Homemade Moisturizing Baby Shampoo and Body Wash Recipe {free printable label}

A super simple and gentle shampoo and body wash for babies and even adults. I use this same formula as my body wash, too! It is non-toxic, sulfate and paraben free, and gentle on that brand new skin.

DIY Natural Moisturizing Baby Shampoo and Body Wash with Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap

To get a shampoo like this in the store, you’d have to pay a good $10 or $15 bucks for 12 ounces (see the cost breakdown below) because the ingredients I suggest are so pure and of excellent quality. It took me a few times to adjust the amount of oil in it, which was amusing because my kids’ hair was quite greasy and looked pretty gross! (Maybe one day my kids will start a blog about being a blogger’s kid!) Plus, the extra oil coated all their bathtub toys and the tub and made everything slippery. So, now you won’t have to go through the same process since this recipe has been tested and used in official family laboratories and won’t make your bathtub a mini ice-skating rink!

I am so happy with this recipe because it’s so safe and eliminates the need for lotion after baths because the oils and aloe vera stay on precious skin and keep it so soft. For more homemade skin care, check out my organic lotion, my all-natural beauty regimen, diaper rash cream, baking soda body scrub, natural deodorant, and my organic hair care regimen with baking soda and apple cider vinegar.

Ingredients for an All Natural and Non-Toxic Baby Shampoo and Body Wash Recipe

Affiliate links to Amazon provided for your convenience.

The Recipe

Note: (This recipe is for a 12 oz. bottle. For a larger bottle, like 16 oz. just increase the oils by a 1/2 teaspoon or so to your liking (for a body wash, but not for shampoo). For even larger, like 24 oz., double the recipe. For 32 oz., increase the recipe 2 1/2 times).

  • 1/4 cup Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap – Aloe Vera Baby Mild (unscented) (buy here) (Never heard of Dr. Bronner’s? Read my post about it here.)
  • Optional: for just Body Wash – add 2 tablespoons oil of your choice (I chose Sweet Almond Oil (buy here)) because I already have the organic kind, but olive oil right out of your pantry will work, so will jojoba, Calendula, etc.). Omit or lessen the amount of oil to a tablespoon or less if using for just shampoo as it will make the hair oily. I omit the oil when I’m feeling lazy, and it is still moisturizing because castile soap is SO gentle.
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon pure, organic aloe vera gel (pure aloe vera gel) or Vitamin E Oil (buy here) (for added moisture without the oiliness), and a few drops of your favorite essential oil (like lavender (buy here)) for fragrance (but I would use very little to make it as gentle as possible)

Instructions

Fill the bottle (I used an empty baby shampoo bottle but if you add essential oils, the plastic will break down eventually, so glass is best) with all the ingredients, then fill the rest very slowly with water (the soap will really suds up if you fill it quickly). Or, you can fill it with 1 cup water first, then add the ingredients, then slowly fill the bottle with water as needed.

 

Natural Moisturizing Baby ShampooA note about tear-free: Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild is very mild, but not tear free. So, that’s why this recipe is so diluted, which I have found makes it essentially tear-free and it still suds up on their hair and skin very well.We use this on our three-year-old and one-year-old and neither have complained about it burning their eyes (and it does get into their eyes sometimes). I would recommend being careful the first few times to not let it get in their eyes and see how it works for you.

Here is your free printable to smack on the front of the bottle so you never have to look up the recipe again! I use packing tape and cover the paper completely and it keeps it almost 100% dry.

Cost Breakdown:

  • Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap - $0.48/an ounce and you need 2 ounces – $0.97
  • Sweet Almond Oil - $0.88/an ounce you need 1 ounce – $0.88 or use olive oil from your pantry and it’s basically free!
  • Aloe Vera Gel – $2/an ounce and you need .5 oz for a tablespoon – $1.00 OR Vitamin E Oil – $2.48/an ounce and you need .5 oz for a tablespoon $1.24

TOTAL: $2.82 for 12 ounces! Way cheaper than a $10 bottle at the store and it’s totally pure and non-toxic.

DIY Baby Body Wash and Shampoo  - All Natural and Non-Toxic

How to Purchase High Quality Essential Oils through My Merry Messy Life

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Comments

  1. I’ll have to try this! Thanks Sara!

  2. I have been looking for a great baby shampoo receipe and this one is just what I had in mind! Thanks so much! Also, thank your little guinea-pigs too!

