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How to Thicken Homemade Body Wash or Liquid Soap

Homemade skincare products are known to be very ideal for the skin. They are completely free of harmful chemicals that can be found in conventional skincare or personal care products. That is why homemade products or packs are awesomely safe for the skin.

However, one of the key problems faced with homemade products is that we don’t always get the product look and feel we expect during application. This is true for almost all homemade products including homemade liquid soap or body wash.

One of the important characteristics of homemade products is the texture. Body wash or liquid soap can range from very thin to a thick gel consistency. It is important to remember that thickness does not mean concentration or quality.

There is no right or wrong consistency; it is all about personal preference. But, the texture of your homemade products does affect packaging options and may affect how the product is used. For homemade body wash, it is really hard to get accurate consistency. Sometimes it becomes too runny that nobody can recognize it as a body wash. But, like every problem, there are solutions to it.

First of all, remember that there is no relationship between the thickness and efficacy of homemade body wash. You will get the same result from a runny body wash that you will get from a thicker one. However, there are mainly two reasons why we all want a thicker body wash.

First one is the look and feel of the body wash. If your homemade body wash has the right consistency, you will enjoy a good feeling and easiness while applying it in the shower. On the contrary, runny body wash may cause a mess and it would be a waste of your body wash.

Also, the thickness of your body wash helps to decide which type of container you should use to store them. If your homemade body wash has the thickness of the commercial one, you could use a bottle with a pump top to store it. And for thicker body wash, a flip-top bottle is suitable.

6 Ways of Thicken Homemade Body Wash or Liquid Soap

Note that you can thicken your homemade body soap or wash very easily. It doesn’t cost you much or take lots of preparation. Below are various ways to thicken homemade body wash or liquid soap.

  1. Using Salt Water Solution

Note that this is the most used and easiest way to thicken homemade body wash. You only have to get table salt and distilled water for this. However, you need to be careful while making the saltwater solution and pouring it into the liquid soap base, otherwise, you won’t get your desired consistency.

To make the saltwater solution, take 3-4 tablespoons of distilled water into a glass bowl and put 1 tablespoon of table salt into it. Remember not to use tap water because it may contain germs and other contaminants which could decrease the shelf life of your homemade body wash. Take a spoon and stir until the salt gets dissolved into the water completely. Now your saltwater solution is ready to thicken your homemade body wash.

At this point, pour the soap base into a glass bowl and pour a small amount of saltwater into it. You have to start with ½ tablespoon salt water and stir it well with a stick or spoon. Then see what happens. It will make your soap base ticker than previous.

Add more saltwater but very slowly if you don’t get your expected consistency. Stir the soap-based thoroughly every time after pouring the saltwater. Remember not to pour too much saltwater otherwise it will ruin the texture of your soap base. When you get soap-like consistency, stop adding saltwater.

  1. Xanthan Gum

Xanthan gum is a plant-based thickening agent while guar gum is a thickener in cosmetic formulations. Add ½ teaspoon of xanthan gum to ¼ cup of room temperature distilled water. Then, use a mixer or use your hands to mix thoroughly for 5 minutes. It is important that you mix it thoroughly with the water or else it may clump up. We find giving the bottle a good shake will often do the trick.

  1. Essential Oil

Essential oil is a vital ingredient for homemade body wash if you don’t like a scented soap base. It helps you to get scented body wash at your preference. Aside from aroma, you also get lots of skin and health from essential oils. Howbeit, you can use essential oil to thicken homemade body wash.

It is so simple. When you pour essential oils into the soap base and stir, it may start to thicken due to the presence of essential oils. Don’t use the saltwater solution if you get the desired thickness. And don’t use excess essential oil to get the soap-like consistency. Use saltwater instead.

  1. Use Crothix

Crothix is an ester usually leveraged as a thickener for soap and body wash, eye colour, face colour, shampoo, facial cleanser, etc. You can use it to thicken your homemade body wash. Use it if you already have it in your home.

Nonetheless, you need a very small amount of crothix for this purpose. But, it is advisable you do a test on a small amount of castile soap to identify the required amount for your entire body wash. If you are satisfied with the test, go for the final step.

  1. Guar Gum

Note that you can add 3 to 4 teaspoons of guar gum to ¼ cup of distilled water. Then, use a mixer or use your hands to mix them thoroughly for 5 minutes. A lot of people claimed that Xanthan gum is most useful in thickening liquid soap but guar gum does not mess up as easy as compared to Xanthan gum. The difference between the two is that Xanthan gum is made by a microorganism and guar gum is made from guar seeds.

  1. Hydroxyethyl cellulose

Note that you can control the thickness of your homemade products by adding simple ingredients call HEC – Hydroxyethyl cellulose. Hydroxyethyl Cellulose (HEC) is a natural gum derived from pine and spruce tree trunks.

It is a non-ionic, water-soluble thickening agent for water-based cosmetic and personal care products. Hydroxyethyl Cellulose will also help enhance the foaming action of surfactants. Note that this allows you to use less surfactant, making your shampoos and cleansers gentler and more effective.


Making homemade body wash is not a tough job. You can do it very easily at home with some easily available ingredients. Now you also know how to give it an actual body wash-like consistency. So, leverage any of the above-mentioned methods to thicken your products and make them easier to use.