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Thought you’ve made every DIY project out there? How about Homemade Dish Soap?
How Do You Make Homemade Dish Soap?
In our efforts to learn how to make everything from scratch, it’s time to turn to Homemade Dish Soap. I’m not sure why I haven’t explored making this before. I guess since we’ve been able to buy a few different kinds that we’ve enjoyed using so far. But it’s still good to know how to make it ourselves in-case we ever need to or if we run out of the store bought stuff. So thus the need for this tutorial!
You can make your own dish soap with just a few ingredients like castile soap and about 10 minutes of your time.
Can You Buy Natural Dish Soap In Bulk?
If you want to buy your dish soap and you are looking for something natural that actually works, I recommend Biokleen Free and Clear Dish Soap. It works well and is a true, non-toxic all natural product. You can buy it by the gallon so you can use less plastic when you refill your soap dispenser.
Amazon also carries Ginger Lily Dish Soap in a one gallon jug. This soap is also a natural, fragrance free, plant based dish soap.
But back on track…making our own homemade Dish Soap. It’s really not as difficult as you think it might be! It turns out that you really need a few ingredients and you can create homemade dish soap at any time. Let’s get started!
Ingredients in the DIY Dish Soap Recipe
- Hot Water. You can use filtered or distilled water if you are concerned about bacteria being in your dish soap.
- Castile Soap. This needs to be a liquid castile soap. We like the Dr. Jacobs brand because it’s a little bit less expensive but you can get Dr. Bronner’s as well.
- Baking Soda. I get my baking soda in bulk from Sam’s Club.
- Bar Soap. You can use another castile soap in a bar form or you can use your favorite bar soap.
Details on Ingredients in Homemade Dish Soap
You can use any scent of castile soap. We prefer the Unscented Castile Soap from Dr. Jacobs since it’s unscented. Dr. Bronner’s makes an unscented castile soap as well.
Baking Soda can be picked up from just about anywhere, any kind will do. Washing soda is not a replacement for baking soda in this recipe.
And for the bar soap you can use any kind you have on hand or that you can pick up from the store (or even Homemade Hand Soap). Remember that if you use a scented bar soap, your homemade Dish Soap will also be scented. You might be able to use soap flakes in place of grated bar soap but be sure and check the ingredients first.
Do not add coconut oil or olive oil to your dish soap. It’s not necessary for cleaning and can clog up your sink.
What Can Be Used in Instead of Dish Soap?
If you don’t have any dish soap and don’t have the ingredients to make it, you can use baking soda in place of dish soap. Baking Soda will remove grease and stuck on food from dishes. Just wet your dishes, sprinkle on baking soda, scrub off food, and rinse well before drying.
This really is a great frugal alternative to dish soap.
Can I Use Hand Soap If I Run Out of Dish Soap?
Yes, you can use hand soap if you run out of dish soap. Hand soap tends to be more expensive than dish soup, though, so I wouldn’t use it regularly if you can help it.
Essential Oils for Dish Soap
You can add some essential oils to this mixture if you want to add more scent if you prefer. Here are some good ones to add and what they add to your mixture:
Tea Tree Essential Oil – Antibacterial
Grapefruit Essential Oil – Antibacterial and Antifungal
Peppermint Essential Oil – Antibacterial and Antiseptic
Ginger Essential Oil – Antibacterial and Antiseptic
Other Good Essential Oils to Add
- Lavender Oil
- Eucalyptus Oil
- Sweet Orange Oil
Avoid most citrus oils (like lime and lemon essential oil) in your homemade dish soap as they can be phototoxic.
Instructions for Making Homemade Liquid Dish Soap
In a large bowl (I have a special one that I save specifically for soap making so our regular dishes don’t taste like soap!), add the castile soap, baking soda, grated bar soap, and a few drops of essential oil (if desired).
On the stovetop in a saucepan, heat the water until it comes to a boil.
Slowly pour the very hot water over the ingredients in the bowl. Mixing as you pour. (You may need a helper for this!)
Stir until all the ingredients are dissolved, and it’s the right consistency. Leave the mixture set on the counter until it’s cool. Stir or shake as needed if you find some parts haven’t completely dissolved.
Add to a container. I’ve put together my cute liquid soap dispenser using an old ball jar and one of these Mason Jar Soap Pump Kits.
A few notes on Homemade Dish Soap….
I created this recipe back in 2013 and while it DOES have great cleaning power, it will not function like a soap you buy from the store. It does not have any sudsing agents so if you need your soap to have suds for you to think it’s working, this isn’t going to be the soap for you.
Need to print this Homemade Dish Soap Recipe for your Recipe Binder? Grab it below!
Homemade Dish Soap
How to make your own homemade dish soap!
- 1 1/2 cups hot Water
- 1/2 cup Castile Soap
- 1 tablespoon Baking Soda
- 1 tablespoon grated Bar Soap
You can use any scent of castile soap. We prefer the Unscented Castile Soap from Dr. Jacobs since it's unscented. Baking Soda can be picked up from just about anywhere, any kind will do. And for the bar soap you can use any kind you have on hand or that you can pick up from the store (or even Homemade Hand Soap). Remember that if you pick a scented bar soap your homemade Dish Soap will also be scented.
In a large bowl (I have a special one that I save specifically for soap making so our regular dishes don't taste like soap!), add the castile soap, baking soda, grated bar soap, and a few drops of essential oil (if desired). Slowly pour the very hot water over the ingredients in the bowl. Mixing as you pour. (You may need a helper for this!)
Stir until all the ingredients are dissolved. Leave the mixture sit on the counter until it's cool. Stir as needed if you find some parts haven't completely dissolved. Add to a container. I've put together this cute liquid soap dispenser using an old ball jar and one of these Mason Jar Soap Pump Kits.
You can also add some essential oils to this mixture if you want to add a little more scent. Here are some good ones to add and what they add to your mixture:
Tea Tree Essential Oil - Antibacterial
Grapefruit Essential Oil - Antibacterial and Antifungal
Peppermint Essential Oil - Antibacterial and Antiseptic
Ginger Essential Oil - Antibacterial and Antiseptic
Love this recipe and want to find more projects just like this one? You would love my book, Little House Living: The Make Your own Guide to a Frugal, Simple, and Self-Sufficient Life! It has over 130 DIY recipes for household, beauty, kids, and so much more. You can get your own copy here.
More Homemade Soap Tutorials
Have you ever made your own homemade Dish Soap? Or any other kinds of soaps?
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Merissa has been blogging about and living the simple life since 2009 and has internationally published 2 books on the topic. You can read about Merissa’s journey from penniless to the 100-acre farm and ministry on the About Page. You can send her a message any time from the Contact Page.
This blog post on Homemade Dish Soap was originally published on Little House Living in December 2013. It has been updated as of February 2023.