Homemade Dish Soap Recipes

Making your own dish soap can be a great way to save money. You will also be reducing the amount of chemicals and dyes you utilize in your household. This is a guide about homemade dish soap recipes.

June 3, 2015 Flag
5 found this helpful

I am trying to eliminate unwanted toxins and chemicals from our home. I decided to begin with products that we use and breathe in on a daily basis and go from there. Since dishes are being washed 24-7 by yours truly, it seemed like a logical thing to tackle next. Plus I was all out, I needed it.

This is easy to make and much less expensive than the all natural type products available at health food stores. Not only that, and much more importantly, it works really well! I tried making dish soap a long time ago and was very unhappy. But this recipe lathers wonderfully. I plan on getting one of those cute Mason jars with a pump, till then, my old plastic bottle will do. Hope you enjoy trying your hand at this!


Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: About 1 1/2 cups

Source: Pinterest inspired


  • 1 1/2 cup very hot water
  • 1/2 cup liquid castile soap
  • 1 Tbsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp grated bar soap, I used Ivory
  • 38 drops rosemary essential oil
  • cheese grater
  • empty container


  1. Begin by grating your bar soap. I chose Ivory because it is pretty pure and free of dyes and artificial perfumes. Store the remaining soap in an airtight container, clearly labeled, for future batches.
  2. In a large bowl, add your castile soap, baking soda, bar soap and oil. I added 38 drops. You may want to add less. I really enjoy the strong smell. I like the whole kitchen to smell of rosemary when I'm washing dishes. You may want to use only half the amount of drops.
  3. Pour your hot water slowly over your mixture, whisking gently.
  4. I ended up transferring the mixture to a small pot and gently whisking over medium heat for only about 2 minutes in order to melt the remaining soap bits.
  5. Pour back into your bowl and allow to cool for about an hour. Using a funnel, transfer to your container.
  6. Enjoy! Don't be fooled by how "watery" this is. It lathers very well and a little goes a long way!
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June 4, 20150 found this helpful

I bet this must smell lovely!

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October 4, 2011 Flag

How many of you use vinegar to augment your ordinary dish soap? The idea is simple. Find a large pump squirt bottle and fill it half and half with vinegar and water. Add in a squirt of your favorite store bought bio-degradable dish soap and use your new pump bottle mixture to wash your dishes in cold water. Yup, you read me correctly, cold water!

Save on hot water bills and also on store bought dish soap. Try it and and see for yourselves!

Source: I tried mixing a few products together and vinegar mixed with water and ordinary bio-degradable dish soap proved to be a winner. That makes me the source of this tip.

By Joseph R. from Laval, Quebec, Canada

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October 4, 20110 found this helpful

I also use vinegar on pretty much every thing however cold water is dangerous. The only for sure way to clean anything up to 99.9% is steam. Cold water does not kill bacteria, the $ you would be saving on hot water (I wrote a long, detailed researched post on saving water), would not pay for the doctor bill if you got sick from chicken, meats, droppings or just grease left on the dishes.

Use hot water. Go back in the archives and read all the tips on saving water I promise they are much safer. Your soap is what I use but cold water is dangerous it doesn't even clean the house properly. I think you should rethink this one. I wouldn't want anyone to get so sick you can literally wind up with a stomach illness, or worse.

If you wash the dishes in cold water than maybe you could have a tub of boiling water (you boiled on the stove) to rinse them in therefore killing any germs as well as rinsing off the dirty residue that get in the soap mixture. Don't waste the water you can dip the dishes not let the hot water run and run. This will save your hot water bill, and keep everyone safe, and makes the job go faster.

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October 4, 20110 found this helpful

Hi Luana M.

Thanks for the feedback. I also wondered if cold water was safe for cleaning dishes. A mixture of vinegar and dish soap does clean the dishes but how much bacteria does it kill? A good question? Maybe it does not kill all the bacteria but I've been using it for six months now and I'm still alive to talk about it.

I would love to have hot steam cleaned dishes but my hot water tank blew up six months ago, and cold water is all I have along with a surprisingly small electricity bill. So small in fact that I did not rush out and buy another hot water tank. What we need are some unbiased science experiments to see exactly how much bacteria is removed with the vinegar, water and dish soap mixture.

Joseph R.

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October 5, 20110 found this helpful

I beg to differ, to use an old phrase. Cold water is not "dangerous." Intelligence in cleaning is more important. It is very possible to have dishes all surfaces, clean with cold water (and/or other cleaners). Just make sure they are free of grease and food particles. If someone in the house has serious health problems, extreme cleaning is a must. But for most households, too clean can be even more dangerous than liveable clean. Keeping children (yes, "grown-ups" too!) from playing in dirt, getting dirty, touching "things" and the like can play havoc with immune systems. Exposure builds up that immune system. I won't belabor the subject, but end with the tried-and-true adage: My house is clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy.

Oh, and by the way, I have had years, many years, of washing & cleaning with cold water--even a pan of dishwater (cold & detergent) kept on the sink for days where I would scrub the dishes then rinse in hot (not boiling) water. Hang in there, Joseph.

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October 6, 20110 found this helpful

Greetings, Joseph,

Whether we are restricting our discussion only to the washing of dishes by hand or are including using a dish washing machine, using HOT water is essential for proper cleaning of flatware, dishes, bowls, glasses, plastic storage containers, pots, pans, casserole and baking dishes, and any other item used for cooking, eating, freezing, baking, storage of food, microwaving, and so on.

