Health/Natural beauty Recipes / Wise Woman Wednesday

Dish Soap that (Sort of) Works

by Angela

Knowing that homemade liquid soaps – especially dish soap – are a bit hard to master, I was really excited to find a recipe for “homemade natural dish soap that actually works” over at Nature’s Nurture.  The recipe has just a few ingredients and is simple to make.

1 1/4 cups boiling water

1/4 cup (packed) castile bar soap

1 tablespoon washing soda

1/4 cup liquid castile soap (I used Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Hemp because that’s what I had)

10-30 drops essential oils (optional; I used 20 drops of tea tree, 15 drops of rosemary, and 15 drops of mint)


Boil water.

As you are waiting for the water to boil, grate bar soap.


Add grated soap to the boiling water and stir until dissolved (this might take a while).

Add the washing soda and stir well.

Add liquid castile soap and stir well.

Remove from heat, cool a bit, and add essential oils.

Pour the soap into your container of choice. I used an old soap bottle. Tip: If you pour the warm soap into a container with a label the warmth of the soap should help the label peel right off.



As for the “that actually works” part – well….

Let’s just say that while I have no doubt that this soap is getting my dishes clean, I’m not totally pleased.

It is quite possible this is my own doing, because as those of you who have read previous recipes I’ve posted know, I can’t leave well enough alone and I modify every recipe. This time I added another tablespoon of washing soap to thicken the soap and instead of using castile bar soap (like a Dr. Bronner’s Solid Bar) I used my own homemade lye soap. The soap I wound up with is (a) super thick (I have to add warm water to it to be able to squeeze it out of my bottle – shouldn’t have added that extra washing soda!), (b) doesn’t produce suds, and (c) seems to leave an oily film on my dishes.

I think the oily film is probably from the shea and coconut butter in the lye soap, so next time I’ll go with a  castile soap. Next time, I’ll also keep the washing soda at one tablespoon . . like the recipe called for! The suds I can do without if those other two issues are resolved.

So the final verdict – worth trying, but stick with the recipe and don’t expect suds like Dawn!

Angela is partner to Matt, foster mom to O and J, Truth-chaser, and education addict. She loves to play with words, workflow rules, herbs, and dirt. Angela lives in rural Illinois, where her family is part of an intentional Christian community. When she gets up the gumption, Angela blogs over at Leaping Greenly andhatch*.



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