

Goodie, the great thing about all natural recipes, you can add many things. Keep in mind that honey will tend to make the mix a bit sticky, and will eventually turn bad, if not used in time. If you are looking for something to add as a disinfectant, I would suggest you look at 20 mule team borax. Borax has anti fungal properties and is 100% natural. Be careful not to add too much as it will add to the thickening property.

Jamie, next time you go to your local Wal-mart, give them this UPC and ask them to “price check” it. 3 03951 03196 4 If it does scan you will find it near the pharmacy. It will be near “skin protective” items, but not with the lotions. I also notice on the bottle there is a website: http://www.simplehomeremidies.com and a number 800-662-3435. If Wal-mart turns up nothing, try one of these.

For those with allergies or using dove, try all natural soaps like Pears or Yardley. Yes these are both available at the Dollar Tree, but if you do a price per ounce comparison, you may be surprised to see it is not cheap because it is at the dollar store. These stores sell you one bar at a time. Last time I looked at Dove locally (the sell as multi-packs), the price difference per ounce still made Yardley a better choice, considering it is ALL natural.

Good Soap making.

Comment by Robin

February 25, 2012 @ 12:06 pm

I also tried the hand soap…but it dissipates so quickly you need to pump the bottle at least 3 times to get enough soap on them. One pump…and 3 seconds later it’s gone! Any suggestions? I used Dial gold (the only kind we had in the house!)

Comment by Marieke

February 27, 2012 @ 12:25 am

Thank you for the recipe! I used it to make dog shampoo and added some almond oil, shea butter, aloe vera, bees wax and essential oils for coat repair. My dog never smelled better! It did make his coat a bit less shiny than store bought shampoo does but I solved that by spraying a 50/50 mixture of water and vinegar on his coat. That makes his hair shiny and also works as a flee and tick repellent. I’m gonna try this shampoo on my own hair too tonight.

Comment by Marieke

February 27, 2012 @ 12:15 pm

I read a question about using Dove. Here’s a tutorial for making fluid body wash with Dove soap: http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2012/02/make-your-own-body-wash.html .

Comment by Katrina

February 27, 2012 @ 8:56 pm

Just a question about the glycerine, what is the purpose of adding it?

Pingback by I am currently making blueberry handsoap with my best friend. « Take Flight

February 28, 2012 @ 8:34 pm

[...] this tutorial from Savvy Housekeeping. We’ve added two bags of blueberry tea and we are currently waiting (impatiently on my part) [...]

Comment by Farrah

February 29, 2012 @ 7:16 pm

I’ve been making my own liquid laundry soap for about 3 years now, and here are a few things I’ve learned that might apply to hand-soap making too.

I’ve found through the years, I used to get VERY different results when I switched the order of ingrediants. Ranging from super-watery to molded-into-a-bucket-form when cooled. I started paying CLOSE attention to the order in which I added the ingrediants, and also payed attention to how hot the mixture got. I’ve nearly perfected it now.

I have to wait until the mixture cools completely & forms a jello consistency, then I mix it with a mixer. Then I wait for it to re-form (not quite as solid the next time) and then I whip it again. I do this 3 times & then it’s a great liquid form of soap. I made the mistake of mixing it once & pouring it into re-used laundry soap bottles. I couldn’t get it out after it settled for another day!!!

Also, I use Colgate soap for making laundry soap. I have found that the old stock bars (as in they were sitting on the shelf for YEARS) grate into a fine dust, while the newer bars grate more like cheddar cheese. I think the older bars are more dried out. Maybe unwrapping the soap & letting it sit out for a month will help.

I always use a dust mask (30 pack from Lowes, really cheap) when making soap. It really helps.

And for my final secret:
A Salad Shooter. Some of you will not be old enough to remember them, some of you probably have one in the attic. I don’t need to wash it when I’m done, since I only use it for soap. I grabbed mine for $3 at a Thrift Shop. AWESOME for grating lots of soap at a time. Just store the extra in Ziplocks. I’ve seen Salad Shooters on Ebay too.

Pingback by Eating Naturally On An Unnatural Budget - Healthy Families for God

March 2, 2012 @ 6:24 pm

[...] Hand soap from a bar of soap (this one costs me about 30 cents for a 16-ounce bottle and it doesn’t have those nasty ingredients like triclosan in conventional antibacterial handsoaps): http://www.savvyhousekeeping.com/how-to-turn-a-bar-of-soap-into-liquid-hand-soap/ [...]

Comment by Miss Love Jones

March 7, 2012 @ 10:50 am

Great post!! Thanks so much!

Comment by Sarah

March 8, 2012 @ 8:50 pm

For those having a problem with the Dove soap, it really needs a completely different recipe. I tried this one today and had great success with it:
The post is for body wash but it works great as hand soap too. One bar yields much less soap than this recipe, though.

Comment by Jenell

March 10, 2012 @ 11:11 am

This is GREAT!! Thank you!!

Comment by Gemey

March 11, 2012 @ 8:57 am

Tammy, even if your batch turned out thin, try using it in one of the foaming dispensers. I reuse those all the time using about 2or 3 TBSP of liquid soap to a bottle of water. Your batch may be perfect for a foam dispenser.

Pingback by Make Your Own Liquid Soap: Natural Recipes for Liquid Hand Soap, Dish Soap, and Laundry Soap

March 12, 2012 @ 7:31 am

[...] most inexpensive of all these inexpensive recipes comes from Savvy Housekeeping, which offers a tutorial for making liquid hand soap from bar soap. This recipe is also quite versatile–you can use your favorite natural bar soap, your special [...]

Pingback by Make Your Own Liquid Soap: Natural Recipes for Liquid Hand Soap, Dish Soap … | Soap Making

March 13, 2012 @ 5:55 am

[...] most inexpensive of all these inexpensive recipes comes from Savvy Housekeeping, which offers a tutorial for making liquid hand soap from bar soap. This recipe is also quite versatile–you can use your favorite natural bar soap, your special [...]

Comment by Sheryl

March 13, 2012 @ 11:44 am

I found this on a website when rsearching on how to make liquid soap from bar soap and thought it would be a good idea to post here:

Use rose hydrosol instead of distilled water.
Add one teaspoon of an essential oil blend to every eight ounces of soap.
When blending the soap, add a tablespoon of shea butter, virgin coconut oil, or cocoa butter for a moisturizing liquid soap. Z

Also, if adding coconut oil I saw on a website that coconut oil adds to the creation of the sudsing, so this will give you the sudsing that someone noted as being missing.

Comment by Emily

March 17, 2012 @ 11:37 pm

Hello! My name is Emily. :) Thanks so much for your simple & amazing recipe. I plan to make it soon. I just have a couple of questions; I didn’t know what glycerin was, or what section of the store to look in..My husband & I looked all over the food section (I thought it might have also been used to thicken foods, etc). Couldn’t find anything. Upon some help, we found some glycerin in the pharmacy section. Is this the correct kind, or are there certain kinds? Sorry, I just know nothing about this stuff! I plan on making this with an organic store bought bar or homemade soap bar-adding tea tree oil or lavender for sanitizing effects & using for 3 or 4 purposes; hand washing, body wash, washing dishes by hand, & possibly mopping. it should actually save quite a bit of money in the long run. thanks so much again for the recipe. there are so many ways to save money & be healthy at the same time. :) May God bless you!


Comment by Emily

March 19, 2012 @ 10:39 am

Hello, it’s Emily again. So, I made the soap last night. I didn’t add the glycerin because I didn’t know if I had the right stuff! I used Kirk’s castile soap-and I also added coconut oil for suds, lavender for antibacterial properties. It turned out really liquidly, like..whiteish water. But upon using it, it works really well actually. Washing dishes & hands it works well. It becomes super sudsy (I’m guessing because of the coconut oil.) Anyway, thanks so much for your recipe! If you could please let me know about the glycerin I would appreciate it. (Maybe that’ll help the watery-ness) God bless!


Comment by Melissa

March 20, 2012 @ 8:00 am

I just made this using a bar of Ivory soap that I got for free. I microwaved it for one minute and thirty seconds and let it cool for two. Then I crumbled it into chunks right into my pot. I used my “slap-chop” thingy from Pampered Chef to finish turning it to powder. I added one tablespoon of olive oil (because I didn’t want to buy glycerin) and nine cups of water. After heating for a bit, I gave it a whirl with my immersion blenders, let it cool for a bit and added it to a foaming soap pump. It turned out awesome!!!!!

Comment by Kacey

March 20, 2012 @ 9:12 pm

Great recipe. It was very watery at first, but after sitting for several hours, it looked just like store bought. I followed recipe exactly as stated. I used a scented bar of Dial. Cranberry scented. :) Thanks for sharing.

Comment by Lynda

March 21, 2012 @ 6:04 am

Interesting! We’ve been making our own soap for the past two years and love the bars but have been wanting to make liquid soap. It’s another process to learn so I think I’ll use one of our bars and see how it works. Thanks

Comment by Brenda

March 21, 2012 @ 3:38 pm

Just reading all the comments about the watery soap. I saw a soapmaking site that suggested adding citric acid to bring the pH down so it is not so drying to your skin(this was for bar soap). I tried it in this recipe and it curdled and got very watery. Check your bar soaps for citric acid. When I made this liquid soap without c/a it came out fine(I use Dr.Bronner’s Castile soaps) Please let me know what you think. Thanx!

Pingback by Savvy Housekeeping » Turn A Bar of DOVE Soap Into Liquid Hand Soap

March 22, 2012 @ 7:41 am

[...] I made the recipe for Turn A Bar of Soap Into Liquid Hand Soap, I was surprised at the number of people who tried it with Dove Sensitive Skin soap. Even more [...]

Pingback by Homemade Liquid Soap

March 22, 2012 @ 8:00 am

[...] two posts I read that convinced me to give making homemade liquid hand soap a try. One was by the Savvy Housekeeper and the other was by The Farmer’s Nest.  Both sites had lots of information as well as many [...]

Comment by Holly

March 22, 2012 @ 8:11 am

Awesome post! I used Kirks Castile soap andhad trouble with it thickening. Used the salt idea above (3 tbsp dissolved in a cup of warm water) and it is now thickening quite nicely!

Comment by MamaAnn

March 24, 2012 @ 2:47 pm

I used a variety of soaps from hotels, including a glycerin bar. Added 1 T glycerin and 2 T olive oil. After sitting overnight, it was so gelled, I added 2.5 more cups of water, and whipped it with my mixer. Now it has a good consistency. Hands are SO SOFT after washing! it doesn’t suds well, but that is fine with me. I can’t get it to take a scent though–lavendar essential oil just disappeared into the mix. Thanks for the post.

Comment by melissa

March 25, 2012 @ 4:46 am

I used The “shea” brand from target. It was an 8oz bar. Another recipe I had read called for the whole 8oz bar and only two cups of water.I added three because it looked a little thick. At first it was all good! Then when I poured it into the bottle it became hard as a rock again! PLEASE HELP! I don’t want to waste the soap I already bought. And tips on me being able to remelt and reuse? Also I did not add any glycerin to the mix. Could this be why?

