This DIY antibacterial soap with essential oils is a gentle and safe way to clean your hands! See how to make homemade liquid handwash with just 6 simple ingredients and 5 minutes start to finish. Made with natural, skin-loving ingredients, the simple soap making recipe is suitable for adults and children alike, and won’t dry out your skin.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. Learn more
DIY antibacterial soap – DIY hand soap recipe
One of the most important things to stay healthy and avoid infectious diseases like the cold, flu or coronavirus, is to wash your hands regularly with soap (source). Yesterday, I shared a homemade hand sanitizer. Today, I want to show you how to make natural antibacterial soap at home.
If you’re thinking that learning how to make liquid hand soap is difficult, it isn’t. Not only is my simple homemade handwash with essential oils good for the skin, but this easy soap making recipe is ready in only 5 minutes.
I’m always wary of pre-made cosmetics, which is why I love DIY skincare recipes. I don’t have to worry about parabens, silicones or other weird ingredients, and – bonus! – know exactly what’s in my products.
I’m always looking for ways to incorporate more homemade recipes into my skin and body care. But we need to talk about store-bought soap before we get to this easy DIY antibacterial soap recipe.
Is antibacterial soap bad?
Should you use antibacterial hand soap? Antibacterial soaps have similar properties as plain soap, but contain extra additives to eliminate harmful bacteria. These soaps are often very drying, strip the skin of its natural oils and also remove the good bacteria. Not good! And there are more possible antibacterial soap dangers:
3 in 4 antibacterial soaps contain triclosan, a chemical that is suspected of altering the way some hormones and other biological processes work in the body. (source) Further evidence suggests that triclosan is toxic for the environment (source) – definitely not something I want in my skin care!
Some experts suggest that using regular soap is enough to fight bacteria and germs. (source)
However, I’m better safe than sorry and prefer extra protection for my family and myself. I work part-time as a caregiver for the elderly, so antibacterial soap is a must. Of course, I don’t want to use a chemical-heavy, potentially harmful product at home and decided to create my own DIY antibacterial soap. And you can do too!
DIY antibacterial soap ingredients and tools – Homemade essential oil soap
Let’s learn more about the ingredients to make the best antibacterial hand soap:
- green soap – Green soap is the secret star in my antibacterial hand soap recipe. Read on to learn more about this amazing product!
- distilled water – If you don’t have distilled water, use boiled cold water.
- neem oil – Neem oil penetrates the skin deeply and restores moisture, enhances elasticity, and soothes cracks caused by dryness. Because neem oil is expensive, feel free to substitute with olive oil or fractionated coconut oil.
- vitamin E oil (optional) – Optionally, add vitamin E oil for extra skin nourishment.
- Optihen Plus – Since the liquid hand soap recipe contains water, a preservative has to be used. Optiphen Plus is a paraben-free preservative and will prolong the shelf life of our natural liquid hand wash. You can make the soap without it, see my tips on shelf life below.
- essential oils – Lemon, grapefruit and tea tree essential oil give the soap a refreshing smell and are said to have antibacterial and antiviral properties.
- immersion blender – I used an immersion blender with the whip attachment to mix the ingredients. A milk frother would also work.
- soap dispenser – Since this is a liquid soap recipe, we need a soap dispenser to store and use the antibacterial body soap. I have this one from Ikea.
You can find the measurements in the DIY box at the end of the post!
What is green soap?
Before we start making DIY antibacterial soap, let’s talk about the most important ingredient in this homemade soap recipe: green soap. Green soap is a liquid, vegetable, oil-based soap and has a greenish-yellow colour. The cleanser is entirely plant-based, bio-degradable and environmentally-safe.
Green soap is a natural sanitizer and high-grade skin disinfectant. The soap is commonly used in medical facilities, tattoo parlours and piercing studios. Many tattoo artists use green soap to sanitise the skin before the procedure and afterwards to soothe and facilitate healing. It can also be used to clean and sterilise equipment.
How does green soap work? What are the benefits of green soap?
Green soap is made with vegetable oils and glycerin, which hydrate and moisturise the skin. The soap also contains alcohol, which acts as a disinfectant.
