Save Over $100 by Making Your Own Foaming Hand Soap

Save Over $100 by Making Your Own Foaming Hand Soap

The Foaming Hand Soap refill costs how much!? I was in Target recently to buy a refill for our soap dispensers and I was shocked at the cost of the refill package. We're told that buying products that can be refilled is not only environmentally-friendly, but also economical. In this case, spending almost $6 for something that is about 95% water felt like daylight robbery! 

I sensed this might be a potential “frugalitude” moment, so I postponed my purchase and set off to do some research. 

 Thanks to the amazing power of the Internet, a solution was not hard to find! I found a very simple recipe for foaming hand soap on The Balance Everyday website.


What you need

You really do not need much, just these 4 things:

  • A foaming hand soap dispenser*
  • Liquid soap
  • Water
  • A tablespoon
* The Method brand soap dispensers are the best as they are very robust and will last a long time.


What to do

  • Fill the soap dispenser about ¾ full with warm water. You need to leave enough room for the dispenser pump and some air.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of liquid soap to the water.
  • Screw on the dispenser top and shake the dispenser a few times to mix the soap and water.
  • Pump the soap dispenser a few times to get the foaming started, and that’s it!


How much time?

I timed myself: 1 minute and 5 seconds to rinse out the soap dispenser and refill it following the steps above.



So let's take a look at my cost breakdown:

  • A foaming soap refill costs approximately $5.70 for 28 oz.
  • I bought a 17 oz liquid soap for $1.99.
  • I made approximately 8 oz of foaming liquid soap with 1 tablespoon of liquid soap, and 1 tablespoon is about 0.5 oz.
  • Based on those numbers, 28 oz of homemade foaming soap costs $0.20 to make.

Even if you have to buy a foaming soap dispenser (about $2.79 for a Method one), you'll still be saving almost 50% of the cost of the refill. 

Our family of 2 would get through a $5.70 (28oz) refill in a month, so a family of 4 would save (12 x $5.70) x 2 = $136.80 on refills annually. Minus the costs of production (24 x $0.20), makes a total estimated yearly saving of around $132. All for a few minutes effort.


Is it worth it?

It's very easy to give this a 5 pig grading. It is absolutely worth making it yourself since you can save a lot of money for just a few minutes work. 


Anything else I should know?

Here are the answers to a few questions you may have about foaming hand soap. If you have other questions then please let me know in the Comments section:

1. Since foaming hand soap is just watered down regular soap is it less effective at cleaning?

No, and it may be better. Washing your hands with a foaming hand soap is much easier than with other types of soap because it lathers more readily and is easier to rinse off.

2. Is foaming hand soap environmentally-friendly?

Yes it is. Since it is diluted less soap ends up in our rivers, streams and seas. Plus it can help conserve water as studies have shown that people use about 16% less water to wash and rinse their hands when they use foaming hand soap.


3. Help, my dispenser is not working! What did I do wrong?

You can experiment with the water to soap ratio to get the foam consistency you prefer but if the mixture has too much soap then the soap dispenser can get clogged. A foaming hand soap dispenser works by injecting air into the soap/water mixture to get it to foam. If you refill the dispenser with undiluted liquid soap, or liquid soap that has not been diluted enough, then the dispenser will stop working because the liquid soap is too viscous. If this happens it is quite easy to clean the dispenser pump with hot water and then dilute the liquid soap as detailed above.

So now you know how easy and quick it is to make foaming hand soap, I hope you'll try it for yourself. Trust me - it's good, clean fun!  

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