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How to Make Liquid Soap With a Soap Bar

Have you ever wondered if you could make cheap liquid soap at home, to use it as liquid hand soap, or shower gel? Liquid soap can be made from scratch using oils and potash (potassium hydroxide), but it’s a complex and time-consuming process that people might shy away from. What if you can make liquid soap from a single soap bar?   

Make Liquid Soap Just Using a Soap Bar and Water

As I make my own soap at home, I always have a certain quantity of soaps-gone-wrong: the color or the looks of the soap is not good, the soap got crumbly, got too much soda ash, or a gel mark (a round shaped sort of stain or the soap). 

I don’t really care about looks, and as far as they are good, I use them, but it made me wonder (and search the net) how I could reuse this soap (which was actually good), as I was sure other soap makers might have the same issue. That’s how I found out a few recipes online of how to make liquid soap from soap bars. 

It’s so easy and simple that I felt like it to share this recipe/toturial with everyone as a way to make some cheap liquid soap at home.

All you need is a bar of soap and distilled water. 

You can use a new bar of soap or you can use scraps of other soaps. You can use natural homemade or store-bought soap bars. I’ve read that you can even use remnants of used soap bars, but my experience with it was bad. As for the water, it’s better to use distilled water as tap water vary from region to region and may have minerals and substances like chorine that can introduce impurities into your soap.

The Liquid Soap You Get

The liquid soap you get with this recipe is a relatively thick gel, since I prefer it this way to wash my hands. You can also use it as a shower gel. 

It uses a soap:water ratio of 1:6, meaning that if you have a soap bar with 70g , you will use 420g of water. You will get roughly 500 ml of liquid soap. If your soap bar has a different weight (100g, for example) just multiply its weight by 6 and you will have the amount of water (600g) you need to use, giving you roughly 700 ml of liquid soap.

Depending on the soap you use, the quantity of foam may vary: natural soaps won’t lather as much as commercial soap bars, because they don’t have artificial foaming agents (if you are curious, check out my article about commercial soaps and their ingredients). The soap:water ratio of 1:6 will offer a good amount of foam though no matter what soap you use.

If you wish to make a thinner liquid soap – basically, more liquid than the one in this recipe -, you can try out different ratios. I’ve seen one recipe using a ratio of 1:12 for liquid hand soap. My experience with these sort of ratios is that the liquid soap takes a long time to get to the right consistency (more than 24 hours), and sometimes it doesn’t even gain consistency – it’s just a soapy water. I’d just go as far as 1:9, which will give you 1 lt of liquid soap with a single soap bar, which is very good.

Another aspect of this liquid soap is the shelf-life. You don’t need to add preservatives, but it will only last roughly one month, so, and since we are saving, it’s better to just make enough quantity to use for a month.

Using Preservatives – No Need To

Since we’ve started on shelf-life and preservatives, I leave here a note about it. 

Any product that contains water can be an environment for bacteria and fungus to thrive in. To reduce bacterial contamination use pump and squeeze bottles to make sure the soap doesn’t come into contact with grimy hands or surfaces. Your liquid soap this way should last a month without preservatives.

That’s because natural soap bars have a relatively high pH, where bacteria have a hard time proliferating. Commercial soap bars have preservatives anyway. Still, if your liquid soap changes color or scent, just throw it away.

And finally, it’s time for the recipe. Make your liquid soap at home and enjoy it!

How To Make Liquid Soap From a Soap Bar

Sofia Matias
A simple and cheap way to make liquid soap from a natural soap bar.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
ProductLiquid Soap
Servings600 ml of liquid soap
CostNo cost – Soap Recycling


Stainless Steel Saucepan


  • 70 g soap bar scraps of soap
  • 420 g distilled water low mineral


  • Shred a whole soap bar with a peeler into the pan
  • Weight the shredded soap bar
  • Weight 6 times the weight of the soap bar in water then add the water to the shredded soap.
  • Heat the pan ( no more than 60ºC, do not let the water to boil) and let the soap bar shreds dissolve in the water. Mix as necessary with a spoon.
  • Leave the mixture in the pan and let it solidify for some hours. It might take up to 12 hours to almost 24 hours, it depends on the soap.
  • Mix the mixture with a whisker for one or two minutes. If needed, add a bit of water.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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4 thoughts on “How to Make Liquid Soap With a Soap Bar”

  1. Oh my gosh, you have answered my question! I have always wondered that but as life goes on I keep forgetting but I always wanted to make my own liquid soap and also the foamy soal that comes out of the dispenser. Oh my gosh, are you telling me that it is just water and a bar of soap!!! That is insane! I am so gonna try this tonight since I have all the equipment listed. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Hello Nuttanee and thanks for your comment…. and your enthusiasm!

      Bear in mind this is homemade, it won’t be perfect like the liquid soap you buy in stores, with perfect consistency, color, foam, etc. It won’t have half of the chemicals to achieve that either. You should use it within one month and no more.

      But let me know how it went and how was your experience using it!



  2. This is great, thanks for the recipe advice on how to make liquid soap yourself. I’ll give it a try. Stick to your ingredient values ​​because I like it to be a little creamy.
    I haven’t made liquid soap myself, but we organized workshops with a non-governmental organization a few years ago to make soap bars with herbs and dry shampoo.
    Your recipe and procedure work really simply, thanks for sharing with us.

    • Thank you for your comment Nina.

      Well, it’s a very simple DIY project 🙂 and you can save some money, as a single soap bar can make from 5 to 10 times its weight in liquid soap just by adding water. And yes, I like it creamy too, so I usually tend to make less (more on the 1:5 ratio).

      Best Regards,



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