DIY Body Wash! Turn a $1 Bar of Soap into Luxurious Body Wash!

October 7, 2012 50 Comments | Disclosure

As you know, I enjoy the Dollar Tree….A LOT. While I was there picking up supplies for our DIY Halloween T-Shirts, I came across a bar of Oil of Olay. I’m not a fan of bar soap but I thought I could turn it into a body wash. And guess what?! I did! Now, I’m going to show you how to do it too! You can literally turn a single bar of soap into a 48 ounces of body wash! Whoohoo!

Here’s what you’re going to need:

Your first step is to grate your soap.  If you have a bar that is soft enough to cut chunks off of, do that instead. Grating can get tedious.

I only grated half of my bar. I only wanted enough body wash to fill a condiment container. Once your done grating (or chopping up) your soap, add the flakes to your pot.

Now, since I didn’t want a ton of body wash, I only added 2 cups of water. If you want to fill a larger container, add 4 cups of water.

Place your pot over your stove and turn it on to a medium heat. I got mine up to about 190*. Stir your mixture till your soap flakes disappear. It’s going to look milky, just like this….

My skin has been a bit dry lately so I added a cup of coconut milk for added moisture. You don’t need to do this to make your body wash, it’s just a modification I made to this batch.

After your soap flakes or chunks have dissolved, turn off your stove and let your mixture cool several hours. A film will develop over the top after about two hours of cooling. At this point, use your spoon to see if your body wash is thick enough for you.

Since some of the water reduces while heating, you may need to add a bit of water to get your body wash to the consistency that’s right for you, so go ahead and add water if the mixture is too thick.

If you add water, heat it up and stir again. Let it sit to cool.

If you find your mixture is the right consistency and it’s nice and cool, add it to your container!

That’s all there is to it!

I LOVE making my own body wash! There’s nothing like using a $1.00 bar of soap like Oil of Olay and turning it into a luxurious body wash that I’d otherwise pay $6 or more for!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this DIY! Please remember to share, like, tweet, and Pin this post and follow us on Pinterest if you like it! 🙂

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  1. Do you need to reduce the water to 1 cup if you use 1 cup coconut milk ?

  2. says:

    Is it necessary to put coco milk or its just optional and what it is for? Thanks so much reply appreciated much 🙂

    • Coconut milk is totally optional. As a matter of fact, I learned that ou ave to refrigerate it if you add it. Mine went rancid after a few days of being out. If you do decide to add it, I would reduce the water by a cup. 🙂

  3. This is a great idea! but sometimes when I use bar soap I feel like my skin is left with a filmy residue. Do you think that would happen if I tried this?

    • Do you normally do better with body washes? I would think it might be more gentile on your skin since its already in liquid form (easier to wash off). I’m no expert but it doesn’t hurt to try! Let us know how it goes!

  4. What about maybe adding coconut oil instead of coconut milk? Just a thought.

    • Taneesha, that’s a great idea!!! You could melt down a tablespoon or two right along with the soap! I’m sure that would be much better than the coconut milk! I’m going to try that on my next batch!!

    • Coconut oil can make your skin feel very greasy if you put too much, so if you were to put coconut oil in it, make it a very small amount 🙂

      • Patricia Cordova says:

        Try a tablespoon or 2 of mango or shea butter they melt down well but arent as greasy…ebay or Amazon is good to purchase. Antioxodent drops like citrus- vitamin c, e or cranberry can also extend the shelf life of your body wash too😉 hope this helps

  5. ok mine is taking alot more water than your recipe has called for – it keeps turning into a complete gel – Is that supposed to happen?

    • christina says:

      What kind of soap are you using? Maybe there’s some sort of ingredient that’s making that happen (aloe maybe). I didn’t have that issue at all. :/ The water measurement can be changed. Only you know what consistency of body wash you want. Keep adding a little water at a time until you get it the way you want it. Let me know if you ever get it to change! You may end up with a gel wash!

      • Peter Smith says:

        I am making gallons of body wash to sell at my small business. I used a bunch of different soaps, but the one that has the best consistency is Ivory soap. For whatever reason it is very thick when it is gelled, and makes a wash that is not watery. I have this problem with other brands. I mix other soaps in, like Dove, Caress for moisture and/or smell. I use coconut oil and Vitamin E to make it creamy and give it more moisture. You can’t ruin homemade body wash. It either needs more soap if too thin, more water if too thick. You have to play with it and play with it, but you can make some interesting creations.

