New & Improved DIY Liquid Dish Soap

A lot of people seemed to be having problems with the original recipe I posted that I found on another blog. So I did some tweaking and the new results are much much better!! Plus it’s organic and antibacterial! Can’t get much better than that! The total cost for 32 oz of homemade dish soap was about $1.20. Compare that to Dawn dish soap which costs $4.47 for 30 oz! You save about $3.35 for a 30 oz bottle of the homemade stuff! Plus ours is much better for the environment! Especially since I put it in this adorable old mason jar soap pump I got for Christmas from my mom! No more wasted plastic!

Homemade Liquid Dish Soap

Ingredients:
1/2 cup grated soap (I used Dr. Bronners Citrus Castile soap)*
4 cups water
1/2 Tbs vegetable glycerin (optional: used as a hand moisturizer)
10-20 drops of tea tree oil (anti-bacterial) if you like the smell you can add more if not add the lesser.

 

Directions: Grate bar of soap. In a saucepan add water and 1/2 cup grated soap. Over low/medium heat gently heat without bringing to a boil until all the soap has dissolved. Add in vegetable glycerin and stir well. Place in a jar. After cooling for a short time (30 minutes to an hour) add in tea tree oil and allow to set up for 24 hours, stirring occasionally.

Side note: I used the citrus kind for the smell and because citrus helps cut grease! I usually hate the way liquid castile feels on my hands after I wash them, but not when I made it like this! Also, other types of non super lathery soap should work too (like ivory), although I have not tried that. Important note: do not add vinegar or lemon juice to this because castile soap and acid cancel each other out and you will get a bad product. You can use vinegar as a rinse aid though!

Thats it!!! Wasn’t that easy? You maybe do like 10 minutes of work and the rest of the time its just setting up. Your results should be much more like normal dish soap consistency (is calling it snot like super gross?)! I use it in a soap pump and it works great. You may have to shake it up a little before you use it. But it shouldn’t clump and separate like the last recipe!!!

This recipe will not create lots of bubbles! Just because there’s no bubbles doesn’t mean that its not working thats just how castile soap works! This is the only thing the bothers my husband about this soap. I think he will get over it after seeing how much money we save!

Are you as excited about this recipe as I am???? Have you tried making your own liquid dish soap before? How did you like it?

I party here

Comments

  1. emanda says

    can not wait to try it? i hope that this one works better for me and the type of water i have lol! thank you so much again and i will report back as soon as i have tried it.

  2. Mari says

    Where to you buy the vegetable glycerin and the tea tree oil? I’ve never heard of it but really want to try it. I just washed bbq greasy jeans with the homemade laundry detergent I made and they came out clean. Normally I have to scrub and use stain removers to even touch the stains. So can’t wait to try the dish soap!

    • says

      I got my vegetable glycerin at a local coop! You should be able to find some at a Whole Foods, Walgreens, or CVS. Tea tree oil I get from a the coop or Hobby Lobby. I think they sell it at the same places as the vegetable glycerin! I love homemade laundry detergent too! Good luck with this recipe! Hope it works great for you!

      • Beryl says

        CVS carries tea tree oil now, in the vitamin section. sometimes its two for one! I got it at that price. Also I found it a the dollar store.

    • Coralene M says

      I purchased vegetable glycerin and tea tree oil at my local Whole Food Stores or any Natural Food Grocery.

      • Sherry Minges Williams says

        I found my glycerine and tea tree oil, oddly enough, at K-Mart in the pharmacy department by accident one day. They have a section that I thought was an ethnic personal care section but it turned out to be a natural personal care section. Go K-Mart !!!

  3. Tammy says

    I love this recipe! I have to have suds, though, so I also added 2 Tbsp of Dr Bronner’s liquid castile in Almond. It smells awesome, and gives me just enough suds to chill my OCD about suds. I know I don’t NEED them, but *sigh* I NEED them! LOL
    Thanks for this recipe! Love it love it love it!!

        • Anonymous says

          I use the almond liquid Castile soap to wash my hair and I rinse with water and ACV. I do get suds with the liquid soap. My idea… I don’t see why you can’t use liquid instead of bar but what would the conversion ratio be? How much liquid to equal a bar? Also on the question of adding lemon essential oil, the Dr Bronners bar soap has organics essential lemon oil doesn’t it? I made some laundry powder and used the citrus bars. All the ones I have used have the essential oils in them. I was also wondering because the Castile soap I have read shouldn’t be used on color treated hair which mine is but is wearing off so I am planning to try henna instead of chemical color at the salon but I don’t want to buy special shampoo with chemicals…grrrr Anybody have any experience with any of this? I will make this dish soap today! I do have a dishwasher and has prob only been used a couple of dozen times in 11 years. It’s just the 2 of us so it’s more energy saving to just wash the few dishes. Houseful of ppl eating at my house… I use dishwasher. I also make my laundry powder. Use vinegar as a fabric softener and get rid of any build up. And make my own glass/counter cleaners. I do it not just for savings but to decrease chemicals in my house.

