M.I.Y: Foaming Hand Soap w/ Essential Oil

Want easy? Ok. I can do that.

Sometimes it’s the little things that you take back that make you feel good. Especially the things that you use OFTEN, you get that nice little jolt of satisfaction each time you encounter it. With the frequency that we now wash our hands throughout each day… there’s no doubt that our hands could use a little love, right? How about a simple formula to make you feel good (and smell nice) every time you use it? That ISN’T full of chemicals from who-knows-where? Enter the non-difficult world of hand soaps. No cooking, heating, lye, protective glasses or special molds and cutters… just a re-usable soap dispenser and a few ingredients. SIMPLE. EASY.

While a basic homemade foaming hand soap is not going to be antibacterial, there certainly are oil blends that can boost that quality. The below mix is NOT anti-bacterial. (Full disclosure, though: this could be the beginning of your EO journey and that is awesome! Who wouldn’t want to be more sustainable in today’s world? There is a reference text at the bottom of this post which is a great place to start!)

In our house, we wash our hands constantly. With a toddler, there are ALLLLLLL sorts of things that pop up constantly giving us reason to quickly hit up the sink before running after our daughter again LOL.

Whenever we come back from being ‘out’ (either from the store or gas station… or from returning from dropping her off or picking her up from daycare…) we hit up the antibacterial soaps right away. But, if we are just around our own house… we use either our home-blend or a seasonal Mrs. Meyers. And yes, some store-bought smell good but nothing out there has our favorite elements (year round): pine, birch, pachouli, nutmeg/cinnamon…. almond, clary sage… Egyptian geranium, neroli blossom…

Once you get the basic mixture down, the combinations to create your favorite scents are near endless.

Our favorite bar soap (one we drive 20 minutes to go and buy…. honestly, it’s THAT good) was what I wanted to emulate… and when friends were visiting pre-pandemic, the “what is that smell… it’s amazing!” comments just solidified my love of making this blend.

You can adjust as you would like. Just remember, with essential oils, it is best to start with a SMALL AMOUNT and gradually add it to bring it to the scent level you want. If you start too heavy, you will most likely be wasting your blend down the drain and that is not a fun place to be…

Give a try, scent it with your favorites and trust me, you will be hooked. Not only is it healthier for your skin than most everything out in the marketplace, it is also in the end WAY more cost effective.

Basic Foaming Hand Soap (enough for one reusable 7.5oz bottle or pint jar with foaming dispenser lid)

  • 3 tbsp unscented Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap
  • 1 tbsp mild carrier oil (Sweet Almond Oil, Fractionated Coconut Oil)
  • Essential Oil(s) of choice
  • Water

Now, my secret fragrance blend is… kinda secret LOL…. BUUUUUUT, if you love warming, grounding scents as much as we do… below is for you.

The Camper Van

  • 6-10 drops Patchouli Oil (earthy, warming… woodsy)
  • 3 drops Nutmeg or Cinnamon Oil (spicy, strong, exotic…woodsy
  • 2 drops Pine Oil (clarifying, fresh and energizing… grounding)
  • 1 drop Birch Oil (bright, fresh, minty… cooling)

Remember: ONLY use therapeutic grade oils. This is very important. Your skin is your largest organ… and will absorb the oils. Therapeutic grade ensures the purest form of the oil is absorbed, with no chemical additions or adjustments to the scent or therapeutic qualities… Anything called “Power Berry” that is not therapeutic grade is most certainly not 100% natural.

Also, if you want a more emollient soap, add an additional tbsp of carrier oil. More scent? Add a few more drops. It really is that simple.

I also am gearing up for one of my favorite seasonal scents : citrus blooms! Our trees are putting out tons of blossoms and I’m super excited for some farm grown citrus after the Winter we had.

Making a simple single oil soap with Neroli or Geranium (both uplifting and mood boosting scents) oils is my GO TO each spring for our guest bathroom.

This year, I will also be blending some homemade scented lotions to match the foaming soaps.

A few things to get your soaping adventure started:

Dr. Bronner’s Unscented Castile Soap

Essential Oil Reference

Fractionated Coconut Oil

Reusable Foaming Soap Containers (I’m upgrading to glass…)

I started this 2 years ago… and still am working through the original large bottle of Bronner’s and the essential oils I purchased closer to 3 years ago.

Trust me when I say, once you find ‘Your Blend’… it will be something you have on hand (eh, eh? See what I did there LOL) all the time.

Have fun!

(this post is also available as a podcast …just click below for the Spotify link.)


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