Comment by Mom of 4

March 27, 2012 @ 12:27 pm

i made this last evening. followed the directions to a T. did not use the glycerin. as it cooled it thickened up. Thank you sooooo much for this recipe! can’t wait to try a different smell of Yardley soap. :)

Pingback by How to Turn a Bar of Soap into Liquid Soap « Maddy Han

March 31, 2012 @ 4:39 pm

[...] was so powerful that it also made my sensitive skin hurt.  So, I looked up online the best way to make your bar of soap into liquid soap.  These directions are not really appropriate for Dr. Bronner’s bar soap, so I took upon [...]

Comment by Kezzie

April 4, 2012 @ 4:42 am

This is an absolutely genius idea! I’ve got loads of bars of soap kicking around. The one I’ve currently been using seems to have lasted about 2 years!!!

Comment by Violet

April 4, 2012 @ 12:06 pm

I tried this recipe today. ..well I did the one with the bar of dove soap. Has the same consistency as regular hand wash. I did per the recipe of 1 bar of soap for 2cups of water. I love this recipe! I have tried many, and did not like that most did not lather. This one lathers beautifully! ..and you can also use this as body wash. I love it! This time I am trying the recipe with Dial (4oz soap). Will let you know how this one turns up. But FYI the dove bar has worked the best for me. :) For the Dial I am using 1 bar of soap for 5c of water. I cut the batch in half as I want to make sure that this recipe works just as well.

Comment by soapman 101

April 20, 2012 @ 11:14 am

Thanks for your site. Yesterday made a batch of soap with ivory bar soap. At low heat with your recipe. Added a little salt as someone suggested and thickened to perfection. We are unable to tell the difference between it and store bought. One thing though. Do not fill bottles past the shoulders. The soap thickens more overnight and needs room to be shaken. Once shaken til mixed evenly it is prperfect.our cost was about 89 cents for a little over 3 qts.lathers nicely and hasa good clean smell.thanks for all your tips from everyone. I will never overpay for soap again thanks to you. If a man can do it anyone can.

Comment by Maryanne

April 21, 2012 @ 12:17 pm

Hi! I’m getting ready to make your liquid hand soap…I purchased Yardley soap at Dollar Tree, as well as a pretty pump dispenser for my bathroom sink. Unfortunately I could not find Glycerin ANYWHERE!!! I’m going to have to call the local health food store and see if they carry it. However, I was reading thru the comments and noticed one poster said she used Olive Oil and it worked just fine…so..going to give that a try! Halving the recipe as well, just for a ‘trial’ run! Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe!

Comment by Phyllis

April 21, 2012 @ 4:14 pm

I bought a bar of Yardley Holiday vanilla for $.90 at Big Lots, put the whole bar into an ziplock baggie and smashed in with a rolling pin. then I put all of the pieces into 10 cups of boiling water and mixed it with my submersible blender. Then I added the tbs. of glycerin (3.38 Walmart 6 oz.). I poured it into a plastic bowl to cool. Can’t wait to see if it works!

Comment by Erika

April 23, 2012 @ 5:28 pm

Can you add essential oils to this for scent?

Comment by Lauren

April 27, 2012 @ 12:53 pm

Here’s an attempt to summarize lots of helpful suggestions from posts above:

*If you want to use Dove soap, you need an entirely different recipe, found here: http://www.savvyhousekeeping.com/turn-a-bar-of-dove-soap-into-liquid-hand-soap/

*Don’t use a soap with citric acid in the ingredients.

*Different soaps will have different results.

Things to try if your soap is too thin:
- Let it sit until cool. It may thicken as it cools.
- Try whipping it with a hand mixer.
- Add more grated soap and reheat.
- “Mix 3tbsp. table salt into 8oz hot water until dissolved, whisk the salt solution a little at a time into your runny soap mixture until desired thickness, (soap mixture does not have to be hot, can be room temp)”
- Add a bit of xanthan gum to thicken
- Or, just use it in a foaming soap dispenser!

Things to try if your soap is too thick / or “snot like”:
- Mix it with a hand mixer
- Add more water and reheat
- Add 3 cups of lukewarm water to full recipe and mix with hand mixer

I can’t wait to try this!

Comment by Lauren

April 27, 2012 @ 1:43 pm

Oh! And one more thing — don’t boil the soap, heat it slowly!

Pingback by How to Turn Bar Soap into Liquid Soap « the answer is…simple

April 28, 2012 @ 1:30 pm

[...] of travel sized bar soaps, I have plenty of converting to do.  And this recipe, which I found from Savvy Housekeeping (via Pinterest), is super simple and inexpensive.  In fact, the hardest part is finding the [...]

Comment by Gloria

May 5, 2012 @ 2:55 pm

WOW! You got a lot of comments! I have to read through them, as you advised, for tips. I just wanted to add one more comment to say THANK YOU – I saw this on Pinterest and I am going to try it. Thanks for sharing.

Comment by Bryan

May 6, 2012 @ 7:47 am

Quick Tip, I am a lotion maker and if you’re looking to thicken your recipes you can try one of the following.

One – Addition of more solid fats ( in this case adding more hard soap to the recipe)

Two – Using Emulsifying Wax NF ( This is used widely in many cosmetic products to as a binding agent between oils and water, as well as a thickener ) This is also an all natural product.

Use: 3-5% of total weight ( 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup)

Three – Stearic Acid ( Like with Emulsifying Wax, this product is commonly used in cosmetics as a thickener, binder between oils and water ) This is also an all natural product.

Use: 1-15% of total weight

Pingback by Homemade Liquid Soap « Who Are You Calling Crafty?

May 13, 2012 @ 12:50 pm

[...] Pinterest last week I found a recipe for homemade liquid soap – I found this pin from the Savvy Housekeeping.  I was so excited because we only use Yardley’s Soap in our house (yes I buy it at the Dollar [...]

Pingback by How to Turn a Bar of Soap into Liquid Soap « Maddy Han

May 14, 2012 @ 1:08 pm

[...] was so powerful that it also made my sensitive skin hurt.  So, I looked up online the best way to make your bar of soap into liquid soap.  These directions are not really appropriate for Dr. Bronner’s bar soap, so I took upon myself [...]

Pingback by Homemade Bathroom Crafts | The Cheapskate Mom

May 19, 2012 @ 1:53 pm

[...] Make Your Own Hand Soap I wash my hands a lot – especially with having a baby around – and I have to admit I find the scent of a good hand soap kind of invigorating – which is why I was very excited to find this easy tutorial from Savvy Housekeeping. Cheap, make your own scents – perfect for all of us out there in frugal land! Read more …. [...]

Comment by Kathleen

May 20, 2012 @ 4:50 am

I can hardly believe that I made liquid soap that is wonderful, it leaves my hands feeling clean and soft. I made a little less than 1/2 of the recipe using slivers of various soaps, most bought for next to nothing with coupons. I used a Salad Shooter to grate the soap. I did not have glycerin, so added a bit of scented Aveda massage oil (birthday freebie). I put it in the fridge until cool and wisked it with about 1/2 cup of Ivory liquid soap left in the dispenser. It did not thicken by morning, so added some hot water with salt and it thickened. I left it a bit on the thin side, I think it will last longer. It made about 40 oz and probably cost .40 cents including electricity! Thanks for the recipe and all the comments.

Comment by Charice

May 23, 2012 @ 8:09 pm

Hi there!

I am very excited to try this as this is the best recipe I have seen yet! You mentioned “Yardley” soap. Someone might have mentioned this as I didn’t read all of the replies, but I actually just saw this soap at my local Dollar Tree for…you guessed it, $1.00. You can also order it online in either lavender or oatmeal almond.

Comment by Silver Moon

May 24, 2012 @ 9:33 pm

YES!! Now I can make my Nag Champa body wash!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! :D

Comment by Alex

May 25, 2012 @ 3:25 pm

Fun info Blog thank you!!
I saw a few posts about a couple of things I am well versed on- have tryed tweeked played inquired for years. When one makes their own laundry soap- phels is a killer product.. Did you know its the only thing that can remove poision ivy and oak from clothing.. Like the
ONLY thing. It also is great in a weak solution with hot water to break down kitchen
Grease, and those get after those obvious long black smudges on the walls when you forget to change the furnice filter. But it doesnt melt when mixed with the other products in that particular laundry soap recipe. I found huge hardened yellow Phels globs in strange hiding places ( in the mechanisms) of the washer when
We got a new one/ a girlfriend reported the same. I can get the double car of Zote at Big
lots for .90 or at any supermercado for a 1.10 ( i am
In the sooo avordable downtown chicago area) zote is creamy like kirks but i feel like im wasting a lovely soap if i were to use kirks. Also did u know that Seabreeze antiseptic lotion or the store brand NOT WITCHHAZEL will remove the ” never seems to be completely
Gone” smells of sour milk or vomit in carpet or urine, etc etc. You just spinkle a few drops on the stink spot .. Its gone. My step grandfather was a dry cleaner they used this method to remove vomit, smoke and human urine ( sorry kids it sorta works for cat but
Not 100% works for dog- though) smells from clothing. I soak crunched up
Paper towels in seabreeze then
Stuff them in sticky shoes overnight. Also a little summer info, if u find that u catch a sniff of foot in sandle or underarm unpleasentness, and you still have people to see meet and greet- one brand one kind works ( it will even take out the smel
Of taco sauce or ketchup on clothes eve
After you emergency removed the stain-/
-/ Summers Eve feminine wipes in the to-paks.. Unreal!! How u can
smell pretty doggie- and wipey wipey -gone. Make sure to
Reapply deo or powders after. Box of 16 is 1.87 at walmart.
For the folks who cant find their soaps they are searching for.. Try every dollar tree, big lots, dollar bonus, family dollar, dollar general, etc Everystore has different stuff.. I have found stuff – unreal!! If you live near an Ultra foods they
have some good ” no way!!” stuff and ultra and safeway brand stores if you come in early and talk to the manager who is in charge of ( grocery, dairy, meat) they will stock
anything gladly for u, no cost , its their pleasure. Drugstore.com has a section for hard to
Find products.. They have tons of stuff. Look also
In your ethnic grocery stores.. You
Might be suprised that what you love.. All the Serbs in Austin love too, or all the Germans from Kansas City love. Or you can
Find the “same” soap ( same manuf, same basic ingred.) under a different name or sold only in a certain country. Camay soaps production
Was halted ( still maybe unsure) and all this chatter on blogs where
Where ,,?! 6$ bar all kinds of craziness… Its sold in
Mex and central america its .50-80 a big bar at a store specializing in latin
Food ( supermercado ) or dry
Goods store. I used to
Love this skin brightening line from
Dove ( 1Oo years ago) when i lived in germany and denmark, great stuff.., gone from my euro friends and just long gone.. Nope found brand new products at a Korean
Beauty supply. You catch my drift. Happy
Hunting/ happy housing!!