    • Karen S. says

      I’m with you! I don’t think I can handle having no suds! So, where can I get the “suds-maker” you mentioned? Am eager to try this recipe with your addition.

  4. Amy says

    Is there a way to make this with liquid castile soap? I don’t use Dr. Bronner’s bar soap because it contains palm oil. Thanks!

    • says

      Absolutely use can make this recipe with liquid castile soap – just use a ratio of 1 part soap to 2 parts water and keep all the other ingredients the same. (Yes, you still want the glycerin, as it acts as a solvent in this case as well.) It won’t be *quite* as thick and viscous as the bar soap recipe here, but neither will you have to wait for it to set up – just pour directly into your bottles.
      Kresha @ Nourishing Joy recently posted…Thank Goodness It’s Monday #2My Profile

    • debbie moore says

      Kudos for not using palm oil!! So much destruction & devastation is being caused by the production of it. :(

      • Melissa says

        Deforestation makes me sad sad! Luckily not all palm oil is made alike… Look up Dr. Bronner’s Magic “ALL-ONE” and read about it!… I am glad that people care about this issue!Peace and Joy-Melissa

  5. says

    Visiting you from the Homestead Barn blog hop :)

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. We go through a ton of dish soap and it’s expensive, especially when you try to use the good natural/organic kind. I just may have to give your recipe a try soon!

    I’ve been enjoying your blog! You have a lot of great information :)

    I’d like to invite you to join in my blog hop tomorrow, Get Real Frugal Friday, if you are interested :)

    http://realfoodrealfrugal.com/category/get-real-frugal-friday/

    Blessings!
    Susan
    Susan Godfrey recently posted…Gluten-Free Mac & CheeseMy Profile

  6. Nikki J. Porras says

    I did research and a cheap bottle of tea tree oil is about $5 plus…So I am not so sure I want to try this out, DYI vs buying a cheap bottle…CHEAP bottle is gonna win…

    • Amber says

      Tea tree oil also has lots of other uses and each time you only use a bit! It works great to stop itchy bug bites. Diluted with a bit of water it dries up zits too! It’s also an antiseptic so you can use it in first aid. You can google all the other uses.

      Totally worth the 5 bucks because it’ll last a long time and you can use it for more than just the soap.

    • says

      I don’t think so. I looked up the ingredients and couldn’t pronounce any of them. Sorry! You could probably still make this with it though!

  7. Kathy says

    where do you find the Dr. Bronner’s soap? I would love to try this dish soap too and I am just about out of what I have.

      • says

        I live in a smaller town then most and i was able to find it at Walgreens and my local grocery store so you could try that. I loved trying this but I don’t know about the math. I mean when you make your own laundry soap its very easy to tell that its worth it but with this you have dr bronners soap 5 dollars tea tree i bought liquid bronners tea tree soap and just add a little so it will make suds and have that oil
        and then the glycerin was 3.50 for 9 oz. Now i still have the liquid soap and the glycerin but now when i need more i have to go out and buy more soap and i have tried ivory and it leaves a residue on my dishes

  8. Nancy Homan says

    I think you can add lavender or orange essential oil instead of tea tree..They all work as a disenfectant.and smell better…

    • says

      You probably could use lavender but I don’t think orange because its acidic. It would make it smell better than tree tea oil for sure!!! Not my favorite shell but it works!

  9. says

    Hey Amy! thanks for sharing this. My daughter is big time into making her own detergent and has just about convinced me to come along. :) I was looking for a recipe for dishwasher detergent and noticed you have one, so I’m going to look at that, too, although I bet you could use this in the dishwasher since it doesn’t suds up…maybe? Anyway…great post…lots of great info on your site.
    Thanks!

    • says

      You may be able to! I personally haven’t tried that yet, but its work a shot! I’m happy that your starting to turn to the dark side of making your own cleaners! Its super fun and saves you so much money!

    • says

      It takes at least 8 to 12 hours to thicken. otherwise the only thing I could think of is that there wasn’t enough soap or to much water! Im sorry it didn’t thicken for you! Thats so strange!

