Simple Natural Foaming Hand Wash

You’ll need just five ingredients, and we have tried to be really conscientious of global ingredient availability so hopefully you can make this hand wash no matter where in the world you live. all-natural, and have worked to make sure all the ingredients interplay perfectly so the making part is really simple.

Distilled water and vegetable glycerin form the bulk of this hand wash. Glycerin is a great, inexpensive, readily available humectant, and at 30% it really helps boost preservative performance by reducing water activity.

The surfactant blend features two very accessible surfactants; coco glucoside and Cocamidopropyl Betaine. They are both lovely surfactants and when combined we get a gorgeous, rich, gentle lather and our last ingredient is the preservative; Optiphen Plus.

In the interests of “simple”, that’s it—which means there’s nothing in here that smells pretty, though you could modify the formulation to include something if you wanted to! The easiest option would be swapping 20–30% of the distilled water for a hydrosol. If you’d prefer to use an essential oil. 0.5% in a rinse-off product should be fine for most common essential oils, but it’s always a good idea to know your essential oils and double-check.

These are the very basic steps, below we go into detail about each stage and what each step involves.

Summary: Easy Peppermint Sugar Scrub Cubes


75g | 30% vegetable glycerin

1.25g | 0.5% Optiphen Plus

37.5g | 15% Coco Glucoside

25g | 10% Coco Betaine

111.25g | 44.5% distilled water


  • Weigh the glycerin and Preservative into a beaker. Whisk to combine.
  • Add the coco glucoside and Cocamidopropyl Betaine; whisk to combine.
  • Add the distilled water and gently stir to combine. Cover the mixture and leave it to dissolve.

  • Once the mixture is uniform, you’re done!

Shelf Life & Storage

Because this foaming hand wash contains water, you must include a broad-spectrum preservative to ward off microbial growth. This is non-optional. Even with a preservative, this project may eventually spoil as our kitchens are not sterile laboratories, so in the event you notice any change in colour, scent, or texture, chuck it out and make a fresh batch.


  • If you make any changes to this formulation beyond incorporating a hydrosol or essential oil I recommend testing the pH and adjusting if necessary. This is especially true if you change the surfactant(s).
  • Other glucosides would be my first choice for swapping out the coco glucoside; remember to check and adjust the pH if you’re making changes.

← Older Post Newer Post →

Leave a comment