Foaming Hand Soap Recipes, Benefits, & Options

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Sometimes you just need to change things up in life and embrace the little things.

There is just something about having different aromas in the diffuser, and different smelling hand soaps at different times of year that just make your heart light up.

Take a break from the monotony and indulge in a little extra fun… like with this DIY Cinnamon Foaming Hand Soap.

What is foaming hand soap?

Foaming hand soap is a form of liquid soap that is derived from a diluting liquid soap and infusing it with air to create the foamy lather you use as it leaves the dispenser.

Specialized dispensers are required to use foaming hand soap properly. Some are designed for use without refilling, and others (permanent dispensers in public restrooms and businesses) are refilled regularly.

Benefits of using foaming hand soaps:

  • Won’t clog your drains like some liquid soaps (which prevents the need for pouring harsh chemicals down your drain)
  • You use less soap because its diluted
  • It spreads easier over a larger surface amount (instead of sticking in place)
  • You can use it without water, only using water to rinse… and it requires less water to rinse off… lowering your water use per hand wash by about 45%
  • Doesn’t require harsh chemicals to foam, so you don’t need to use common soaps containing harmful foaming agent ingredients (your body and your environment will thank you)
  • Using less soap with the air infusion means your soap lasts longer, saving you money
  • Using less soap also means less waste to end up in the dump, less emissions and gas from trucks and planes transporting the bottles to the stores and to you, less space in warehouse facilities, and less pollution from factories that create it. So you’re helping the environment this way too.
  • Easy to place in an automatic pump, reducing the spread of germs that would happen if you had to touch the pump
  • Measured amount for proper hygiene… meaning you only need one pump per hand wash session. (Most people use way more than they need to with regular soap pumps)

Common harmful ingredients in hand soaps:

During my life season healing from a chronic autoimmune and neurological health crisis, I learned more than I wanted to about harmful ingredients in our common household products… hand soaps included. But your skin is supposed to protect you, right? That was my first thought too. Then I learned our skin is more like a sponge. While it protects us from debris like dirt, it absorbs what we put on our skin within 6 seconds of being exposed. If you’re washing your hands for the recommended 20-30 seconds, then you can expect your skin to absorb small amounts of what you’re washing your hands with, and have those chemicals enter your bloodstream circulating through your body within 26 seconds.

  1. Fragrance – A label for the culmination of hundreds to hundreds of thousands of chemicals that don’t have to be listed on the label for “proprietary secrets.” Many of the common chemicals used have carcinogenic, neurotoxic properties and cause reproductive harm.
  2. 1,4 Dioxane – Listed in the US as a pesticide and banned in Canada for being harmful to your body’s respiratory, neurological systems and a carcinogen.
  3. Parabens – mimic the behavior of estrogen in the body and are associated with endocrine disruptioncancer, and developmental toxicity. They are also toxic to the environment. To avoid parabens, avoid hand soap containing ingredients ending in –paraben.
  4. Sulfates – including ammonium ether sulfate, sodium laurel sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, and polyoxyethylene sorbitan monolaurate. A surfactant used to increase foaming. Health concerns with this one include irritation to the eyes, lungs, and skin. Studies have shown concerns about non-reproductive organ system toxicity. It’s hazardous to the environment, particularly aquatic life. The contaminant that can form as a by-product of the manufacturing process called 1,4-dioxane.
  5. Triclosan – FDA banned this in antibacterial soaps, but it is still used in other soaps and other personal care products. Risks are that it can accumulate over time in the body and cause hormonal imbalances and organ system toxicity.
  6. Ureas – these chemicals often convert to releasing formaldehyde when absorbed into your body. They may be carcinogenic.
  7. Clofucarban – common in antibacterial soaps. Also known as halocarban. This is banned by FDA in antibacterial soaps for being dangerous for our skin. You can still find clofucarban in some antimicrobial soaps and deodorants. Other names for it is 1-(4-chlorophenyl)-3-[4-chloro-3-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl]urea.
  8. Fluorosalan – also known as flusalan. The FDA stated it is unsafe for the skin, though it is still legally used.
  9. Hexachlorophene -is a disinfectant and antibacterial agent. Since 2016, the FDA has indicated Hexachlorophene is not safe to use in hand sanitizers, yet it can sometimes still be found in antibacterial soap.
  10. Polyethylene glycol – banned in Canada for being harmful to human organs.
  11. Hexylresorcinol – EPA has this listed as a carcinogenic, and is harmful to your reproductive system, causes developmental problems in unborn babies, is neurotoxic, and causes acute toxicity to where applied (source). This has also been known to cause hyperpigmentation in skin.
  12. Phenol – also known as carbolic acid, is an aromatic organic compound (think Fragrance) that is used in antibacterial soaps. It is a registered pesticide that is toxic to your respiratory system, circulatory system, and developing babies. It is currently banned in Canada and Japan.
  13. Triclocarban – was banned in antibacterial soaps, but still often is in other hygiene and skincare products not labeled as antibacterial.
  14. Synthetic colorsBlue may cause hyperactivity, skin rashes, respiratory problems (especially when combined with other artificial colors), chromosomal damage, nausea, vomiting, high blood pressure, skin rashes, breathing problems, brain tumors and other allergic reactions – banned in most European countries. Red may cause allergy-like reactions, has been linked to hyperactivity in children, cancer, and asthmatics and those intolerant to aspirin are at increased risk of a reaction to this dye, which is prohibited throughout Europe. Yellow has been linked to cancer and is known to provoke asthma attacks, skin reactions, nausea, nasal congestion, and hyperactivity in children – banned in some European countries.
  15. Methylisothiazolinone & Methylchloroisothiazolinone – A preservative that may cause skin irritation, lung and respiratory issues and neurotoxicity. Sometimes these chemicals are used in more “natural” products too as a replacement for other nasty preservatives, like parabens.
  16. Cocamidopropyl betaine – a synthetic detergent and surfactant that is used to increase the foaming. Health concerns include contact dermatitis and environmental toxicity. Named Allergen of the Year in 2004 by the American Contact Dermatitis Society. Listed as: CADG, Cocamidopropyl betaine, Cocamidopropyl dimethyl glycine, Cocoamphocarboxypropionate, Cocoamphodiproprionate, and Disodium cocoamphodipropionate.
Healthy Home, Happy Life online course teaches you all about how to identify toxic ingredients in common household products, including cleaners, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, soaps, skin care, cosmetics, hair care, and laundry products. It provides lists of chemicals to avoid, how to read labels, and suggest safe alternatives.

