Homemade Dish Soap

Have you ever had to add water to your dish soap bottle to get enough soap to clean a sink full of dishes? After multiple trips to the store, you still leave without purchasing dish soap? Oh boy, this was me this a few days ago. If you happened to see my Instagram post you would have seen that this morning I had to breakdown and make my own dish soap. I contemplated this for several days, which is why I think I did not purchase any at the store. I sometimes fight with myself over being frugal and the love of convenience. Well this time, the need to be frugal won out. After making such a big effort to complete a monthly meal plan and shopping trip; my need to be frugal in my purchases has taken over.

Less Suds….No Problem

A big motivator is that I didn’t have to purchase anything special to make my own dish soap, I had it all here at home already. A few years back I did a complete overhaul of my cleaning products–I ditched pretty much all store bought cleaning products and began to make my own. The reason for doing this was I wanted a healthier home environment for my family. Switching household cleaners was pretty easy and the cleaning power of more natural products is great. However, soap is a different story. We have all been taught that the sudsier the soap the more cleaning power. Yes, folks I have bought into this lie too. If you look on the ingredients of your personal care products you most likely with see sodium laureth sulfate. This is what make your soap foamy. Now I am not going to go into all the health concerns certain groups raise but will leave that for you to investigate and determine on your own, because I still use soap that contains this ingredient even though I have switched to a more environmentally friendly option.  With the lack of the foaming agent in the homemade dish soap, you might find it hard to wash your dishes. However, I have found a way to trick your mind. Unfortunately, if you are a fill up the sink with soap water and dishes this is going to be a complete change in behavior and a pretty hard pill to swallow. To give me that sudsy feeling while doing dishes I put a little dish soap on the cloth and then wash the dish. I repeat this step as needed, no you don’t need to put soap on every time you wash a dish.

So Many Dish Soap Recipes…So Little Time

You can scour the internet for hours and find  many different variations on homemade dish soap. I have tried a few out and found some I like and others I hate. Based upon this knowledge, I took it upon myself to make my own variation of a dish soap. My dish soap contains only five ingredients

  1. Borax
  2. Castile Soap (bar)
  3. Liquid Castile Soap
  4. Essential Oil of choice
  5. Water

You might be reading the ingredients and thinking…she wrote Castile soap twice. Yes, I did but they are in different forms. Are the two forms necessary — well I have never left one out but I do think they both are necessary or else you would have a very thin liquid soap. One reason I kept putting off making my own soap was I just didn’t want to take the time, for some reason I thought it was going to be a long process. Today, I had no choice because I did not feel like rushing around getting us all ready to go to the store for a bottle of dish soap. Here is the process, which really didn’t take up much time.

First, grate the Castile soap bar. (You will need 1/2 cup of grated soap for the recipe I made/created)

Second, boil two cups of water.

Third, add all the ingredients to the boiling water and mix.  (Here are my measurements but you can look online to compare my recipe or choose one of your own.) Mix in 1/4 cup of liquid Castile soap, 1/2 cup of grated Castile soap, 3TBSP of Borax and about 10-15 drops of essential oil. Mix until the ingredients are dissolved and blended and put into a soap bottle.

It doesn’t look like dish soap?

I will admit the soap looks very watery after you first make it, but for some reason due to the borax and grated Castile soap over a course of 12-24 hours it will begin to thicken. You can still use it when it seems to watery, just know you might use more of the product than when it gets thicker. Once it gets thicker, I recommend you give it a  good shake before you use it.

Now the way I have found to use the soap its to apply the soap to damp cloth, give it a squeeze and you will get suds on the cloth. It does not suds up in water.  I have found that this approach to dishes will stop the pile up as dishes, as typically I would wash as I go or as dishes got put into the sink. It’s a great little homemaking tip to keeping up with dishes. 🙂

I will say, my only issue with the soap was that it left water spots on my silverware if they were not dried immediately. On the other hand, the water spots were easily removed with a dry towel upon putting the silverware away. It sounds very petty but it was the one thing I was not impressed with, but that is a minimal issue. Maybe there is a recipe on the internet that doesn’t leave any water spots–if you find one, please feel free to share!!

All in all, if in a pinch for dish soap, like I was (also after already shopping earlier in the day, I did not wan’t to go out again) it did the job until my Amazon subscribe and save order of Mrs. Meyers arrived.


But, you can find DIY dishwasher tabs/powder recipes online too!