  3. THANK YOU! This is great and I can’t wait to try it!

  4. This is awesome, Sara!

  5. Thank you for sharing! As obvious as this might seem, may I suggest that you add “liquid” to the Dr. Bronner’s description in the ingredients list? Someone who has seen the bar soap but not the liquid might get confused.

  6. Can you use the original dr bronners? Or does it have to be baby mild?

    • When you say original, what do you mean? Is original unscented? If so, then that’s fine. Baby mild has the least amount of castile soap in it and contains more oils, so it is truly mild. I chose it so I could make it as tear free as possible.

      • I’m sorry! I should have looked at my bottle before typing! It is baby mild. For some reason I thought it was original unscented-which I don’t think even exists! Sorry!

  7. I like to add a 3 drops of lavender EO, it makes it smell nice- keeps them smelling like a baby longer.

  8. I just made the shampoo & tried it! I love it! I have had dermatitis for years & just found out that I am highly allergic to most beauty products & shampoos. I used Dr. Bonner’s lavender castile liquid soap & added Tea Tree EO & Peppermint EO. My scalp thanks you!!!
    Kristen recently posted..Bitter temps don’t stop man’s campout | WIVB.comMy Profile

  9. I made this for my baby and it leaves her hair very oily….poo!

    • Hmm, sorry to hear that, Tasha. I worked and worked on the recipe until I got it to where it didn’t make my kids’ hair oily. I’ve used this recipe over and over and it doesn’t make my kids’ hair oily at all.

      • Yep, WAAAAAY too oily for my child’s hair. I’m trying to figure out what to add or something to salvage the 12 oz. Any ideas?

        • Hey Lisa – then I would just use the shampoo on your child’s body, because it is both a shampoo and body wash. Otherwise, add more water and castile soap to the recipe to dilute the oil. It can also be used as hand soap or body wash for anyone in the family.

    • Quick modification:

      1/4 c liquid castile soap
      2 Tblspns Aloe Vera Gel
      2 tsp Almond, Olive or Grape seed oil
      2 Vitamin E capsules (poke a hole and squeeze out)
      1 tsp baking soda ( Optional — use if you have hard water)
      2/3 to 1 c warm water (use 2/3 c water, add more to get the consistency you would like.

      Mix together well, pour into squeeze bottle.

      • Thanks for sharing, Angel! That’s the great thing about making your own natural products – everyone can customize recipes to make them exactly what they need and want. I have use Vitamin E capsules in other recipes for added skin protection and nutrition, so that’s a great idea.

    • It made mine and my my daughters hair oily also. Any Suggestions to help this? I used coconut oil because that helps to reduce friz.

      • Hi Becky! Yes, I would suggest not using coconut oil – did you use it in the shampoo recipe? Because it hardens when the temperature is under 72 degrees or so. It’s an excellent hair conditioner, but it is greasy if put on the scalp. Also, you might have to go through a 2-3 week transition phase as your hair gets used to not having all the oils stripped (like from the detergents in regular shampoos), so your hair will be oily in the process. I write more about that here, in my DIY Baking Soda Shampoo post.

  10. Does anyone know what the recipe would look like if I used grated bar soap, as that’s what I have on hand?

    • Good question! You’d need to melt it down, I think. It would definitely change the consistency. The whole point of using Dr. Bronner’s is that it’s organic and extremely gentle, with all natural ingredients. Or maybe you’ve got the same kind of soap in a bar? I’d be curious to hear if melting it down works or not!

    • Yes, It will make the end solution a bit thicker, almost gel-like.

      Here’s how to do it:

      1/4 Cup Finely shred Castile bar soap
      1 Cup boiling water –to dissolve shreds in.

      – When soap is all melted, Add:
      1 Tblsp Glycerin
      2 Tblsp Aloe Vera Gel
      2 tsp Almond, Olive or Grape seed oil
      2 Vitamin E capsules (poke a hole and squeeze out)

      Mix together well, stir periodically over 12 -24 hrs, as it may get thick.
      If it gets too thick, add 1 oz (2 Tblsp boiling – or very hot water and stir well. . . add a little at a time to get the consistency you would like.)
      Then pour into squeeze bottle.

      Note: This may separate, so you will need to shake bottle back and forth to remix – with each use.

