Green tip: Make your own foam soap (and save $!)

When choosing hand soap for a family with kids, foam soap is the way to go. Bar soap makes a slimy, gunky mess of the soap dish, while liquid soap seems to trail a stringy mess all over the dispenser and the sink. With foam soap, you get the right amount of lather in the palm of your hand with one pump of the dispenser; no drips, no gunk.

The problem with foam soap, however, is that a bottle doesn’t last long – about one week in our house. And at $3/bottle, the expense adds up, and means a lot of bottles tossed in the recycle bin.

Buying eco-pak refills is a good option, both economically and environmentally, allowing you to re-use a single dispenser that you fill as needed from the eco-pak (1 eco-pak refill will provide about 3 bottles of soap). But, there’s an even better option. You may know foam soap’s fancy sounding main ingredient aqua by its more common name: water. This got me thinking: how much actual soap is in there, and could I make my own by diluting regular liquid soap with water? After some experimenting, I discovered that it actually takes very little liquid soap to make a batch of foam soap, and it works quite well! Here’s the simple recipe I use for a 300 ml container:

First, you will need a special foam soap dispenser (which aerates the soap, making it foam). You can buy this on its own, or you can just buy a bottle of foam soap and reuse the container once it’s empty.

Add 40 ml of liquid soap to the empty dispenser (notice in the photo below how little soap is needed). To avoid bubbling, gently top up with water (260 ml), cap it, and then shake to mix. There, you’re done. Tip: warm water dissolves the soap faster.

It takes very little soap to make a batch of foam soap.

It takes very little soap to make a batch of foam soap.

Our soap of choice is the BioLife liquid hand soap 1-litre (1000 ml) eco-pak, available at Shoppers Drug Mart for $6.99 (but any liquid hand soap will do). Using 40 ml for one recipe, that’s 25 bottles of foam soap from 1 eco-pak. Compare that with buying 25 bottles of foam soap at $3 each – that’s $75!! (not to mention 25 bottles in the recycle bin).

1 refill = 25 bottles.

1 refill = 25 bottles.

In our house – a family of 4, with fairly regular hand-washing (I also use it as my shaving cream!) – the eco-pak lasts about half a year. Good for the wallet and good for the environment!

– Saving the Earth one soap at a time.

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2 Responses to Green tip: Make your own foam soap (and save $!)

  1. Elizabeth Nicholson says:

    I. have been doing this since the kids were little, I have to replace the pump bottle once.

  2. Alfred says:

    Thank you so much for this. We have a septic system and this will ease the chemicals going into it as well as save a lot of money on hand soap usage.

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