As I already mentioned, normal antibacterial soap is extremely drying and robs the skin of its natural oils. But not so green soap! The plant oil and glycerin protect the skin from drying out and provide moisturisation.
What does green soap smell like?
The smell is herbaceous, similar to vetiver. If you have a tattoo, you may remember that typical tattoo parlour smell. I used Cosco’s Tincture of Green Soap in this DIY antibacterial soap recipe, which contains lavender oil, and has a noticeable lavender and herbal scent.
Why do I have to dilute green soap?
Green soap is very concentrated and has to be diluted before you can use it, which is exactly what we are doing in this liquid soap recipe.
Where to buy green soap tincture?
Green soap can be ordered online. I used Tincture of Green Soap from Cosco and my antibacterial soap turned out great.
Homemade liquid hand wash with castile soap
The recipe is for diy hand soap without castile. However, castile soap can be used as an alternative to green soap, the soap making process is the same. As I mentioned, green soap has a distinctive smell that not everyone likes. I recommend Dr Bronner’s pure castile soap, which is unscented and very gentle.
A homemade liquid hand wash with castile soap is great for the skin. But since castile soap doesn’t contain alcohol, the soap won’t have the same antibacterial effect. Anyway, you have that option.
How to make DIY antibacterial soap
Let’s get to this DIY antibacterial soap! Will you believe me when I tell you that it takes just 5 minutes to prep?! Here’s how to make homemade antibacterial hand soap with essential oils:
- Pour the distilled water in a tall mixing bowl (I used a mason jar.)
- Add the green soap, neem oil, vitamin E oil (if using), essential oils and Optiphen Plus.
- Using a blender, whip for a couple of minutes. The soap mixture will become very foamy, but the foam settles after a while.
- Transfer the soap into a soap dispenser, and you’re done!
Antibacterial hand soap
I’m a huge fan of the convenience of liquid hand wash. The soap dispenser makes it easy to pump out hand soap. Even little ones quickly learn to do!
Use this recipe for antibacterial soap whenever you come home after being outside or in public. Make sure it’s the first thing once you’re inside.
I also like to wash my hands with the DIY antibacterial liquid hand soap after:
- before and after preparing food (especially meat, fish and seafood)
- talking out the garbage or touching the garbage bin
- changing diapers or helping kids/older relatives on the toilet
- doing garden work
- signing for deliveries
- cuddling with my pets or cleaning the cat litter box
- coughing and sneezing
When you’re on the go and can’t wash your hands with soap and water, use my DIY hand sanitizer instead.
Antibacterial body soap
By the way, you aren’t limited to your hands. The recipe can also be used as a natural antibacterial body soap. I work part-time as a caregiver for the elderly. When I come home after a shift, I like to hop in the shower and use this natural antibacterial body wash on my entire body.
Can children use this homemade antibacterial hand wash?
Yes, kids can use this DIY antibacterial soap. I wanted a hand wash recipe that your whole family can use and chose only kid-safe essential oils. Green soap is not only sanitising but also has excellent cleaning qualities and will remove dirt safely and efficiently.
The homemade liquid hand wash can be stored for 2 months. Made without Optiphen, the shelf life of the sanitizing hand wash is 2 weeks.
How to wash hands properly
Before I send you off to whip up a batch of the DIY antibacterial hand soap, let’s talk about handwashing. As a caregiver, I received training on how to properly wash hands many times.
Here is how to wash your hands according to the World Health Organization:
- Wet hands with water
- Apply enough soap to cover all hand surfaces
- Rub hands palm to palm.
- Next, right palm over left dorsum with interlaced fingers and vice versa.
- Then rub palm to palm with fingers interlaced.
- Backs of fingers to opposing palms with fingers interlocked.
- Rotational rubbing of the left thumb clasped in right palm and vice versa.
- rubbing, backwards and forwards with clasped fingers of the right hand in left palm and vice versa.
- Rinse hands with water.
- Dry thoroughly with a single-use towel.
… and your hands are safe!
If you have more hand hygiene tips, please sound off below to let me and others know!
Printable DIY Hand Soap Label
Tab or click the button to download your free printable hand soap labels!
Over to you!
Thanks so much for visiting Country Hill Cottage – we’re so happy you’re here! Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!
If you enjoyed this post, please share it using the social media buttons you see next to the post.