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

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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  • Diana

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


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

    • Chrstina

      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. 🙂

  • Alicia

    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?

    • christina

      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!

  • Taneesha

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

    • christina

      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!!

    • Karlee

      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 🙂

  • 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

      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

        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

      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.

    • Heidi

      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!

  • Lela

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

    • Christina

      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. 🙂

  • Heather

    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!

  • Joanna

    It doesn’t lather…

    • Christina

      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.

  • 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

  • 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?

  • Amy

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

  • Anna

    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.

  • christina

    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!

    • Nadia

      I made my body wash last night and I love it!!
      I used:
      – Dove beauty bar (3.17oz)
      – Three cups of water
      – Vitamin E oil

      It was the perfect consistency.

  • How much vitamin E did you use?

  • Rachel

    Great idea! Thanku for sharing! Gonna try it!

  • 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.

  • kari

    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.

  • 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!

  • demi

    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. (:

  • Kay

    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

  • Art

    I make my own soap out of olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, and cocoa butter. I added the following fragrance oils: lemongrass, tea tree, cedar, fern, citronella, and lavendar. I also added vitamin E. They are formed into 3 ounce bars. I am going to use your method to make body wash out of it. Thanks!

  • Angelia Sims

    I use Irish Spring when I am showering for work alot so I tried it. I used 2 bars and it was so thin… I poured it up anyway and got up this morning and it was solid! a minute or so in the microwave helped me get the soap back into my pot!

    I’m going to add some more water and was thinking of adding shea butter or cocoa butter to it. If I get it too think I might just add a tablespoon or so of beeswax to it

    If you want scented soap and use something with no smell a few drops of essential oil would be great in this!

    • Becky

      Those are great tips!! I love adding Wild Orange, a Fir, or even Elevation, Cheer, or Motivation to mine (I share with my hubby, so no floral scents for me!)

  • Precisely what I was looking for, regards for putting up.

  • Rebecca Tibble

    I am trying this as well. I have tried dial (it was cheap) and Irish spring. I tried the dial soap first and got pretty good results, although a bit slimy. The Irish spring is still a work in progress. I added to much water and had to cook some if it off. I love the idea of this and hope can figure this out. I don’t have the patience to grate by hand, so I use the shredding blade that came with my food processor. Works great and saves my knuckles.


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