    • Cindy Black says:

      Katherine, did you ever get your body wash to become more liquidy? I’m having the same problem. I’ve remelted the soap/water mixture 3 times, now having 7 cups of water added, and mine still hardens up. I can barely squeeze it out of the body wash container. I love this idea, and it will save a lot of money, but I’m not having any luck.

    • Katherine and Cindy-I have been making liquid soap like this for quite awhile and love the cost savings. Mine always turns solid but the way I resolve it is to put it in a large bowl and use my electric hand mixer and beat the heck out of hit, it’s strange how once you start using your mixer on it it turns into liquid. You may have to add more water but I would try this FIRST! 🙂 Hope that helps!

  6. For some reason mine doesn’t turn milky after the it dissolves. I am trying jergens soap. Could it be the soap?

    • Christina says:

      Do you mean it’s not turning white? Or do you mean it’s not liquefying? If its not turning white it could be because there is (or isn’t) a dye in it. If its not liquefying, add more water. If its too runny, add more soap. 🙂

  7. Just tried this! I had to whisk it do get the clumps of soap to dissolve, but they finally did. Mine came out very think, so thick that once it cooled it became solid again! I’m going to have to melt it back down and add more water. If this works it’s going to save me a ton of money!

    • mine turned back solid to i’m melting it beck down right now. i just used some DIAL i had. i hope it turns out right.

  8. Your a genius!!!

  9. It doesn’t lather…

    • Christina says:

      Joanna, the part of the soap that makes us think we’re clean (the lather) is nothing but detergent. It’s actually pretty harsh on our skin. The reason it’s not lathering like it normally would is because we’ve “watered down” the detergents. You’re still getting the same clean! You’re just not getting the lather. :/ If you really like that part, you can always add a bit of liquid glycerine. You can find it at any health store.

  10. I love that I have the same grater and measuring cups…from Dollar Tree, of course! 🙂

    • ME TOO!!! I was looking at the pics like “heeeeeeyyyyy, I got those too!!!” lol Thanks for the tip!! I make my own laundry detergent, and this makes TOTAL sense!! It’ been hard to get away from the “bubbles don’t = cleaner”!! But I think I am cured of it now. 🙂 Jacl

  11. I tried this using dove for men and it never thickened up. Today I put it back on the stove and added another bar a soap and it really looks the same….not thick. Has anyone else had this problem. Do you think it is the kind of soap I used?

  12. I had the same problem, it never thickened up, I used a whole bar and 4 cups of water….any suggestions??

  13. have you tried adding tea tree oil? (i know it’s expensive) but that will probably help with the dry skin… and considering that each bar of soap with tea tree oil is around $3-4.

  14. christina says:

    I know we don’t want to add anything extra because it would raise our price but if you REALLY wanted to thicken up your soap or make sure that it lathers, you can add a bit of liquid glycerine OR Castile soap (bar or liquid). Both can be found at natural food stores and I’ve found them in a lot of Walgreen’s stores too. I hope this helps resolve some of the issues!

  15. How much vitamin E did you use?

  16. Great idea! Thanku for sharing! Gonna try it!

  17. made this with half a bar of dove and 2 cups water. did really good. was a little worried because it didn’t get real thick, but used it today, and it lathered right up!! my mother-in-law said this was crazy, but i have fun making it, and it worked just fine. thank you for the great idea. now my son and i can make some more.

  18. I’ve used dial doing this and it turns out great. It does go back to a solid after letting it cool for about 8 hours so I just added two more cups of water turned on my electric beater and even added a tablespoon of vitamin E oil. turns out perfect…. it can get a little snotty after a while and it growsed out my husband so I put them in foaming dispensers 😀 Love it.

  19. DIAL is very harse on your skin and tends 2 dry it…dove and ivory r the best…and r doc. reccomended 4 softer skin!

  20. I read on a similar blog post that if the bar soap has a moisturizer already in it it will be MUCH thicker, so if you did 1 bar of soap you would need like 8 cups of water (or just use a few tbls. of soap) to keep it in a liquid-pourable form versus 1 or 2 cups. That might be why so many people were having problems if you wanted to note that in the instructions. (:

  21. Hi
    I made some body wash from a bar of soap.

    Just got a jar put the bar of soap, added water and just use to give it a shake.if it get to thick just add more water

    It turns out really creamy. I think it would take longer to do.
    If you broke the bar up, it would be ready sooner


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