    • emanda says

      mine didnt thincken either but it still works try try again next time i guess maybe grate soap better or something i dont know i will find out next time

      • says

        Thats so weird to me that its not thickening! Maybe try to add some more soap! I used a really fine grate when I did it. Mine is really thick! Glad it still works!

        • emanda says

          thats what i was going to try next mine was not very fine this time like usually is for doing this like this i misplaced my normal grater and had to used different one. oh well live and learn.

  10. Gaia says

    Hi,

    Both of your dish liquid recipes call for tea tree oil do you know if it is possible to replace it with something else natural? No it isn’t the smell, it has a tendency to break me out.

    Gaia

    • says

      Yep you could use lavender essential oil, and possibly lemon or orange. Another person said that lemon or orange essential oil are not acidic enough to negatively effect the soap!

  11. Jo says

    So…if you’re making your own soap and the first ingredient is “soap”…can we really call this DIY? Plus the soap you are using is awesome on its own, and far more expensive than Dawn.
    Do you have a recipe that really is DIY? I love the idea of adding Tea Tree oil, I have a water and Tea Tree oil concoction that I use all over my house (cleaning, disinfecting etc.)

    Thanks!

    *less.

    • says

      Well it still DIY because your making liquid soap from a bar. I agree this soap is awesome and even though the bar is more expensive making into a liquid makes it cheaper than Dawn. Its only about $1.20 ish for 32 oz of this stuff where Dawn is $4.47 for 30 oz. Thats a pretty big savings! I’ve tried other recipes and this one works much better! If you really wanted it to be completely diy you could make your soap and use it?? Possibly!

  12. Kate says

    Hi Amy,
    Do you have a post about how you turned your canning jar into one with the soap pump? That would be great. Thanks!
    -Kate

    • says

      It could! I didn’t add it because washing soda can make things really thick and was afraid it would thicken it to much. Maybe if you added more water to the recipe it would work!

  13. Marla says

    You’re close with this recipe but if you’d add vinegar then it would be perfect. Vinegar cuts grease and helps keep residue from forming on the dishes.

    • says

      If you use castile soap you can’t add the vinegar because they will cancel each other out. But if you use a different kind of soap I totally agree with you that vinegar would add a great element to it!

      • Tammy says

        How about if you use pure soap. Could you use vinegar in the dishwashing liquid or just for the rinse? Or do they cancel each other out too?

  14. Heidi says

    I am just getting in to making my own cleaners at home. The floor and dusting recipe I found and love calls for dawn. Do you think this would work in place of that?

      • Julie says

        Perfect! Thanks a bunch! :-) can’t wait to try it! I tried one not too long ago(a different recipe), and it gave everything a nasty oily layer, I had to use my Palmolive to get the nasty film off! Can’t wait to try this one!! :) thanks for sharing.

  15. Cindy says

    Just a quick note on the essential oils. All citrus essential oils are photosensitive, meaning for the next 24 hrs after use, you’re very sensitive to the sun, which can result in a sunburn of varying degrees. Also, I know some people bathe their pets using Dawn, and if you decide to use this in the same way, know that most animals’ livers can’t process essential oils. You can end up killing them, especially cats and reptiles. (I know you’re not promoting/recommending/suggesting anyone bathe their animals in this. I just know people who wash their pets in dish washing liquid.)

  16. says

    And why don’t you use the liquid Castile? Just curious. I had already pinned this recipe, just haven’t tried it yet. Have pinned several others, as well (like unpaper towels!). Making dishwasher detergent now and LOVING it. Would be great to use this as the drops on top of the powder, rather than Dawn. Thanks for the heads-up that it is non-sudsing. My laundry detergent doesn’t suds, either, but have been using it for well over a year (Maryjane’s recipe from Beehive Cottage, with OxiClean added), I LOVE both the way it works AND the huge cost savings. My goal is to get everything unnatural or bleach-related out of our home. Thanks again for helping me on that quest. :)

    • says

      I don’t like the consistency of the liquid kind. Its too watery and I feel like you have to use a lot of it because of the thickness. Cheryl that is a great goal! I hope this works for you!

  17. Julie says

    I am finding that this is the consistency of a (I’m sorry for being gross) booger! I don’t like that aspect of it. It creates a film on everything I use it on, and I followed the directions to a tee….I’m not sure what happened, did I do something wrong or is everyone’s this way? I’ve also made hand soap and it’s the same boogery consistency. :-/

      • Julie says

        Well I’m glad I’m not the only one!!! I wonder if that’s just what this is and we aren’t liking it, or if we didn’t do something right!?!

