DIY – Making a gallon of liquid soap for $4

November 22, 2011 by Lauren

Things I love:

Saving money
Yummy smelling things
EASY projects

This DIY project was perfect for me! I took 2 bars of soap and made them turn into more than a gallon of liquid soap! So awesome. The two bars of soap were $2.99 together and the glycerin was $1.19.

What you need:

A grater
2 bars of soap (I used pomogranite rose… so good!)
2 tablespoons glycerin (get it in the medical aisle. weird, I know! here’s some online)
1 gallon water
A big ole pot

 

What to do:

1. Grate all the soap
2. Put all “ingredients” in the pot. (2 bars grated soap, 2 tablespoons glycerin, 1 gallon water)
3. Put stove on medium until all the soap is dissolved
4. Turn off stove and let it be for 10-12 hours. After a couple of hours it will harden a bit and turn cloudy
5. Pour it into an empty milk carton, an old “refill” soap container, reusable soap dispensers, a beer growler (WHO would do that?! Oh right, we did.)

All soaps are made differently – if yours is too runny, remelt with more grated soap. If it’s too hard, add more water.

And you’re done! Super fast and now you’ll have soap forever. Enjoy your soap!


43 Comments »

  1. Louisa Johnson says:

    All of these look so awesome and I should do them. I will as soon as we getback from our vacation thank you so much

  2. Pamela Womack says:

    Is this any kind of bar soap?

  3. SesaFe says:

    I can’t wait to try this one! If I ever find liquid soap in a scent that doesn’t make me want vomit, it costs a million dollars. Here’s my solution! :)

  4. Jennifer says:

    I just did this yesterday- TIP- Dove soap does not work. Trust me I know. It smells amazing but is watery probably due to the intense moisturizer. We will use it up though and continue to make our own body wash forever. Philosophy products truly do cost a million dollars but are heaven- the cleanest smell ever- well, you can buy Philosophy in BAR soap and melt away- I plan on making ‘manly’ body wash for my son and his new apartment- so experiment girls- just don’t use Dove.

  5. Lesa says:

    Just wondering if you have ever thought about or plan on putting any post to buttons on your site ? As in Facebook or Pinterest etc ? Because I would so like to be able to share your wonderful recipes and hints with others too…. Thanks !

  6. Karel says:

    when i make this soap should i use a hard soap?, to start with. i have tried Ivory and im thinking it is to soft. Do you have homemade recipe for Dish soap?

  7. Traci says:

    It sounds like you can use the softer soaps such as dove or ivory you just need to use more soap or less water.

  8. vassilica says:

    I made this liquid soap a while ago but it ended up with mildew in the containers. How can i prevent that from happening?

  9. Cindy says:

    I’ve had great results using Dove. The ratio is one bar to two cups water. (I made a batch of 3 bars and 6 cups water). I did NOT use glycerin in my recipe.

  10. Cindy says:

    I should add that it’s nice and thick like body wash!

  11. Danita says:

    What’s glycerin? Is that by chance what would make it antibacterial? Is there any way to make antibacterial?

  12. Betty says:

    Irish Spring soap works well (1 bar soap to 4 C water)….a stick blender is WONDERFUL to mix everything after it has all softened.

  13. Lynnette says:

    Danita,
    You can make it antibacterial by adding Theives essential oil from youngliving.com (I’m not in any way associated with them). I would probably add about 10 drops in a gallon. It would also scent the soap (cloves/cinnamon) too so may want to use an unscented soap.

  14. Bobbie says:

    I am going to try this, I love thieves!!

  15. Shagbark says:

    Used a 12oz. Bar of Asquith and Somerset French lavender given to me as a gift. Followed your directions although I didn’t measure the water -just guessed at it Omitted the glycerin. After mixture cooled, I used hand blender and water to get the consistency I wanted and it smoothed out nicely. Added red and blue food coloring to make the mixture a pretty purple. added lavender essential oil to punch up the scent. Ended up with a little more than 3 quarts when all said and done. Easy process and I’ll continue to do this when hand soap supply runs slow. Thanks for the tute!

  16. [email protected] says:

    Can I use scented Glycerin Soap?
    If so what adjustments do I need to make?

    Will I Still have to use the spoons of Glycerin in the recipe?

  17. lidico says:

    Soap is antibacterial by definition, so there is really no need to add anything to it to make it antibacterial.

    http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/best-and-worst-2010-your-guide?page=4

    “There is no need for an antibacterial agent – regular soap works just fine. Antibacterial soaps are thought to lead to antibiotic resistance”.

  18. Lauie says:

    I have made the soap and it turned out very slimming rather gross. Does the glycerin to that? Or maybe the kind of soap I used? It was some French soap.

  19. claudia says:

    Do you know if you can use a homemade goat soap?

  20. Michelle says:

    The glycerin…can it be vegetable glycerin? Is that same thing?

  21. diplocase says:

    you can add 3 drops of Tea Tree Oil per cup of soap for a natural antibacterial effect. Buy it at health food stores or the homeopathic section of the drugstore.

