Saving on Soap: DIY foaming hand soap

By Amy Davis - Reporter/Consumer Expert

HOUSTON - Even when it's not flu season, washing your hands is important to stay healthy. You probably buy soap for your kitchen and your bathrooms, but you can spend far less money and get the same benefits.

Pump, wash and rinse. The process is the same, but which hand soap you pick Is a matter of personal preference.

"Usually, I want the color of the soap to match the bathroom," explained Carla Lane. "Which is probably ridiculous ... and then I want it to feel good," she added.

"I normally just pick it up from the grocery store," said Shirley Carter-Williams.

"My grandkids love the foam," said Linda Chandler.  "So they like to really get it in and they will rinse it off their hands."

Foaming soap is popular now.  Did you know you can make your own?

It's just diluted soap. We bought a reusable foaming soap pump for $9.99 at The Container Store.

It has a fill line for the soap and water. You use five parts water to one part soap.

We purchased a big jug of Sam's Club Member's Mark hand soap for $3.78. For $13.77, you'd have soap for years.

By comparison, one bottle of Dial foaming soap costs $1.84  at Walmart.

But could you tell the difference in the two? We covered each bottle, and labeled them simply "A" and "B." Then we asked three women to lather up, first with "A", then "B" and asked which they preferred. 

Chandler said she liked the feel of B, the Dial soap. But two out of three testers said they really didn't notice much difference.

"They both were very creamy when I was soaping my hands, so I did like that feeling ... but in the end, it's basically about the same," said Carter-Williams.

"The difference is really subtle; and so if I wasn't comparing, I wouldn't have noticed it," Lane said. 

If you are really frugal, you can forego buying a foaming soap dispenser and just reuse a disposable one when you use everything in the bottle. 

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