Please note, some of the links used in this post may be partnership or affiliate links, providing us with a commission on purchases. This comes at no additional expense to you

Homemade Soap Recipes

Foaming Hand Soap Base Ingredients:

** PLEASE NOTE ** Don’t be fooled by clever marketing. Not all essential oils are created equally. Make sure you’re not wasting your money on fake essential oils, or oils diluted in questionable solvents (even if they’re labeled as “pure essential oil”). Don’t miss our complete guide on how to find quality pure essential oils to ensure you’re not wasting your money on brands of oils that legally carry out questionable or unethical practices and mislead you through deceitful marketing practices.

DIY Foaming hand soap recipe; essential oil hand soap recipe
Be sure to pin this image to your favorite DIY, essential oil, or cleaning board to bookmark it for later, and share with your friends

Directions to make your foaming hand soap:

Add your ingredients to a foaming hand soap dispenser, screw-on lid, and gently swirl to mix the ingredients together.

A quick tip: for best results, use warm water.

Cinnamon Mint Foaming Hand Soap Ingredients:

Don’t forget to bookmark these DIY instructions by pinning this image to your Pinterest board!

Chai Latte Foaming Hand Soap Recipe

diy chai latte foaming hand soap
Don’t forget to pin this to your favorite skincare, DIY, or essential oil Pinterest board!
  • 6 oz water
  • 3 oz citrus Castile soap
  • 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite carrier oil
  • 3 drops each cinnamon, clove, cardamom, and ginger essential oils

Jasmine, Rosewood, Ylang Ylang DIY Foaming Hand Soap Recipe

DIY jasmine rosewood ylang ylang foaming hand soap
Don’t forget to save this to Pinterest to bookmark for later, and share it with your friends!
  • 6 oz water
  • 3 oz Castile soap
  • 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite carrier oil
  • 7 drops each of jasmine, rosewood, and ylang ylang essential oils

While this is a popular soap to make, keep in mind that Rosewood is an endangered species of tree. We do have some alternative ideas to check out on essential oils to use instead of Rosewood that have similar aromas and benefits.

Lavender DIY Foaming Hand Soap Recipe

DIY lavender foaming hand soap
Don’t forget to pin this to your favorite DIY essential oil board to save it for later!

