DIY: Herbal Hand Soap

 DIY: Four Thieves Inspired Liquid Hand Soap


I’ve been making a lot of liquid soap blends for around the house this week, much more than usual because we just moved!  With the move came an extra bathroom which meant, yep, I needed more soap. I love using Castille Soap in as many ways as possible, it lasts forever, and is an affordable natural product. I’ve used it on my hair as shampoo, as dish soap, and as a general house cleanser. I learned that diluting it is the best way to go and adding other ingredients like essential oils can create fun scents or extra anti-microbial action.

This week while I was playing with castille soap and my favorite blends from our Spring Aroma Sprays blog, it dawned on me just how wonderful another classic herbal blend would be for hand soap!  The lingering warm and spicy blend of cinnamon, cloves, and cleansing lemon and eucalyptus are sure to please guests and help keep my home healthy and happy.  This blend is full of powerful herbs that legend tells us held strong even against the plague!  That is exactly the sort of force I want in my hand soap — and dish soap too!  For this hand soap blend, I also added a tiny bit of vegetable glycerin, feel free to add more if you like your hand soap more moisturizing. I found just 1 Tablespoon in an 8oz container worked wonders!  My hands were smooth and soft and smelled amazing!


What you’ll need:

8oz container - or you can reuse an old container!

Soap/Lotion Pump

1oz container (travel size)

2 1/8 cups distilled water

5 Tbsp organic Liquid Castille Soap

2 Tbsp organic Vegetable Glycerine *optional

Pitcher for blending essential oils


Essential Oils

This essential oil recipe will bring you to a total of 120 drops, which is enough essential oil blend to make two 8oz bottles of herbal  hand soap, plus two travel size herbal hand soaps to store in your purse or in the glove box of your car.

40 drops organic Clove Essential Oil

35 drops organic Cinnamon Leaf or Bark Essential Oil*

20 drops organic Lemon, Orange, or Grapefruit Essential Oil

15 drops organic Eucalyptus Essential Oil

10 drops organic Rosemary Essential Oil

*If you have Cinnamon Bark at home, that will work fine for non-sensitive skin – however, Cinnamon bark is very strong and may cause irritation if using on the skin, so reduce the amount by half. I went with CInnamon Leaf for a more delicate hand soap.

In a medium pitcher or small bowl mix together distilled water, liquid castille soap, vegetable glycerin if you are using it, and your blend of essential oils.  Stir lightly, don’t agitate too much or you could be quickly consumed by bubbles! Using a funnel, fill your two 8oz bottles and lastly your two 1oz travel size bottles!

The castille soap will give you the suds necessary to really scrub off any dirt or grime you may get on your hands this spring season, and the wonderful blend of antiseptic essential oils will leave you feeling that much more refreshed and cleansed.


 * Essential oils are highly concentrated, strong, and powerful liquids that can be harmful if not used carefully and properly.  This is an especially potent blend of essential oils which could cause irritation when applied to the skin, even in diluted amounts. We advocate caution when using them, and do not recommend using essential oils internally.  Please keep essential oils out of reach of children. We do not advocate usage of this recipe on babies, toddlers, or children.

DIY: Four Thieves Inspired Liquid Hand Soap


21 Responses to “DIY: Herbal Hand Soap”

  1. avatar Sheree says:

    We dont use Young Living Oils. Wish you could offer alternative.

    Long time customer

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi Sheree~Thank you for sharing your feedback. We actually used our own essential oils in this recipe! Because Young Living has trademarked the Thieves® combination, we are required to make the statement. The recipe is all ours and uses our essential oils (also shown in the photos). I hope this helps and thanks for reading the blog! ~Kori

  2. avatar Donna Keech says:

    Do you sell the hand soap too?

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi Donna~Thank you for stopping by. We do sell a liquid soap, but it is not this soap. This recipe was created by Alieta and is more of a DIY project. I hope this answers your question. Cheers! ~Kori

  3. avatar Carrie says:

    Will this work in a foaming dispenser?
    Thanks for the recipe!

    • avatar Alieta says:

      Hi there Carrie, great question! It could surely work with a foaming dispenser, since I did not make this recipe specifically for a foaming dispenser I can’t say for sure it would be perfect for it, all you might need to do is play with the amount/ratio of castile soap to water. This would is a great recipe to experiment with, can’t wait to hear how it goes! – Alieta

  4. avatar Tina says:

    My 5 yr old son was getting sick with what seemed like every week at school. We started using the recipe for Thieve’s oil above along with a carrier and putting it on the bottom of his feet daily before school. He gets sick much less often now, and when he does, it’s down to 2 maybe 3 days for what used to last an entire week. I love this blend and will definitely be using this recipe for our bathroom hand soap!

