DIY luxurious hand and body wash

*Apologies in advance for this long post. I was going to break it into two, but it seemed appropriate to keep it at one. Plus, I didn’t take enough photos. And the ones I did take were on my phone.

I keep seeing pins of Dove Body Wash on Pinterest. I don’t use body wash (preferring my own handmade soap) but the boys in our house do, so after seeing it for the gazillionth time as a ‘picked for you’ pin I decided I should give it a try 🙂

Apparently this Dove Body Wash is thick and ridiculously luxurious and creamy. And who’d have thought it would be so easy to re-create!

I knew I could get bars of Dove soap from one of the discount shops for $1 a bar. I picked a couple of bars each in the 2 different scents they had – original, and Shea butter and vanilla. Then I thought I should ‘treat’ myself to a grater to be used exclusively for the job. I was very lucky that my lovely sister-in-law found one for me, for the quite acceptable price of just 50c. Thanks, Em!

Bar soap for DIY body wash

I pinned a couple of posts to my Beauty board, but quite a few seemed to credit Stacey from The Brady Bunch for the idea.

Stacey’s formula is quite simple: 2 cups of water to every 1 bar of grated Dove soap.

She does say this is specifically for Dove Beauty Bar. You can still do a similar version with other soaps, but you may need to play around with the soap to water ratio.

You may also have seen many people discovering the amazingness that happens when you microwave a bar of soap. Any soap. This is a separate experiment to the body wash 😉

So, for my first batch I decided to microwave the soap, instead of initiating my ‘new’ grater.

I used 2 bars of original Dove soap, so I heated 4 cups of water. I microwaved my first bar for about 1 minute, until it was big and fluffy, then scraped it into my simmering water. I did the same with the second bar. Then it is just a matter of heating and stirring until the soap has completely melted. This took around 10 minutes. Make sure you stir it regularly. I found the microwaved soap to be very lumpy and take a long time to melt. Once it is smooth let it cool. It will thicken further as it cools. That’s it!

The next day I made a batch using the 2 cakes of Shea Butter soap. I grated this soap. It was hard, and little bits flew around the kitchen. So I microwaved the cake of soap for 10 seconds and then grated it. Made it softer and so much easier to grate! When I had grated through the softened soap I just microwaved it for another 10 seconds and was easily able to grate the rest of the bar.

Adding the grated soap to the simmering water, and it all melted much quicker. The smaller, more uniform bits made the melting process quicker, and I only heated it for about 5 minutes. After trying both ways, I will stick with the heat/grate method 🙂

But then I messed with the recipe. I decided to add some Epsom Salts, about 1/2 cup. Whether it was the different soap, the added Epsom Salts, or a combination of these, but it didn’t get thick. Perhaps the longer heating time is important. I don’t know, I’ll have to make some more and experiment. After it was cool and obviously still very thin, I reheated it. It did end up a bit thicker, but not like the first lot. I ended up mixing both batches together, though, and it is perfectly fine to use 🙂

And since we don’t use the thick Dove Body Wash (the current favourite is a lime scented gel), the boys are used to a thinner consistency. Which means everyone is still happy. And it works perfectly in the hand wash pump dispenser as well.

DIY hand and body wash

Ah, you’ve noticed in the photos that there are some soap packets that are not Dove?

I am a recent convert to Aldi, and slowly trying out their products. I bought another few bars of Dove Shea Butter soap at $1 from the discount shop as mentioned above. But when I was in Aldi, I saw they had a box of 5 soap bars, also with Shea Butter. Also 100g bars. Both described as ‘beauty bars’.

But the cost of the 5 bar box? $2.19. That’s under 44c a bar.

So of course I had to give this process a try with the Aldi soap. Understanding that the water to soap ratio may be different, I still started with 2 cups of simmering water and 1 bar of grated soap. I didn’t think it was going to work. It had a different consistency, like it was separating. I heated it for longer than 10 minutes, but not sure exactly. Then I just got fed up and left it to cool.

Not even half an hour later I looked at it again, and it was very thick, smooth and looking pretty fantastic! But way too thick. I ended up adding another 2 cups of water, half a cup at a time, to get it to a reasonable creaminess. Here you can see the different textures, from when it has just started heating, to being far too thick, to having extra water added and being just about perfect!

Melting bar soap for DIY body wash

So let’s compare that, shall we?

One bar of Dove soap for $1, with 2 cups of water, makes a beautiful thick hand/body wash.

One bar of Aldi brand soap for 44c, with 4 cups of water, makes a beautiful thick hand/body wash.