Patchouli-Mint DIY Foaming Hand Soap Recipe

DIY patchouli mint foaming hand soap recipe
Don’t forget to pin this to your favorite essential oils and DIY Pinterest boards, and share with your friends!
  • 6 oz water
  • 3 oz Castile soap
  • 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite carrier oil
  • 7 drops each of peppermint, eucalyptus, and patchouli essential oils

Peppermint Candy Cane DIY Foaming Hand Soap Recipe

Don’t forget to save this to Pinterest to bookmark for later, and share with your friends!
  • 6 oz water
  • 3 oz Castile soap
  • 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite carrier oil
  • 10 drops of peppermint essential oil
  • 10 droplets of vanilla extract

Pumpkin Spice DIY Foaming Hand Soap Recipe

This pumpkin pie spice foaming hand soap makes a great fall soap recipe

DIY pumpkin spice foaming hand soap recipe
Be sure to pin this image to your favorite DIY, essential oil, or cleaning board to bookmark it for later, and share with your friends
  • 6 oz water
  • 3 oz Castile soap
  • 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite carrier oil
  • 5 drops each of nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon bark, and clove essential oils

Sandalwood-Patchouli DIY Foaming Hand Soap

DIY sandalwood patchouli foaming hand soap recipe
Don’t forget to pin this to your favorite essential oils and DIY Pinterest boards, and share with your friends!
  • 6 oz water
  • 3 oz Castile soap
  • 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite carrier oil
  • 13 drops of sandalwood essential oil
  • 7 drops of patchouli essential oil

Sandalwood, Jasmine, Lavender DIY Foaming Hand Soap

Sandalwood, Jasmine, Lavender DIY Foaming Hand Soap Recipe
Don’t forget to save this to Pinterest to bookmark for later, and share it with your friends!
  • 6 oz water
  • 3 oz Castile soap
  • 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite carrier oil
  • 6 drops each of sandalwood and jasmine essential oils
  • 3 drops of lavender essential oil

More essential oil blends to use with your homemade foaming hand soap recipe

  • Pine: 12 drops pine, 8 drops lemon essential oils
  • Citrus Sandalwood: 12 drops sandalwood, 8 drops lemon essential oils
  • Lavender Rosemary: 12 drops lavender, 8 drops rosemary essential oils
  • Lemongrass: 20 drops lemongrass essential oil
  • Grapefruit: 10 drops grapefruit; 10 drops bergamot essential oils
  • Thieves or On Guard: 20 drops of Thieves or On Guard essential oil blend
  • Valor: 20 drops of Valor Essential Oil Blend

If you have a favorite pre-made essential oil blend, you can use 20 drops of that in with the base recipe. My personal favorites are Valor, Harmony, Gratitude, Christmas Spirit, and Grounding essential oil blends.

4 Non-DIY Healthy, Nontoxic Foaming Hand Soap Options

As a busy mom to young boys, wife, blogger, coach, and entrepreneur, I totally understand not having the time or graceful mental capacity to DIY on a consistent basis.

Thankfully we have other options for hand soaps that don’t require making it yourself and doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients.

For a 24% discount on all your purchases, you may qualify for a wholesale account! Check out our membership page for more information.

Where to Buy High Quality Essential Oils for your DIY Hand Soap

We purchase our oils through Young Living because they set a higher standard for essential oils than the rest of the industry. Their Seed to Seal guarantee is unmatched and shows their dedication to a farm-to-table type of approach.

Warning: DO NOT purchase your oils through Amazon or similar websites!

Any website that allows anyone to sell on, such as Amazon, eBay, Walmart… etc… are terrible places to purchase essential oils. While you may get a “good deal,” knowing who you’re purchasing from is difficult. There are many counterfeit essential oils being sold that are causing health ailments, major skin reactions, and a lot of misery. These are NOT high-quality essential oils. They are fakes being sold purely for profit.

I also do NOT recommend purchasing from grocery stores, Walmart, Target, department stores, or drug stores. Many of the brands found at those stores have been proven to not actually contain any essential oil (which is perfectly legal to do).

I STRONGLY suggest you know the company that makes your oils, how the plants are cared for, what they do for distilling, how and how many times each batch is tested (and when), and their bottling processes. Many companies throw out fancy language for marketing purposes, but actually have no clue how their oils are made because the oils come from a broker (which are almost always diluted in solvents). Transparency is key.

I highly encourage you to check out our How To Find Quality Essential Oils post for in-depth information about why quality matters, and what to look for.

Nicole Graber, team leader, author, and editor to EssentialOils.Life and blog websites.

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