  5. avatar Maria says:

    Thank you so soooo much for this!! Love all your products…really appreciate this recipe.

  6. avatar Sue says:

    Can you tell me why you (and most others) do not recommend using essential oils internally and Young Living does?

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi Sue~Thank you for reading the blog! While I can’t speak to the practices of another company, Mountain Rose Herbs essential oils are wholly suitable for aromatherapy, cosmetics, cooking and for the production of body care products. Due to a regulatory issue, we are unable to recommend them for internal use; encouraging internal use is actually considered irresponsible in the international essential oil industry due to the fact that they are extremely concentrated and potentially dangerous substances. However many of them can be taken internally in very small amounts by someone who has done extensive research into their use or has been instructed to do so by an herbalist, naturopathic physician, or other licensed professional. I hope this helps a bit and I thank you again for your interest! ~Kori

  7. avatar Mary says:

    I make a hand soap for a foaming pump that is basically the same as this recipe and it works great. It’s my best selling product. And you can reuse the bottles over and over. I use 1 oz castle soap and 1 tbsp veg glycerin for an 8 oz pump bottle. The glycerin just makes it more moisturizing.

  8. avatar Alice says:

    Alieta/Kori – I can’t wait to try this recipe and I’m ordering the ingredients right now, but the Cinnamon oil is out of stock. Is there a replacement? Or how should I balance the other oils without Cinnamom?
    Thank you!

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi Alice~Thanks for checking in with us. Yes, the cinnamon leaf essential oil is temporarily out of stock, but the cinnamon bark essential oil works nicely too and we do have that currently in stock. I hope this helps a bit and we so appreciate your reading the blog! ~Kori

  9. avatar Ann Rein says:

    Could I use Cassia instead of cinnamon EO?

  10. avatar TWolff says:

    Hi! I am excited to try this recipe. As I am making it though I am noticing it is more watery than I’d prefer. Do you have any suggestions on how to make it thicker? I did add the vegetable glycerine but am out of ideas otherwise. Thanks so much for your help and thanks for all your recipes!

    • avatar Alieta says:

      Hi there Tori! Thank you so much for enjoying the post. Ah yes, Castille Soap is much more “liquidy” than conventional store bought hand soaps, and because it is so concentrated when you make a dilution with it, it becomes even more watery and can be something to get accustomed to. You are welcome to play with the amount of glycerin/water until you find a solution/ratio that works for you! Sorry I don’t have any other tried and true tricks up my sleeve. I have heard of people adding a thickener like Guar Gum, but I have not tried this yet. If you try this out, please let us know how it goes and I will do the same. Thank you again so much for trying out the recipe! Best of luck! ~Alieta

  11. avatar clp says:

    I am loving all these homemade recipes and the blog and store. Thanks for putting these out here. I was wondering, you mention in this post using castile soap for dish soap, but best diluted. Do you have a recipe for dish soap? I can’t find one on your blog. Thank you!

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  • ErinErin (363)
    Erin is the Marketing Director at Mountain Rose and studied herbalism, botany, and ethical wildcrafting at the Columbines School of Botanical Studies. She spends her days making botanical illustrations, playing in the garden, creating culinary gems, and formulating medicine in the magnificent Oregon Cascades.
    ChristineChristine (128)
    Christine is our Product Manager here at Mountain Rose Herbs and our Certified Aromatherapist on staff. She's a longtime Mountain Roser with nearly a decade under her belt and assists with selecting new and exciting herbal and herb-related products. She also makes sure our current products are the best they can be!
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    Kori is our Public and Media Relations Coordinator! A West Coast native, Kori is a seasoned nonprofit activist and community organizer. Having launched six adult kids, she spends her free time in her burgeoning organic and very urban “farm”—taming Heritage chickens, building top-bar beehives from reclaimed materials, baking, brewing, and preserving.
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    Irene Wolansky is the Customer Experience Director at Mountain Rose Herbs. Born and raised on the Oregon coast, her interests include crafting body care products and herbal medicine, harvesting mushrooms, gardening, brewing herbal mead, fermentation, and exploring wild areas.
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    Alieta is our Marketing Assistant! An Oregon native, she studied philosophy, Spanish and graphic design at Portland State University and has a natural affinity for the natural foods industry. She spends her time outside of work playing her 54 key Rhodes piano, hanging out with her cat Penelope, and cooking delicious gluten-free and dairy-free meals to share with friends.
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