DIY: Body Wash

DIY Body Wash Recipe |

Why DIY Body Wash

Conventional body wash can contain parabens, sulfates, toxic preservatives and artificial fragrances. Even those marketed as natural products can score frighteningly high in cancer-causing toxins and other harmful ingredients.

Alternative To Body Wash

I love using liquid Castile soap as a body wash. It is very natural and safe both for babies and adults, but still extremely effective. It suds with minimal water and is non toxic to the environment.

The only problem really for me, is that buying the liquid for a family of four can get very expensive. We can go through one large bottle in a week! Buying Castile soap in bar form and making a liquid body wash is much less expensive and creates a very luxurious product.

DIY Body Wash Ingredients

Distilled Water

If you make a personal care product with water, it must be distilled. Tap water contains bacteria that will drastically shorten the shelf life of your body wash. The only other option besides distilled water would be water filtered through a high end filter that removes bacteria, then boiled.

Castile Soap

This is one of the most gentle types of soap available. It doesn’t pollute the environment when it enters the waste water stream and is non-toxic as it is made from vegetable oils, usually a mixture of coconut and hemp. Castile soap is typically scented naturally if it is scented. I avoid using peppermint fragranced Castile soap for body wash though, as it can irritate sensitive skin.


Vegetable-based glycerin is used to give the body wash a thicker consistency. It is also moisturizing and has a long shelf life.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E works as an antioxidant and both increases the shelf life of the body wash, and protects your skin from harmful free radicals.  When you buy and use Vitamin E, it is important to make sure that it is labeled “d-alpha tocopherol” which is derived naturally from plant sources and not “dl-alpha tocopherol acetate” which is synthesized and toxic.

Essential Oils

High quality essential oils have myriad health benefits. For a relaxing body wash, try rose, lavender or chamomile. For an uplifting wash, try orange or grapefruit.

DIY Body Wash Recipe |

Body Wash Recipe



  1.  Bring distilled water to a low boil in a stainless steel saucepan.
  2. Over low heat, stir in grated soap and stir until melted.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Add glycerine, vitamin E and essential oils.
  5. Cover mixture and let sit undisturbed for 12-24 hours or until completely cool. (This is important, if you disturb it at this point you could end up with a very watery product or a product with an unpleasant, chunky texture)
  6. After mixture is completely cool and set, transfer to very clean containers.


As this body wash is made with water, it will have a shorter shelf life than a  homemade lotion or body butter, or other product that doesn’t contain water. This isn’t really a bad thing, since the point of making your own bath and body care products is to keep the ingredients as safe and natural as possible. We don’t want commercial preservatives in our products! Some ways to extend its shelf life include:

  • Putting your body wash into a very clean container.
  • Using a container that will limit your contact with the body wash, such as a pump or squeeze bottle. Scooping the body wash out of a jar will introduce bacteria from your hands into the product, shortening its shelf life.
  • Refrigerating your body wash. I keep a small bottle of this product in the shower and use it up within a week so I’ve had no problems with shelf life, but I keep the rest in glass jars in the refrigerator until I’m ready to use it.

Click +1 Below. I hope you give this DIY Body Wash Recipe a try!

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  1. Hilary says

    Just wondering… I was recently reading elsewhere that a potential problem with castile soap (I use Dr Bronner’s baby liquid soap) is that the pH is somewhat more basic than our skin/hair and thus can be drying. I think I read the pH is.. 9? Any thoughts on this? Anything that would be safe to add to lower the pH a bit closer to the skin’s natural pH? Or not a concern? Thanks!

  2. Marguerite says

    I can’t wait to try this bodywash! Looking forward to trying orange for some uplifting feeling and maybe something like lavender for night time. Getting all excited as I write the ingredients and get ready to shop this week!!! Thank you for posting this. We host Japanese students and they love the smells of our shampoos and body wash!

  3. Sally says

    I have a huge bottle liquid castile soap – do you have any recipes to make it into a body wash or hand wash with a better consistency/scent? I don’t really like it by itself, it seems to leave very dry feeling.

    • Kristi says

      If it feels dry then adding the vitamin E should help with that. Add some essential oils while you are at it for a great smell!

  4. Tracy says

    I found you on pintrest and am so excited to try this, however, I only have vitamin e oil. Can this be used in place of the capsuls and if so how much? Thanks.

  5. Amanda says

    I made this twice. It was watery the first time. I figured since I poured it into the “final” container already and stirred after each addition: glycerin, stir, vitamin e, stir, essential oils, stir; that it was my fault; as I “disturbed” it. I did it all again and didn’t add it to the final container and stirred vaguely once after adding other ingredients; glycerin, vitamin e, essential oils, stir. It is still watery. I have no idea how you got yours thicker.

  6. Kelley says

    You could try reducing the water, but I’m not sure what the problem would be if you didn’t disturb it! Mine is the same consistency as liquid castile soap! Maybe try boiling a little longer to render it down a bit?

  7. Clauda H. says

    I made my batch yesterday and followed instructions but my soap is very chunky. is there anything I can do to be able to use this batch?

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