Comment by Alex

May 25, 2012 @ 3:47 pm

Sorry forgot one other summer goodie!! Ladies if u like the shimering skin look with summer dresses,,, i add to my homemade shampoo , body cleanser and lotion- ( because the ones that say shimmery are not right in shimmer
Or product) either a container of kiddie ( like bonnie bell) fairy dust shimmery powder ( under 1.50) then with a crummy old fork
Or plastic fork stir into the product u want to color until you have a nice suspension. I found little squirt tubes of high shimmer cream from
E.L.P makeup for 1.00$ . People stop me and tell me i have the most beatiful and amazing definition ( you must work out non stop ) lol sure right NEVER.. It doesnt look shimmery crazy just smooth and defined
Smooths out the look of lumpy bumpy on legs arms. I think
Of it as a way to customize my homemAde beauty
Products. If you are really mother earthy and like a tan
Look . Get beta kerotin ( you know from
Carrots) drop a few drops into
A body oil u like .. It will lightly stain you legs a little darker
To make you look matching from face to body. One
Can stain anywhere with it, it will come off if you dot keep staining
And staining like a self tanner -but no stink, no $$, nod
Dryed out skin ..

Comment by Lianna

May 27, 2012 @ 3:39 am

Hi Ladies! I tried for the first time yesterday and I’m still having a problem with the mixture. The water has separated from the soap, I keep draining it off but it’s still leeching out. I used almost a full bar of equate and followed the recipe while cooking it. It was watery so I added the 3 tbsp salt to 8oz hot water and whisked it. It thickened up like foam jello by morning. I then added 2 1/2 cups hot water to get it creamier but now the water just keeps draining out. Any ideas or help would be appreciated! Thank you

Comment by Jenny L.

May 31, 2012 @ 11:18 pm

Out of curiosity, would I be able to use regular solid glycerin soap base instead of the liquid glycerin? The reason I ask is because I have a ton of the stuff that I was going to use to make fun soaps for christmas, but I found out it’s too poor quality, so I can’t use it for straight-up soaps, but this would be fun, since a lot of my favorite soaps don’t come in liquid form, and I hate the soap bar slipping out of my hand and running all around my bathroom floor before I get it back.

Comment by lora

June 13, 2012 @ 6:47 am

thank you so much for this great tutorial! i tried it the other night, and i was so happy with the results! I put a little bit of peppermint essential oil in mine to give it a nice peppermint scent. :)

Comment by Toni

June 20, 2012 @ 4:34 am

I tried this to try an save a little money, my husband was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in January, And living on his short term disability I had to try something to save some money. This worked really well I used 1 bar ivory hand soap an 3 tablespoons of corn huskers hand lotion. I have the slimey texture, after letting it stand over night. So I will add the salt next round. Thanks for the recipe.

Comment by Iva

June 20, 2012 @ 8:08 am

Hi, I have a question about using the salt mixture to thicken your soap. Isn’t salt a very drying ingredient? Won’t it dry out your skin really bad? Wondering what your experience has been if you tried using the salt solution….

Comment by Holly

June 20, 2012 @ 6:46 pm

I love this idea so I tried it.
I am not sure if it was the type of soap or that I needed to use more. But everything came out great except only one complaint is its not very sudsy. Anyone have any suggestions for me?

Comment by Samantha

June 21, 2012 @ 9:18 pm

I loved this idea when I found it on Pinterest! I bought Softsoap sweet honeysuckle and Orange peel bar soap for this and it came out runny. Should I let it sit overnight or add more soap to it?

Comment by Crystal

June 27, 2012 @ 7:29 pm

I tried this today and mine seemed to thicken pretty quickly but it’s “snotty” and I’ve even tried mixing it with the hand mixer. Does the “snotty” feel ever completely go away or does it always have somewhat of that feel?

Comment by Marissa

July 1, 2012 @ 12:39 pm

Dove and Ivory are not soaps. Soap, by definition, must be made with oil and lye. These soaps are not made with these ingredients. In fact, if you read the ingredients you will be surprised by the long list of chemical additives. If you are using these types of soaps you will get a terrible result. The “higher quality” soaps I believe refer to real soaps that you can purchase at upscale organic food stores, grocery stores and yes even at the dollar store. My rule of thumb, if I must buy soap because I make my own with lye and oil, is that if there’s a huge list of chemical ingredients I don’t buy it.

Comment by Emma Batchelor

July 3, 2012 @ 8:06 am

Great great tip! We use an organic coconut soap bar & turn it into hand soap for all the bathrooms & the kitchen with rosemary, lavendar & geranium essential oil for gently cleaned lovely smelling hands! I also use it for body soap when my dr bronners is running low, but I have to use quite a lot to get through the whole body.

Thanks Savvy Housekeeper, great tip!

Pingback by A Thrifty Soap Solution | handytopstories

July 9, 2012 @ 10:55 pm

[...] Savvy Housekeeping ” Turn A Bar of Soap Into Liquid Hand Soap I have a confession to make. I don’t like bar soap. It gets dirty and takes a long time to use up, so I usually get fed up with it and th… [...]

Comment by Mary Helen

July 18, 2012 @ 9:24 am

I used one bar of the sensitive dove grated and 2 cups of water yielded pretty good great consistency!

Comment by Ericka

July 19, 2012 @ 7:52 am

I have messed with this recipie a few times using ivory soap and this is what i have found. If you add 15 cups of water instead of 10 you will have a better outcome. What i like to do (since i have about 50 bars of Ivory) is make one batch w/15 cups of water with the Ivory soap then make one batch using 10 cups of water and the Yardleys brand soap. I mix these two batches together in a jug and wha lah!!!! Perfect!!!!!

Comment by Denise Baldarrama

July 20, 2012 @ 10:34 am

Hi there! Wow it worked! I’m amazed that “I” actually did it. I “never” follow the recipes to the “T” hee hee but thought I’d better after reading all the comments and I really wanted this to work out for me since I don’t like bar soap and don’t have the money to pay for the expensive antibacterial hand soap I love so much. Took ur advice and purchased the Yardley (lavendar for the anti-bac I wanted) at the price of .99 cents! So I should get a ton of bottles for that one dollar I spent. Didn’t have to purchase the glycerin, just add water! So excited Yardley makes other essences as well so will try those whenever I run out of the lavendar heehee. Thanks for the money saver, always a thrill for me!! :)

Comment by Bianca Gonzalez

July 20, 2012 @ 7:32 pm

Hello everyone…just wanted to share my experience. I made this batch at 9pm…..I let it sit over night and it was still watered down! I left it on the stove and forgot all about it! Come to find out it finally was thick (a bit too thick as I added Gycerin this morning when I was frustrated). Moral of the story…you have to wait longer then you thought for something pretty amazing! LOL

Comment by shannon

July 21, 2012 @ 2:09 pm

Made this today, it was really easy. I was unable to find glycerine in my area so I bought the dial glycerin bar soap, it was a hit. It was watery at first but after letting it sit it thickened up. My kids had a blast making it. Thank you for sharing your recipe!!!!

Comment by Vp Ahmed

July 22, 2012 @ 10:04 am

I am going to try this and will let you know the result.
Thanks a lot.

Pingback by Take the best shortcut you can find to make watery soap « Mother Nature's Maid

July 25, 2012 @ 9:39 pm

[...] liquid soap recipe that I found (read more about it HERE) is not a complete homemade job.  It involves glycerin, water and – here’s where the shortcut [...]

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July 26, 2012 @ 10:28 pm

[...] have read on Savvy Housekeeping that the consistency of your soap mixture can really depend on the kind of bar soap you use in the [...]

Comment by fenix

July 31, 2012 @ 1:14 am

I made this and used distilled water. I added honey and almond extract. It is wonderful. Mine did not set up at first but I let it set for 9 hours then I added the honey 2 tablespoons and a few tablespoons of almond extract and immersion blended. This made all the difference. The soap is fantastic and is healing cuts on my hands I m sure from the honey. I also used some for homemade eye makeup remover and it was fantastic. I am very picky about my makeup remover. For that I used a cup of water, 1 teaspoon soap, 1/8 teaspoon olive oil. I put in jar and shake right before I use. Works as well as Mary Kay which is the only brand I can find that I like. I have used nameless brands, Estee Lauder, Generic, you name it. Happy DYI soaping.

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August 2, 2012 @ 8:07 pm

[...] make your own household cleaners and liquid soap/body wash [...]

Comment by Todd

August 4, 2012 @ 8:43 pm

I am excited about trying this recipe.. Thanks so much. I have plenty of Ivory soap.

Comment by Amber

August 5, 2012 @ 7:55 pm

Thank you so much for posting this. I came across it on Pinterest. We have a family of 5 and I’m always looking to save a little money, plus I love a good DIY project.

I had the same issue with mine being very thin. I’m also very impatient, so to speed up the process, I thought I’d help it cool down. I filled my sink with ice water and sat my pot in it. After a few minutes and some stirring, it thickened right up.

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August 5, 2012 @ 8:33 pm

[...] head on over to Savvy Housekeeping to take a [...]

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August 8, 2012 @ 10:13 am

[...] Credit [...]

Comment by Annie

August 10, 2012 @ 3:27 pm

Mu soap didn’t come out thick and I am glad it didn’t. It would have been to much soap for washing my hands. I don’t have a dispenser yet. Just made it and tried it. It doesn’t have to be thick to work. I also used a larger size grater and I didn’t get soap dust and it melted just fine. Love this and will do it again. Thx for the info!

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August 19, 2012 @ 7:20 am

[...] cost effective and healthy it’s great for hand soap as well! I got the original recipe from here and changed the recipe some. The original called for more water and glycerine, but the Castille [...]

Comment by gerry jessome

August 22, 2012 @ 1:25 pm

I just finished making this, followed the recipe (yardley lavender soap). It turned out amazing. It was a little bit snotty but used the wire whisk after it cooled and it turned out nice and pearly.I filled my pump plus a 2 lt bottle! Definately would recommend this [email protected]

Comment by Darlene

August 26, 2012 @ 1:09 pm

I read on another pinterest site that someone put their bar of soap in the microwave for 90 seconds at a time instead of grating. Thought you might like to try it. :)

Comment by Darlene

August 26, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

The site on pinterest is onegoodthingbyjillee. It was one of her readers that suggested the micro.

Comment by Esther

August 31, 2012 @ 9:08 am

This is soooo useful. Besides bars of soap are much cheaper than liquid hand cream and it’s a great way of using up all that left-over bars of soap.

Thank you!!

Comment by Asim Jan

September 2, 2012 @ 2:06 am

Thanks a lot for sharing such a useful tip! Will try to make my own liquid soap. My idea is to turn the anti bacterial soap into liquid soap to be used for hand washing.
Let’s protect the environment by applying such useful tips!!!

Comment by Brenda

September 7, 2012 @ 6:10 am

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this!!! I used Kirk’s castile soap. Put 1/2 the bar in the microwave for about a minute…maybe less, let it cool and then crumbled it into the pan with 5 cups of water. (I only made 1/2 the batch.) Came out watery, which I wanted it to anyway. Works PERFECT in my foaming hand soap containers. Hubby and son like it too….extra bonus!! AND….I dilute it a little more when I put it in the container. Kirk’s has really great lather. I think I’ll put more glycerin in and maybe vitamin E oil just for a little extra moisturizing. LOVE THIS RECIPE!!! Thank you so much for sharing it! Found you on Pinterest and will be repinning for others to find you too. = ) THANK-YOU! Love making my own stuff and saving money.