  11. I wanted you to know I tried your recipe and love it! I shared it here on my blog:
    http://mishmashmama.blogspot.com/2013/01/my-first-linky-what-do-you-do-with-dr.html
    Shannon@MishmashMama recently posted..My First Linky! What do you do with Dr. Bronner’s?My Profile

  12. I am so excited about this. I’ve been looking for a DIY baby shampoo recipe for a long time. And I love that it uses Dr. Bronner’s castile soap. I’d love to feature this recipe on my blog with full attribution to you. Let me know.
    Tracey @ Dont Mess with Mama recently posted..Eco Travel Crafts and Gear to Keep Kids Happy on the GoMy Profile

  13. Could I use actual aloe from my plant instead of buying aloe gel or vitamin E oil?

  14. I just made this today and I loved the way my baby’s skin felt! Obviously the oils are at the top. Do you shake every time before using? I dont mind shaking before my babys bath but I was going to also put this mixture in my foaming hand soap pumps. Having to shake before using might be annoying for that. Maybe I’ll just do a bronners/water mix for hand soaps?

  15. Hi. I wondered if you could use vegetable glycerin in place of the aloe vera or vitamin E. I don’t have either right now, but I wanted to make somthing right away. Also, do you use this for a body wash for the kids as well?
    Thanks so much.

    • Sure! Actually, you don’t have to have the Vitamin E or the Aloe Vera – they just enhance it. But I’ve made the recipe several times without those ingredients and still like it – it’s the oil in it that makes it really moisturizing, and the diluted castile soap. And I call it a baby shampoo because that’s what most products call it, but it’s used all over my kids’ bodies.

      • Jennifer says:

        So glad I found this post. I just bought the ingredients and am so eager to try. My toddler’s skin is very sensitive (like mine) and was wondering the same…if it is also a body wash. Makes sense it would be. Thanks for all the great recipes! I can’t wait to make my way through them. :)

        • Hi Jennifer! Yes, I should clarify in the post. It is both a body wash and shampoo. I called it that because Johnson & Johnson’s soap was always called baby shampoo and I always assumed that meant it was to wash the entire body. Guess I shouldn’t assume! :)

  16. i tried this recipe & did not care for it. i used calendula oil. even when shaken up & immediately putting it on my head, well, i have a head full of grease, body & shower. too greasy. too late to jump back in so tomorrow another head washing with a regular shampoo. sorry it didn’t work, it sounded great. one good thing i am soft from the calendula oil :)

    • Hi Eileen! I think the reason it didn’t work for you is the same concept I write about in my baking soda shampoo post (going no-poo) – your scalp is used to shampoos with detergents like sodium laureth sulfate in them so it overproduces oil. Detergents strip the hair of not just dirt, but natural oils your scalp and hair needs to be healthy, so the scalp overproduces oil to compensate. So, when you switch to a shampoo that is detergent-free like this one is, your hair has to go through a transition phase, which takes a couple of weeks.

  17. I just made my first batch and was wondering about it separating also? Do you shake it everytime? Its also very watery, is that normal? I’m a novice!

    • Hi Grace! Yes, I usually do give it a light shake to disperse the oils. It is very watery, so I like to put it in a foaming hand soap bottle to get it to come out thicker. But it is normal for it to be watery. You could add Xantham gum to it to thicken it up, but you’d probably need to dissolve it in hot water or whip it up with an immersion blender or blender.

  18. Tracie Brown says:

    OK! I read through your review and also the reviews written by your readers! I just want to make sure I understand everything so that I’m not disappointed when I make/use it for my 2 year old :) After I make it, I should put it into a foaming pump dispenser instead of leaving it in the bottle and pouring it directly from there since it’s very watery? Her hair might be greasy for a couple of weeks while the natural restoration is occurring? And I can add just a couple of drops of essential oils (lavender?) to it for smell?

    Thank you! I’m excited to try this as I just heard about Johnson and Johnson having carcinogens in their products, which disappointed me greatly!!

    • Hi Tracie! Yep, it sounds like you got it! It works best in a foaming pump dispenser, but will also work in one that isn’t, it’ll just be watery. Yes, her hair might be greasy – you could remove the oil while her hair gets used to the transition. I use it all over my kids’ bodies as well – as a baby soap.

