This post was 100% inspired by you guys! Several of you commented about how you make your own body wash from bar soap. I figured it was time I gave it a try and decided to go with a DIY Dove body wash.
Updated February 2020
After a bit of trial and error, I finally came up with what I consider to be a good (for my liking) recipe. The consistency and the scent are the same as a Dove body wash, but there are fewer bubbles.
Dove soap – Make sure the bar of soap says “beauty bar”, pictured below. It may not turn out the same with another soap. I would love to hear if you had success with another variety, though. Please drop a comment.
Coconut Oil – I only recently started using coconut oil and I don’t know why it has taken me so long. It is a great moisturizer by itself, and I have even used it on my face before I apply makeup.
Reader Jessy said: “Love this recipe! I tried it out using Ivory soap, ended up remelting and adding water a few times, but I finally got the texture right with 113g of Ivory, 750ml of water, and 30g of coconut oil. Once I was pleased with the texture, I added ylang ylang and blood orange EOs for scent. Heavenly.”
Ratio: 1 Bar of Soap to 1 Cup of Water. Add One TBSP of Coconut Oil, if you desire but it is not necessary.
Step One: Use a cheese grater to grate bars of dove soap into a large bowl. It took me about 20 minutes to complete the two bars while watching TV.
Step Two: Bring water to a simmer. Be sure to use a rather large pot over medium heat.
Step Three: When the water is simmering, mix in grated soap and coconut oil using a spatula. Do not use a whisk. It will create too many bubbles. Mix consistently (but not non-stop) until soap is melted. Mine simmered for about seven to ten minutes.
Step Four: Remove from heat and let it sit uncovered in the pot. Set timer for two hours. Once the timer goes off, stir once, then bottle it up into a squeezable container using a funnel.
Here’s a picture of how thick the consistency of the DIY body wash is! Pretty close to the “real thing!”
I actually let mine sit for four hours, but it was almost too thick to pour. So, I recommend just bottling it up after the first two hours. It will continue to thicken once it’s in the bottles. I used a rinsed shampoo bottle and a mason jar to store mine. The mason jar was a HUGE mistake since I couldn’t get the soap out because it thickened so much. So definitely go with squeezable plastic containers!
In total, this makes about 28 ounces, which is 4 ounces more than a typical bottle of Dove Body Wash.
And now, it’s time for the true test, the cost breakdown:
- 4-pack of Dove bars (Used 1/2 package, so this cost is for two bars): $2.50
- Coconut Oil: $0.25
- Total Cost to DIY: $2.75 (for 28oz)
- Cost of Dove Body Wash In-Store: $5.49 (24 oz)
- Cost of DIY Version: $2.75 (28 oz)
- Cost per Ounce (Store Bought): $0.23
- Cost per ounce (DIY): $0.10
- Savings if you DIY: 50%
There are many benefits to making your own body wash. The number one benefit is the money 💰 you will save. If you have purchased body wash any time recently, you already know that it’s super expensive. There is no need to spend a lot of money on something that you could easily make yourself.
You’re in control of the ingredients. I bought commercially made soap many times over the years, but I enjoy homemade soap so much more. I know exactly what goes into it and what I am putting on my body. That’s a big deal!
Reader Laura pointed out: “A great reason to do this is to cut down on the use of plastic. You can refill an old Dove body wash bottle over and over again.”
📌 Items to Note
Food Processor: Believe it or not, you can grate the soap in your food processor. You’ll need to cut the bar of soap in smaller pieces for it to work. I recommend cutting the bar into 4-6 pieces and then placing them in the food processor. Then you’ll need to pulse a few times. Take the lid off and move any large pieces that seem stuck. Then turn it on again. Continue doing this until it’s a very fine mixture.
This method is excellent if you don’t have a grater or just don’t want to take the time to grate it the old fashioned way. Nothing wrong with trying to save yourself some time along the way.
Make sure you clean the food processor well after you use it. You don’t want soap flavored food!
Reader Julie’s tip: “I found a great way to handle the tedious grating. Place the bar soap in the refrigerator over night, whole or cut into squares. Throw the pieces in the blender or food processor and you’ll have powdered soap quickly. For a whole, cold bar, just cut it with a knife. It will splinter into small pieces and you can skip the appliances if you like.”
Storage: On average, the homemade body wash will last about a year. It may last a little longer than that, but for the best results, use it within a year. I will often make up a really large batch, and I have a few containers ready to go whenever I need them. It’s nice that it lasts so long.
Hand Soap: It is completely fine to use this body wash as hand soap. Just put it in a pump dispenser and use it as needed.
While I haven’t tried adding tons of other ingredients in the homemade soap, here are a few ideas to try. Go ahead and experiment a little bit. Keep in mind when adding additional ingredients, the texture may change, so do a little bit at a time for trial and error. Check out these ideas:
- Honey – It’s amazing how good honey is for your skin. Add ¼ – ⅓ cup of honey per batch for some added nutrients for your skin.