Comment by Judith

September 11, 2012 @ 2:35 am

I got your post in my “DIY-to-do list” for quite a few weeks now, and after having been gifted a batch of great smelling soaps (and the husband not liking bar soaps), i felt it was time to try your recipe.
maybe my solution is helpful to some of the european folks reading this:
i only hat 2 very small bars of soap (L’Occitane), so i started at the other end: i measured the amount of liquid fitting into my soap dispenser, so i was left with about 500ml. So i grated about 50ml of soap (maybe a bit more, i didn’t pay a lot of attention at grating and didn’t want to throw away the grates that were too much, so i put them all in the cup). Added a teaspoon or two of glycerin and let that simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring all the time until all soap flakes were dissolved. Then i let it sit overnight, for it was very watery/runny and not soap-like at all. Next morning it was like a pot of pudding/jello, so instead of diluting it right away, i just stirred it up, and that seemed to do the trick! It became liquid again, so i fillled it in my bottle without having to dilute it! Works like magic now!
Thanks a lot for the recipe, i will now use this frequently to turn my most favorite soap bars into liquids :))

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September 11, 2012 @ 6:02 am

[...] ma guardatemi:vi sembro io una personcina che potrebbe spignattare (seppure si trattasse solo di unire la glicerina)? Ecco,appunto XD per cui son passata al piano B: profumatore di cassetti. L’ho chiuso nel [...]

Comment by Teresa Dew

September 11, 2012 @ 10:56 am

I love this idea! It is easy, quick and cheap. I made some this morning and I’m thrilled. My personal preference in soap is dove. However, after reading the comments here I decided to use the yardley, as recommended. Although, after sending my husband to shop for the ingredients, he came back with dial natural radiance, white tea and vitamin E glycerin soap. So, at this point I’m a little less confident about what my results will be. I began by grating 1 of the 4 oz. glycerin bars and added only 8 cups of water. Because the soap was a glycerin bar, I did not add any glycerin. As the mixture was heating on the stove, I started thinking about all the comments I read about watery resultss. Then I started thinking about the measurements. The recipe here calls for 1 cup of grated soap. …my mind is wandering here…and I think, well technically 8 oz. equals 1 cup and I used a four oz. bar of soap, so…I grated another bar into the heating mixture which made 8 oz. of soap. Plus I had used only 8 cups of water instead of 10. I thought, if it doesn’t work right, ill simply chalk it up to experience and follow the directions next time…lol. Well, after the soap dissolved completely, being the impatient person that I am, I filled the sink about one half full of cold water, added some ice cubes and sat my pot in the iced water to rapidly cool. It worked! Before the ice cubes could even melt, I took the pit out of the water and stirred the mixture. It was already beginning to thicken, a bit clumpy, I might add. So, I used my immersion blender in the mixture and VIOLA! I had perfect consistency. I filled my hand soap container and my body wash container and funneled the remainder into an empty 2 litr soft drink bottle, labeled it and put it under the bathroom sink to store til I need to refill. It filled the 2 ltr bottle about 3 quarters full after having filled my hand soap dispenser and my body wash container full. Then I just had to wash my hands in my new homemade hand soap. : ) Of course, it didn’t lather as much as the store bought kind does, but I didn’t expect it to. I’ve learned through the comments here and on numerous other sources that homemade items such as this hand soap and other cleaning formulas, including homemade laundry detergents do not typically foam very much and that is something that we must retrain our minds to the fact that suds have nothing to do with cleaning power. It is only meant for aesthetic pleasure. Anyway,thanks so much for all the useful, money saving, recipes, tips and ideas. I’m so excited about saving my household money. Pennies turn into dollars and the savings definately add up!

Comment by Abby

September 17, 2012 @ 8:07 pm

This is a great idea. My husband uses the bar of soap till its 3/4 gone then throws it out. Which upsets me because of the waste. I’ll have to try this very soon. Thanks

Comment by Trisha W.

September 26, 2012 @ 1:01 pm

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I heard about this recipe a while back from a friend on Facebook. I’m trying it for the first time today using Dial White Peach & Shea Butter Glycerin Soap . I will let everyone know how it goes. I can report that this soap was not dusty when grated. It was more towards the waxy side. I will try the microwave tip I recently read about on Pinterest for my next batch so I can skip the grater.

Dial’s first few ingredients: Soap, Water, Glycerin, Coconut Acid*, Palm Acid*, Tallow Acid*, Palm Kernel Acid*, and Fragrance. (*contains one or more of these ingredients)

Comment by Trisha W.

September 26, 2012 @ 1:03 pm

Oops. I’m sorry about the funky formatting above. I was just trying to italicize the soap’s name.

Comment by Jessica

September 27, 2012 @ 10:28 am

Anyone know what is a good recipe for soap for people that have bad eczema?

Comment by Alicia

October 2, 2012 @ 3:40 pm

I have made 3 different brands of bar soap into liquid soap, and got 2 different results.

The first and second time I used one bar of Yardley, and got a very snotty-like consistency (I threw it out because it would squeeze out in clumps). The second soap was Burt’s Bees oat and shey, but it also was very snot-like (that also went down the drain). Both of these I blended to try and get it to be normal, but it didn’t work. Maybe I didn’t blend it long enough?

Third soap was Dove ultimate moisture (but this time I was prepared with extra bars because I had read Dove has so much moisture that it takes a lot of bars to make it thick). So this was came out great, but it took 6 bars of soap ($6 bucks for the 6 bars at walmart), but it made a whole gallon of soap. So this is still 2/3rds cheaper than buying liquid Dove soap.

My question is this: Why are the previous 2 coming out like snot? The only thing I could think of is that both of the the two first brands are paraben and sulfate free. Does anybody know if this has anything to do with it? I am trying to stay away from parabens and sulfates, so if anyone can help me, that would be great!!!

Comment by Alicia

October 2, 2012 @ 8:23 pm

Ok…so I have a great update about the snotty problem! I had thrown out the sample of snotty soap from my first two previous attempts, but had not thrown out the whole gallon that I had left under the cupboard. So before dumping that whole thing out tonight I decided to to give the blending thing one last try. Instead of using my hand mixer, I used my super duper Ninja blender. On low speed I let it mix for a a few minutes. POOF!!! No more snotty soap…yaaaay!!! Particular soaps just have to be mixed A LOT…what a learning curve.

Comment by lilian

October 5, 2012 @ 3:38 am

hey,i did the same yet the mixture is not getting thickened?can you plz give me a tip to fix it!!Thanks

Comment by Skin Care Formulator

October 6, 2012 @ 3:17 pm

This is a great idea, and it will work with true bar soaps. The reason that Dove or other syndet/beauty bars do not work as well is because the primary ingredient is one of two synthetic surfactants (detergents). These surfactants are Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate or Sodium Lauryl Isethionate, both of which are mild, non-toxic, eco-friendly/safely biodegradable, and vegetable derived. These bars are also formulated with some natural surfactants/soap (ie: sodium tallowate; animal fat), secondary surfactants (ie: cocamidopropyl betaine), emulsifiers, binders, thickeners, moisturizers, colorants,preservatives, and chelating agents. In short, they are not natural soap and this would cause a lot problems for the formulator (you). The Yardley works so well because it is made of natural soap with some moisturizers and oils, which makes this an easier product to formulate into liquid soap. As far as thickening any thin formulas with natural soap try pickling salt. Typically sodium soaps can be thickend with sodium chloride, not table salt because of the iodine content. Adding glycerine (a humectant) for moisture is great, but it will not thicken the emulsion since it is water soluble and not a thickening/gelling agent. I personally would add a preservative to this emulsion because of the large water content. An emulsion with a lot of water could grow mold, yeast, or bacteria. A natural preservative is grapefruit seed extract and it can be purchased through any soap making supplier. Simply google “soap making supplies” and have fun.

Comment by Yoli

October 17, 2012 @ 8:48 am

Hello, I was exited to try this. I used an all natural soap (Not sure why anyone has not mentioned this) it’s Dr. Bronner’s Lavender soap. Glycerine is not good for the skin so I used a little natural immusifying wax to thicken it up. It seems to work great. I added a few drops of lavender oil and it smells so good. It made so much, I had to figure out where to store it.

Comment by jaime

October 18, 2012 @ 8:23 am

Love this idea. Some ppl just won’t buy my soap in bar form. And I am all about turning my soaps into liquid form.

Can I just mention to ppl that ivory, dove and irish spring are not soaps. They are detergents. A big slurry of chemicals. True and quality soaps are usually around $5 per bar and only contain oils fats and sodium hydroxide (aka lye). Try http://www.ausableriversoap.ca to find quality soap. This could be a major factor in those recipes not working.

Comment by Christine

October 18, 2012 @ 11:19 am

I’ve had this pinned for FOREVER & reading over the myriad comments multiple times, I finally decided to follow through (I guess going back to work soon put the kibosh on my I’ll-get-to-it-someday ideal.)

Like Teresa Dew (180120) I used Dial’s Natural Radiance, white tea and vitamin E glycerin soap. Unlike her, I did use the glycerin and followed the OP exactly. There was no mention of whether to let it steam or boil as mentioned in one of the earlier comments. So I stirred it until the soap was no longer discernible in the water. Was just soapy water at that point. It’s in the 60′s here today (feels chilly) so I set it outside. Started at 11something, by 1300 there was a definite physical change. Now, at 1407, it’s at what I would guess your “snotty” consistency to be. I don’t have an immersion blender but I have a kitchenaid and a whisk so I’ll try it by hand and, failing that, we’ll give the ole’ KA a try. Either way, I’m super pleased even if it doesn’t change consistency. Thanks for sharing this!!

And to Yoli, i beg to disagree – vegetable glycerin is good for the skin and, in soaps is used by people with sensitive, easily-irritated skin because it prevents skin dryness with its moisturizing properties. It draws moisture up through skin layers and slows or prevents excessive drying and evaporation. FDA has approved it for human consumption and even in laxatives.

Comment by Joy

October 26, 2012 @ 11:04 am

For those who found this to be too thin, put it in the refrigerator for a few hours. Mine thickened up nicely.

Comment by Paula

October 27, 2012 @ 6:19 pm

Made This Last Night With Ivory Soap. Had To Let It Cool For About Six Hours. It Jelled Up Pretty Thick So I Just Mixed It Up With My Imersion Blender And It Turned Out So Nice! Added Some Lavender Oil. Smells Sooo Good! Will B Giving This For Gifts And Making Much More In The Future! Thanks So Much!

Pingback by How To Make Liquid Hand Soap from Bar Soap | Carol Drive

October 29, 2012 @ 5:01 pm

[...] read through a few website/blogs for how-to directions and my favorites are the Better Mom, Savvy Housekeeping, and wikiHow.  If you click through those links, you’ll noticed that the ratio of [...]

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November 3, 2012 @ 10:40 pm

[...] even further. Not bad considering I spent way too long on Pinterest today and even went as far as making liquid soap from bar soap. It read all the comments too and did all the snot reducing techniques. But probably [...]

Comment by Beth

November 7, 2012 @ 9:08 am

I was wondering if this works for doing shampoo? I would like to make my own bar soap and then convert it to both liquid hand soap or dish soap and shampoo. Is glycerin ok for hair?

