AWESOME DIY Squishy Soap

DIY Squishy Soap Kids Can Make | Mama Papa Bubba

With Sam home from the NICU, one of the things we’re extra on top of now is hand washing.  It’s the easiest way to keep germs at bay and help ensure our little preemie boy doesn’t come down with something during cold and flu season, which could be really awful for him.  To make the constant hand washing a little more fun for Miss G, I’ve been switching up our soap every now and then by adding different essential oils to it, putting it in a bottle with a foaming pump, and once even adding a drop or two of pink colouring to it {you do what you gotta do, right?}  Thankfully Grae’s really great about it all, even though I feel like I ask her to wash her hands about 100 times a day.

To keep the hand washing fun going, I thought we’d make some of our own soap this time around.  I wanted something fun and different but really easy and that’s when I remembered seeing some YouTube tutorials on flubber soap a while back.  None of the videos I’d watched included an actual recipe and I knew that I wanted ours to be more like a dough than actual slime or flubber, so this morning Miss G and I did some experimenting and came up with what I think could be the most awesome DIY squishy soap ever!  Seriously though – it’s soooo cool.  It turned out better than I imagined it would and after a full day of testing it out, I can honestly say that it works fabulously too {not to mention that it reminds me a lot of Lush’s ‘Fun’, the play dough soap / bubble combo aimed at kids, which we love}.  It’s soft, squishy, and so much fun.

Here’s how we made it…

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First off, the main ingredients…  Pure castile soap {in peppermint this time around}, sweet almond oil {we’ve tried cold pressed avocado oil and it works great too, though fractionated coconut oil did NOT work as well}, and cornstarch.  For colouring we decided to go with our beloved Sax liquid watercolours for their washability, but a very small amount of liquid food colouring would probably work fine and soap colorant would obviously work well too.

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Besides the ingredients all being things we keep in the house, what I love about this project is that it’s easy enough for Miss G to do herself, start to finish.  First she measured out some cornstarch…

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Then the oil…

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Added the soap…

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And then a few drops of liquid watercolour.

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Then she just mixed everything up…

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And kneaded it with her hands.

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Isn’t the end result pretty?

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And it’s fun too!  Before using it to wash you can totally use it as a play dough first.

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When it’s time to wash, simply pinch off a tiny piece…

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Add some water…

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And scrub!  Of course rolling the full ball around in wet hands works too.

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Because we just made our squishy soap, I’m not sure how it will last over time just yet, but we’ve kept the bulk of it in a little jar for later use and a small amount right beside the sink to use now.  We shall see!  In the meantime, here’s our recipe if you want to give it a try…

DIY Squishy Soap

  • 1/2 cup of cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup of pure liquid castile soap {or other liquid soap or body wash of the same consistency}
  • 4 teaspoons of sweet almond oil or cold pressed avocado oil
  • a few drops liquid watercolours for colouring

Measure the ingredients into a small bowl and mix well with a spoon.  Dump the contents out onto a clean surface and knead until the soap is smooth and no longer sticky.

Be sure to give it some time to come together, but if you find that the mixture is too dry, add a little more castile soap (just a tiny amount at a time).  If the mixture seems too wet, add a little more corn starch (just a tiny amount at a time). Enjoy!

 Please note:  If using a more concentrated colouring (such as food dye) instead of liquid watercolours, you may have to add some extra castile soap to bring the dough together.  

UPDATE: It lasts super well!  During this post-NICU period of time in our lives when we were hand washing CONSTANTLY we were actually able to just keep a ball of it on the side of our sink and there just seemed to be enough moisture to keep it soft.  That being said, since then, we’ve kept it in a mason jar with a lid, which works perfectly and keeps it soft for months on end.

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55 thoughts on “AWESOME DIY Squishy Soap

  1. This is so awesome! We made it first thing this morning. It couldn’t have come at a better time. We just made our daughter an outdoor play sink. Until it warms up today, we’re playing in the kitchen sink.

    1. It’s tough to say because it depends on how wet it’s left / it gets, Lindsey. We had ours out for a couple of weeks and if it’s not left in a pool of water, it definitely dries out just a little on the outer surface {but can be re-worked into a pretty decently malleable dough with some kneading}. If left in a pool of water, it definitely gets a bit soggy, but not unusable.

  2. What other oils give verifiable results? Has anyone specifically tried any of the others? We have a tree nut allergy in the house.

    1. Hmmmm… That’s a tough one! I don’t know that there is a substitute that will give the same texture, unfortunately. Please let us know if you find something though!

  3. This worked great and was a ton of fun for everyone! We did need to play around with the oil and soap volumes in order to obtain the play dough consistency. This could be due to the kids measuring out the cornstarch :)

  4. I was going to do this with my school children but my employer ordered us bars or castile soap instead of the liquid. I am debating if I should just bring in some liquid soap from home or if I should try shaving and melting the bars of soap.

  5. Hey Talitha! Did you use castile soap like we did, or a different type of liquid soap? I imagine that with soap / oil swaps, the amounts may need to be adjusted a bit.

