Save Money On "Foaming" Hand Soap By Watering Down Regular Hand Soap

Reader Isreal has made an exciting discovery. Foaming hand soap is basically just less viscous regular, cheaper hand soap. By watering down cheaper hand soap, you can save money.

I’ve been skeptical every since new foaming hand soap dispensers have been popping up next to sinks all across this great land. At first I thought it was a fad, “Ooooo, honey, it foams!” But now I realize that replacing traditional lotion hand soap with foaming hand soap is yet another way manufactures are able to get us to pay higher per unit prices for goods at the grocery store.

We have the Dial foaming dispensers around the house, but a family member accidentally purchased the traditional lotion refills. The original lotion does not work well in the foaming dispensers. I had noticed that the foaming soap was less viscous than the lotion, so I decided to cut the two parts lotion with one part water and, “Voila!” It works perfectly, except for the fact that there’s one third less soap now in the dispenser.

So is the foaming stuff a new fad, or is this a new way to increase revenue for the manufacturers? A 50 oz. refill of the foaming soap retails for about $0.18/oz. compared with $0.16/oz. for a 15 oz. refill of the lotion. Not only does it contain one third less soap, it costs two cents more per ounce? It seems to me that I’m paying more for about one third less soap. I guess we could all buy the original refills and water it down, right?

We think you’re on to something! In fact, we found an Instructable that agrees with you, offering instructions on how to make your hand soap less viscous so it can be used in a foaming hand soap container. This individual recommended using only 1/5 soap, but we suppose it’s a matter of personal preference.

How to Refill a foaming hand-soap container [Instructables]

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  1. boss_lady says:

    Oh god. I’ll have to forward this to my mother who’s kept one ‘foaming’ dispenser, buying soap and watering it down for use in the foamer for years now. I hate it when she’s right.

  2. Glaven says:

    Dr.Bronner’s soap works well in foaming dispensers, since it’s not very thick. But if you don’t add some water, it clogs up.

    Dilute! Dilute! OK!

  3. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    We save on soap costs in the bathroom & kitchen by putting watered down dishwashing liquid into pump dispensers. (for hand washing only).

  4. 12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich says:

    This requires the use of hand soap.

    Just wash your hand the guy way: rinse, dry hands on pants.

    Easy AND cheap!!

  5. boss_lady says:

    @Glaven: Haha! Love the exclamation marks and Bronner-esque OKs.

  6. anibundel says:

    But what if you want the soap to smell like vanilla yogurt? WHAT THEN?!
    Pfft.

  7. rmz says:

    I’ll save $3 a month! Hooray!

  8. friendlynerd says:

    I’m a big fan of cheap shampoo (like 99 cents or less) for hand soap. It smells great, works just as well, and for those of us that think antibacterial things are mostly unnecessary, it fits the bill.

  9. I use FastOrange or GoJo. The pumice exfoliates the skin, and it contains natural citrus oil,lanolin, etc to mosturize. It will also cut through grease. It’s $10 for a gallon. The only caveat is that you use it dry, then rinse off. Using regular soap is just as effective as using anti soaps, and better for everyone.

  10. That is good to know. Foaming hand soap isn’t so bad though. It saves money for businesses and saves resources for the environment. You’re better off using it.

  11. Benny Gesserit says:

    We did this for years – we had a source (which sadly dried up) for coconut shower gel that, when diluted slightly, filled the kitchen with scent as you washed chicken off your hands.

    No Salmonella and a Fresh Scent – It’s a good thing.

  12. azntg says:

    @12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich: It’s all good, until you’re at a location where you really need to keep sanitary.

    I’m sure you think twice about doing that after handling E. Coli and Salmonella in a lab for several hours ;-)

  13. urban_ninjya says:

    Of course you can just use a dime sized amount of regualar soap. I guess Americans are use to using things in excesss.

    Example.. toothpaste. People generally cover the entire brush with a think layer of paste when all you really need is just to moderately cover only like 1/3 of teh brush. (again the dime sized)

    Another example.. some people eat a whole pizza when really only 2 slices is what you need to be full.

