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.”
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.