How to Save Money on Foaming Hand Soap Pump Refills

I've always loved the convenience of hand soap pumps (we gave up bars long ago due their messiness) but felt that gel soaps were just too thick, wasteful (especially with kids) and hard to rinse off. When foaming hand soap pumps came out, I was in heaven! I still had some complaining to do, though, because they got used up much faster and the refills never seemed big enough. That's when it dawned me: foam soap just looks like watered down gel soap! Eureka! So, I started to mix my own and I've been doing it ever since. Not only have I saved a bundle of money doing this, it also helps our beautiful earth by reducing waste just a little bit more.

foam soap refill, hand soap refill, method soap refill

Here's what you need:

foam soap refill, hand soap refill, method soap refill
  1. gel hand soap refill  - I use method brand* gel hand wash refill (34 oz)
  2. 1 empty bottle (about 46 fl oz)
  3. empty foaming hand soap pumps to fill up (I like the shape of method brand pumps)
* I LOVE method brand products because they are environmentally friendly and usually just pick them up on my trips to Target. Plus, they come in really pretty colors and nice scents. :)

We drink a lot of this juice (V8 Fusion) and I like saving these plastic bottles to use to make and store my hand gel refills as well as to water down juices because I find them to be just way too sweet, which means I get more juice and less sugar per glass. Win-win! :)

  1.  Peel the label off of your bottle and wash it thoroughly in HOT water before using it to store your soap refills. Since it can/will sit for a while between refills, you certainly don't want stuff to start growing in your soap because there was some residual juice/sugars left in it. Yuck! :)
  2.  Label your bottle so your husband isn't like, "What on earth is this stuff anyway and where's the hand soap refill?!?!" like mine was when I first started doing this years ago. :)
  3. Measure out and pour 1 cup (8 oz) of water and mark the outside of the bottle at the water line so you won't have to pull out a measuring glass every time you do this (that can be messy business)!
  4. Dump the water out or back into your measuring cup to use after you add soap.
 Mixing your foaming soap refill:

  1. Pour the gel hand soap refill into newly marked bottle and fill to marked 1 cup line.
  2. Fill the rest with water - I use a thin stream of warm water for easier dissolving and minimal foaming. Stop at about 1/3 and 2/3 full to swirl to help the soap dissolve in water.
  3. Fill to top and give it a couple more gentle swirls/flips up and down to ensure an even mixture. Tada!
* Note 1: Conversely, you can fill the jar with water to the top and pour out 1 cup of water. Mark the line (near the top) and then fill it to the top with gel soap.

* Note 2: This isn't an exact science, but the solution can't be too thick or too watery for it to foam well. I found that this ratio works well for the method brand pumps. For those of you using different sized bottles, what I did here is about 1 cup (8 oz) hand gel + about 38 oz of water. I'm sure a little more or a little less of soap and/or water would still work fine. If you're working with 4 bottles at once, it's fine to just divide the bag of soap evenly among the 4 bottles (ie 8.5 oz soap per bottle).

*Note 3: You will need to rinse/clean the pumps out every once in a while if you see them starting to get kind of dirty and even more seldom, you will need to replace the pumps altogether because they'll just stop working. boo!

Ok, let's just do some quick math to see how much we can actually get out of 1 34oz bag refill of hand gel soap (ooooh, I get to put my electrical engineering degree to work here - haha!):

1 (34 oz) refill of gel hand soap = 4 (46 oz) bottles of foam soap
1 (46 oz) bottle of foam soap = 4.6 (10 oz) foaming hand soap pumps

1 (34 oz) refill of gel hand soap = about 18 (10 oz) bottles of foaming hand soap pumps!

Just checked online at Target:

1 (28 oz) refill foaming hand soap (method brand) is $3.99 and would refill roughly 3 pumps
1 (34 oz) refill hand gel soap (method brand) is $3.99 and would refill about 18 pumps!!!

WOW! I just saved $20!! as well as packaging on 5 refills! :)

This is what I did tonight, while writing up this post. I have 4 bottles ready to go: 1 for each bathroom and kitchen. And just so you know, I also keep a few extra foaming hand pumps under each sink to refill once the last one gets emptied. Saves me a little time in the long run. I also do this for baby soap because, once again, I love the foaming action vs. thick gel.

Be sure to check out this link (just click on button below) for other earth-friendly ideas. :)

Christine, aka happyvballgirl :)

Here are some items used in this post. To see a full list of my favorite bento gear and such, just visit my "Products I Love" page! :) Any purchases made through these links earns me a little extra cash to support my bento habit, which my hubby would really appreciate. haha! So thank you!!! if you choose to use any of 'em! :)

Thanks so much for stopping by and please feel free to make my day by leaving me a comment, joining my blog in the top right corner or liking my on Facebook at MyEpicureanAdventures - the more the merrier! :)

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Debi and Charly @ Adorned From Above said...

This is a great idea. I'm going to give it a try. Thanks so much for sharing with Wednesday's Adorned From Above.
Have a great week.
Debi and Charly

Jennifer Hughes said...

What a party last week on Friday Flash Blog! Thanks for joining us. I hope you’ve visited some of the other community members and you're having a splendid week.


Linda Bouffard said...

Thanks for the tip! Yes, I, too, love the foamies but it seemed a waste of money because it is, after all, just foam, not the real soap. This is a perfect solution. (pun intended) Best wishes, Linda

Scarlett @Scarletts Excellent Adventures said...

Wow! I'll have to try this! The foaming soap DOES get used up faster, but it's great with kids. I use some of the expensive soaps and we're trying to cut costs, so this looks like just the ticket to make us all happy...because, really, how can I live without my foaming soap?

The Spoon In Your Chowder said...

It is real soap (or maybe detergent.. depends what you buy), it's just watered down. It DOES work. :) Love it! I tried this recently and wanted to see if others have confirmed it. I think it should look like shaving cream but not quite as thick, if you get bubbles there's too much water. Definitely swirl gently and fill slowly, I didn't and had to let it sit over night for the bubbles to go down and get more water in the bottle.

mikey said...

Thanks so much for this! Your ratio is perfect, I used it to fill a 1 gallon white vinegar jug (great since it's already sanitized from the vinegar and only needs a rinse to remove the odor). 22.1 fluid ounces of the gel are absolutely right for a 1 gallon container.

Evie Dawson said...

I purchased a hand soap from Defense Soap Shop, which contains tea tree Essential Oil. Works like a charm and smells heavenly! Half water and half soap measurements with as many drops of oil as you need to smell it.

zee007 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
zee007 said...

Great idea... why not use the same water gel ratio and pour the contents directly in the foaming hand soap pump?

happyvballgirl said...

Zee007, you can certainly do that each time, but i'm inherently lazy and making a larger batch at once saves me some time in the long run. lol. THanks so much for stopping by!

Jonathan said...

Great! They never had the foaming hand wash refill in lavender so we always used the gel type, but foaming is so much easier, especially with kids. Looking forward to saving money!

Christine Yoon-Taylor said...

Oh, awesome, Jonathan!! Thanks so much for stopping by and letting me know! LOVE it! And yes, kids can make such a mess with the gel kind, mine included! :)

Ilya said...

I do that too. It's a cool way to save money and not waste soap. I like the pump effect so sometimes I reuse an old bottle that already has a pump and is pretty- like a pretty shampoo bottle with a pump.

Christine Yoon-Taylor said...

That's awesome, Ilya! Yeah, after using foaming soap, it's hard to go back to the other stuff. :) I love pretty bottles, too! Thanks for stopping by! <3