How To Make Shower Gel From Bar Soap

Have you ever wished your favorite bar of soap could come in a thick, lathering shower gel? Fortunately, we have a recipe to turn any bar of soap into a shower gel. This simple process is not only very customizable to help you create your perfect gel, but it will also save you money when it comes to buying expensive washes.

Follow these steps to making shower gel from bar soap:

  1. Grate the bar of soap.
  2. Add water and other (optional) ingredients.
  3. Heat and melt mixture.
  4. Let your mixture cool.
  5. Pour into a container.

Want to know more details? Keep reading to check out all the ins and outs of how to create shower gel from bar soap, and all the fun ways you can tailor it to work just for you!

Image of natural bar soap and a wooden table, How To Make Shower Gel From Bar Soap

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How To Make Shower Gel From Bar Soap

Does Shower Gel Expire (Even When Unopened)

Before you get started, make sure you have the following materials:

  • Bar of soap of your choice
  • Cheese grater
  • Water
  • Large pot
  • Essential oils, coloring, coconut or castor oil (optional)
  • Container

Now that you have all that you need to make shower gel, let's elaborate on each step.

Step 1. Grate

Eco friendly grated soap

To begin turning your bar soap into a gel, you first have to break down that big chunk of soap into smaller pieces. You can use any standard cheese grater to create soap flakes that will be easy to melt. If you don't have a grater, you can also cut up the soap into small pieces.

Since you will be melting this down, grated soap is going to be the easiest to work with. If you have thick and uneven chunks, it risks burning the mixture before everything can properly melt.  Once your soap is broken down, add it to your pot.

Step 2. Add Water And Essential Oils

Two vials with essential oil and petals of pink roses on a wooden background

Next, you need to add water. To start, use 2 to 3 cups of water and add that to your pot along with the soap shavings.

This is where you can also add any optional ingredients, such as essential oils, coconut oil, or coloring. Essential oils will allow you to control the scent of your soap. Some of the most popular scents are lavender, which has a calming effect, and tea tree, which is a disinfectant.

Click here to view these oils on Amazon.

For dry skin, you can add coconut oil, castor oil, or shea butter to make your soap more moisturizing. Coconut and castor oil will also add a lather to your gel soap that the bar soap alone will not create.

Whatever your chosen ingredients, add them now to the pot with the grated soap and water.

Step 3. Melt It Down

Heat the mixture over medium heat until the ingredients are melted down. The liquid should look milky. If you grated your soap, this process can be rather quick, so be sure to keep an eye on your soap. You don't want to burn your mixture.

Step 4. Let It Cool

Once you've melted everything down into its liquid form, remove it from the heat and let it cool for a minimum of two hours. Larger batches may need to be left overnight. Once it cools, you can check to see if the consistency is to your liking.

How Do You Make Shower Gel Thicker?

Every bar of soap is going to require different water to soap ratios. So if your soap cools and it's solidified, or just isn't the consistency you want, then you will have to adjust.

If you found that your gel is too thin or watery, heat the mixture back up and add more grated soap. Again, let cool and test the consistency.

For gel that is either too thick or has completely solidified when it is cooled, you will need to heat up the soap and add more water. You can repeat this process of heating and cooling until you're satisfied, so long as the mixture doesn't burn.

Helpful Tip

Write down the ratio of soap to water for that specific bar of soap that works for you. That way it won't be a guessing game next time you make your shower gel. If you plan to continue making gel soap, keep a running list of your personal recipes that you can come back to.

Step 5. Bottle It Up

Partial view of woman holding bottle with natural beauty product and herbs in hands on yellow background

When you're happy with your new shower gel, you can bottle it up for use in the shower or as hand soap. This gel is great for recycled plastic soap bottles or for refillable pump bottles.

Click here to view this pump on Amazon.

What Ingredients Are In Shower Gel?

The basic ingredients of shower gel are water, sodium laureth sulfates (SLS), and betaines. SLS is the reason that soaps foam. Betaines are a chemical compound that helps water mix with oil to ensure thorough removal of dirt.

From there, body washes will contain ingredients to create desired properties. Emulsifiers will be added to keep a consistent texture so ingredients don't separate, while moisturizers will be added for softer skin. Coloring and scented oils will also be added for a luxurious effect.

Is Shower Gel Or Body Wash Better?

Toiletries body cleaning products

The choice between shower gel and body wash is going to come down to what your skin needs.

Shower gels are thicker than body wash and have a somewhat firmer texture to them. Gels are more helpful for those with oily skin or skin that's prone to breakouts because they contain products to aid in mixing water with oil for a deeper clean.

Click here to view this shower gel on Amazon.

Body wash is excellent for those with normal to dry skin. Body washes can be more moisturizing than gels (both of which are more moisturizing than bar soap), making them great for soothing dry skin.

Click here to view this body wash on Amazon.

Is It Cheaper To Make Your Own Shower Gel?

Set different flavoured soapbars in wooden box

Making your own shower gel from bar soap will absolutely save you money. Shower gel averages between $3.00 and $4.00, on the low end, for 16 ounces.

A single bar of soap will cost between 50 cents and $1.50 and make you at least 16 ounces of shower gel. Even purchasing essential oils and moisturizers that will last you through many homemade shower gels is still going to be cheaper in the long run.

In Closing

Creating gel soap from bar soap is a great alternative to purchasing more costly shower gels. Whether you decide to use your favorite bar of soap or want to create a recipe entirely unique, you have tons of room for creative freedom. You can make large batches for a fraction of the cost of packaged shower gel, making this a fun and practical project.

If you want to find the perfect shower gel for your dry skin, head over to this post: 13 Best Shower Gels For Dry Skin

For a how-to on ways to properly use shower gel, check out this post: How To Use Shower Gel

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