Picture of DIY Dove Soap Body Wash
0-Beware of Micro.jpg
A while back ago, I tried microwaving a bar of soap, basically in an effort to entertain my kids on an oh-so-boring cold-weathered Saturday.
The only bar soap in the house at the time were bars of Dove soap.  I'm one of those "Don't worry.  I saw this on Pinterest." kind of woman and put a bar of soap in the microwave for 90-seconds like the tutorial called for.
Sure enough, the "magical" growing product came to life in the microwave and was pretty cool to watch, BUT, my family could not stand the smell created by doing this.

Just so you know, I'm not one to complain with smells.  I have three kids, an old dog and a husband.  Different smells are a constant in my house.
But, what made this different was that the particular tutorial I was reading did not mention any smells associated with microwaving a bar of soap so I WASN'T READY for it.

So I'm sure you're wondering (if you read this far) "Why is she telling us about this?"

My story continues that I had this smelly, melted, glob of what was a bar of Dove soap and not only did my kids not want to touch it, the house had a lingering odor so strong that we had to go outside just so one of my kids would not sneeze over and over again.

Not knowing exactly what to do with it, I set it aside and when the time came to throw it out, I went to Pinterest to see what I could do with it.
That night I made my first Dove soap body wash at home with that supposedly not-good-for-anything melted bar, and haven't doubted the recipe since.
What you will find here that you will not find on other tutorials is that I am going to tell you straight away - Don't do this if you think you can't stand the smell of melted soap.  It may or may not bother you, BUT if you are sensitive to strong scents, my guess is that this do-it-yourself Dove body wash may not be for you.

Other than that, have fun and get clean!

i made this but did not put soap bar in microwave i grated the bar of soap and added it to the boiling water on the stove till it was melted. it came out awesome and i didn't have to worry about my microwave being stinky or my food smelling like soap lol. Thank you, feels great on my skin i added a little extra water, glycerin and 2 tbsp of coconut oil and my skin don't flake as this is what is does when i use bar soap

DeandrasCrafts (author)  Elizabethbeshears2 months ago

I'm glad it worked out for you! Thank you for sharing!

overesearch5 months ago

thank you so much for the olfactory warning!!!!

i am extremely sensitive to smells which is why i am interested in making my own liquid soap. did you try making soap out of dove sensitive skin unscented soap??? and did that have an overwhelming smell? it sounds like the best approaches are

1- grating soap and

2- starting with boiled water.

if that and stirring can dissolve all the soap I could do it outside once the weather gets warm and if it EVER stops snowing.

thanks for all the info and the (odor) warning is soooooooooooooo appreciated!

ThomasP57 months ago

I found these directions from 1833 on how to make soap.


dknight2979 months ago

Quick update for you good folk. Thanks you your instructable my wife went nuts and I had to make almost every flavor of Dove bar soap into body wash! I even had to order (online) a dozen matching bottles and now there are 10 labeled bottles sitting along the side of her garden tub. We have pink, green, Shea butter,blue, red, purple, coconut milk, exfoliating, white, and pistachio cream. We also have about a 3 year supply of it stored in her closet (we converted our extra bedroom into a closet so she has room to store it there). We will never buy body wash again since we love this soap so much (and it is sooooooo much cheaper!) and now we are like kids in the candy store every time we take a shower! LOL

DeandrasCrafts (author)  dknight2979 months ago

Wow! That's ... amazing! Thanks for sharing!

AbbyT110 months ago

did you cover it while cooling?

DeandrasCrafts (author)  AbbyT19 months ago

No. Don't cover it because you don't want any extra water (from the condensation of the cooling) to get into the container. Thanks for asking!

dmruss1 year ago

I am wondering if you can do this kind of like you do sun tea. Put the grated soap and water in a mason jar and leave it out for several hours in the sun. That should cut down on the odor if it works.

DeandrasCrafts (author)  dmruss1 year ago

So go with me on this:

My children and I did an experiment where we "melted" (for a lack of better words) a bar of soap in a sealed, ziploc bag of water. We left it in the bag on the counter for a week. I got the recipe off the web and it was supposed to make a-lazy-man's version of body wash. It kind-of worked. It was a good experiment for the kids, but the soap was very slimy.

This instructable specially used Dove soap - which was NOT the soap we used in our week-long melting soap experiment I mention here.

So, my response to the statement you made above is that yes, it may or may not melt in the sun - but, the real reason for the melting in the microwave is to cut the time down for melting it in the water on the stove.

Sounds like a good instructable to make to me! I hope you or someone else tries it.

Thanks for commenting!

dknight2971 year ago

My wife loves this!!! She found Dove Pink at Sams Club (14 bars for $10) and I am currently making all of it into body wash. If you use a stand up grater, you can grate a bar in about 2 minutes by setting the bar on a plate or cutting board. This is the 3rd time I have done this and so far (today) 8 bars has yielded me just over a gallon. I have 6 more to go!

One more thing, The house will smell like this soap for about 3 days!!!

DeandrasCrafts (author)  dknight2971 year ago

Yay for all of it! The smell can't be that bad right? I know it's just strong. =)

gjones281 year ago
I made some yesterday and it works except I grated the soap and melted in the water on low after it cooled it was the same consistency as the body was. I will never buy the body was again.
haverv2 years ago
i just put the water in a pan on the stove and add the bar of soap...i cook it on low til it dissolves, and stir it once in awhile....
crazylam152 years ago
I'm gonna make this.... OBVIOUSLY
amaurizio2 years ago
This is the best tutorial I've found for this! Ty so much!
DeandrasCrafts (author)  amaurizio2 years ago
Thank you! =)
Wynd2 years ago
Very cool! Curious, if you use the grating method, do you avoid the strong smell [from the microwave method]? I love Dove, but have allergies and strong scents trigger my asthma. If I can make my own bodywash, it'd be worth the extra time to grate it up :D
DeandrasCrafts (author)  Wynd2 years ago
You are exactly the person I wrote the warning for!
When you grate the soap, the soap will let off the scent chosen, but not as strong as if it were microwaved.
Think of it as if you took a strong and long nose-to-the-bar-of-soap sniff and breathed-in that scent. That would be the best description of the results of grating the soap instead of microwaving it. If you can put your nose to the bar of soap and take in a big whiff, you could probably handle the grating.
AND, there is also a scent involved with heating the soap up in the stock pot of water. Think of that as cleaning your kitchen with the soap - that's the kind of smell that will linger there too.
I love Dove too and my husband has asked me not to microwave the soap at our home. Instead, I microwave the soap at work and re-heat it at home...but "Shhh! Don't tell him!" =D
LOL! Well, that works great then! I don't mind a mild scent, anything heavy is too much. Totally going to buy some pots for my craft work and make some of this ;D
Barb372 years ago
I can't thank you enough for the heads up about the strength of smells, and the need to "manage" them - how thoughtful of you! How long did the smell lingers in each of the methods, please, and did the microwave method affect the taste of any foods cooked in the microwave? If so, for how long?
DeandrasCrafts (author)  Barb372 years ago
Thank you for your kind words!
The smell lingered in the house, not the microwave really. I guess I didn't smell the microwave directly so that would be a good question for someone to answer here.
As for the food, because the whole house smelled, I don't think the food either tasted different other than the weird facts about how your sense of smell affects your sense of taste. The food itself did not "taste"different because of microwaving the soap, just the senses were thrown out of whack for a while. Actually, only my husband and one of my children were sneezing.
The grated soap was much easier on the senses, as the smell lingered only when the soap was being heated up in the water.
I guess I should have written that the smell isn't bad, JUST STRONG. I will add that!
Thank you!