  19. Tracie Brown says:

    I had the hardest time finding the products for this, because I was afraid of getting the “wrong” kind. If you know anything about these being unhealthy please let me know……..I got a rose essential oil (Rose Absolute) made my Aura Cacia brand, Vitamin E oil (50,000 iu) made by hobe naturals (ingredients-100% pure vit E oil, safflower oil and lemon oil), and Hobe Naturals cold pressed sweet almond oil (ingredients are both vit E and pure sweet almond oil)! It was hard to tell if something should be organic, or what is truly pure if it has other ingredients in it!

    Thanks for your help :)

    • Hey Tracie! It is hard to find a lot of these products – that’s why I’ve linked to all of them in the post, so you can buy them with one click on Amazon! That’s where I buy all of my natural ingredients as they are hard to find in stores. The ones you bought sound great, but I don’t know of them personally.

  20. Could I use this as body wash as well?

    • Yes, absolutely! This same recipe is exactly what I use as a body wash. During the winter, I keep the oil in the recipe and even add more. I don’t use it on my hair because I use baking soda, but it could be used as a shampoo as well!

  21. tiffany ann says:

    Hi I am new to all this homemade stuff so sorry if this doesnt make sense…will this shampoo grow bacteria in it? Does it have to be used in a certain amount of time ? Thanks!

  22. So just one questoin- can i wash my babys body with this as well or is it just shampoo please get back to me asap id like to try it!!

  23. Zipporah says:

    For those who don’t have a foaming soap pump, you can also put it in a small spray bottle. I get mine at the dollar store. When using for body wash, just spray onto your washcloth or shower puff.

  24. Hello! Thanks fir the recipe!
    I was wo dering if you could recommend a brand for the calendula oil? Would love to use it as I read great things abt it.
    Thanks!

  25. Does this shampoo go bad? How long does it last? Is there anything you can add to make it last longer?

    • I think it would take a very long time before it would go bad, but I do not have any evidence to back that up. I have always used mine up within a month or so. Essential oils do help to preserve things, so if you have those in it, it should last a while. Otherwise, you’d have to add a grain alcohol like Everclear to it, which wouldn’t be good for babies’ skin.

  26. hi there. i just made this recipe tonight. I did use coconut oil, because that is the only oil i had on hand. I used the soap, coconut oil, and water. I am amazed at how my girls hair turn out. I have one with fine gair and one with thick hair. My fine hair girl came out great. A little greasy, but not enough for me to worty about. My thick hair girl same results, but her was very easy to run a comb through. She has a history of horrible tangles, but tonight was bad at all.

  27. Do you use tap water?

  28. I just made/used this and my skin is so soft! I’m new to the whole “make your own” thing. Is there a way to thicken it to make it more of a shower gel?

    • Hi Sarah! So glad you like it. The best way to do that is to use a foaming pump. I buy them at the grocery store and then either use up the soap or dump it out and just use the pump. Otherwise, you’d have to grate a bar of castile soap and then melt it down over the stove, which works very well to thicken it up. I’m too lazy to do that – it’s so fast to make it this way.

  29. Hello Sarah!
    I just want to know if the baby shampoo that you prepare is for the baby body too?
    I bought the ingredients and will prepare the shampoo for my granddaughter that is going to be born in December.Thanks for the recipe .
    Oh by the way the Dr. Brooner castille soap is like a dollar or two cheaper than the price you mentioned at Whole foods (Chicago)

  30. Hi Sara,
    I just made this for our daughter. I was using it in the bathtub. How much to you recommend using and is there a way to make the formula thicker? Thoughts?

  31. Hi Sara and Emma – Thank you ladies for your feedback.

    Sara, I will try a foaming pump. If that doesn’t work I will try the bar of Castile soap and add the salt. I also wanted to commend you for posting all of these natural recipes for Mom’s out there who don’t want to have their children use all the chemicals etc. in over-the-counter brands!

  32. I love this along with everything else I have made from your site but I do have a question. Has anyone’s child had a reaction to this that you know of? My son seems to have little red bumps on his skin and I’m curious about whether or not it could be from the wash or if it might be something completely unrelated. I am just curious if perhaps it is clogged pores due to the oil.

    • Hi Abby! You are the first to mention a reaction. It could be due to the oil if your son is sensitive to tree oils like sweet almond. Which oil did you use? Also, did you use a scented castile soap? The baby mild has no fragrance and is best for sensitive skin.

      • It turns out that it is probably completely unrelated and more like to do with an antibiotic he had to take recently. I used almond oil which I have used in past as a moisturizer directly on his skin so he didn’t seem to have a sensitivity to it and I didn’t use any scents in the body wash and I used the unscented Bronners. That is why I was wondering if it was perhaps due to the amount of oil but it seems unrelated thankfully.