Less than half the cost, for twice the amount. It’s a no-brainer really!

A quick search tells me that buying the ready-made bottled Dove body wash would cost from around $4 for 250ml (1 cup).

I did, however, prefer the Dove scent to the Aldi one. I will check Aldi to see if they have a plain one. Or I could try adding a drop or two of vanilla.

The ingredients list for each are a bit different. They both use Palm products. As far as I can tell, most soaps contain palm oil/products. Yes, there are some companies that make palm-free soaps, but they are not your usual supermarket brands. I am no expert, but if you environmentally aware, this might be of concern to you. There is plenty of information out there for you to do your own research, here is just one article I picked to give you an idea of the issues: Say No To Palm Oil.

Anyway, this is not a post on environmental affairs, and I don’t want to leave you on a negative note. I have shared with you an option to make something that many people already use, for a much cheaper price.

Are you a cake soap user, or do you prefer body wash/shower gel? I think in our home there is a place for both 🙂

Give this a go, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Linking up with:

Table and Hearth – DIY Like a Boss, Average But Inspired – The DIY Collective, To Simply Inspire – The Mommy Club, 21 Rosemary Lane – Share Your Style, Too Much Time on my Hands – The Handmade Hangout, Posed Perfection – Creative Ways, Have a Daily Cup of Mrs Olsen – Share Your Cup, The Crafty Wife – Wednesday Roundup, Lamberts Lately – Create it Thursday, Savvy Southern Style – Wow us Wednesday, Domesblissity – Thriving on Thursdays, Wondermom Wannabe – This is How we Roll, Love Bakes Good Cakes – Freedom Fridays, The Pin Junkie, Oh My Heartsie Girl – Friday Features, A Tray of Bliss – Five Star Frou Frou, Life With Lorelei – Home Matters, Shoestring Elegance – What to do Weekends, Domestic Superhero – Pinworthy Projects, Strawberry Butterscotch – Saturday Shuffle, 24 Cottonwood Lane – Best of the Weekend, The Pinterested Parent – Sunday’s Best, Interior Frugalista – DIY Sunday Showcase, Thoughts From Alice – Sundays at Home, My Husband Has Too Many Hobbies – Snickerdoodle Sunday, Coombe Mill – Trash 2 Treasure, Plucky’s Second Thought – Cooking and Crafting With J&J, My Pinterventures – Merry Monday, Claire Justine – Creative Mondays, Create With Joy – Inspire Me Monday, I Should be Mopping the Floor – Inspiration Monday, The Foley Fam – Sunday Funday, Pastels and Macarons – The Creative Corner, Yesterday on Tuesday – Project Inspired, Lou Lou Girls, Merry About Town – Monday Funday, Kathe With an E – You’re Gonna Love it, Our Home Away From Home – Tuesdays at our Home, Cozy Little House – Tweak it Tuesday, Tip Junkie – Tip Me Tuesday, A Peek Into My Paradise – Turn it up Tuesdays, The Dedicated House – Make it Pretty, Cedar Hill Farmhouse – The Scoop, That Recipe – Happiness is Homemade, The DIY Dreamer – From Dream to Reality, Oh My Heartsie Girl – Wonderful Wednesday, Crafty Wife – Wednesday Roundup, Savvy Southern Style – Wow us Wednesdays, To Simply Inspire – The Mommy Club, 21 Rosemary Lane – Share Your Style, Posed Perfection – Creative Ways, Have a Daily Cup of Mrs Olsen – Share Your Cup, Lamberts Lately – Create it Thursday, Domesblissity – Thriving on Thursdays, The Life of Jennifer Dawn – A Little Bird Told Me, Table and Hearth – DIY Like a Boss, Average But Inspired – The DIY Collective, Too Much Time on my Hands – The Handmade Hangout, Wondermom Wannabe- This is How We Roll, Sincerely, Paula – No Rules Blog Hop,

19 thoughts on “DIY luxurious hand and body wash

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  4. I was fascinated reading this and so pleased you added your step by step experimentation, it is interesting how the different bars reacted. I would never have thought to turn a beauty bar into a liquid soap but it makes sense and clearly saves you money. Thank you for sharing with me on Country Kids.


  5. I love how you compared the two bar soaps and wow, what a savings too! I think the drop of vanilla would work well too. Thank you for sharing with us at #Snickerdoodle Sunday! Pinned and tweeted to share 🙂 Have a wonderful week!

    Liked by 1 person

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