Updated February 2020
This post was 100% inspired by you guys! When I wrote this post, 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.
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.
Please note: These instructions only apply to the dove beauty bar. I have only tried this with this type of bar soap and I’m in no way a soap-making expert, so unfortunately can’t offer much help with troubleshooting! Commenters that have tried it with different types of soaps have had very mixed experiences.
- 6 cups of water
- 2 (4.4oz) bars of dove soap (Make sure it says beauty bar, pictured to the right. It may not turn out the same with another soap).
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 Container to add your completed body wash to
Using a cheese grater, grate bars of dove soap into a large bowl. It took me about 20 minutes to grate two bars while watching TV.
Bring water to a simmer. Be sure to use a rather large pot (Mine was 8qts and I had no issues).
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.
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%
DIY Body Wash Benefits
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 what ingredients you use for your homemade body wash. While I’m just like the next person and bought commercially made soap many times over the years, 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!
Can You Grate Soap In A Food Processor?
Yes, believe it or not, you can! You’ll need to cut the bar 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!
Optional Dove Body Wash Variations
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 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.
Is Homemade Body Wash Safe For Kids?
Yes, 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.
How Long Does Homemade Dove Body Wash Last?
On average, the homemade body wash will last about a year. It may last a little longer than that, but for best results, use within one 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.
Could I Use This Soap As Handsoap Too?
Yes, it would be completely fine to use this body wash as hand soap. Just put it in a pump dispenser and use it as needed.
- Some have said 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 2 cups of water, to 1 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 2 cups of water/1 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.
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.”
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.”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.”