DIY All-Natural Castile Soap Body Wash

DIY All-Natural Castile Soap Body Wash

Ever since I was a kid, I have had sensitive skin. I couldn’t use lotions or even laundry detergent that contained perfumes or fragrances of any kind. Over the years if I could not find a product that was fragrance-free then I just used whatever was the least irritating for my skin. I never thought that I could make my own bath and beauty products but recently, with a little research, I have been able to try out a few ways to save my skin! Some of the recipes have worked and some….not so much.

The first success that I want to share is the body wash that I made. I used liquid castile soap as the base which is made from a combination of organic extra virgin coconut, olive, jojoba and hemp oils along with pure essential oils. I know it sounds weird that the soap is made from oils. I was hesitant at first, it definitely has some getting used to.  After my first attempt at the soap, I felt very greasy afterward but after a few adjustments to the recipe, I got it right.


Ingredients:

  • 1 c filtered water
  • 1/4 c liquid castile soap
  • 1 tsp vegetable glycerin
  • 12-15 drops of essential oils (optional)

Directions: Mix all ingredients together by adding each one directly into a squeeze bottle. Mix gently by tilting the bottle from side to side. Use this soap just like any other liquid soap. It lathers up nicely when used with a bath pouf.


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The brand of castile soap that I like to use is Dr. Bonner and it comes in several different scents: unscented/baby, almond, citrus, eucalyptus, peppermint, rose, tea tree, and lavender. If you prefer a different scent, you can use the unscented and add 12-15 drops of your favorite essential oils.

I’ve been using this wash now for about six months and I will never go back to using commercial soaps. In fact, one day I forgot that I needed more soap and got into the shower. When I realized that I didn’t have my soap I reached out and grabbed an old bottle of Bath & Body Works wash. As soon as I stepped out of the shower I started itching and had to take another shower with the castile soap. I had been dealing with the itch and irritation for so many years that I didn’t even notice it wasn’t normal!


UPDATE: Over the years I have had several readers ask questions and make comments about how they changed the recipe. Here are a few key points that I think could be helpful to others.

  • This recipe is very thin and watery. One reader added equal amounts of xanthun gum and glycerin to thicken it up. Another reader added some oatmeal powder (oats ground up very fine).
  • Another reader suggested using a foaming soap dispenser instead of the squeeze bottle. I tried it, and it works perfectly! I have added links to dispensers on Amazon below.
  • A reader asked if you have to use filtered water. If you have hard water or get your water from a well, filtered water will be best. Using filtered water also can eliminate contaminants that may cause bacteria or mold growth.
  • Can food glycerin be substituted for vegetable glycerin? Yes, both will work.
  • What can be used instead of glycerin? I use glycerin because it adds moisture to your skin and it also serves as a preservative. Vitamin E oil would be a good substitute.

Monika

Monika is a mom to 3 little lovebugs. She loves to laugh, write, craft, play and try new DIY projects. She started Life With Lovebugs as a way to share all of her household tips, recipes and playtime activities with other moms.

33 thoughts on “DIY All-Natural Castile Soap Body Wash

  • January 9, 2013 at 4:11 pm
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    That’s awesome, Monika! Do you have any idea how much this would cost per bottle (like as compared to a regular bottle of body wash)?

  • January 10, 2013 at 8:51 am
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    That is a good question! To make one bottle of this wash, it would cost $0.86, that includes the cost of the bottle. Without the bottle it costs $0.69. And one bottle lasts about 3 weeks. I didn’t even think about the cost savings! Thanks for pointing it out, Tara! -monika

  • January 22, 2013 at 6:26 pm
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    This looks like a wonderful recipe and I think I’ll give it a try with a scented castile soap. Usually if I want to save money on body wash I pick something up at the dollar store, but this option sounds a lot better for my skin.

    • January 23, 2013 at 6:58 am
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      Thank you! For the scented soaps, I like the almond. It’s light but still very sweet. -Monika

  • January 28, 2013 at 8:36 pm
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    I am going to have to try this! Thanks! I make all of my household cleaners with the lavendar Dr Bronners & was just telling my husband tonight that I need to find us a more natural body wash! We are both so itchy in the winter! Where do you find the liquid glycerin?

    • January 29, 2013 at 7:45 am
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      I bought the glycerin at my local health foods store because I was there already getting the castile soap. But you should be able to find it at a drugstore, Target, Walmart, etc in the pharmacy aisle. Thanks for visiting! Monika

  • May 1, 2013 at 5:05 pm
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    Well I just made some and used it for handsoap and it was good. Watery but a nice lather and nice feel to it. Cant wait to try it in the morning in my shower thanxs

    • May 1, 2013 at 10:05 pm
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      For hand soap I put it in an old foaming soap dispenser, it works much better than a regular hand soap dispenser. Thank you for stopping by & sharing! -Monika

  • May 26, 2013 at 12:51 pm
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    Why do you use the vegetable glycerin?

