DIY Foaming Citrus Soap

Save money by making your own antibacterial soap.

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We are huge fans of foaming soap. Mainly because our sons are soap wasters. They can go through an entire bottle of soap in less than a week. We don’t buy the pre-filled foaming soap anymore. Foaming soap is easy to make and you will save money by making your own.

Foaming Soap Pump with Magnolia Flower on Towel

Foaming Citrus Soap is Simple to Make

Making your own custom scented foaming soaps is easy and takes only three ingredients.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe


Essential Oils, Bottle of Soap and Soap Pump

Foaming Citrus Soap Supplies

It only takes a few ingredients to make your own custom scented foaming hand soap.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

  • Castile Soap (or any liquid soap, fragrance-free)
  • water
  • lemon, lime and tea tree essential oils
  • foaming soap pump

The key to making foaming soap is the pump. You can get foaming pumps at big box retailers or online. If can, also reuse a prefilled foaming pump container after it’s empty. Making your own foaming soap is significantly cheaper than buying refills or prefilled pumps.

Many people use way more soap than they need to wash their hands, especially kids. A 32 ounce bottle of Castile soap will last our family of four for a year. That’s with multiple daily hand washings by little boys.

In reality, you can use any type of liquid soap. We like Castile soap because it leaves less of a residue on your hands and surfaces. The essential oils used in the recipe are two-fold: they have disinfecting properties and a clean, smell fresh.

Clear Bottle with Some Soap

Foaming Citrus Soap Only Uses a Small Amount Of Soap

You only need to the pump with about 1/8-1/4 of soap.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Step 1

Add the liquid soap to the bottle. You need to fill it ¼ of the way up the bottle. The foaming pump bottle we use has handy line indicators for the soap and water levels. Next add the essential oils. Essential oils are potent and a little goes a long way. We typically use 7 drops of the lime and lemon oils and only 3 drops of the tea tree. Tea tree oil is strong and has a piney aroma. It also has powerful antibacterial properties, which is why we add it to our soap.

Clear Bottle with Liquid Soap

Foaming Citrus Soap and Supplies

Fill the rest of the pump with water and gently mix.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Step 2

Add the water. Don’t fill the bottle all the way to the top. You need to leave a little bit of headspace for the pump. If you fill it all the way to the top, some of the soap mixture will spill out when you add the pump. Also, the pump will not have enough space to “foam” the soap.

Hand Pumping Soap for Dispencer

Foaming Citrus Soap Foams Immediately

The special pump on the soap dispenser is what makes the foam.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Step 3

Put the pump on and give the bottle a gently swirl. Your soap is ready to use!

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