  14. ludwigk says:

    ike foaming hand soap because it allows you to use less than than you would with traditional hand soap. So, the cost per utilization is less even though cost per ounce is higher. I’d also assumed that that the soap was soapier than regular soap, but if you can get a decent lather win normal soap, that’s even better.

  15. amyschiff says:

    I always feel like I have to use more foaming soap than regular because it doesn’t stick to your skin as much

  16. catskyfire says:

    I wonder what the usage rate is for foam vs. liquid soap. I always got the feeling that I didn’t use as much if it foamed, but I never did a test of them. For awhile, I used a bar I bought at a renfest, handmade stuff. Cut it into pieces and STILL have half of it left after two years.

  17. ChuckECheese says:

    @Git Em SteveDave wants a Lego build buddy: Can you use GoJo and pumice on your junk too? Do the ladies like it? JK!

    I’ve been doing this foam thing for about 15 years now. You can use about 1 part soap : 7 parts water, if you’re using dishwashing liquid. If you’re using shampoo or other less concentrated stuff, use about 1:5.

    Be aware that diluted detergent can grow mold in it, so keep your bottle clean, and be more careful if you’re using the foam to clean your hands for contact lenses. You’ll see the mold as a gray layer at the bottom of the bottle contents and/or growing in the cap and pump itself. If universal precautions are important, use only antibacterial products in the foamer.

    Finally, this idea doesn’t work well with true soaps (like Dr. Bronner’s). Soap clogs the pump. Stick with detergents (dw liquid, shampoo, body wash).

  18. AMetamorphosis says:

    Thanks for a great tip !
    Our household has been buying shampoo or body wash when on sale for years and dumping the bottles into a pump dispenser just so we don’t squirt giant globs onto the washcloths. This has cut our over-usage so much that what used to last about a week and a half now last for about a month.

    Suave, V05 & White Rain regularly sell in our area for about a dollar a bottle. We usually buy the citrus variety of any one of these brands when on sale. That way, the pump dispenser always has a similar scent and we can dump any brand into it.

  19. @ChuckECheese: I haven’t had that many occasions to get oil on him, so I never have used GoJo for there. Next time I change oil and find oil in my crotch, I’ll let you know.

  20. TheDude06 says:

    The cheap pump dispensers break after a refill or two in my experience

  21. theblackdog says:

    Pampered Chef actually sells bottles that you add your own soap and water to and it makes the foaming soap

  22. duckfat says:

    For even more savings you can use the concentrated Dawn dishwashing soap that you can buy in the huge “super saver” bottles. If you mix it with a lot of water you can actually get a richer and better foam that cuts grease better than hand soap. Been doing this for years now.

  23. techstar25 says:

    @theblackdog: My wife bought some of the Pampered Chef foaming soap bottles and both broke after just two times refilling.

  24. adminslave says:

    I’ve been doing this for 2 years now. Who doesn’t already know this? It works great!

  25. balthisar says:

    I love the foaming hand soap. I was a fan of it long before it appeared on store shelves. It hit the restaurant (and probably other commerical) industries first, and it was ingenious. Those of us that was our hands in restaurants tend to use too much soap. You know: pump it five or six times until you have something substantive in your hand. I do that, even though logically it makes no sense. It’s actually harder to lather and rinse off. But a pump or two of foam soap, and the lathering is almost done, and the rinsing doesn’t leave unmixed soap in your hand.

    I still like the restaurant ones better. All of the consumer versions I’ve tried have a wimpy bubble matrix, and won’t stand up on their own. I want something like merengue, not the weak bubbles you get when you add water to the dish sink.

  26. VA_White says:

    This also works to refill the Dawn Direct Foam dispenser. Just water down regular Dawn.

  27. InThrees says:

    Or how about realize that it’s not really the soap that sterilizes your hands, but the hot water? The soap just helps cut dirt and grime that would otherwise help harbor microbes. Anti-bacterial soap arguably does more harm than good, hastening natural selection and helping breed resistant strains of bacteria.

    Pick your favorite cheap non-anti-bacterial bulk size soap, use it sparingly, and don’t skimp on the hot water when you wash your hands.

  28. battra92 says:

    We tend to buy Wal*Mart bar soap or the generic orange stuff by the metric ton so I can’t see us saving much.

    @duckfat: My folks are big on buying the jumbo sizes and refilling the smaller bottles. It makes sense but then you have to store the bulk stuff.

  29. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    @urban_ninjya: Ooh, the required anti-american post of the day. :/

    Foaming soap is a lot more pleasant to use IMHO. It’s considerably faster in lathering than regular liquid soap, cleans off easier, easier to clean spills of, and with this guide, doesn’t cost any more in soap OR even non-renewable resources.

    It’s progress. Beautiful beautiful progress of human technology. THE FUTURE IS NOW: THE SOAP FOAMS BY ITSELF.

  30. somuch says:

    @Glaven: I’m a Bronner evangelist. For the soap, not the crazy ranting on the side of the bottle. Although the crazy is fun reading for in the shower.

    Kids love the foaming, and they use the right amount of soap. Most soaps are too viscous for kids to wash off themselves.

  31. K-Bo says:

    @balthisar: Just use slightly less water in your water to soap ratio. You have to be careful you don’t get too thick and clog the pump though.

  32. sean77 says:

    @Git Em SteveDave wants a Lego build buddy: yes to fastorange. The only soap you buy at AutoZone.

  33. K-T says:

    i find that the Dawn foaming pump works great with this meathod, but the foaming soap pumps from bath and body works tend to get stuck int he down position.

  34. Gopher bond says:

    I use LAVA for everything.

  35. theblackdog says:

    @techstar25: I guess my parents lucked out, the one they bought is still working after a few years.

  36. Parting says:

    Cool, I never bought foaming refills since they were too expensive compared to regular liquid soap. Now I can foam :)

  37. skatastrophe says:

    @InThrees: Wrong. While the hot water definitely helps the soap work more efficiently, it does not kill the bacteria itself. You’d have to use water hot enough to give you 2nd degree burns for that to be the case.

  38. radiochief says:

    I love the foaming soap.

    We get way more uses out of the same volume of regular soap. Buy refills of brand name or private label foaming cleanser. The pump on my original Dial Foaming Soap is still going strong after a year!

    Also, as people have said before.

    Soap removes dirt, oils and bacteria. Warmer water helps cut through grease. Antibacterial soaps usually contain triclosan which is bacteriostatic not bacteriocidal. Which mean it inhibits growth of any bacteria still present after handwashing.

    I would not be really worrying about bacteria developing a resistance to triclosan. You may as well argue against putting chlorine in water as for fear of ‘resistance’. Oh wait, people do argue against chlorine in the water, even though it ranks as one of man’s greatest public health triumphs.

  39. somuch says:

    All-one-or-none! Unite!
    http://www.drbronner.com

    Also, the environmental working group rates it safe:
    [www.cosmeticsdatabase.com]

  40. LmaoTseTung says:

    Or buy regular soap and use a foaming dispenser? Isn’t that the same concept with less effort in which your hands will smell just as good?

  41. LmaoTseTung says:

    @LmaoTseTung: *buy a large container of regular soap

  42. TouchMyMonkey says:

    Doesn’t anyone use bar soap to wash their hands anymore, or is that considered gross?

  43. battra92 says:

    @testsicles: Lava is good. Boraxo is better.

  44. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot says:

    I’ve been doing this for a while now – picked up one of the Dawn Direct Foam bottles at a discount store for a buck, and once it was empty, I simply filled it 1/6th of the way with ordinary dish soap and the rest with warm water and gently mixed it up and voila! I find it cleans great and I use less soap.

  45. GirlCat says:

    @HurtsSoGood: Only in hotel rooms, and it always bugs me, but I’m a little NYC-OCD* about washing my hands.

    *You know, Ack, subway hands!

  46. Eels says:

    That Dawn dish foam was the biggest rip off I have ever tried. One pump cleans a whole load of dishes. Pshhhht. What a load of crap.

  47. DHT says:

    Another one who’s been doing this for a few years. I used to do about 10% soap, but now I do closer to 20%, to get the result more like the original product.

    And I’ve also found that the dial pumps tend to die after 2-3 refills. They just seem to clog and not foam as well, and not bounce back to the up position quickly, if at all. I’ve been wondering if it’s clogging with unmixed soap or what. If anyone knows why or how to prevent/fix it, shout your info out loud here in the comments!

  48. friendlynerd says:

    @HurtsSoGood:
    I personally think it’s gross. I always think of the bar of soap at my grandparents’ house that was always dirty from the previous user’s hands.

    I also don’t like the way it feels on my skin – like there’s some sort of film left over.

  49. shoelace414 says:

    That Dawn foaming dish soap is the greatest invention ever!

    I can make dinner using one pan, utensils and a plate. I put the utensils and plate in the dishwasher and use one pump of soap to clean the pan. Now I didn’t have to fill a sink to wash one pan and I don’t leave dirty dishes around until I have enough to fill a sink.

    I do agree, it’s useless against a full sink of dishes.

  50. velvetjones says:

    I worked at a company that makes foaming hand soap, and worked closely on this procduct. There are a few issues here:
    *the foamers fail often, so don’t spend a lot on one
    *diluting anti-bacterial soap diminishes its anti-bac properties (this may or may not be an issue for you)
    *you also dilute the preservative in the soap, which may result in funky smelling soap over time

    That said dilute away. Dr Bronners is a good candidate for this, though it has a tendency to build up and clog.

  51. Smorgasbord says:

    I agree with urban_ninjya when they say to use only a dime size amount. I pump the plunger according to the need: A very short pump to wash my hands after using the bathroom, 2-3 for really greasy hands. I have seen guys in bathrooms pump the dispenser five or six times, then put their hands under the water, washing 90-95 percent of the soap down the drain. Wetting your hands first also saves a lot of soap.

  52. velvetjones says:

    @DHT: I worked on a line of foaming soaps for a while and that’s long been an issue. (and why you don’t see refills for these soaps) In general, the foamers fail and it seems to be worse with anti-bac soaps because they use alcohol to drive the agent (triclosan) into the skin. I believe the alcohol in the formula causes the pump failure. You might want to try non-anti-bac formulas. Also diluting an anti-bac soap diminishes its anti-bac properties. If you have a need for bacteria-free hands follow up with a hand sanitizer.

  53. jpx72x says:

    @rmz: QTF

  54. After using Dr. Bronner’s I can’t go back to showering, shampooing or washing my hands with anything else.

    I like real soap, none of these chemical detergents which say “soap” on the container but are not really soap.

  55. ChuckECheese says:

    @DHT: The pumps do get clogged and/or the pump jams. You can clean them. You need to be careful and have a good eye for detail. Here’s how it goes (it takes longer to explain than to do):

    First, remove the pump from the bottle, and operate the pump upside-down several times in a basin of warm water. This will fill a portion of the pump’s insides with water. Agitate it, then pump again, upside-down, to remove. Shake the pump and turn it rightside-up to complete emptying it until you see no water or foam inside it. If there is foam, repeat the rinsing step. Now the next step:

    If you’re doing this at/in the sink, plug the sink and cover the drain with a towel, as there are small parts. Pull the pump off the cap. There will be a plastic nozzle-thing in there as part of the mechanism. Hold the outer cap, and push straight down on that nozzle-thing forcefully. The entire pump mechanism will pop out.

    You can take the mechanism apart in various ways too. Just pay careful attention to how everything goes together, don’t break anything, and you will be able to reassemble it. There will be a gasket, and a BB like object, and some other pieces. Rinse everything in warm water, and reassemble. I’ve had bottles last for several years this way.

    My favorite soaps to use in these pumps (for non-clogging) are Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds, Ecover dishwashing detergent, or cheap shampoo.

  56. karmaghost says:

    I’ve never had much luck with this technique. Maybe I’ll give it a try again.

  57. bohemian says:

    I have been griping that the brand of hand soap and dish soap are too thick and you end up wasting quite a bit or they clog the dispenser. I don’t know why it never dawned on me to water it down. I wonder if distilled water will cut down on mold growth.

  58. DHT says:

    These two responses are exactly what I was hoping for.

    @velvetjones:
    Thanks for the advice! Not particularly concerned about the anti-bacterial dilution aspect, so I’ll switch to non-AB the next time I pick up a refill jug.

    @ChuckECheese:
    Sounds like a lot of work, but I’m sure it’s easier than it sounds. I’ll give it a try tonight. Thanks!

  59. “Ooooo, honey, it foams!”
    thats what she said…

    yay- $0 a monjth cuz I use bar soap

  60. Phil Villarreal says:

    Oddly you can’t extend the life of water by adding soap.

  61. colinjay says:

    Another Dr. Bronner lover here… I found that the foaming “soaps” that Target sells under the Method brand have awesome good looking foaming dispensers. Once the crappy soap in the dispenser ran out, I tried mixing up some Dr. Bronners peppermint to use in it. I’ve been experimenting to see what ratio makes the best lather that is easy to rinse off. I’m sure that it depends on how hard/soft your water is, but 1 part soap to 3 parts water works best for me.

    I’ve actually switched to almond scent as the peppermint oils might be a bit too harsh for regular hand washing.

  62. akalish says:

    I’m going to just cut off my hands so I won’t need _any soap, foaming or otherwise. :D

  63. Southern says:

    Thanks Meg — I tested this with some blueberry body wash that my wife had in the bathroom, and it works great! I forwarded the instructions off to a few members of the family.

    Just wanted to say “Thanks” for an article that will save us some money — which I can now use to put some extra gasoline in the car! :)

  64. thesabre says:

    I also pay $0/month for soap. I just steal it from hotels that I spend ridiculously too much time in for work. I haven’t paid for soap or shampoo for a long time. Or pens. Or Bibles.

    Ok, I made that last one up. I don’t steal the Bible, that would be wrong.

  65. ChuckECheese says:

    @DHT: In these modern hectic days of fast food, answering machines and one-night stands, many of us don’t have time to nurture relationships or to clean a foaming soap dispenser. But I assure you that your punding and rinsing will be rewarded.

  66. fjordtjie says:

    rob at cockeyed.com did this YEARS ago. he also said that after a month or so, the diluted soap was scummy…

  67. XianZomby says:

    @balthisar: I agree with you. I’m not going to sign off on any theory that says the soap company isn’t trying to make more money. But the foaming soap in the dispensers at hotels and office buildings is THICK and substantial. And it washes off quick, not leaving a glop of soap gel in the palm of your hand. There is soemthing nice about that thick soap foam. Does diluting hand lotion soap for use at home make the same consistancy of foam as the premade stuff?

  68. microguy07828 says:

    PLEASE DON’T DILUTE THE SOAP!

    From a microbiological perspective, it’s a bad idea to dilute the soap.

    All liquid soaps are formulated with preservatives that help extend their shelf life and protect the product during consumer use. Extensive microbiological testing is performed on products in their research and development phase to ensure the formula provides adequate product protection.

    When you dilute the soap and store it in a container or dispenser, you also dilute the preservatives, making the preservatives less effective or even ineffective. The stored product will be more susceptible to microbiological contamination during use and during the refilling process and the diluted/stagnant product in the container or dispenser may be become a potential health hazard. It would be possible for the diluted soap to contain millions of organisms per milliliter, and you would never know it. Very often when a cosmetic product is microbiologically contaminated, the product will look and smell normal. The only way to determine microbiological contamination would be through microbiological testing.

    If you were to use microbiologically contaminated soap, it would be possible for organisms in the soap to cause an infection in the skin, should there be cuts, lesions or sores present where the product can enter the bloodstream. If the microbiologically contaminated soap were used on the face, it would be possible for the organisms to cause an infection if the organisms contact the delicate mucus membranes around the eyes.

    The foaming soap you purchase in the store may have a lower viscosity (and lower solids) to allow it to be used in a dispenser (and foam up), but I can assure you it is fully preserved. Trying to make your own diluted soap to save a few cents at the risk of your health is a bad idea. If you want to save money by diluting liquid soap, dilute a small amount of the full-strength soap in the palms of your hands as you lather them and wash the soap solution down the drain.

    Keep all of your liquid soaps full-strength in their original containers. This applies to all hand soaps, bath gels, bubble baths, shampoos, shampoos/conditioners, facial cleansers, etc.

    P.S. I worked in the field of Industrial Microbiology for 18 years. I have 9.5 years of industrial microbiology laboratory experience and 8.5 years of experience as the Plant Microbiologist for a large OTC drug and cosmetic manufacturer. I have an enormous amount of experience with water-based product manufacturing, packaging, formulation, troubleshooting and microbiological testing.

  69. Protector says:

    Wow, I know we’re in tough times but anyone who does this is super-cheap.

  70. HotTubber says:

    I started diluting regular hand soap after the first time I tried the foaming hand soap. I don’t really use a 1:2 ratio. I add water until the viscosity of the regular hand soap is the same as the foaming type.
    It works well for me – just like the original.

  71. Jim says:

    We’ve had one of the Pampered Chef (pronounced “Sucker Wife”) pumps for a couple of years and it works great. I hate the thing though. I always fail to put the cap back on and in return, my wife never fails to reprimand me for it. It works great though.

    My question is cleaning power though. I feel like unless I use 2 or 3 pumps of the foam, I am not as clean as when I use a half-squirt or so of straight liquid hand soap. If that’s the case, the foam is even more expensive.

    Does anyone know if somebody (Consumer Reports, Clark Howard, Mythbusters, anyone?) has done a comparison of foam vs. liquid based on how much gunk, germs, and other unattractiveness is removed?

  72. Jim says:

    @Protector: Happy to be guilty as charged.

  73. GirlCat says:

    @microguy07828: I don’t understand how soap/detergent can harbor germs. It’s all chemicals–how can microorganisms live in that? Keep in mind that my last chemistry class was oh God so long ago don’t make me do the math because that’s been even longer.

  74. quail says:

    @velvetjones: Alcohol is an ingredient in foaming soaps that you won’t find in regular liquid soap. It’s why I avoid foaming soaps like the plague in the winter because it dries your hands badly.

    To the person questioning how bacteria can live in soap…Soaps are traditionally made by using fats. (Ever see “The Beverly Hillbillies” or “Fight Club”?) Fats do go bad over time. Soaps made from non-fat sources tend to dry the skin.

  75. GirlCat says:

    @quail: I (perhaps willfully) forgot that about soap. But what about germs living in detergents? Chemist Guy, where are you?

  76. whatthehellareyou says:

    People, listen to microguy07828.
    I am also an industrial microbiologist and he is correct. Diluting hand soap with water increases the chances that your soap will become contaminated. Hand soaps undergo preservative efficacy testing to ensure the formulas are adequately preserved against bacteria, yeast, and mold.

    One of the reasons for the foam is to decrease your water usage. If you actually read the directions for use on a Dial Complete bottle, it states to “pump into dry hands, lather, and then rinse.” Thus, you don’t have to run the water until you are ready to rinse.

  77. why2kliu says:

    Don’t bother diluting handsoap; the more dilute it is, the less effective. If you are diluting an antibacterial based soap, you’re doing bacteria a favor. The only kind of “soap” I would recommend diluting is an alcohol based one, and one with a high concentration of alcohol (as in, you poured 151 into it).

  78. microguy07828 says:

    Aerobic organisms basically need three things to replicate: Carbon (food), Water and Air.

    Liquid soap products are an excellent carbon source, are water-based and there is plenty of air present for them to use. All liquid soaps that you purchase are adequately preserved to prevent organisms from replicating in their original container during normal product use. Once you compromise the preservative system by diluting it, there is still carbon, water and air available for the organisms to use.

    Under ideal conditions, bacteria can replicate (divide into two) as fast as every 20 minutes. In 24 hours, one organism has the potential to become 4,722,366,483,000,000,000,000 organisms. That’s a lot of bacteria to have in a soap dispenser or bottle. Washing your hands with microbiologically contaminated soap really defeats the purpose of washing your hands in the first place.

    The group of individuals most likely to be affected by the contaminated product would be those classified as immuno-compromised. That would include infants (their immune system has not fully developed yet), the elderly (their immune system is deteriorating) and those who are ill (their immune system is compromised by their illness).

    Over the years, consumers wanted products that were gentler and were more natural. Cosmetic manufacturers met this need by creating formulas that were more complex, contained more natural ingredients, and actually had less preservatives, as preservatives can be harsh on the skin. Preservatives work on biocidal (kills the organisms) or biostatic (prevents them from replicating) principles and may irritate the skin of some people. Preservatives are also costly, so manufacturers often want to add the least amount possible to a product, as long as the product passes preservative challenge testing. Therefore, don’t expect any liquid soap to maintain its integrity once it is diluted.

    I’m all for tips to save money. However, I would not want to risk my health or the health of my family to save a few cents. Like I mentioned before, if you want to dilute the soap, keep the soap full-strength in its container (to maintain its preservative level) and dilute a small amount in the palms of your hands as you wash and lather them.

    If you don’t believe me, just give any liquid soap manufacturer a call (Dial, Unilever, P&G, etc.). I guarantee they will tell you the exact same thing.

  79. SkittlesMcGee says:

    @microguy07828: What about castile soaps (i.e., Dr. Bronner’s)? I avoid sulfate-based soaps (actually detergents) because they dry out my skin. I use lavender-scented Dr. B’s because of lavender’s anti-bacterial properties (as I undersand it, lavender will not contribute to creating superbugs like triclosan does?) The only preservatives they use are citric acid & tocopherol. Dr. B’s is supposed to be diluted before use. Am I safe using this in my foamy hand-soap pump? I love my foamy hand soap. Ingredients below:

    Water, Saponified Organic Coconut Oil*, Saponified Organic Olive Oil*, Organic Glycerin, Organic Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Organic Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Lavandula Hybrida (Lavandin) Extract, Citric Acid, Tocopherol

  80. ChuckECheese says:

    @SkittlesMcGee: Based on my years of doing this exact thing (putting soap into foam dispensers), I’ll tell you that Bronner’s will probably clog your dispenser. If you clean it as I described in a post above, you might be able to save it. But I never had luck using Bronner’s or similar castile products in my dispensers.

    Finally, I agree with the biologists that you stand a good chance of getting mold and/or bacteria in your dispenser using diluted soap or detergent. I have found mold growing in mine. I wasn’t going to mention this before, but what the hey–here’s what I do:

    To each dispenser of soap, I add about 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract, or 5 drops of gentian violet. Get the GSE at a health food store, or the gentian in the ethnic section of your drugstore. Be careful with the gentian, as it stains things purple. Both GSE and gentian are antifungal. The GSE is antibacterial as well.

  81. SkittlesMcGee says:

    @ChuckECheese: Thanks for the tip on the GSE/gentian. Purple soap sounds like fun! I’ve actually been using diluted castile soap for months in the same dispenser and no clogging issues yet, but I bet my pump could do with a good cleaning anyway.

  82. Kimbeegrin says:

    I water down my regular soap when it gets near the end, just fill the bottle with water and you still have a soapish more watery cleanser for your hands.