    • May 26, 2013 at 2:13 pm
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      Vegetable glycerin helps the skin retain moisture. It’s also hypoallergenic so it’s good for all skin types. You can replace it with another oil of your choice, almond oil is also good for your skin! -Monika

  • August 4, 2013 at 10:05 am
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    What other oils can I use if I don’t have vegetable glycerin or almond oil?

    • August 4, 2013 at 10:10 pm
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      The reason I use vegetable glycerin is because it’s very moisturizing for the skin and also acts as a preservative to extend the shelf life of the soap. So, for these reasons you should be able to substitute Vitamin E oil. Hope that helps! -Monika

  • August 6, 2013 at 3:19 pm
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    I can not wait to try this. Thanks for sharing. How important is it to use filtered water?

    • August 6, 2013 at 6:38 pm
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      Using filtered water is not that important unless you have very hard water, or water from a well. I often use tap water and find it works great! -Monika

  • August 15, 2013 at 7:41 am
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    This is exactly what I was looking for, thank you! In answer to the filtered water question, I used to make bath and body products and you always want to use filtered water in any bath and body recipe to avoid contaminants and bacteria/mold growth.

  • October 15, 2013 at 12:38 pm
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    I ran out of body wash today and I have all these ingredients on hand. I’m definitely going to give this a try!

  • November 11, 2013 at 12:18 pm
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    Is there anyway to thicken up the body wash? Perhaps adding castile liquid soap to one of the grated bar soap melted in hot water methods!?
    Unfortunately the grated and melted I hot water method alone has no lather and has a nasty “snotty” texture!! Please HELP!!
    Thank you!!

    • November 13, 2013 at 10:31 am
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      You can probably add more of the vegetable glycerin to thicken it up, it acts as a preservative in this recipe and it very good for your skin. However I don’t know if it would make the wash less “sudsy”. If you try it let me know! -Monika

  • December 22, 2013 at 4:11 pm
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    I added the same amount of Xanthan Gum to the glycerin. Mixed that then added warm warm and the castille soap and mixed it. It’s much thicker!

  • January 18, 2014 at 7:33 am
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    This sounds really bad, but is vegetable glycerin different than the Wilton brand glycerin you get from the cake section of the store? That’s what I have and was just wondering if they are the same or different:/ Thanks!

    • January 19, 2014 at 8:20 am
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      The glycerin used in making cakes & fondant is food grade, so it should be 100% glycerin with no additives. Sometimes the glycerin you find in the pharmacy is not 100%. You should be able to use what you have to make this body wash! Hope that helps, Monika

  • March 2, 2014 at 10:33 am
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    Sounds really good. But i have been bathing with the castile soap for the past couple of days n still my skin itches, even when i am inside the shower. I need to know if maybe my measuring size is wrong.
    Pliz help!!! i want to use the natural products coz my skin is really bad and dry…….

  • March 4, 2014 at 12:11 pm
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    I had my first experience making body wash and was really happy with the way it turned out. I too like a little “thicker” wash so pulverized some oatmeal in the blender and put it in the wash. I figured with oatmeal’s soothing qualities on itchy skin it just might work and it certainly wasn’t going to hurt any. Been working great thus far!

  • January 29, 2015 at 10:43 am
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    Love this recipe! Was wondering if I could throw in powdered fruit extract as a substitute for the oils?

    • February 4, 2015 at 8:58 pm
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      I’m not sure, I’ve never used powdered fruit extract before!

  • May 3, 2015 at 11:27 pm
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    Could you do half cup filtered water and half cup rose water do you think?

    Thanks
    Sophie

  • November 25, 2015 at 8:02 pm
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    I followed the recipe exactly, but I think something is wrong. The liquid is very runny and just flows right through the pouf. It barely suds up at all. Is there anything I can do to make it thicker?

    • December 1, 2015 at 3:05 pm
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      Yes, the wash is very runny. I pour a bit on and immediately suds up the pouf. You can try adding more glycerin to thicken it up.

      • December 5, 2015 at 9:50 pm
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        OK. Thank you!

  • December 4, 2015 at 8:44 am
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    I have such sensitive skin. I will try this. Do you have anything for shampoo?

  • September 12, 2016 at 11:54 am
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    I use a recipe from a different site, with the same basic ingredients. I usually change the scent of castile soap used for a change, I absolutely love it and would not go back to commercially bought soaps. It is a bit runny, does create a nice lather. I made a new batch recently, my 16 year old son went in the bathroom after me and wanted to know what I had used because the bathroom had a nice smell, kinda warm and gingery he said. Maybe I can make one with a masculine scent he would like.

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