    • says

      O no Im sorry it didn’t work for you! I know it definitely has the boogery consistency I state that in the post! But I don’t have an issue with a film! I wonder if you could add borax to it if that would help

  18. Katie says

    The tea tree oil I bought says it’s antiseptic. I’d imagine this isn’t safe to use. What particular brand did you buy?

    • Alannah says

      All tea tree essential oil is antiseptic by nature. That’s why people use it. It’s great for zits/boils, cleaning, freshening the air, and I dilute with a carrier oil and rub it around the ears (NOT in the ears) to prevent ear infections when the kiddos are sick. What part of “antiseptic” do you find to be bad? The germ killing action is not a man made “additive”, it’s just what tea tree oil does – kills bacteria and viruses.

      • Katie says

        I found a few sources online that said it should never be ingested, in any quantity (however diluted), and was worried that it wouldn’t be the best to use on plates and cups that I would be eating/drinking out of. That’s where the concern stemmed from.

  19. Mind Garage says

    I might try try if I find a substitute to to tea tree oil in it.
    Although touted as an essential oil and antibiotic, according to the American Cancer Society: “Tea tree oil is toxic when swallowed…” If you’re washing dishes with it you are probably going to be swallowing some of it it over the long run. According to a new study from University of Western Australia, tea tree oil does not cause anti-biotic resistance in humans contrary to previous reports.

  20. says

    I only use doTERRA essential oils, so I feel perfectly comfortable using Melaleuca (tea tree) internally and certainly in this form. I would NOT ingest tea tree from any other source. I know that doTERRA uses STRINGENT testing and I know that people have been using tea tree in this manner for a long, long time. Everything is toxic in the right quantities and certainly if there are unknown byproducts/ingredients.

    Just MHO.

  21. Brandon says

    Since I’ve seen a few people had trouble getting it to thicken, just to clarify, are you using the entire 5 oz. bar of soap or 1/2 cup (4 oz) of the grated stuff with the 4 cups of water?

  22. Wendy says

    Hello,
    I have had the same problem with a greasy like film from using this. I did find if I added some vinegar to the dish soap after it cools that it does help with the greasy type film. I am going to play around with this alittle and if i discover how to do with no film i will let everyone know.

  23. Emily says

    Mine ended up way too thick–a jello consistency. What can I do? Do I throw it out and start again? I used a bar of natural soap (not Dr. Bonar’s) and grated half of a bar of pure vegetable glycerin and melted both with the water. Is this my problem? Too much glycerin? I’d love to be able to fix what I have and still use it.

  24. says

    Well, I made this and it turned out exactly as described: like thick snot. I used Dr. Bronner’s citrus soap and 20 drops of orange essential oil (which wasn’t enough, so I added 20 more drops). The extra 20 drops of EO made the soap less snot-like and more liquidy, but did not add any grease-cutting power whatsoever. In fact, I was greatly disappointed with this soap. It did not clean well, and the grease floated around the top of the water line, so everything was still greasy and dirty after washing. I had to use a LOT of it to get a little bit of cleaning power. It also leaves white splotches on the dishes, and I have never had white splotches on my dishes after washing before, so it’s not the water. :(

  25. Alannah says

    Soap leaves residue. Detergents don’t, and that’s why most cleaners on the market are detergents. Soap does clean really well and you may want to add some vinegar to your rinse water and don’t use too much soap. Also, wash your less dirty dishes first, then the heavier soiled/greasy stuff last. If your water is really greasy, then perhaps you need to dump the water and put in fresh to wash the really greasy dishes at the end.

    When I moved I could only find my Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap for the first week so that’s what I used to bathe with, do dishes with, and washed the laundry with it. I loved it but it’s WAY too expensive purchased as a liquid to use this way all the time. Over time it can build a film. That’s why you get soap scum in your tub when you use real soap. I may have to try this recipe as castille soap and glycerin usually cleans really well.

  26. Ann-Charlotte says

    Finally a dish soap without borax and washing soda – thank you for sharing the recipe <3

  27. says

    I wanted to comment on the acidity of lemon and orange oil. I am a doTERRA essential oil Independent Product Consultant; when using lemon and orange look to see if it was cold pressed. Cold pressing is when the skin/peel of the citrus fruits are pressed to extract the oil. Lemon juice and orange juice are acidic, however, cold pressed oils from the peel of the lemon and orange are not! We take lemon essential oil internally to flush out toxins and to help balance our bodies’ alkaline environment. Also, remember, that all oils are not created equally. Read your labels and check out the company online, many companies claim to be pure but when you check their site you will see that there is no information available to back up that claim! I have been using the Dr. Bronner’s liquid citrus for cleaning, dishes, etc. I really love it!!