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November 9, 2012 @ 9:43 pm

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November 12, 2012 @ 10:59 am

[...] to get some free or cheap bar soap you can make your own liquid soap to refill it!  Check out Savvy Housekeeping for a liquid hand soap recipe and how to!  Filed Under: A – DIY [...]

Comment by Jennifer

November 17, 2012 @ 11:37 pm

Thanks for posting this! I too hate bar soap and this is a great way to use it, and it saves money. I’ve made 2 batches, one with a bar of ivory and one with a bar of ‘olive oil’ glycerin soap that I had picked up from the local farmers market because it was pretty and I thought I’d maybe use it or something, lol. It took a few hours for both batches I made to gel up. Others have described texture as being mucus like, that is probably accurate lol. Even so, it works great in my pump bottle and it was cheap and I have about 4 liters of hand soap now that cost me less than 2 dollars. Just don’t make this expecting it to be the same texture as store-bought liquid hand soap, because it’s not. I’m planning on doing a write up on this and posting it to my blog, along with a link back to you :) Thank you!

Comment by Laney

November 19, 2012 @ 7:49 am

For those of you with soap allergies and sensitive skin, I highly recommend Kirk’s Original Coco Castile soap. I will be trying to make it into liquid soap ASAP as all the other castile liquid hand soaps for sale are incredibly expensive and smell terrible.

Thanks for the recipe!

Comment by SurendraMohnot

November 23, 2012 @ 6:37 am

Dove is not a soap in true sense. It has chemicals (which are soft but NOT moisturizing cream as they claim) like sodium cocoyl isethionate. A soap is essentially made by reacting (saponifying) a fatty acid with alkali as sodium or potassium hydroxide or carbonate. The soap has to have TFM (total fatty matter) number. Dove and now Pears are made from other chemicals (sodium lauryl sulphate or sodium laureth sulphate and such other synthetic detergents) so they do not mention them anywhere as “soap”! Dove on the other hand has poor water rinsebility. This is the reason you can’t get liquid “soap” by using them in true sense of the word. Glycerin is present in high quality soaps as they do not take it out to sell it separately and hence you get good moisturizing liquid soap out of these without adding any more glycerin. If your liquid soap is not soft enough add required amount of glycerin. A little experimentation may give amazing results and thanks for this blog.

Comment by jackie2830

November 23, 2012 @ 12:44 pm

Thanks for the info. I just charged ahead once I got your basics. I had maybe10-12 slivers of OLAY beauty bars and was meaning to do this forever. Didn’t have time to read entire blog, however, want people to know, that Olay works well for this. Actually, I made it to use as body wash, not a hand pump. I got liter out of my scraps. It took 2 mixings, with water to find exactly what is good. But I did not have to use a hand mixer or anything like that…..just added water and shook. I did use glycerine with it. Also, glycerine can also be found @ Michael’s with the Wilton cake decorating products, seeing they use it for frosting’s, etc. Thanks!

Comment by @Wolf_Mommy

November 23, 2012 @ 1:38 pm

I tried this with homemade soap–didn’t gel. Added a whole bar of commercial soap. Still watery. Gonna try & let it set overnight. So my homemade soap is mostly oils. I’m guessing that has something to do with it! It’s a homogenous liquid, but just watery.

Comment by J

November 24, 2012 @ 1:08 pm

This is the 3rd time i have made this soap and I love it! Thank you for sharing it with us!

Comment by Trisha W.

December 5, 2012 @ 9:10 am



September 26, 2012 @ 1:01 pm

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I heard about this recipe a while back from a friend on Facebook. I’m trying it for the first time today using Dial White Peach & Shea Butter Glycerin Soap . I will let everyone know how it goes. I can report that this soap was not dusty when grated. It was more towards the waxy side. I will try the microwave tip I recently read about on Pinterest for my next batch so I can skip the grater.

Dial’s first few ingredients: Soap, Water, Glycerin, Coconut Acid*, Palm Acid*, Tallow Acid*, Palm Kernel Acid*, and Fragrance. (*contains one or more of these ingredients)


I have used this particular bar soap twice now. The first time I tried the suggestion of using a hand mixer once the soap mix had gelled into the snot-like consistency. In my case, that left me with a ton of suds that never went back into liquid soap form.

The second time, I made the recipe and poured while still warm into my big liquid soap refill bottle. Once it had cooled and gelled I shook it vigorously. This created no suds problem like my first attempt. Now, I just shake the jug each time I’m preparing to refill our little soap dispensers. It pumps easily (not snotty) but I feel like I need to use a bit more than with commercial liquid soaps. I realize sudsing (sp?) isn’t a requirement to get clean hands, but it just feels like there’s not enough to get a thorough cleaning without a couple of pumps.

Comment by Trisha W.

December 5, 2012 @ 9:11 am

P.S. Here’s something I pinned to try to use for storage of this liquid soap and as a pump ‘bottle’.


Comment by Trisha W.

December 5, 2012 @ 9:12 am

P.S.If you’re looking for a good storage idea that can also easily be used as individual soap pumps, check out this link: http://pinterest.com/pin/88523948897312707/ .

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December 9, 2012 @ 3:42 pm

[...] handmade soap and “repurpose it” into liquid soap. The Savvy Housekeeper tells you how here. You may also [...]

Comment by Nicole Meek

December 11, 2012 @ 7:11 am

What a wonderful discovery you have made! I am like you and prefer liquid soap, but I feel much better about the packaging that many of the bar soaps use. I am also guilty of being that person that buys nice bar soaps for people (and then I often see them simply display it in their bathroom and never use it!) Thanks for this little enlightenment, I look forward to brewing up some liquid soap!

Nicole Meek, Halton Region, @haltonrecycles, http://www.haltonrecycles.ca

Comment by allison1998

December 25, 2012 @ 6:27 pm

I found this post through Pinterest and pinned it. After reading all of the comments, I decided to try it sooner rather than later.

I made my first batch of soap using Fresh brand lemon soap. I accidentally used 2 Tbsp of glycerin. This soap thickened within 3 hours. The next morning I used the hand beater to break up the “snotty” consistency, but just got a pan of foam. I guess I beat it too long at a speed that was too high. I got 1 gallon plus a 32 ounce bottle of soap.

I didn’t like the results, (I will take bubble baths so that I use it up quickly). I decided to get some Yardley soap and try again. I got 10 bars for $10 at Dollar Tree. Smelling them brought me back to my childhood.

My first batch was with Yardley Sugar Plum Blossom. I made this for my mother. I only used 8 cups of water because I wanted a more concentrated soap. Also, instead of the hand mixer, I used a whisk to break up the “snot.” The result is a soap that has a wonderful pearly sheen and I love the consistency. I was able to fill about 3/4 of a gallon jug. I occasionally shake up the jug. This liquid soap lathers up nicely. I also go the “Mom Seal of Approval.”

My next batch is with Yardley Oatmeal Almond. It is cooling now. I did not add the extra glycerin. I want to see how the soap will set up without it. I can always add it later. I will make another batch with Yardley Lavender.

I cannot stop making liquid soap!!! Thanks so much for posting this recipe.

Comment by Daniela

December 28, 2012 @ 11:07 am

This was my first try ever and it turned out great! I bought a bar of soap at the Whole Food store and followed EXACTLY the instructions, including waiting around 7 to 10 hours till the liquid soap thickens. It turned out great! No more dry hands and my husband loves it too. Thank you so much for the recipe!

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December 30, 2012 @ 6:34 pm

[...] B. and I use this recipe we found on Pinterest to make hand soap for our family last night. We actually changed it a little bit since we wanted to [...]

Comment by barneyhairball

January 5, 2013 @ 4:44 am

Just bought Burt’s Bees face wash; 100% natural, but doesn’t feel like it 100% washes off. I have just made my own liquid soap as per the recipee above (does not feel drying on my face & I’m certainly sensitive to drying soap), so will try to mix both together to see how it feels.

I used a soap with as little bad things in as possible. Mixed as per the recipee, but with a little less water. I used distilled (had it in from making my own liquid soap the hard way). My first batch of making liquid soap the hard way did work out well, but the 2nd batch didn’t (it takes too long for me so I might take it up again when I retire and have more time).

PS, here in England one can buy glycerin from any chemist.

Comment by Jes

January 6, 2013 @ 10:06 pm

Yay…i fought this recipe all day and then read through all the comments and came up with my own ideas and bam perfect body wash!! i didnt have glycerin so i just used a capful of vegetable oil instead and also added a few drops of tea tree oil for antibacterial purposes. I too ended up with snot but if you mix it with a stick mixer at that point before bottling you get this great creamy fluffy soap!! thats the secret here i think is the mixing! also i used Zest soap for my hubby cause he likes the manly smelling stuff lol im gonna try it with Dove tomorrow taking into consideration the above comments ill try it with less water:)

Comment by Charlotte

January 7, 2013 @ 6:03 am

If you can find a soap dispenser that dispenses foam and save it, you can just water down your liquid soap and use it. I haven’t purchased liquid soap for hand washing more than a year and I love the foam dispenser even more than just using the pump. I am thrilled by saving money in this way with no sacrifice of having a neat bottle at the sink instead of the bar that leaves a mess.

Comment by Irene

January 8, 2013 @ 1:12 am

how come my turned out soggy and nasty looking??? I LOVE THE IDEA, but it just didn’t turn out great for me….:( any ideas why? I used two different kinds of soap bars from Trader Joys (did it twice) both kinds of soap looked nasty :/
Thank you

Comment by Geneviève

January 9, 2013 @ 12:46 am

Merci beaucoup! :-)))

Comment by Christine

January 14, 2013 @ 11:12 am

Interesting to find this! I’d like to give it a try, too. I don’t buy liquid soap because, well, it seemed stupid. However, soap bars get mushy and gross, so why not liquefy them!?

I had to laugh about all the “snotty” concerns. I’ve always thought liquid soap was snotty to start with!

Thanks for the great ideas.

Comment by mora

January 16, 2013 @ 9:08 pm

just did the math on this- if you paid about $3 for a 3 oz jar of glycerin (enough for 6 batches) and $1 for the soap (typical cost) you are paying $1.50 per batch which is 15 cents for an 8 oz bottle! A cheap retail bottle of the same size is $1.50. You are saving 90% off retail!

OR if you got the soap for free (using coupons or from gifts or hotel soap) you are paying about 50 cents a batch- so you are paying 5 cents per bottle! That’s a 97% savings! Wow

Thank you for the recipe! I am waiting for my soapy water to cool. Hoping it works out! I could really use some savings here!

Comment by maryann

January 19, 2013 @ 2:26 pm

i made this recipe the other day with out the glycerin because i could not find it anywhere. I looked online and found it AC Moore in Plainville, Ct. My Walmart did not have it. Anyways, I found that it was very “snotty” and clumpy. So I reheated what i made with the Glycerin and added some essential oil for scent..Love this recipe and idea..My family is having a hard time with out “suds”..

Comment by Felicia

January 20, 2013 @ 8:20 am

Hello, I just made my first batch of soap and it doesnt look nearly as thick as what it looks like on your page. Not sure if I did something wrong (went exactly by the recipe) or if maybe it thickens as it cools? I did put an extra tbsp of glycerin in it to see if that would thicken it up.

