Homemade Dish Soap: Natural And Chemical Free

This past weekend my husband, Jesse, and I went to Minneapolis for a photography conference as well to see some good friends.

Of course we were so excited to get away for a few days that we didn’t bother to straighten up the house before leaving. And surprisingly, our dishes did not clean themselves as they sat in the sink for three days.

However, instead of being annoyed at my lazy dishes for just sitting around doing nothing all weekend, I decided this would be the perfect excuse to test out the new liquid dish soap I made last week.

I was surprisingly pleased. As an avid Dawn Dish Soap consumer I wasn’t too sure my homemade concoction would fight the grease the same way — but it worked.

Our plates, pots and glassware all glistened. The dish soup is smooth and easy to make. It isn’t as sudsy as I’m use to but it somehow still seemed to cut through all the old food and grease. And as always, it is affordable — only $4.40 a batch — and that is using expensive bar soap. There are definitely less expensive soaps out there but this is also completely natural and chemical free.


  • 2 ½ cups boiling water
  • ½ cup tightly packed grated bar soap. (I used the Melaleuca brand because I has some around the house but any natural soap will do)
  • ½ cup castile soap. (You can purchase this at the Daily Apple in Worthington.)
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda (Or super washing soda —  I will give directions on how to make super washing soda from regular baking soda below)
  • 20 drops of essential oil (optional — I bought my oil from the Daily Apple and used lemon but I think lavender, sweet orange, pine or peppermint would also smell wonderful.)

Directions for super washing soda:

You may skip this step if you already have the store bought version.

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Measure 2 tablespoons of baking soda and place it in a small oven-safe dish. Flatten as best as possible.
  3. Put baking soda in oven and let bake for 30 minutes — stirring every 10 minutes.
  4. Take out of oven and place aside to cool while you start on the next set of instructions.

Directions for soap:

Soap Grater

  1. In covered pot boil water.
  2. While waiting for the water to start boiling, use a cheese grater to shave down a bar of soap and tightly pack the shavings into a measuring cup.
  3. Once bar soap and water are ready, combine the water and soap flakes into a medium mixing bowl. Stir with fork until completely dissolved. This will take approximately 5-10 minutes.
  4. Add in the super washing soda and stir. It will thicken.
  5. Pour in castile soap and mix well.
  6. Allow to cool for approximately 20 minutes, then add the essential oil.
  7. Pour into container. I used an old Dawn Dish Soap bottle. However, any type of squeeze or pump bottle would work well.


(Note: Shake the soap in its container every now and again. Over time it will gel up. Also, if it gets too cold, the soap will thicken, so if your house is cold I would recommend using less super soda.)

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