  28. Norma says

    I think the “boogery” aspect is caused by the glycerin. Cut back/eliminate your glycerin and it will help.

  29. Julie says

    I have the liquid Dr. Bromners (tea tree oil) castile soap. Any suggestion for a recipe that uses that? I have 2 big bottles. :) Thanks.

  30. Sabrina says

    Hi, just had a question….I made this, and it is extremely thick….is there something I can add to it to thin it out? Thanks,

  31. Joelle says

    Well…Once I get rid of the glob I have now, I am going to try this. The ingredients are basically the same, but the process is different. I used a piece of Ivory soap I had left from some other thing I tried (I hate Ivory – it stinks). The other recipe used USP Glycerin (which I had and used)- I have no idea if the properties are different than vegetable glycerin (which I also have) BUT now I just have glop, and I have to use a ton. I have a little piece of the soap you have listed so hopefully by next week I can try this method.

  32. FatimaKefah says

    thanks a lot for the recipe. I used Aleppo soap which is made from olive oil and Laurel oil. didn’t add tea oil nor glycerin cause don’t have them in hand. output was great and cleaning result was much better than using any of commercial detergents especially with egg residuals. one more point: I didn’t use gloves through the long time of dishwashing yesterday but my hands were not dry at all. Thank you again for the very simple recipe that it works Great :-)

  33. says

    I made the new improved version of dish soap, but have a problem with it. It leaves a film on everything, especially myy brand new stainless steel cookware. My sink is also covered with a sticky film. Please let me know if anyone else has had this issue and how to correct it.

    • says

      I think using towel to dry stainless cookware should help here. Cleaning the sink with the same soap ,after finish doing the dishes, should cut all stick grease.
      Now, I don’t convert the hard soap to liquid. I just set the soap bar in small stainless bowl and add a cup of hot water. Then dip the sponge in the soapy water, add more hot water as needed, till finish doing the dishes.

      • says

        Thank you for your responsed Fatima. However I did use a towel to dry everything, but there is some type of smearing film on them. I will try it again and see what I can do to prevent that. The build up in the sink is not a greasy buildup, but a white filmy, sticky buildup. I had to use regular dish soap to clean it off. I really want to make all my home products and am excited to learn more.
        Debbie recently posted…60 IS THE NEW 30!My Profile

          • says

            Thank you again. So, may I assume you don’t have this issue with the filmy coating? I do use vinegar for my softener in my wash. The only thing different is the soap. I used Dr. Bonner soap, which is suppose to be the best. But, perhaps I should try the one you suggested. When I put a sinkful of water with the dish soap in it, the white film floats on top of the water and coats everything it touches. It is so strange. All other home recipes I have tried have been so great. I will perhaps try another batch and see if I did something wrong. Thank you again for sharing your ideas with me.
            Debbie recently posted…60 IS THE NEW 30!My Profile

          • Anonymous says

            I may have figured out my issue…I read online that washing soda can be made by bsking some baking soda in the oven & tjat is what I used for both my dish soap & my dishwasher soap & neither of them are good…leaving a harsh film on everything. So I think I will try again with real washing soda. What do you think?

  34. Joanne says

    I use Dr Bonner’s also but I use the liquid (peppermint is too strong for my husband so he uses the lavender and I’m thinking of just getting the plain with no fragrance). I dilute it half and half with water but am thinking maybe 2/3 soap to 1/3 water but I’m probably thinking that because I’m so used to bubbles…..
    I’m adjusting :)

  35. lauri says

    I was wondering can I use other kinds of bar soap, like ivory or dove?? Or any other kind? I have tea tree oil and patchouli oil as well. Can I add some patchouli for smell I love the smell. Even if it was a few drops.

  36. Marilyn Jeffrey says

    I made up a batch of Liquid dish soap and I now have a large glob of solid gel. What did do wrong? How to correct it? Used all the right products.

  37. says

    I made this recipe last month, and I have to say that it’s the best dish soap I’ve ever used! Although the lack of suds throws me off, it cleans like nothing and cuts grease beautifully! And it gets rid of any food/fishy smell that lingers on dishes!! Thanks for this recipe and the experiments you’ve done to improve it!!
    Haley recently posted…1.10.14My Profile

  38. Heather says

    Hi Amy! Thank you for the recipe. We added the tea tree oil and a little orange essential oil. It smells really, really good! We’re letting it set for 24 hours now. Excited to give it a try.

  39. Cynthia says

    I have same question someone else asked but I didn’t see a reply. Since using essential oils which break down plastic, won’t it break down plasticky bowls & plates?

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