Comment by Angie

January 26, 2013 @ 12:21 pm

Before seeing this post on how to make liquid soap, I have always purchased OTC liquid soap. I bought a filled bottle of foaming soap at the store. Once it was empty I refilled it with 2 tablespoons of liquid soap and the rest with tap water, swirled around to mix, and you have your own liquid handsoap! I bought a bag of handsoap about a year ago and still have not finished it. I think this homemade soap recipe will only make my idea even cheaper. It would work great for those who can’t get their recipe thick enough, too.

Comment by Raye

January 29, 2013 @ 7:36 pm

I’m so glad I’ve stumbled upon this website! I’ve been using a luxurious bar soap for some time, but I hate bar soap.

I’ve found a possible solution the the whole “watery” problem that some people are experiencing.

If you take 1Tbs of Xanthan Gum to 1/4th cup of water, and vigorously mix for about 5 minutes, then mix the solution in your watery soap, it should help thicken. This should be done quickly however, as the gum solution will clump if not mixed immediately and make your soap look like tapioca pudding. Hope this helps. Also, more Xantham Gum, the thicker the result.

Comment by Ana

January 30, 2013 @ 7:45 pm

Hi, mine came out slimy but overall works. I whip it with a mixer and it ends up w/ the right consistency. I did a similar recipe for body wash and mine was watery and it wasn’t thickening up so I ended up putting it in the refrigerator to cool faster and started to take a more solid form. Hope this works for you with the watery soap problem.

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February 4, 2013 @ 6:24 pm

[...] you to Savvyhousekeeping and Onegoodthingbyjillee for the jump-off points for this recipe. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike [...]

Comment by Violet

February 5, 2013 @ 9:47 am

I am going to try this very soon. I just stocked up on Bath and Body Works (big sale and gift card) and Soft Soap (double coupons at Lowes Foods) But I will save this. I love sacing money lol

Comment by Brandy

February 18, 2013 @ 1:37 pm

Can you also add the tea tree oil to make it antibacterial??

Comment by Tam

February 22, 2013 @ 9:06 am

Love this idea. Another great use for all those hotel soaps is donating them to your local woman’s shelter.
They are most appreciative of personal care items!

Comment by katie

February 25, 2013 @ 2:04 pm

I made it last night and it turned out quite watery does anyone know what I did wrong

Comment by Kathleen

March 4, 2013 @ 1:09 pm

Do you have any suggestions for keeping the soap from separating in the bottle? I find I have to constantly shake it or I end up with just the watery part coming up through the pump.

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March 9, 2013 @ 12:44 pm

[...] that in despite having loads of bars of the stuff. All it took was a quick google search to find a recipe for turning soap bars into liquid soap and twenty minutes to actually make the gloop. Yet for some reason, I’d never thought to do [...]

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March 14, 2013 @ 3:18 pm

[...] [...]

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March 17, 2013 @ 7:15 am

[...] go through handsoap around here so darn quickly!!  “Savvy Housekeeping” shows how to mix up your own alot cheaper than buying the refills!  I can’t wait to [...]

Comment by Tiffany

March 17, 2013 @ 7:22 am

Thank you so much for this tutorial! I have attempted to make my own liquid soap once before but it was a complete failure. This recipe being quite different, I can’t wait to try it!! I have included this in my weekly roundup of useful blogs at http://www.doomestic.com Thanks again!!

Comment by elyse

March 20, 2013 @ 8:05 pm

“Sudsing” is actually not indicative of soap that is “working”. A majority of companies ADD sudsing agents because we have learned/been told that that’s how you know it’s working. Many sudsing agents, that are added to products, are unhealthy and a “cheap” useless ingredient.

Comment by norene kaysuchocki

March 20, 2013 @ 8:37 pm

I also i’m using dove soap and I’ve done the process three times and have about 12 quarts of jelled glob. I hate to throw it out after all this. Do you have any suggestions? Should I just keep trying it and adding more water? It looks and feels like cream but too thick to go through a pump. thanks Kay

Comment by Wanita

March 25, 2013 @ 6:27 am

I’m not sure anyone has mentioned this so forgive me if I’m reiterating what someone else has said; Glycerine is considered a humectant which means it draws moisture to itself. It isn’t necessarily a moisturizer other than that it draws moisture out of the air. In theory, the benefit of the Glycerine in the handsoap recipe would be to continuously draw moisture so that the soap doesn’t dry out. (as well as draw moisture to your skin after)

Comment by Sherry

March 28, 2013 @ 6:10 pm

Changing the makeup of the soap by diluting and adding water, doesn’t cause the PH to change does it?

Comment by dorothy

March 30, 2013 @ 1:44 pm

I ended up on this blog because I want to turn little scraps of wonderful, all-natural handmade soap I buy into liquid soap. As I read some of the other comments I realized that perhaps it would be helpful to others for me to share the name and website of the soap: All Good Things Soap and Such, Madison, Indiana (made on site there; family owned and run business.) Website is: allgoodthingshandmade.com
I hope this helps!

Comment by Wendy

April 4, 2013 @ 12:31 pm

I just made a batch for the first time – found your recipe on Pinterest. I used Crabtree & Evelyn Pomegranate bar (my fave!) which I got on sale from Outlet Mall location for $5. I grated it up, used 10 c.’s of water and added some salt, 2 TBSP of glycerin and the soap. Once cool – it was snotty, like others said. I popped it in to my blender and Viola!! Creamy, delicious smelling, decadent liquid soap. and LOTS of it! Do you know how much the Crabtree version of this is? I estimate about a million dollars. :) Thank you so much!

Comment by J Daniel

April 10, 2013 @ 12:53 pm

I was looking for a simple way to make liquid soap today as my hand soap ran out and I stumbled across this recipe – what a joy. I got to work with what I had in the house, Palmolive soap and left-over glycerin (unopened) from since 2003 from making bath bombs with my granddaughter. To cut a long story short, it worked beautifully.

Thank you ever so!

Comment by Meg raz

April 14, 2013 @ 10:07 am

Thank you for sharing your recipe. My Mom loves Yardley’s oatmeal soap but a few years ago the company discontinued the liquid version & only offer the bar version. My daughter & I will be trying this out for her Mother’s Day gift. She will be thrilled to have her favorite soap again.
Thanks again!!!
(found on pinterest & followed to your site)

Pingback by DIY Handmade Liquid Soap Recipe – How to Make Liquid Soap the Easy Way

April 20, 2013 @ 12:56 pm

[...] I have heard that finding a handmade liquid soap is difficult. I, for one, tried making a liquid soap after various requests when I used to sell on the Roanoke City Market. However, it just didn’t sell and it’s more tedious to ship. However, you can create your own liquid soap using your favorite bar of handmade soap courtesy of instructions from Savvy Housekeeping. Simply grate a bar of your favorite handmade soap to yield 1 cup of soap flakes. Add water and a bit of glycerin and get to cooking until your soap flakes dissolve. Then allow to cool and pour into containers. For your full ingredient and material list, along with directions for this project, visit Savvy Housekeeping. And be sure to consider the shea butter soaps available from Rebecca’s Soap Delicatessen for your liquid soap recipe. With one bar of handmade soap and a few other easy to find ingredients, you can also make your own homemade liquid laundry detergent or powdered laundry detergent. .nrelate_related .nr_sponsored{ left:0px !important; } /* Filed Under: Soapmaking Tagged With: budget, budget savvy, crafts, diy, eco-friendly, frugal, handmade soap, homemaking, household, liquid soap, liquid soap recipe, natural, soap, soap recipe, soap tutorial, soapmaking Tweet [...]

Comment by Carol Cherington

April 23, 2013 @ 2:03 pm

This is a great recipe! I used some lavender soap from Provence and it is just amazing! Thank you!

Comment by Brenda

May 1, 2013 @ 10:32 am

Has anyone tried it with Olay bars yet?? I was wondering if there was a good tip with it. Mine was very Thin but I get the Olay facial bars Free all the time and would love to make them into liqued soap!

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May 3, 2013 @ 6:17 am

[...] hotel soap collection problem. You see, I hate bar soap. Liquid soap on the other hand, I love it. SavyHousekeeping.com has a recipe on how to turn bar soap into liquid soap so I took that recipe and tweaked it after [...]

Comment by Rebajoe

May 5, 2013 @ 9:39 am

I have been looking for a recipe utilizing Ivory bar soap since it is pure soap with no harmful chemicals. However, I cannot wash my hands or body with Ivory due to itching and drying, etc. (Yeah, weird, I know…)I want to make liquid Ivory soap to use in a safe chemical-free garden pesticide recipe I have found. I garden organically and try to keep all known chemicals out to protect the plants and the earthworms (which would both be killed by detergent ingredients…but not soap. So I am very grateful to find your recipe and even if it comes out thin…I think it’ll work.Gotta go find more stuff on your site!!! Thanks again.

Comment by Trina

May 5, 2013 @ 9:41 am

Thank you! I am moving to Brazil in a few months where things like liquid soap seem to be ridiculously over priced. This recipe looks so simple. I’m going to try it out with some gifted, delicious-smelling “artisan” soaps.

Comment by Naomi

May 7, 2013 @ 11:33 am

BIG FAT MESS INTO MAGIC!!!! Ok, so I wanted to buy grandpa’s pine tar liquid soap for my boyfriend. He loves the campfire smell, and it’s reeeeally great on the skin. The liquid version, couldn’t find anywhere except online. Pricey stuff. So I followed this recipe. Ended up with pine tar water. Added extra tablespoon of veg glycerin. Still watery. Added 2 tsps of pink Himalayan sea salt. Someone suggested salt. Watery. Added 1 Tblspn of castor oil for skin benefits. At this point, the recipe was out the window anyway. Used an emersion blender. Another persons suggestion. I ended up with half foam. Put it in the fridge even though it was pretty cool already. Came back to it. Weird and foamy. Seperated the foam from the gelatinous goop. Two lg pots. Blended the jelly goop. Omg! Perfect creamy texture! Miraculous! Funneled it into an old Jameson whiskey bottle and added a soap pump top. Now what to do with the weird soap foam? 1 cup coconut oil, 2 capsules worth of extra hot cayenne(capsicum), 10 drops of chlorophyll, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup coffee grounds. Blend well, bottle, refrigerate. Best exfoliating, moisturizing, soap scrub I’ve made yet!

Comment by Naomi

May 7, 2013 @ 11:35 am

Oh, and I used the whole bar of soap. The larger one. Gooooood stuff!

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May 18, 2013 @ 11:34 pm

Honeysuckle Glycerine Soap Bar…

[...] soap, 1/8 teaspoon olive oil. I put in jar and shake right before I use. Works a [...]…

Comment by Yvette

May 20, 2013 @ 9:30 am

I use just yardley lavender soap and water, but it seems to leave soap scum.. Is there anything that can take that feeling away?

Comment by Tricia

June 5, 2013 @ 9:40 am

A few things for those who are having watery results:

1) the more moisturizers in the soap the more soap you will need to use. Brand, IME, has little to do with it unless it’s a brand that’s known for it’s moisturizing–like Dove. I have Yardleys where I need to use more soap (or less water) too.