  33. I am a bit confused – Aloe Vera Gel is optional, vitamin E is optional. Almond or other oil if you want to make body wash, but not for the shampoo (instructions say – may omit for the shampoo)

    So the bare recipe for the shampoo is just Castile Soap with a few drops of essential oils for smell?

    • Sorry to confuse you! :) But, yes, the basic recipe is just castile soap and water. Nothing else is essential to making it work, they are just nice extras that make it more of a luxurious experience. Sometimes I add EO’s to it, and sometimes I don’t, depending on what I’ve got on-hand.

  34. Samantha S says:

    I love this recipe for my son but my husband and I didn’t like the foam because it took quite a few pumps for the whole body. Well, I added the xanthan gum and it’s wonderful!! Just the right consistency like store bought body wash. Plus it didn’t have the snot like texture of another recipe I tried. I’m soo happy!

  35. Thank you for this recipe! Do you know if the Burt’s Bees Mama Bee oil can be used in place of the Vitamin E and almond oil? It contains both these ingredients. Thanks!

  36. I have aloe vera gel with lanolin. Will that work? It doesn’t seem to be all natural as it has a lot of ingredients I cannot pronounce. Is there a specific brand (other than the plant of course) that would be all natural aloe vera?

  37. I’ve been using this for about 2 weeks now and find that it leaves a build up on my hair. did I do something wrong or is there something more I could add?

  38. Hi Sara,
    So I mixed 1/4 cup of the castile soap and added 1 tablespoon of Vitamin E Oil but I am confused to how do you get 12 oz out of this? Are you supposed to fill the rest of the bottle with water? I kept reading and reading and I am confused with the recipe measurements.

  39. So happy to find this! I switched from Aveeno Baby products after seeing all of the crap that is in them and started using Shea Moisture products. Shea Moisture is great, for the most part, about not putting toxic ingredients in, however, there are still a lot of natural ingredients that can cause skin irritation to newborns, which is exactly what it did to my 7wk old. It is also extremely fragrant to the point that it gives me, a chronic migraine sufferer, quite a headache within minutes. Her small rash is healing up now after a few baths with it but I would like to use something a little more mild for the time being. (and cheaper! Shea Moisture is $10-12 for 13oz)
    So a few questions before I get started: Do you think Aloe Vera Juice will work as well? It seems to be a little more cost effective and still organic. Just wondering what your thoughts are. Also, have you ever tried to make any baby lotions? Or does your Organic lotion recipe work on babies, as well?

  40. Do I need to store this in the refrigerator? Would the vitamin E preserve it to the point that I could leave it in the bathroom for approx 2 weeks? Is the concentration of lavender oil enough to act as a preservative (I used approx 5 drops in 8oz)? Tia

  41. I was so excited to start using this baby wash. I went out and bought Dr. Bronner’s soap and whipped me up a batch. I was very disappointed at the smell. I thought my babies came out smelling like baby vomit. I added a little lavender to the soap but it didn’t help much. After doing a little more research there have been others who thought Dr. Bronner’s soap had a foul smell. Any suggestions on other gentle essential oils I can add? Thank you! :)

    • Hi there! Oh really? I’ve never thought it had a foul smell, just no smell at all, really. I’ve had so many people tell me my babies smell so clean, and natural because of this soap. Did you get the baby mild one? So, you might try adding another drop or two of lavender, or add in Gentle Baby from Young Living into it – it’s a blend of Geranium, Jasmine, Ylang Ylang, Rosewood, Roman Chamomile, Rose, Lemon, Lavender, Palmarosa and Coriander. Any of those oils would also be a nice addition to the Lavender (besides Coriander).

  42. I really want to try this recipe to use as a body wash for my whole family. But I have a question: My hubby is an electrician, and he usually comes home dirty and stinky from working on a construction site. Would this soap be strong enough to get him clean and smelling good?

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  45. Thank you for this recipe! My son’s skin is so soft because of it and my husband even loves it too (both have very sensitive skin and both seem to do great with it)! I put it in a foaming soap bottle to make it easier to handle.

  46. I just made this as body soap for my 4 year old son. I put the soap in a J&J baby wash bottle with pump and found that the liquid did not lather very well. Is this normal? The bottle is 28oz, so I doubled the recipe to accommodate for the larger size.

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