If you’re like me and you haven’t exactly accomplished zero-waste quite yet, you probably have some disposable items left around. If one of them is a soap bottle and you happen to have a spare jar, why not reuse it to make a soap dispenser! Better yet, make your own eco-friendly hand soap to go in it!
- Used soap container or spare pump
- Mason jar
- Screwdriver + hammer (or electric hand drill if you have one)
- Water-resistant glue
- Marker (optional)
1. Make a hole in the centre of the Mason jar lid just large enough so that the shank fits through but the cap sits on top.
It helps if you use a marker to draw the hole beforehand. Then, use a screwdriver and hammer to puncture small holes around and within the circle until the entire centre falls through. The fit should be as snug as possible around the shank so that the pump doesn’t wiggle.
2. Squeeze glue along the inside edge of the pump and insert the pump through the hole in the mason jar lid. Wipe away any glue that squishes out the side, and let dry.
You can also flip the pump and lid over and glue around the underside to prevent leakage, but it isn’t necessary.
3. Screw on your new pump and lid combo and you’re done!
Bonus: If you want to repurpose the bottom of the used soap dispenser as well, you could turn it into a charging cell phone holder!
Creamy, Moisturizing Hand soap
- 1 cup water (distilled or boiled and cooled)
- ½ cup liquid castile soap*
- 4 Tbsp carrier oil (olive oil or almond oil work well)
- 3 tsp Xanthan gum†
- 10-15 drops essential oil of choice
1. Mix carrier oil and gum until you get a thickened, even consistency.
I know it’s tempting to mix everything at once, but do not skip this step. The gum mixes well with oil but will instantly clump if you add it straight to water!
2. Mix water, castile soap, and essential oil.
3. Add the oil and gum and stir vigorously until the mixture thickens.
4. Pour your hand soap into your DIY dispenser and you’re all set!
If you love your hand soap and want to make more environmentally-friendly products, check out other recipes on our DIY Home/Body page!
* You can make your own liquid castile soap from scratch, boil down a castile bar, or do the easiest option–use store-bought liquid castile soap. If you’re like me and you’ve opted for the laziest choice, be careful what brand you’re buying. While castile soap was traditionally made from olive oil, most brands now use a mixture of cheaper vegetable oils, including palm oil and its derivatives. The popular and readily available brand Dr. Bronner’s sources organic, fair trade palm oil, and there are alternatives that avoid it entirely. If you’re in Canada or the U.S., check out the Green Beaver Company!
†Depending on how thick you’d like your soap to be, you can reduce the amount of gum you use, but 3 tsp is really the upper limit. Otherwise you’ll get one big glob of soapy goo!
Do you have a favourite essential oil to make your hand soaps smell amazing?