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)


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

About Sara McFall

Sara is the owner and founder of My Merry Messy Life, which started in 2011 as a way to chronicle her journey to a natural, chemical-free lifestyle and to share her passions of mothering, real food, homeschooling and crochet. She is a mama to three precious and energetic little boys and wife to a university professor who loves to sing, dance ballet and ballroom, and live simply and naturally.


  1. My daughter wants Watermelon flavored…. LOL I used Aloe Vera juice instead of water…. and a small amount of Olive Oil…. Put it in her “Watermelon” flavored Suave container – it was mostly cleaned out….. I rinsed it several times… LOL But it gives off a bit of watermelon scent…. LOL I also added about 10 drops of lavendar and several lemon EO…..

    It is wonderful! I will have to make up this for washing my hands – they are so soft!!! I can’t wait to see how it goes with bath time tomorrow night! 🙂

  2. If I make a big batch, will it eventually go bad? I thought things with aloe should be kept in the fridge

    • I’ve not had that happen with this product, Gina, but I can’t say for sure that it won’t go bad. I use mine up within a few weeks and have no problems with it.

  3. My husband wouldn’t use it because it didn’t “foam” so I found a way and make 8 oz bottles. Now we both love it!

    1/4 c liquid castile soap
    2 Tblspns Aloe Vera Gel
    2 tsp Almond, Olive or Grape seed oil
    1/8 tsp vitamin E Oil
    1 tsp baking soda ( Optional — use if you have hard water)
    1 tsp vegetable glycerin (thickens and makes it foam_
    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 foaming soap dispenser. I leave out the 2tsp of oil if I am making this as a shampoo for my kids.
    I love your website!

    • Thank you so much for sharing with everyone, Suzy! I appreciate that and will have to try it. Lately, I’ve been using just castile soap and water in a foaming soap pump. It makes it suds up and works great on my kiddos and me!

    • I am starting to doubt that homemade shampoo can be used without being shaken before use. Since the kids and daddy will NOT shake the bottle when they use the shampoo, does your recipe pass the test without the shaking process?

  4. Bernadette says:

    Couple of Q’s: I’ve read that Castile soap will strip any colouring out of your hair. True? False?
    I tried a regimin of baking soda/water wash and then a apple cider vinegar rinse (both mixtures at 1 tbsp to 8 oz water) for 3 weeks and my hair was so dry and brittle. It’s naturally very fine. I gave up and bought a bottle very expensive bottle of Penny Lane’s baby shampoo/body wash (Canadian product) to use until I found a homemade recipe that would be better. I want to try to your recipe but am worried about the colour stripping….Thoughts? I have a feeling that someone will, no doubt, say that I shouldn’t be treated my hair with harsh colouring anyways but I really am not ready to go grey yet!

  5. Cristiane Vilas Boas says:

    Hello, Sarah! I’m from Brazil, and unfortunately we don’t have Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap here. I’ve been learning how to do it on youtube, and seems easy. Do you know if those recipes are similar to the original? In the uses, I mean. An another question ( maybe a silly one): how do you attach the label on the bottles?
    Thank you so much for everything!

  6. I’ve used it for the first time and as it’s really liquid , I think I put too much on my children hair! How mch do you use for shampoo ?

  7. I love pulling the foaming pump bottle out of my Dr’s trash can or the local lunch shop. Sounds gross I know but, I am saving the planet by recycling and keeping it out of the landfills. I won’t pay the price they want for the gobbledegook that usually comes in them. I wash it Really well and fill it with what ever I need the bottle for. I have bottles I have been using for years. I decorate them, use gold felt lettering pens and they look great to use over and over. Same with small trial dish soap bottles. Use them for Diatomaceous Earth. Baking soda scrub for cleaning (sinks, pans, baked on stuff when used with a drop of dish soap) Anyway, all kinds of good stuff.

  8. I am wanting to attempt this at home but I’m just wondering if this mixture is meant to be used in the shower and not the bath? My 15-month old is still taking her bath in the tub so if I were to use this solution, will it be too diluted? Should I mix everything but leave out the water?

  9. What about mold or bacteria issues? Your ingredient list does not include any natural preservatives? I used your recipes a few months back without knowing anything about the dangers of using water in a DIY project without sometime of preservative. Water grows bacteria and micro organisms especially if you add oil to it. Please share your thoughts. Don’t want anybodies children being exposed!

    • Hi Meisha! I’ve never had mold or bacteria issues with this recipe – I only make about 12 ounces at a time and we use it within several weeks, so it never goes bad. If you won’t use it often, I suggest making it in a smaller container. Also, adding Young Living essential oils to it will prevent microorganisms from growing, so I’d add a few drops of oil. But honestly, I’ve never had a problem and my hand soaps sit on my counters for a month.

    • Melissa Robinson says:

      Maybe a drop of tea tree oil to help keep out bacteria? But it’s strong so I would use very little.

  10. Hi Sara..

    I live in Indonesia, and we have aloe vera aplenty in the garden. Can I just use the fresh gel that I get by scraping the aloe leaf/meat?

    Commercial gel sold in bottles are next to impossible to find (need to have it imported) and expensive here..

    Thanks so much!

    • Absolutely! That’s the best way to get aloe, however, I’m not sure it’ll mix well with the water and soap because it is so thick. So, honestly, you can just cut it out of the recipe because the castile soap is so gentle you don’t really need it. It’s really just a luxury :).

  11. Could I use the Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Liquid Soap Lavender? Thanks!

  12. Hi does your soap separate and look gross? I’ve been making my own but I hate the way it looks. I seem to have to shake it every time I want to use?

  13. If you are reading this article, you are among the majority
    of women (and men) who are concerned they are not ageing
    very gracefully. There are different soap making methods, such as hot process soap making, cold
    process soap making and re-batching. This oil can be
    found in many products such as creams and lotion as well as in a form
    of essential oils that are good for massaging and only a small amount is necessary to
    get enormous results.

  14. Lisa Womble says:

    From what I am reading, if you’re going to use this as both shampoo & bodywash for kids, key element is just to NOT use Oil; so that the hair will not look bad?

  15. Margaret says:

    Could I use liquid (fractionated) coconut oil in place of the aloe or vitamin e?

  16. I keep reading about how castile is alkaline and if used on hair, should be followed up with something acidic as a rinse…have you found that to be true? I’d hate to mess up my dd’s hair pH balance.

    • Yes, for teenagers and adults I do find that to be necessary (see this post for more info). But with my young children, 2 of whom have very curly hair, I’ve not needed anything after the shampoo. But everyone is different, and using it once without a rinse isn’t going to mess up their hair long term. If the hair feels icky and dry afterwards, I’d just rewet it and do a rinse.

  17. Natazhia Gonzalez says:

    What’s the shelf life on this baby soap?

    • To be honest, I’m not sure, but it goes fast if you’re using it often and I’ve never even had mine go bad. I’m not sure that it does since it’s just water and soap.

  18. What’s the reasoning for adding water to the shampoo? I find it makes it too watery and very cold when applied. I could use a pump dispenser I guess but I don’t understand why water is needed. And yes, adding water does make it expire.

  19. Be very careful using anything homemade like this that has added water. It can definitely grow mold and bacteria. This is especially true in warm, humid environments like bathrooms and if it’s given enough time. I’d suggest making very, very small batches which unfortunately isn’t as appealing as making a 1-month supply and forgetting about it.

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