  6. Hi Elsa! Nope, no typo! The amounts above are exactly what we used. :) That being said, with any recipe swap, you sometimes do need to make adjustments. I hope you found measurements that worked for you!

    1. Jen do you think but switching up the Castile soap with a natural body wash you can make it usable in the tub?

  7. I’m sorry to hear that, Laura. We’ve made another batch since using this exact recipe and it turned out perfectly for us, so nothing wrong with the ingredient amounts as posted. I hope you guys at least had fun getting messy!

  8. Thank you for posting this! I found bath dough soap a long time ago when my older child wash little. Since then I have been searching high and low for a play dough like soap recipe that didn’t use store bought soap! Do you think adding another surficant to boost the sudsing action would change the constancy of the dough?

      1. I was thinking Cocabeatine (spelling?) Sodium cocoaite or sodium laureth sulfoacitate or SLES same thing (This is not a sulfate as I am trying to move my home away from sulfates and is not good for the body)

  9. We just made this! We had to play a little with the amounts since we used olive oil instead but it turned out fantastic!

  10. You are patient with the complainers. ;) Your measurements are fine. I made 4 batches, 2 following your ingredients and they came out perfectly. The other 2 I subbed different oils and had to fiddle measurements to get the right texture, but that’s to be expected when you CHANGE THE INGREDIENTS. Also added vitamin e oil and some essential oils for smell. Kids had a blast making, thanks for sharing!

    1. Hah!!! You’re SO lovely! I think when you play around with recipes regularly like I do, you learn that adjustments usually need to be made when swapping ingredients. I usually don’t think it’s a big deal – if whatever it is is too dry, I add more wet (and the opposite), but some people have less patience for that kind of stuff I’m guessing. Thanks so much for commenting and I’m glad you guys had fun! Adding essential oils is a brilliant idea! :)

  11. How many “balls” does this recipe yield? Thinking of trying with a Girl Scout troop but need to plan out supplies :). Thanks!

    1. Hey Beth! What you see in the photos is four separate batches, one for each colour. I’d recommend doing the recipe as is for each girl scout or for two girl scouts partnered up. :) Hope they love it!

  12. I just made this squishy soap with 47 kids from preschool to 5th grade at a church event. It was crazy and messy, but the kids really liked it. Thank you for the great idea! I couldn’t find sweet almond oil, so I used olive oil. Due to this I decreased the cornstarch to 1/3 cup, and if it was too soupy had them add more to get the right consistency. I used soap die and the colors weren’t anywhere as pretty as yours, but it was a hit regardless. Thanks again!

  13. Thanks for the great idea . I used olive oil and kids body wash/ shampoo I need to add some extra essence to remove the strong olive oil smell but once I did it looks great.

  14. I just made this and added 1/2 tsp poly because I used Mica powder to color it and it turned out fine! I am going to add 1/8 tsp of SLSA for more bubbles! I also used Grape Seed oil.

  15. I am really excited to make this for my toddler. Rather than using liquid watercolors would I be able to use food coloring?

  16. I just got back from London and discovered this soap in the Lush store on Oxford Street. I bought two of them for my 4 year old and she is OBSESSED! Only issue…it’s far too expensive back home here in Norway to justify buying more of it after we run out. Booo! So I’m very excited about this tutorial, thanks!

    I’m going to follow the recipe exactly…but do you think the same amount of finger paint instead of liquid water color would work? I’d like to avoid food color because of the risk of it staining. Thanks!

  17. I used Dawn dish soap and coconut oil. I had to up the soap amount a little but it turned out good and it was all ready colored. Which is good since I am doing this in a school setting so the less bottles that we have to deal with the better. Thank you for the recipe. :)

  18. does this eventually harden? I like the idea but would really like it if it hardened like a bar of soap–and held the sculpture shape—any ideas. i want ted to do this with my seniors group but really only if it will harden and keep its shape

    1. Hi Leah! Hmm… You know, I think it might, but we haven’t really tried it. We have left it just on the side of the sink (not in a container), but because it was being used and wet multiply times a day, it stayed surprisingly soft and putty-like. I did have one chunk dry out partially, but I wasn’t carefully with it and it crumbled a fair amount.

  19. Cool idea! Me being a 10 year old love it! I had to add more soap and oil, but otherwise I think its great. I added essential oils and my hands smell great now. Thanks for posting this or I would never have found it. :)

  20. Made this today as 3 year old is still fighting washing his hands with soap. With the coronavirus I ask him to wash a lot, so hopefully since he made it with me he will want to use it more. Had to add a little more castille soap to get it to come together (it is pretty dry here right now), but after some good kneading it all came together. Thanks for the fun activity while we are social distancing.

  21. This works great! I did not have sweet almond oil, Castile soap or liquid watercolor. Instead I used olive oil, Dawn soap, and food coloring. Mine did turn out a bit dry, but a little more olive oil did the trick. Also, the food coloring did not mix in all the way, but it made a cool tie dye effect instead. Love it!

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