Back in the 1950's, when we were tiny children, all of us were getting sick a lot, passing illnesses back and forth. The family doctor told my parents to "get an automatic dishwasher to sterilize the dishes." We ended up getting one of the first dishwashers, NOT to wash the dishes, because we had to do that ourselves before loading them into the dish racks. It was to make use of the heating element in the bottom of the machine, to destroy as many bacteria as we could, in a simple home environment.

Since then, I have researched commercial dish washing procedures, required by the health department in our state. The intention is to use very HOT water to kill the most bacteria possible in one's ordinary, household kitchen--(regardless of whatever substances like vinegar or lemon juice were mixed with the dish soap). I am concerned that for the sake of simplicity in living or saving $500-600.00, we might be going too far in sacrificing our health?

No. God Forbid that you or any of the Thrifty Fun members become sick or transfer illnesses back and forth to our friends or family. Please, Joseph, you are a valuable person. Even when someone lives alone, the hot water heater is an important appliance to have in the home. HOT water uses are numerous. Look at your resources where you live. Do what it takes to get another hot water heater, please. Call your community or social services. A hot bath awaits you, Joseph.

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April 15, 2008 Flag

After looking on many sites to find homemade hand dish detergent, I finally decided to make my own.

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June 22, 2012 Flag
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I have trouble with dry skin. What can I use in my dishwashing soap to make my hands softer?

By Patricia K.

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June 23, 20120 found this helpful

Every time your hands touch water, dry them thoroughly, then apply a dab of hand lotion. Also do this when your hands haven't got wet but still feel too dry. I have the same problem. I like Vaseline intensive care the best but I will use other kinds too. Keep a small tube of hand lotion with you when you go somewhere too. Apply any time your hands start to feel dry.

I go through a large bottle of hand lotion in a month and the carry where you go tubes in about two weeks. A large bottle of Vaseline Intensive Care is less than $4 and it is worth it to keep your hands feeling soft and moist. Just a little extra tip: Don't pet a dog or cat when you have lotion on your hands. I did that. Yuck!

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June 25, 20120 found this helpful

Use rubber gloves. Keep your hands out of water. Good luck

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July 27, 2011 Flag
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How do you make homemade dish soap? I know it involves baking powder but I don't know what the other ingredients are. Please let me know

By Loleini

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April 15, 20130 found this helpful

It is not baking powder. It is baking Soda. Baking soda will help remove stains and acts as a bleach. I am not sure about making baking soda dish liquid. But you can reduce your cost on the dish liquid you use by using baking soda or white vinegar in your dishes. If you have a build up of grease, hot water and white vinegar can help break it down. Hope this helps.

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August 3, 20130 found this helpful

Here is a recipe I found on Google for it. For recipes requiring home made lye soap, I substitute Ivory. If things need the benefit of baking soda, I just rinse whatever it is and sprinkle a bit on there. Wait a while and then rinse if off and wash as usual. Most recipes with the dish washing detergent are for dishwashers.

http://frugallysustainable.com/2011 ... memade-liquid-dish-soap-that-really/

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November 12, 2010 Flag
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I would like to know how to make dish washing soap.

By mgramasah from Malaysia

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July 23, 20110 found this helpful

TSP (Tri-Sodium-Phosphate) plus hand soap remnants work very well for a powerful dish soap, that is gentle on the hands.

Collect the small remnants of hand soap and when you have two cups full, simmer them with some water in a stainless steel one gallon pot, until they are dissolved. Add cool water and a couple tablespoons of TSP. Stir well.

Fill the results into a dish-washing soap pumper and a gallon jug.

Works well for floor and wall cleaning too.

Have FUN!



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February 4, 20130 found this helpful

For dry hands-wear thin cotton gloves under rubber gloves to avoid the sweating that causes moisture and strips oils. Williams and Sonoma, a store that is found many places or has a catalog, sells cotton lined gloves for $12.99, but they last longer than regular unlined gloves that get finger punctures. they are great for dry skin.

I also put lotion and vaseline or coconut oil on top of the lotion on my hands and wear cotton gloves at night. Keep a bottle of your favorite lotion fortified with olive oil or almond oil on a shelf and frequently rub a bit on your hands throughout the day.

I also wash my hands in this lotion when they are dirty except of course for food prep or after the toilet. The lotion is good enough for these purposes except as stated. Also wear gloves for all wet work and use disposable gloves for cutting up vegetables or cooking with wet foods-all this contributes to dry hands. I buy the disposable gloves at Amazon.com. you can buy 500 or more real cheap.

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September 30, 2010 Flag
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Where do I find Octagon soap for "homemade hand dishwashing soap recipe"? Is it in the bath soap section or the laundry soap section at Wal-Mart?

By Yvonne

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October 1, 20100 found this helpful

Oddly enough I've found it at our dollar store. Maybe you could call a few stores in your area ahead of time,asking if they carry Octagon bars.I've also purchased it through: soapsgonebuy.com I love it for a pre-treating stains for laundry.

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November 18, 20100 found this helpful

I made my mom laugh when I showed her my new "discovery". I found it in my local grocery store, I buy no less than 10 bars at a time (at 79 cents ea.). I grate it into a glass jar then add boiling water. Let cool then shake and pour. Wonder and grease free.

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