Simple Bodywash Recipe

This simple recipe uses easily available ingredients to make a quality liquid bodywash from scratch. It’s important to follow the instructions for each phase correctly to ensure your bodywash ends up as intended.

Ingredients in descending order of weight

39.5% Water (tap water is fine)
15% Cocamidopropyl Betaine
15% Sodium C14 – 16 Ollefin Sulfonate
Plantapon LGC. 15%
5% Aloe Vera (1:1)
3% Vegetable Glycerine
3% Polyquarternium–7
2% Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
1% Fragrance or Essential Oil (optional)1% is the recommended Maximum
Up to 1% Thickening Agent (recommend Crothix Liquid)
0.5% Phenoxyethanol EHG (preservative)
Colour (optional). Just a few drops of liquid cosmetic dye

Ingredients for Phase A (water phase)

Aloe Vera
Vegetable Glycerine
Hydrolized Wheat protein


Ingredients for Phase B (Surfactant Phase) (Add in descending order)

Cocamidopropyl Betaine
Sodium C14 – 16 Olefin Sulfonate
Plantapon LGC
Phenoxyethanol EHG


Phase A: In this phase you mix together all your hydrophilic ingredients, i.e. those that are all water miscible. Simply weigh all the ingredients together in a suitable jug or bowl, stirring until completely combined.

Phase B: This phase requires you to add the ingredients in the order they are in the above list. This is because when combining surfactant ingredients, they interact with each other causing thickening or thinning effects. The intention of the order they are added is to ensure you end up with a viscous gel-like substance and avoid a reaction where the mixture turns watery. Simply add each subsequent ingredient and GENTLY stir to combine thoroughly before you add the next one. Use a separate jug or bowl.

Next: It is time to add Phase A to Phase B (not the reverse). Use a simple spoon or spatula to mix as you gently and slowly add phase A to Phase B.You need to mix gently to avoid excessive bubbles, but ensure you mix thoroughly until the whole solution is a smooth and viscous consistency. At this stage it will form thousands of tiny internal bubbles which will opacify the mix, but don’t worry, as these will rise out of the mixture when left to rest afterwards.

Now: You have the option to add a fragrance. Certain fragrances or essential oils may turn the mixture white(ish) and more opaque, but this effect will disappear after a resting time.

Now: You have the option of adding a few drops of a suitable cosmetic grade liquid dye, mixing thoroughly until the colour is to your desired shade and consistent throughout the mix.

Thickening: The viscosity at this stage may already be exactly as you wish, but if it’s too thin (many essential oils and fragrances can thin this mixture of ingredients) you may wish to thicken to an acceptable viscosity. This can be done by adding a viscosity enhancer such as Crothix Liquid. It is important not to add too much as it may gel the mix, so add a small amount at a time, mixing thoroughly and giving sufficient time between additions for the mixture to assume it’s new viscosity. It is very unlikely that you would need more than 1% Crothix, but start off with much less and work towards this as required. If you do overdo the thickener, you can still rescue the mix with additional water, but this is not the intention, only a rescue if all goes horribly wrong.

Finally: Simply leave to rest and the mixture will clear, usually from the bottom-up as the tiny bubbles all rise out and disappear, leaving a clear viscous liquid ready to bottle as you wish.