2) Note the fine texture of the grated soap in the pictures. This makes a big difference in how much soap is actually in a measuring cup. Curls of soap take up more room, with less soap, than when it is finely grated. Imagine parmesan shavings vs grated parmesan. Also some soaps (usually those heavy in moisturizers)won’t grate and crumble as fine either.

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June 10, 2013 @ 10:42 am

[...] Making liquid soap is so easy.All it takes is melting the soap with water, adding a little vegetable glycerin, and in no time at all, you have liquid hand soap.  See the tutorial –>> Savvy Housekeeping. [...]

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June 11, 2013 @ 1:43 am

[...] Eureka! Liquid hand soap! Deur: http://www.savvyhousekeeping.com/how-to-turn-a-bar-of-soap-into-liquid-hand-soap/ [...]

Comment by Carol Kelly

June 11, 2013 @ 4:52 pm

Just a little tip. If you use your regular cooking pans be sure not to add the essential oil to the soap in the pan. I would pour it into a glass bowl then add the essential oil or fragrance oil. The glass will not absorb the scent smell.

Comment by Ann

June 15, 2013 @ 10:00 am

Hi, I think this is a great idea, especially as I have loads of hotel soaps to use and lots of birthdays coming up! However, do you have the weights for your UK guests? I have no idea how much a cup is in either liquid or solid form! Please help xx

Comment by Kelly

June 16, 2013 @ 1:19 pm

I just did this 10 mins ago :) I used 1 full bar of Yardley’s Jasmin Pearl from Dollar General. It already contains glycerine so I did not add any to the batch.. simply the 1 full bar grated, and 10 cups of water. Our water of softened so it naturally has a little salt.

Turned out perfect! I let it almost come to a boil (someone suggested treating it like jello), I then let the pan cool in the sink with some ice around it. It was definitely snotty! I broke it up with a wire wisk and then blended it for about 2 minutes (3 batches in my blender) and it turned out GREAT! Filled 3/4 of a gallon jug.

I cut the front of the Yardley’s box off and taped it to the front of my jug so I know what it is :)

Comment by SYM

June 17, 2013 @ 7:31 pm

This is a great idea! I’m going to try it. I think the issue w/ Dove soap is that it contains moisturizers. It’s to keep your skin soft. I’d suggest “Pure and Natural” soap for those people w/ sensitive skin. I think it’s made by Ivory…but colorless and scentless.

Comment by sabrina mitchell

June 21, 2013 @ 1:50 pm

I used coconut oil too! FANTASTIC!!!!

Comment by Lynn

June 21, 2013 @ 8:09 pm

Yes is there away I can make this without using a burner to heat it? Just wondering :)Thanks

Comment by Lynn

June 25, 2013 @ 7:55 pm

I tried this and mine came out like water :( can someone tell me how to make it thicker some? I love how easy it is to make but would like it not so watery. Thanks

Comment by Glenda

July 5, 2013 @ 3:22 am

Good Dasy,

I live in South Africa and I want to start making soaps so to make some extra money or turn it into a very serious booming business. Can you give me some advice, tips and maybe recipes to go by.

Thanking you in advance


Comment by donna

July 6, 2013 @ 5:47 pm

I make all my own laundry products and liquid soaps: hand soap, body wash, etc. I have not had great experience with glycerin soaps to liquid so I won’t be using those again. Very snotty… I use Kirk’s for my body wash – it doesn’t thicken so when it cools I use a whisk and whip it by hand. Soon it begins “tracing” and I have commercial quality body wash. I have made it with Kirk’s, Dove, Old Spice, and Dial. Some have turned out better than others but I leave that up to the individual I am making it for. Body wash recipes require much less water, no glycerin, and are very cost effective.

Comment by Carrie

July 9, 2013 @ 8:36 am

I tried this with a Dove Bar and a leftover bar of something else, it was another lotion type soap ( I cant use the other non lotion soap brands as it dries my skin out too much). Anyway I ended up using a little over a cup of soap flakes and added the 10 cups of water, its like water, it smells great and soaps up beautifully, but the consistency is like water :( Any suggestions?

Comment by Lynn

July 11, 2013 @ 3:50 am

I’m having the same trouble mine smells great and soaps up beautifully,but it’s like water :(. Could I try and reheat it to see if it will thicken? So any suggestions would be great.

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July 26, 2013 @ 3:59 am

[...] Liquid hand soap! Deur: http://www.savvyhousekeeping.com/how-to-turn-a-bar-of-soap-into-liquid-hand-soap/ Share this:FacebookTwitterPinterestEmailPrintLike this:Like Loading… This entry was posted on [...]

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August 5, 2013 @ 12:20 pm

[...] natural and DIY boards to see if anyone else in has experienced this.  I came across this post - http://www.savvyhousekeeping.com/how-to-turn-a-bar-of-soap-into-liquid-hand-soap/.  The comments are GOLD – pure web GOLD!  Seems the solution is simple…. more water. [...]

Comment by Bonadea

August 12, 2013 @ 5:50 am

Awesome, thanks. We love Irish Spring bar soap, but the shower gel doesn’t have that same smell.

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August 13, 2013 @ 12:14 pm

[...] How to Turn A Bar of Soap Into Liquid Hand Soap [...]

Comment by Norma

August 17, 2013 @ 12:19 pm

Just FYI for those having trouble finding glycerine. Tractor Supply has it fo r$20 a gallon, Food Grade. They use it to mix with cow medicine to doctor cattle.

Just tried it and yes, mine was too thick. Put a little water with a couple of cups of “too thick” in the blender and voila! no snotty texture and just the right consistency!

I made a batch with regular Ivory bar and one with an Old Spice bar for shower gel for the guys. Both came out swimmingly!

Thanks for this…

Comment by Tina

August 18, 2013 @ 1:54 pm

Has anyone tried Ivory soap? :-)

Comment by Lynn

August 22, 2013 @ 8:29 pm

Well I got it where it’s not like water but now it’s like stringy and sorry to say but snotty like when you get it out of the soap bottle. Is it to be like stringy and snotty like if not how can I fix it? Hope someone can help me.

Comment by TylerRose.

August 24, 2013 @ 10:07 am

I am totally going to do this later today. We have six bars of Dial antibacterial soap my mother bought when she started chemo and never used. It’s been sitting there for nearly three years. lol

Thank you so much for an easy to follow procedure.

Comment by Babigyrl74

September 16, 2013 @ 6:39 am

I used one bar of Dove soap that I got at a dollar store, grated it up, put it in a pot with 2 cups of water and simmered and stirred constantly until all the soap was dissolved, let it cool and it made about 14oz of body wash and it’s the exact same consistency as the commercial stuff.

Comment by Marissa

September 29, 2013 @ 3:04 pm

What is the shelf life of the finished product?

Comment by Jenna

October 23, 2013 @ 5:08 pm

Great concept. I use castile soap as a shampoo and it’s hard to spread evenly without using too much and leaving my hair way too oily so I wanted to see if I could use this method to thicken it up and create a “wen” type shampoo. Turns out, nothing natural thickens castile soap. Oh well…put the finished product in a spray bottle and use it that way to spread it evenly. May try a foaming soap dispenser too.

I love the Yardley lavender soap she mentions on her blog and she said she got great results from that. I may try that to make a body wash / hand soap.

Comment by Tess

November 4, 2013 @ 8:37 am

So you know, the Dove probably did not become liquid soap as easily because it is not actually soap, but a “beauty bar”. Real soap produces glycerin when it is made. A soap crafter will stir this back into the soap. For the Dove to work, you probably had to add extra glycerin. What is best is to read the labels of the bar cleanser you wish to use. If it has glycerin as an ingredient, it will liquify better.

Comment by Jessi

November 10, 2013 @ 4:24 pm

I could only find glycerine not vegetable glycerine. Can i use this?

Comment by Jane

November 11, 2013 @ 8:29 pm

The plaid you have in the background is my family Plaid

Comment by Scott

November 16, 2013 @ 10:26 pm

I tried the Dove liquid hand soap recipe which is a link on this site that takes you to the Dove liquid hand soap recipe and followed the recipe exactly, except I replaced water with distilled water I bought from the supermarket. I used 2 bars of Dove soap, grated, with 4 cups of distilled water. I read somewhere that using plain tap water can go stagnate over time, not sure if anyone has encountered this but I wasn’t going to experiment with plain tap water after reading that, so as my mixture was cooling it formed bubbles and was beginning to form a skin on the surface so during the cooling phase I whipped out my trusty hand whisk and gave it a quick whisking, as it cooled even more the skin began to form again so I gave it another quick whisking and voila it was thick and creamy when it cooled completely. I was absolutely thrilled at the results. The only modifications I made was using distilled water instead of tap water. Now the money saving will start and no more buying the liquid refills at the supermarket, which are about $8.00 for a refill bottle. Best money saving tip ever

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November 18, 2013 @ 1:09 pm

[...] also this bar soap to liquid soap tutorial – I might be able to make some luscious-smelling liquid soap using my soap shreds. Here [...]

Comment by Pat

December 3, 2013 @ 7:36 pm

I have made liquid soap from bars but it has come out slimy. Any suggestions?

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January 2, 2014 @ 9:37 am

[...] I filled another bottle with homemade liquid hand soap instead of buying liquid hand soap from the store. Approximate savings [...]

Comment by Ivory

January 6, 2014 @ 11:20 pm

Has anyone tried it with antibacterial bars(like Safeguard or Dial)?

Comment by Dee

January 11, 2014 @ 12:20 pm

Well, I just made this. I used Lever 2000 original. Right now it is cooling. It is sudsy and thin. But frankly, that’s ok because my husband who must wash his hands a million times a day likes the foaming hand soap. So if it doesn’t thicken that’s just what I will use it for. I also did a little mind trick on him and added just 2 drops of red food coloring, which made it just a little pale pink.I think the secret really is to use a “hard” soap with no moisturizing agent in it. I did not realize until after I started that his soap has vasaline in it for “softer skin” and maybe that is why it is not thick. But I am still pleased with it. And it just saved me $5.00 off my grocery list as I needed to buy hand soap………..OK, just put some of the cooled mixture in a foam pump bottle. AMAGING!!! I am so excited.It has great foam and suds up when washing your hands!

Comment by Tia

January 21, 2014 @ 7:01 am

Live in n.ireland.been looking at this post for over a year and today decided to give it a go..used a lovely soap I got as a gift(fancy one ). Followed the recipe and cooled in basin of cold water as suggested.was jelly like at bottom but I just squished it with my hands an it came out fantastic. Now I have a long supply of shower gel/hands soap .really thick and creamy and smells amazing.cant wait to have a shower now.times are hard and I,m trying to be frugal and now I can’t wait to try laundry soap and fabric softener.many thanks for fantastic tips and recipes.will be keeping my eye out for more fab ideas..lol.xx Tia

Comment by Courtney

January 24, 2014 @ 8:15 am

Maybe the soap needs to be measured by weight rather than volume. I’d imagine they all have different densities so that may be partly why the different soap consistencies.
Even the coarseness of the grating would affect the volume.

Yay chemistry

Looking forward to trying this out!