- Vitamin E – If your skin is extra dry or you are just looking for a great way to give your skin some added moisture, vitamin E is the way to go. Start with ½ – 1 teaspoon.
- Olive Oil – Don’t worry if you are out of coconut oil and still want to make soap. You can easily use olive oil instead. It’s terrific for your skin and will help it feel silky and smooth. The coconut oil will solidify at room temperature, but the olive oil won’t – so expect the end result to have a different texture.
- Essential Oils – Add in 20 drops of your favorite oil combinations. Lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, and ylang-ylang are a few of my favorites.
🚸 Safe For Kids
The only ingredients are soap, water, and coconut oil (and the coconut oil can be omitted if you want.) All of these ingredients are safe for kids. If your children are really little, then I recommend using the Baby Dove Bars instead. That way, it’s a little more gentle on their skin. This is especially important if your kiddo has extra sensitive skin.
Some readers noted that this recipe turned out too watery for them. While I have had great results with this specific ratio, some commenters have mentioned that they achieved better results with a ratio of two cups of water, to one bar of soap.
My thinking behind adding the coconut oil was to help with thickening (since coconut oil solidifies at room temperature) and to provide a bit of extra moisture. I haven’t personally tested this recipe without the coconut oil. If you are going to omit the coconut oil, I’d probably use the two cups of water to one bar of soap ratio that some have suggested. But again, I haven’t tried those alterations myself, so can’t tell you 100% if they’ll work.
Hello, are you using distilled water?
Yes, if you can find it!
Ginger Johnson says
You can also melt the dove in the microwave at 30 second intervals to save grating. 😊
Dee Johnston says
I would like to make this and wondering if I could use the Dove (Care Bar) Antibacterial soap in place of the Beauty Bar??? I’ve got 4 bars from a previous surgery. Thank you for the wonderful instructions. I can’t hardly wait to try.
Dee Smith says
I have to use antibacterial soap on my body due to a skin condition. I don’t like the color nor the scent of regular liquid antibacterial soap. So I found your recipe, shaved two bars of Dial, and heated it up in 24 oz of water. So far, so good!! I put it in an empty pump dispenser for the shower and it is great!!!
Excellent!! I’m so happy for you!! Thanks for letting me know!
Winona Powell says
I’m sorry but it wasn’t clear to me on the amounts in the recipe other than the 2 bars of grated Dove soap, so how much water and how much coconut oil please?
Thanks so very much ❣️
Winona! Thank you for asking me to clarify!! I appreciate that a lot as I want to make sure it is clear and when I read it as a newbie, I can definitely see the confusion so I put the ratio that the top of Instructions for all! 1 bar of soap to 1 cup of water. The coconut oil is optional. So you can do the 3 bars of soap and 3 cups of water….then if you wanted the coconut oil you can add a little bit to it, a tablespoon to each ratio. In the older comments, a lot of people said they don’t even feel like they need the coconut oil so don’t go out and buy it if you don’t have it. Thanks again for stopping by and for helping me assist others!! Our readers rock!! Ginny
So i just finished making this. 1 1/2 hours letting it cool (not the 2 hrs) it was 1 whole round slime like solid. I used 1/2 cup hot water added to pot and stirred. Seems ok. Didnt make much though. Maybe 2 cups. Will be able to try soon. May have to try a double batch because children use a lot!
Thanks for the recipe.
Kim, that sounds about right. Kids do use a lot! lol!!! But the little bit of time it takes to save money wins me over every time! lol!!! Ginny
Haven’t read all of the comments, but has anyone tried (with success) to make this using a crock pot?
A great reason to do this is to cut down on the use of plastic. You can refill an old Dove body wash bottle over and over again. The Dove bar boxes are recyclable, although they are in a cellophane wrapper when you buy them I bulk. Regardless, it reduces your plastic usage overall.
Excellent point, Laura!! Thanks for stopping by!
I just made a batch using scented Dove beauty bars. I didn’t want to use my good coconut oil for soap, but I had some olive oil in the house which had passed its edible date, so I figured “why not?”.
I used an old-fashioned grater for the soap bars, and opted for a rubber scraper rather than a spatula for stirring. 😉
I wanted to add essential oils, but since the beauty bars were already scented, it seemed rather redundant.
The finished soap turned out just as smooth and creamy as commercially produced products! I’m very happy with the results!
I’m so glad this worked out so well for you! Hooray!
Sorry if this is a stupid question but must one use an old pot to make the body wash? Wondered if the smell from the soap stays in the pot!
I used my food processor for the shredding and it worked great. I followed your recipe and my body wash didn’t turn out as thick as yours and I actually came up with about 32 oz! I’m excited to use it!
I made this liquid soap. My hands have been so dry and dove bar soap recommended by the dermatologist. My hands are so smooth with much less dryness. This is such a simple solution.
So happy to hear this!! Cheers! Ginny