  22. [...] to find an unscented soap so it is easier on our allergies.  The “recipe” I used came from The Burlap Bag, and, of course, was posted on [...]

  23. Daisy says:

    Recipe that’s great:
    1/2 bar of pure soap, grated (about 1 cup)
    must use real soap, nothing with moisturizer already added, try Ivory
    5 cups hot water
    no need for it to be boiling, just warm enough so it will melt soap shavings
    1 T glycerin
    easy to find at the drugstore in the pharmacy section
    1/2 T oil
    you can use coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil, the choice is yours
    1/2 T dish soap
    this helps to create some lather
    Drops of essential oil (tea tree for antibacterial properties)

    Grate 1/2 bar of soap and put shavings into a large heat-proof bowl.
    Add hot water to bowl and gently whisk until soap has dissolved.
    Pour in glycerin, oil, and dish soap.
    Whisk gently to incorporate.
    Let your soap cool – this will take at least TWO HOURS.
    Whisk again and you should notice things have thickened up to a “snot” consistency.
    Use a funnel to pour liquid soap into an existing dispenser.
    Store leftovers for another day.

    Tip: shake the dispenser every so often, it seems to help with lather and keeps things incorporated, and if things get too thick, add a touch of water. Optional: you can add a few drops of essential oil to the mix if you’d like a customized scent.

  24. Daisy says:

    Ps. Got recipe from Steven & Chris

  25. Alex says:

    Made it. loved it. slimey texture ‘n all :) now i make it for everyone ^_^

  26. Ashley says:

    Great gift idea! Thanks!

  27. kari says:

    Dove soap will only work if you lower the water content… I use 2 cups water for one bar of the dove moisture bar (olay moisture bar works the same). it may not make a gallon of body wash but it does make a good amount of creamy body wash (not slimy at all) :D

  28. I made this a month ago with distilled water and a homemade castile soap. Now there’s these little “Beads” in it. It looks almost like the soap is trying to solidify. Is this normal or has the batch spoiled? I use it as a base for several things so I don’t want to be washing with spoiled soap.

  29. MollyMalone says:

    I actually make my own soap from olive oil and do this. If you can find handmade/homemade soap it will work just fine, plus you avoid all the petrochemicals in regular soap bars. I just rough chop my soap and put it into a bottle and add water to cover it. Shake every so often, when you think of it, to dissolve. If you forget to shake it, don’t worry, it dissolves just the same. If it’s too thick, add more water. This takes me about 3 days, I just keep the jar or bottle under the kitchen sink. If it separates don’t worry, shake it all up and it will go back together. Some batches have to be shaken several times.

    To prevent mold/mildew in your container you need to add a preservative. Anytime there is water, there is the possibility of mold growth. I use peppermint essential oil from http://www.mountainroseherbs. Essential oils are antibacterial etc. and peppermint is a strong one, plus it smells nice. Lavender or sweet orange is nice too. I’ve been making soap for over 10 years and I’ve never had a problem with mold, and I’ve stored soap for more than a year.

  30. Rachelle says:

    MollyMalone, I’ve done that with bar soap too…I use old bar soap to make liquid soap for basic cleaning. I’m curious how you make your olive oil soap though…will you share that? :)

  31. Greta says:

    THIS IS SUPPER COOL I WILL NEED TO TRY IT THANKS :)

  32. Kelly Vandivier says:

    lovely tutorial, definitely going to have to try!

  33. lucia says:

    I have made this twice and it has comes out witht his goopy texture and it does not really foam when you use it. Any ideas how to make is smoother and more foamy

  34. barb says:

    Is this recipe for hand soap or body wash? Or, both? I noticed one person’s recipe said to use dish soap – I can’t imagine using dish soap on my body. Just wondering. I’m interested in alternatives and want to learn. Thanks!

  35. Can u use this in your l.g washing machine (front loader)

  36. […] found this recipe http://www.theburlapbag.com/2011/11/diy-making-a-gallon-of-liquid-soap-for-4/  on pinterest to make a gallon of liquid soap out of your favorite bar soap. This will save you a […]

  37. Whitney says:

    This is AMAZING! So excited to try this!

  38. […] DIY project and photo credit to  theburlapbag.com […]

  39. […] Fun gift to make for everyone. Find the instructions at The Burlap Bag […]

  40. Valerie says:

    Added this to a blog post I wrote and cited you: http://longtermcarelink.wordpress.com/2013/11/18/easy-and-inexpensive-christmas-gifts/ Thank you for blogging some great crafts!

  41. Carol says:

    I use the same recipe basically, but I always boil my water first to remove bacteria and other nasties in tap water. The soap disolves more quicky too. I have used the off brand at K Mart for the Dove unscented, and it came out fantastic! Now I can add EO to individual bottles, and have total control over scent and ingredients. I have also had good luck using Kirk’s Castile, but it took 2 days to thinken up! Worth the wait tho! Thanks for posting this!

  42. Amanda says:

    Do I cover the pot while it is “sitting”?

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