Comment by Mummy Pig

January 24, 2014 @ 6:33 pm

Just posting my own results using the ingredients above, plus a little tweak :)

Soap used was Velvet. I grated 2 bars and mixed this with one pint of water, mixing with a wooden spoon over a low heat until the soap had mostly melted then I used a stick blender on it. Took it off the heat, added 4 more cups of cold water and blended. Added 1 cup of Vitamin E moisturiser, the 1tbsp glycerine… then another 2 tbsp for good luck due to the moisturiser… 20 drops peppermint oil & 20 drops lemongrass oil. Mixed with a wooden spoon and waited.

Within minutes it was thickening really nicely. I stirred every 5 minutes or so and once fully cooled I diluted it further with some cold water to the consistency I wanted, stirred again for good luck, and then bottled it. I actually added extra water to one batch to make a shower gel.

For me this was easy peasy and incredibly cheap to make. Effectively AU$0.50c which is kinda key as my two little girls make potions in the bath and we go through mountains of liquid soap / shower gel.

Thanks for the recipe :)

Comment by Linda Kennedy

January 25, 2014 @ 12:24 pm

ABOUT GRATING SOAP: I have made my own laundry soap for a few years. I have a gallon jar of old Lye Soap that my mother made (I remember doing it with her). I decided to use that for laundry soap one time. Did it just like I did with the Zote and FelsNaptha bars in my food processor, not even thinking about breathing it in. It made me loose everything in my stomach!!!!

Make sure you don’t breathe in the soap you are grating! Wear a mask or do it outside in a breeze!

The Lye Soap worked fine in the laundry.

Comment by Deana

January 28, 2014 @ 5:56 pm

I’m. Gonna try it!

Comment by Denise

January 30, 2014 @ 7:26 am

I use goat’s milk soap and the first ingredient is glycerin. Will it work to add more?

Comment by Bray

February 1, 2014 @ 10:34 am

I want to try this but was wondering if you can substitute olive oil instead of glycerin?

Comment by Jacqueline

February 8, 2014 @ 12:37 am

Thank you very much for this. Fantastic to receive so many comments! I just wanted to add that I use Lux Soap Flakes to wash my clothes. I add boiling water to about 1/2 a cup of flakes & wait until the flakes dissolve. If I leave it too long, the water sets as a large bowl of soap. Lux is not perfumed & suitable for sensitive skins as far as I know. With your recipe, one box of Lux would probably do to make this recipe for 5 years or so. Now that’s cheap. :-)

Comment by Colette

February 8, 2014 @ 7:05 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I followed the recipe and it’s perfect. Any inconsistencies I think could be because of the water used. I have hard water so for homemade beauty products I use distilled water that I collect from my dehumidifier all summer. Also for canning food I use filtered spring water. Hard water or city water with chlorine in it are not recommended and may get contaminated.

Comment by wanda

February 9, 2014 @ 1:04 pm

how long will it take to thicken? mine is cooled but still pretty thin

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February 23, 2014 @ 2:34 pm

[...] It took me a little while, but I finally figured out that I would need: a bar of soap, some water, and some Vegetable Glycerin. The recipe I used was adapted from Savvy Housekeeping. [...]

Comment by Jennifer

March 18, 2014 @ 4:37 pm

I followed the recipe exactly and ended up with this watery, sudsy mess. What am I doing wrong?

Comment by Dawn

March 20, 2014 @ 9:10 am

Can a bar of glycerin soap be used?

Comment by Brenna

August 31, 2014 @ 8:57 pm

Some bar soaps just do not work. I’ve mostly used Yardley so far. I found a two pack for $1.99 at Safeway. The first time I did this, I used one full grated bar, one gallon of distilled water and 2 TBL liquid glycerin. That batch was rather snotty textured but it thickened up. I made one batch for body wash and one for hand soap. The hand soap lasted 5 months (for a fam of 4) and I still have 1/4 gal of body wash left. Last night I tried Irish Spring soap. This does not work! Some bars just don’t do well and I’ve heard Dove isn’t great either. I did try two bars of Yardley with a gal of water and 2 TBL glycerin and it is the same texture as store bought soap! It’s great! I do suggest two bars. You’re still saving a ton of money. Hope this helps for beginners :)

Comment by Holly

October 21, 2014 @ 9:39 pm

My cousin makes bars of soap and she said castor oil suds the best. Cant wait to try this!

Comment by Ingrid

November 8, 2014 @ 7:40 am

I have tried this with 2 bars of men’s dove soap and 4 cups of water, bring to boil and lower heat for about 10 and stir until creamy and blended. I left over night in pot and in the morning and poured with funnel into old clean shampoo bottles and there it is I have 2 large and one small bottle of body wash for my hubby and boys. My only cost was the 2 bars of soap I bought on clearance for 1.49.

Comment by Marie B

December 4, 2014 @ 11:39 am

Are there different types of glycerin? If so, which kind do you use?

Comment by Dana

December 13, 2014 @ 7:47 am

I tried this recipe and was thrilled. Then I made some for my mother and now my 76 year old mother makes it, she loves it as well.
Thank you so much for sharing the recipe!

Comment by Maryna

December 16, 2014 @ 2:18 am

can I use Dolly Varden glycerine?

Comment by Ruheena

January 4, 2015 @ 6:55 am

I love the idea. Will try this soon. I buy a lot of soap every now and then. Will save me a lot of money now. Furtunately I have every thing already at home. Thanks for sharing.

Comment by Kathi

January 7, 2015 @ 2:16 pm

Has anyone tried fels naptha soap or castile soap?
Supposed to be pure soaps w/no scents. I’m going to use Castile to make this soap because it is supposed to be totally natural, though it does have a smell, good one. Fels shows a lot of ingredients so not sure it is totally natural.

Comment by Kiara

January 27, 2015 @ 3:35 pm

Just two questions, im in australia so I dont know how easy it is to get glycerine from the shops, would a oily sub like 1 or 2 drops of vegetable oil work?

im also in the inevitable position of being broke so cost is a major factor too.

also has anyone tried with sunlight soap?

Any help would be great!

Comment by Julie Blackstone

January 30, 2015 @ 8:14 am

Can you use fractunated coconut oil instead of glycerin? Has anyone tried this? thanks

Comment by Samantha

February 15, 2015 @ 6:28 pm

do you use melt and pour soap or cold process soap for this or does it matter?

Comment by HIEN CHAU

March 2, 2015 @ 1:47 am

Can I replace glycerin by coconut or olive oil?

Thank you

Pingback by Hand Soap Experiment

March 3, 2015 @ 10:57 am

[…] and DIY boards to see if anyone else in has experienced this.  I came across this post – http://www.savvyhousekeeping.com/how-to-turn-a-bar-of-soap-into-liquid-hand-soap/.  The comments are GOLD – pure web GOLD!  Seems the solution is simple…. more water. […]

Comment by Dijeng

March 13, 2015 @ 11:34 am

Thank you so much for this recipe. I am going to start a liquid soap project to donate to school children, homebased care organisation or even better, show them how to do the soap themselves! Yay!

Comment by Jessica

March 25, 2015 @ 3:16 am

Does the temp of the water make a difference at all?

Pingback by DIY: How-to Turn Bar Soap into Liquid Soap - A Kind and Personal Blog

March 25, 2015 @ 11:08 am

[…] hotel soap collection problem. You see, I hate bar soap. Liquid soap on the other hand, I love it. SavyHousekeeping.com has a recipe on how to turn bar soap into liquid soap so I took that recipe and tweaked it after […]

Pingback by DIY: How to Turn a Bar Soap into Liquid Hand Soap | ecogreenlove

March 27, 2015 @ 1:38 pm

[…] on Savvy Housekeeping • Specifically for DOVE bar soaps • Instructables (con textos en Español también) […]

Comment by Barbara

June 24, 2015 @ 9:56 pm

Thin soap works very well in one of the foaming dispensers.

Comment by Janey

July 8, 2015 @ 9:08 pm

Thank you, so much, for your recipe! After reading almost all of the comments, it seems that the “runny” problem is caused by not allowing it to set overnight or 24 hours. I use Costco’s Kirkland brand and it turned out wonderfully well! It is so lathery, and pleasant smelling, I didn’t add essential oils. I recycled the huge vinegar jug from Costco to store it in. The soap even gels when I have it stored and I have to give a healthy shake so that I can pour it. It does have that “snot-like” when I use the pump, but that doesn’t bother me. I did add the glycerin too! Maybe I’ll try the stick blender to see if that makes a difference, but again, I don’t mind. Enjoy!

Comment by Cannelle

July 30, 2015 @ 11:49 am

Thank you for the recipe. I’m finally be able to use my solid soap bar and decrease my huge stock!

Comment by Jazmine

August 16, 2015 @ 6:45 pm

I dumped the snotty soap into a food processor and just processed it until it was smooth. Perfect, silky consistency. Way faster then the hand-blender I was trying. It added a lot of bubbles to the soap and made it very light, so it did take up more storage space. Otherwise I’m very pleased. It was light enough to put straight into a foaming pump without adding water.

Comment by Sandman

August 26, 2015 @ 6:42 am

Great!! Thak you for this tip! I will use.

Comment by Ozgur

September 1, 2015 @ 2:49 pm

I did it! I had a perfect result, I followed more or less the original receipt and I have obtained almost the same quality of soap that I have been buying from the supermarket. In the beginning, after the heating process, my soap was also very runny, then I added a little bit salt and also placed the cup of the soap inside a bawl of icy water, and it worked, it became jelly then I mixed it with the mixer a little bit. Thanks a lot for this great idea! I will not buy liquid soap from the supermarket again! :)

Comment by Kelley

November 21, 2015 @ 10:37 am

You can also make simple laundry powders using bar soap. I bought a food processor just for this project & that’s where I store the powder. Cut up 2 regular size bars of soap. Put in processor, and add 2/3 cup salt & 2 cups baking soda. Buzz that processor on high until you don’t feel any more chunks bumping around as it works. Open top and check for lumps. If you find none it’s ready to use.

I reused a scoop from sodium perborate bleach. I put one scoop for a large load. You must add white vinegar to the softener dispenser or in one of those Downy Balls to prevent scum buildup in your pipes but this runs about .32 a load.

I wouldn’t use this on dark clothes but it works well on everything else.

If using travel size bars make this once and measure the amount of soap you have when you cut up the bars. Then you’ll know how many little bars to use next time. Grind up the bars and measure before adding them in with the rest of the ingredients.

Comment by Linda

December 18, 2015 @ 1:31 pm

I was wondering about the water. Should I use distilled water or is tap water ok? I just found some bar soap that I love except I hate bar soap mess and they don’t make it in liquid so I’ll just make my own. Thanks for the wonderful information. So glad to think I can save money, too. Liquid hand soap is getting way too expensive.

Comment by Spangliejacket

December 27, 2015 @ 8:47 am

can you go back and add the glycerin later if you find that it didnt turn out as smooth?

Comment by Imani

January 13, 2016 @ 10:33 pm

I tried this recipe. It works great. I went a step further by pouring one part or this liquid soap mixture 5 parts water into an old foaming hand soap bottle. I have used that one dove bar for 6 months!!! It makes five times as much of the recipe. You can also try dish detergent in an old foaming soap dispenser. .

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