Thursday, January 26, 2012

DIY Grease-Fighting Liquid Dish Soap

After some struggle and playing a little "mad scientist" in the kitchen, I've struck up a pretty, pretty decent alternative to store-bought dish soap. Here's a little somethin'-somethin' for you to read about major brands is dish soap. There are many somethin'-somethin's on this subject for you to find out there, so this is just a jumping off point. 

 This recipe is natural, but please remember that natural does not mean that it's something you should eat or drink. If you're going to do a full load of dishes with this stuff by hand, be sure to wear some gloves to protect those lovely paws from drying out.

I already had all of these ingredients on hand (you will too, once you begin exploring the world of natural housekeeping), so it was unbelievably convenient to make. More convenient, in fact, than actually going to the store to buy more dish soap. The total cost of the soap breaks down to approximately $2.50, which is less than leading natural dish soap brands that I've found to be much less effective at cutting grease.

3 cups water
1 cup Castile soap (Dr Bronner's is my preferred. The peppermint is what we always have on hand, but unscented would probably be ideal)
3 TBS Super Washing Soda (Found in most laundry aisles)
2 TBS Baking Soda
3 TBS White vinegar
10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil *optional (I chose tea tree, but lavender, lemon, and eucalyptus are great choices as well)

1. Mix the water, castile soap, washing soda, and baking soda together in a non-reactive pot. On your stove, gently heat the mixture over medium-low flame. Whisk until the washing soda has completely dissolved.
2. Remove from heat and add the vinegar and essential oil. Mine did not bubble over, so I assume anyone who tries this method should be safe. If your kitchen turns into a middle school science lab, I apologize.
3. Allow your soap to cool and then transfer to your favorite liquid soap vessel. I always make sure to label my concoctions clearly, as well as mark their containers with the recipe for easy future reference.

Please note that this soap will not do much in the way of sudsing, but it WILL get the job done. As consumers we've been convinced that something isn't getting cleaned unless we see some bubbles, but often suds are the result of drying, harmful chemicals--totally artificial to most cleaning processes. 


  1. Hi there! I began reading your blog in the early fall and have since enjoyed popping in. I was pleasantly surprised this evening to see your latest blog paralleled with my own current endeavor: DIY dish soap! After recently making homemade laundry detergent, I have been perusing websites to find a dish soap recipe. Can't wait to try yours out. Thank you so much!

  2. hey!
    thanks for the sweet words on my blog! (from a while back)
    this looks great, i really want to move to more using more natural cleaners so i think i'll give this a go. I was just reading about Dr Bronners and it says you can use it in laundry too, have you tried this? and does it do a good job? :)

  3. Be sure to note this separates. Just give it a quick shake before each use!

    Dr Bronner's works for almost EVERYTHING. I haven't used it for laundry soap, we're working through our last batch of store-bought detergent before we make our own). I bet it works wonderfully--I have used it to hand-wash and it does a great job. Because it's so expensive, I'd recommend diluting it. Borax and washing soda are also great for laundry. Here's a recipe you might want to try:

  4. Is it crucial to heat the ingredients?

  5. don't add vinegar to Dr. Bronners, it will desaponify the soap and just make it oily, cutting down on the cleaning power of the soap! Use just Dr. Bronners and water for dish soap, and for gross messes, use vinegar and baking soda!

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