Super Easy Liquid Soap or Shampoo

in Body Care Products,DIY

Thank you for visiting Little House in the Suburbs. Please subscribe and you'll get great simple living tips and how-to articles delivered to your inbox, for free!

I’ve read many methods for making liquid soap.  Most people agree making liquid soap from scratch, that is, from oils and potassium hydroxide, is tricky at best.  Reports of solidifying and separating are pretty universal.  I tried my hand at it a long time ago, and experienced it myself.

I do like the convenience of liquid soap, and don’t want to pay for it at the store, especially considering I don’t really like the product you’ll get there.  After going homemade, it’s almost impossible to go back.

Besides, I’ve found an embarrassingly simple way to make my own liquid castile soap, which doubles as shampoo.  I use it in hand soap pumps by the bathroom and kitchen sink, and put it in an old plastic dishwashing liquid bottle in the shower for shampoo/body wash.  It’s easy to customize with essential oils.

Here’s all I do:

  • Grate a bar of homemade or other castile soap with an ordinary cheese-type grater.

  • Place in a mixing bowl and add water just to cover.

  • Let sit overnight.  No need to heat, no need to do anything.  Maybe drape something over it to keep stuff from falling in it.
  • The next day, the soap will have magically dissolved.  Give it a stir.  If it’s too thick, add a bit of water, a little at a time, until it is the consistency you like.

You can stop there and use it as is in your preferred containers, or add in essential oils for fragrance and awesomeness.  I can’t get enough of peppermint essential oil shampoo.  I tell you, it’s unbelievable.  The kids like it, too.  Also lavender is good for bedtime, and rosemary and tea tree are invigorating and great for skin issues.

Grate it up.  Soak overnight.  Good to go.

Easy as can be.



{ 78 comments… read them below or add one }

51 martine January 4, 2013

What is the best EO to dissolve the grease from the dishes ?
Thanks

52 Daisy January 4, 2013

martine–Wow. I’ve never even thought of that. You’ve completely stumped me.
The soap should do a decent job of the grease by itself. I’d just go with either an antibacterial like tea tree or with something that made me happy like lemon or peppermint.

53 Carol January 9, 2013

I have been adding the leftover slivers of bath soap to my bottle of liquid hand soap for years and I now have over a gallon of liquid hand soap that I use in my kitchen or bath for when I come in from doing farm work. We are slowly working our way to natural products. I don’t want to throw away the old products as I grew up with depression parents (they didn’t throw anything away). When my mother died, my father had a full sized truck load of paper and plastic bags he took to the Salvation Army. (She did not throw anything away, including twist ties and rubber bands, quite an experience !!!!!!!!!!) I am looking forward to making my own liquid castile soap as so many recipies call for it and I like the idea of being able to cheaply purchase the bar soap to convert. Stockpiling the bars now

54 Carolyn January 9, 2013

I would like to add an oil like grapeseed as a skin softener. Have you tried this? Do you have any problems with it separating? If so, what can you put in to keep it from separating?

55 Lyndal January 26, 2013

I tried this today with my own home made castile bar soap. It worked really well!! Thank you so much!!

56 How much EO should i add to it? February 9, 2013

How much EO should i add to this?

57 Daisy February 9, 2013

How much?–Start with a few drops and see if it is strong enough, then add more if it needs it.

58 AdinaP February 12, 2013

So…I’ve tried my hand at making my own dry laundry detergent and am pleased with it. I was going to use your recipe but your site was down while I had my ingredients so I found another with WS and Borax because I wanted to follow a recipe precisely. So now I’m kinda interested in making my own shampoo, but even more I’m interested in making shampoo for my dogs. It can’t be that much more complicated, except that dogs need a lower pH shampoo than that for humans. I’ve read it would be in the high 6′s to 7 ideally. What do you suggest for keeping it simple (I don’t want oats and aloe and 100 different other things)? However, I would like to know how to add appropriate amounts of things like tea tree oil for itchiness at times. What do you suggest?

59 Daisy February 12, 2013

AdinaP–I made a “pet soap” which was a basic olive oil soap and added an essential oil mix from Essential Wholesale called Pet Safe. It has tea tree oil in it, as well as citronella, lemongrass, lavender, etc. I’ve also used neem oil as one of my oils. Here is that recipe: http://littlehouseinthesuburbs.com/2009/10/neem-oil-soap.html
Good luck!

60 Beth March 16, 2013

To dissolve grease from dishes add 1 tbsp of Washing soda per quart of dish soap. You can find washing soda in the laundry aisle at most grocery stores.

61 Carolyn March 17, 2013

Does anyone know how to keep the carrier oil and liquid soap base from separating? Thanks!

62 ayu April 1, 2013

wow!this the most easier step that i ever found. i hope i can try to do it. what kind of bar soap you use. can i use almost olive oil bar soap?how much the quantity of water?

63 Paige May 1, 2013

Amazing! I’ve been looking around for a shampoo recipe for a while. Since I don’t have what I need to make soap at the moment, would Ivory work? Also would soap made from animal fats work as well? I’m guessing it would, though. How about the bacon soap you make? That’s my next big project.

64 Sophiathebackyardfarmer May 1, 2013

This is awesome!! I don’t know about making bar soap from lye, but this is easy!

65 khalil May 2, 2013

very thanks from your help

66 Margaret June 20, 2013

Hi! I love your website. I have been searching all night for a recipe for shampoo. We stopped buying regular shampoo after finding out what all of the chemicals in it were doing to our hair and our health. Will definitely try this soon. Thanks!! :)

67 Brenda July 19, 2013

Okay…I’ve read recipe after recipe for this method but I always end up with a snotty consistency. Does anybody have a suggestion to keep it from going snotty on me?

68 Kathleen July 26, 2013

I was wondering if you have a recipe for liquid Goat milk shampoo ? Thank You so much. Love your sight. Kathleen

69 Charlene August 14, 2013

My hubby can suffer with dandruff something fierce. I used a bar of purchased castille soap, water and tea tree oil …. dandruff is almost a thing of the past. I use the shampoo myself with an apple cider vinegar (mixed with water) spray afterwards. LOVE it.

70 lisa August 21, 2013

Love it! Must try it out! How long does it normally last.

71 Krissy September 7, 2013

I’ll try it looks ez – cause I nomo time to mix all kinds of things..
Thank you, as we say in Hawaii : Mahalo & Aloha
Krissy – Honaunau, Hi

72 chweetu October 7, 2013

Hi …wil u pls tel me from where i can buy that castile soap in india?

73 Reliable Cleaning Services in Brisbane January 3, 2014

It seems pretty cool. I will also try to make liquid soap at home. Thanks for sharing the procedure with all of us.

74 Jenna February 3, 2014

Does this give you the same waxy build-up in your hair that bar soap shampoo does?

75 Michelle Hallmark March 2, 2014

I’m confused when you say “bar of soap”. Do you mean soap bars like Dove? And those are ok to use as hand soaps?

76 Daisy March 2, 2014

Right! Any ol bar of soap.

77 Natz March 7, 2014

Totally flummoxed….I’ve been experimenting for about a week now with the melting method (in a pot with water), and so far I’ve only ever ended with something the consistency of – hate to say it – snot! Will DEFINITELY give this a try!

78 Daisy March 7, 2014

Natz–If it doesn’t work, as long as it cleans, embrace the snot!

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: