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Looking for Homemade Shower Gel Recipe

I do not like using soap when I shower and prefer to use bath and shower gel. I am constantly buying commercial bath gel and it gets very expensive. I am trying to save all the money that I can. Are there any recipes for bath gel that I could try?

Use Less Shower Gel

I have a foamer from Pampered Chef. It reduces the amount of bath gel that I use in half!

Try Baby Shampoo Instead of Shower Gel

This isn't a homemade solution, but it may be just as cost-efficient. Generic baby shampoo makes a great, gentle bath/shower gel. You can often find store brands in a large bottle for well under $2 (making it 50 percent or less of the price of typical bath gels). Now, they even come in a shampoo plus conditioner formula, which gives your skin extra nourishing! Hard to beat. Enjoy!

Shaklee Product Works for Cleansing

I have used Basic H, which is a product by Shaklee. This is a liquid with perfect pH balance.

I had a very bad complexion in my younger days. I started using Basic H when I was about 22 years old. That was over 40 years ago! I keep a bottle (with a pump in it) on the shower shelf. One pump on my wet wash cloth is sufficient for my entire body. You feel so nice and clean with no soap scum to make you feel like your skin is drawing up! My complexion improved within three weeks and continued to improve throughout my life. People ask me all the time what the secret is to my nice complexion, as I don't have wrinkles either!

You can purchase this by the quart or gallon. I buy a gallon once a year and pour it into smaller containers for use. I also keep one pump bottle (an old Avon glass pump bottle that looks like a stalk of celery) at my kitchen sink. When I have loaded the dishwasher, I pump one squirt on my wet dishcloth and wipe up the stove, counter, and stainless steel sink. This is a smaller squirt than I use in the shower. It does such a good job that the sink rinses down and no droplets of water are left on it. They just slide down the drain. It appears like I have dried the sink with a towel!

Cheapest Shampoo is Great

For an inexpensive "bath gel", use the cheapest brand of shampoo on the shelf. Suave is usually the cheapest brand. You can add some cheap conditioner for added moisture or buy the 2-in-1 shampoo if it comes in a cheap brand. In some areas, dollar stores sell bath gels and shampoos too. You can also use shampoo as hand soap. Also, buying in bulk helps a lot. Shampoo is easy to find in bulk quantities, but be sure to compare prices carefully.

Recipes for Homemade Shower Gel

Liquid shampoo and shower gel base provide the basis for the recipes that follow:


  • 3/4 cup distilled water
  • 1/4 cup shampoo concentrate
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt (or substitute with 1/2 cup unscented shampoo and increase salt to 1 teaspoon)

Makes 8 ounces

Green Apple and Aloe Vera Shower Gel

This sudsy formula is ideal for total body cleansing and can also be used as a shampoo.

To your base add:

  • 2 tablespoons aloe vera gel
  • 15 drops apple fragrance oil
  • 1 drop green food coloring (optional)

Warm the water and pour into a ceramic bowl. Add the shampoo concentrate and stir until well mixed. Add the aloe vera gel, salt, apple oil, and coloring and stir until thick and well blended. Pour into a squeeze bottle and cap.

Georgia Peach Shower Gel

This is a skin-nourishing formula enriched with Vitamin E and essential apricot oil.

To your base add:

  • 1 tablespoon apricot kernel oil
  • 15 drops peach fragrance oil
  • 5 drops Vitamin E oil (can use 2 capsules)
  • 1 drop orange food coloring (optional)

Warm the water and pour into a ceramic bowl. Add the shampoo concentrate, stirring until well blended. Add the apricot kernel oil, salt, peach oil, Vitamin E oil (be sure to open capsules if used), and coloring then stir until well blended and thick.

English Lavender and Cream Shower Gel

This is a nourishing formula that cleanses gently, giving the skin the benefits of milk, an old-fashioned treatment for the complexion.

To your base add:

  • 2 tablespoons powdered milk
  • 10 drops lavender oil
  • 1 drop violet food coloring (optional)

Warm the water and pour into a ceramic bowl. Stir in the powdered milk. Add the shampoo concentrate stirring until well blended and thick. Add the salt, lavender oil, and food coloring and stir until well mixed. I hope this will be of use to you. From what I have read on the subject, I am sure you can substitute any fragrance oil to suit your personal likes.

Check sale prices for Essential Oils on Amazon.

Homemade Shower Gel from Soap

I make our own version of the bath soaps that are available for a fraction of the cost. I have experimented with many different soap types and found the best success with quality soaps that have no deodorant claims. Our favorite is made with Dove Nutrium, but I've had good luck with Caress, Dove (regular), Camay, and Oil of Olay. If you use something with a deodorant property to it, it will likely "gel up" and not be the consistency you want for using with a shower "pouf".

You will need two bars of soap, coarsely chopped. Bring three cups of water to a boil (I use the teakettle), and combine the soap bits and the water. Stir until you see no more lumps and let the concoction cool. It will thicken as it cools, and you'll have a good portion of liquid soap similar to what you can buy in the store. I store it in sandwich baggies, which are tied off at the top. We refill our shower soap dispenser easily by snipping off the corner of the baggie and squirt the soap into the dispenser. While we may pay $7 for eight bars of soap, the end product lasts us well over a year, and we were spending much more than that buying the ready-made stuff.

Information on Homemade Shower Gel

I could write reams of information on this topic. The main thing that I want to point out is a potential concern about using commercial products to make a traditional soap gel. Some recipes go somewhat like this: grate one bar of soap and dissolve in 3 cups of boiling water.

The main problem that you may have with many this type of recipe is the fact that most soap bars out there are a combination of soap and synthetic detergents. These can react differently when dissolved, and their pH level can be quite low, which would allow bacteria to possibly grow when water is introduced into the mix.

Homemade soap has quite a high pH level and does not encourage bacterial growth. If you take the time to learn how to make soap and know which oils work the best for your skin, I'm sure that your own homemade bar soap will greatly surpass any shower gel/shampoo combination that you can buy on the market.

There are many soap making sites available, and most soap making supplier sites have great recipes, tips, and suggestions. There are also scads of emailing lists where you can "meet" other people who make soap. It is always fun to see what others are doing. A site that I would suggest is Majestic Mountain Sage (MMSage).

If you decide to try your hand at soap making, invest in a good digital scale such as a postal scale that measures down to 1/10th of an ounce. You should be able to find one at a business supply place like Staples for under $30. It will be the best investment that you can make. Great soap can be made using grocery store materials, so don't feel that you have to jump in and buy large amounts of specialty oils at the start. Once you make your own soap, there will be no going back. You may even like your own bar soap better than those bath gels you buy. I know that I can make a very special homemade bar of soap that is very conditioning for under $1 for a 3-ounce bar. Happy soap researching!

Reviewed August 2017

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