How to Make Your Own Dish Soap

Cleaning products are an essential part of our daily routines, but many commercial cleaning products can contain harsh chemicals that harm the environment and our health. Making your own cleaning solutions is not only eco-friendly, but it can also be a cost-effective option.

In this guide, we will show you how to make your own dish soap using natural ingredients that are safe for you and the planet. Not only will you have a solution that cleans your dishes effectively, but you’ll also feel good knowing that you’re doing your part to protect the environment.

So, let’s get started!

How to Make Your Own Dish Soap

How to Make Your Own Dish Soap

Ingredients Needed

To make your own natural and eco-friendly dish soap, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  1. Castile Soap: This is a gentle, plant-based soap made from vegetable oils, such as olive or coconut oil. It serves as the base for your dish soap and effectively cuts through grease and grime.
  2. Distilled Water: Using distilled water ensures that there are no impurities in your dish soap, which can affect its cleaning ability.
  3. Baking Soda: This common household ingredient helps to remove tough stains and food particles from your dishes.
  4. Washing Soda: Similar to baking soda, washing soda (sodium carbonate) boosts the cleaning power of your dish soap and helps to soften hard water.
  5. White Vinegar: This natural acid cuts through grease and also acts as a mild disinfectant.
  6. Essential Oils: Adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil not only provides a pleasant scent, but some essential oils, like lemon, lavender, or tea tree oil, have additional antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.
  7. Glycerin (optional): Glycerin is a natural moisturizer that can be added to your dish soap to help keep your hands soft and hydrated.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Remember to always follow safety precautions when working with cleaning products, even natural ones. Keep your homemade dish soap out of reach of children and pets, and avoid contact with your eyes.

Follow these step-by-step instructions to make your own natural and eco-friendly dish soap:

  1. Gather your ingredients and supplies: You’ll need a large bowl, a whisk or spoon for mixing, a measuring cup, a funnel, and a container for storing your dish soap (a glass bottle or a squeezable plastic bottle with a flip-top cap works well).
  2. Mix the dry ingredients: In the large bowl, combine 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of washing soda. Mix them thoroughly to break up any clumps.
  3. Add the wet ingredients: Slowly pour 2 cups of distilled water into the bowl while stirring the mixture continuously. This will help dissolve the dry ingredients evenly. Next, add 1 cup of liquid Castile soap and 1/4 cup of white vinegar to the mixture. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
  4. Customize with essential oils: Add 20-30 drops of your favorite essential oil(s) to the mixture. You can use a single oil or a combination of oils, depending on your preference. Some popular options include lemon, lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus, and orange essential oils. Stir well to incorporate the essential oils into the mixture.
  5. Optional – Add glycerin: If you’d like to include glycerin in your dish soap, add 1 tablespoon at this point. This ingredient is optional but can help keep your hands soft and moisturized while washing dishes. Stir well to combine.
  6. Let the mixture thicken: Allow the dish soap mixture to sit undisturbed for about an hour. This will give it time to thicken slightly and ensure that all the ingredients are well combined.
  7. Transfer to a storage container: Once the dish soap has reached the desired consistency, use a funnel to transfer it to your chosen storage container. Be sure to label the container clearly.
  8. Use as needed: To use your homemade dish soap, simply squirt a small amount onto a sponge or directly onto dishes and scrub as usual. Rinse the dishes thoroughly with warm water.

Tips for Using Homemade Dish Soap

Using homemade dish soap can be a bit different from using commercial dish soaps. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your DIY cleaning solution:

Start with a small amount

Homemade dish soap may have a slightly different consistency than store-bought soap. Begin by using a small amount on your sponge or dishcloth and adjust as needed based on how well it cleans your dishes.

Store properly

Keep your homemade dish soap in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to maintain its effectiveness. A glass or squeezable plastic bottle with a flip-top cap works well for storage and easy dispensing.

Adjust for hard water

If you have hard water, you may need to tweak your dish soap recipe. Try increasing the amount of washing soda by 1/4 cup to help soften the water and improve the soap’s cleaning power.

Pre-soak stubborn stains

For dishes with baked-on or stubborn food particles, let them soak in a mixture of warm water and a few drops of your homemade dish soap for 15-30 minutes before scrubbing.

Rinse thoroughly

Be sure to rinse your dishes well with warm water after washing to remove any soap residue. If you notice a film on your dishes, try adding a splash of white vinegar to your rinse water to help cut through the soap film.

Experiment with essential oils

Don’t be afraid to get creative with the essential oils you use in your homemade dish soap. Different oils offer various benefits and scents.

You can even create seasonal blends, such as a combination of cinnamon, clove, and orange essential oils for a festive holiday scent.

Test on delicate items

Before using your homemade dish soap on delicate items like crystal or fine china, test it on a small, inconspicuous area to ensure it won’t cause any damage.

Comparison with Store-Bought Dish Soap

When considering whether to use homemade or store-bought dish soap, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each option. Here’s a comparison of the two:

Environmental impact

Homemade dish soap typically has a lower environmental impact than commercial dish soap. By using natural ingredients and avoiding harsh chemicals, you reduce the number of pollutants entering waterways.

Additionally, making your own dish soap can help minimize plastic waste, as you can reuse containers for multiple batches.


Making your own dish soap can be more cost-effective than buying it from the store, especially if you buy ingredients in bulk. While the initial investment may be slightly higher, homemade dish soap can save you money over time.


Store-bought dish soaps can contain various chemicals and synthetic fragrances that may cause irritation or allergies for some people. Homemade dish soap allows you to control the ingredients used, ensuring a gentler, more natural product.

Cleaning power

Commercial dish soaps often contain strong surfactants and degreasers, making them highly effective at cutting through grease and grime.

While homemade dish soap can still clean effectively, it may require more elbow grease or pre-soaking for stubborn stains.


Store-bought dish soap is readily available and requires no preparation, making it a more convenient option for busy households. Making your own dish soap takes time and effort, but it can be a rewarding and eco-friendly project.

Consistency and shelf life

Commercial dish soaps typically have a consistent texture and longer shelf life due to added stabilizers and preservatives. Homemade dish soaps can vary in consistency and may have a shorter shelf life, depending on the ingredients used.

Ultimately, the choice between homemade and store-bought dish soap depends on your personal preferences, priorities, and lifestyle. If you value eco-friendliness, cost savings, and natural ingredients, homemade dish soap may be the better option for you. However, if convenience and strong cleaning power are your top priorities, store-bought dish soap might be more suitable.


Making your own dish soap is a simple and rewarding way to reduce your environmental impact and create a natural, eco-friendly cleaning solution. With a few adjustments, you can also customize your recipe to suit your needs and preferences.

While store-bought dish soaps may be more convenient and have stronger cleaning power, homemade dish soap offers numerous benefits, including cost savings, control over ingredients, and a lower environmental impact!

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