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Homemade Dish Soap…. Really, are you kidding me???
This Homemade Dish Soap smells like a fresh minty forest, gets your dishes squeaky clean, and is perfect for a foaming dispenser. ♥Love it!♥
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Why on earth would you make your own dish soap?
Before I started developing multiple food allergies and leaky gut, I really didn’t pay a lot of attention to the chemicals we used in our home. If I was around any chemicals or cleaning products (especially bleach or air freshener) for too long or in an enclosed space, I would get a headache, some shortness of breath/wheezing, and my skin would get pretty dried out. But, I just thought that was normal and tried to stay in well ventilated areas.
Once I started removing all the soy from my life, I really started paying attention to ingredient labels on everything, including our cleaning products. I was totally blown away by what was in some of the cleaning products that we regularly used in our home! I didn’t even know what 75% of the ingredients were, let alone if any of the components contained soy! Thanks to Pinterest and the blogging community, I had lots of ideas to try to make my own, less toxic cleaning supplies.
Homemade Dish Soap was inspired by this recipe, Super Easy DIY Dish Soap by Kristin Marr over at Live Simply. I absolutely love her site. She always has beautiful pictures, helpful tips, and great ideas. If you haven’t checked out her blog, I highly recommend that you do so.
That’s too much work. Why don’t you just buy one? That’s too expensive.
Seriously, I have been asked this multiple times. Usually with a snarky tone of voice!
The fact of the matter is, this recipe is super easy and pretty reasonable folks! It literally only takes a few minutes to whip up a batch. I saved some old dish soap bottles and I reuse them to mix up the homemade dish soap before I put it into the foaming dispenser. This recipe fills my foaming dispenser several times so I always have some of the concentrate in the “master” recycled bottle and some in our foaming dispenser.
The initial outlay can be a little bit pricey, but you can make multiple batches of dish soap or other cleaners with the ingredients. I use the Sal Suds in an All Purpose Cleaner (Sal Suds Cleaner) and Bathroom Scrub Cleaner. One 32 oz bottle costs around $20.00 on Amazon currently, but I purchased it locally at our local Natural Grocers for $12.99. One bottle will make 8 batches of dish soap. Price per batch for all ingredients works out to $3.57.
So, it’s really not much work at all and relatively inexpensive. Sure you’re not saving gob loads of money versus the “cleaner” commercial dish soaps but you know EXACTLY what goes into it. