DIY Dove Soap Body Wash

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Introduction: DIY Dove Soap Body Wash

About: I crochet and do crafts. Oh and I also work full time and have a family to take care of. I'm on here because this site is so cool and easy to post to. You can also check me out on Ravelry: http://www.rav...

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!

Step 1: Materials, Tools & Notes

You will need:
  • One (1) to three (3) bars of DOVE soap - any kind will do, but DO NOT try this recipe with other kinds of bar soap.  See my notes section below.
  • Two (2) cups to six (6) cups of water
  • Microwave-safe Container (I suggest glass) to melt soap in
  • Stock Pot (Mine is about 20-quart)
  • Whisk (not shown)
  • Container(s) to hold anywhere from 3-cups (1-bar of soap), 5-cups (30-ounces or 2-bars of soap), or 8-cups (3-bars of soap) of homemade body wash

Notes:
  • Please only use products that are safe for your family.
  • I estimate this project takes at least one to one-half hour (1-1/2-hour) to chop and melt the soap, and then suggest about 24-hours to let the body wash cool at room temperature.
  • This recipe is for DOVE soap only.  I have had "a Pinterest fail" with other types of soaps.  Please do not use this recipe for other types of soap.  The Dove soap has an amazing amount of moisturizer whereas other soap needs way more water to make it into body wash.
  • The Dove bars you see here are 4-oz size EACH.
  • For every 4-oz bar, you will need 2-cups of water. More on that in Step 2.
  • It's been recommended by miscellaneous tutorials to use distilled water if your tap water is considered "hard-water" or if you have sensitive skin.  I used tap water.
  • Make sure you read the intro to this Instructable.  Microwaving soap lets off a strong lingering scent that could cause sneezing.  Please either use in a well-ventilated area, or grate the soap (see Step 2.)
The example cost savings breakdown:
Price of pre-made Dove body wash on Target.com: 32-ounces sells for $6.89 (not including tax) = $0.22 per ounce

Cost of making Dove body wash yourself -
Price of 4-bars of Dove soap on Target.com: $5.54 (not including tax)
Two (2) bars of Dove soap make approximately five (5) cups or 30-ounces of body wash.
$5.54 divided by 2 (bars) = $2.77 per 30-ounces of body wash = $0.09 per ounce

Put a little elbow grease into making your own body wash and you could save money in the long run.  Bonus!

Step 2: The Recipe for Homemade Dove Body Wash

I can't take credit for making this recipe up.
I found at least two different tutorials for this awesome Dove body wash.

One Good Thing By Jillee
She microwaves her soap.

The Brady Bunch: Budget Luxury
She grates her soap.

I've attached a recipe card to print up if you so choose.
The thing to remember about this type of body wash is that you can make a large quantity or a small quantity based on your needs.  I like making a large batch and keeping it in the bathroom in a recycled juice container.  I've seen blogs that re-use gallon milk jugs as containers so that's a possibility too.

Here's the mix design:
For every 4-ounce bar of Dove soap, use 2-cups of water.

Here's the recipe written:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Homemade Dove Body Wash

One (4-ounce) bar of your favorite scent of Dove bar soap
Two cups (16-ounces) of distilled or tap water

To double the recipe:
Use 8-ounces of Dove bar soap (2-bars) and 4-cups of water

To triple the recipe:
Use 12-ounces of Dove bar soap (3-bars) and 6-cups of water

Bring the water to a boil on the stove. 
Prepare the Dove soap to melt on the stove in the water by either (1) chopping the bar(s) of Dove soap up and place in a microwave safe bowl or (2) grate the bar(s) of Dove soap.
If you choose to melt the soap in the microwave, heat the chopped pieces for 90-seconds in the microwave until melted.

Place the melted or grated soap into the boiling water and bring to a rolling boil.  Reduce the heat to medium and allow to simmer until melted, about 30-minutes, stirring occasionally.
You will know the soap is melted when the mixture is smooth and consistent.  The mixture will appear thin and not creamy.

After about 24-hours of cooling, place the body wash in your container of choice.

Step 3: Prep for Melting

I HAVE made this body wash with both grated soap and microwaved soap.  Other than the strong scent, the grated soap took my kids and I about 30-minutes to do ONE BAR, vs. about 2-minutes (or so) of cutting and 90-seconds in the microwave.  Both kinds of prepared soap will create the same final product.

I personally do not mind the smell of microwaved soap and I hope you would agree that it's easier to prepare the soap that way than grate it - but it's your choice, of course.

For the batch I made in these pictures, I used two bars of Dove Winter Care Soap (what we had in the house at the time.)

After chopping up the bars into chunks, I placed them in a 4-cup microwave safe container and heated them in the microwave for 90-seconds.
It makes a good show for the kids as it rises in the heat and then collapses when you take it out of the microwave.

Step 4: Melt, Cool & Use the Body Wash

Take your melted soap (or grated) and add it to the boiling water CAREFULLY, PLEASE.

Bring the water-soap mixture to a rolling boil, and lower the heat to medium to simmer for at least 30-minutes, stirring occasionally.

You can check if the soap is completely melted by it's consistency and if it appears smooth.
The mixture WILL BE THIN.

As soon as it appears smooth, remove the mixture from heat and either transfer to a different heat-resistant container or leave in the pot for at least 24-hours to set.
If a film begins to appear on the top, just use a whisk to mix it up.

After the day or so of cooling, transfer the mixture to a container to use in the shower or bath.  The mixture will get thicker in the 24-hours of cooling.

Enjoy!  I know I do.
Thanks for reading!

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29 Comments

Love love love this idea! So genius of you. I want to try making my own dove bodywash, but I was thinking if I used the unscented dove bars could I add my own fraqrence? I f i did I wonder how much fragrence would I use?

I also found that cooking body wash in your home gives off a continual pleasant smell. I didn't find microwaving soap created a bad smell. Since I've been making it every night, the scents of the soaps have taken over the house.

I make my own laundry soap which also requires grating soap and as you said this can take forever using a box grater. I found an old cheese grater that has a wheel inside with a handle. (think of the kind they use at olive garden) and that works great. takes about five min. a bar

I make my own laundry soap which also requires grating soap and as you said this can take forever using a box grater. I found an old cheese grater that has a wheel inside with a handle. (think of the kind they use at olive garden) and that works great. takes about five min. a bar

To get rid of the smell in your microwave (IF there is one), wad up a sheet of newspaper and leave it in there overnight. This works to get rid of the smell in the 'wave after cooking bacon, so it SHOULD work for other smells, right?

To get rid of the smell in your microwave (IF there is one), wad up a sheet of newspaper and leave it in there overnight. This works to get rid of the smell in the 'wave after cooking bacon, so it SHOULD work for other smells, right?

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

1 reply

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

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!

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

1 reply

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

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!

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.

1 reply

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!

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!

2 replies

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

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

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.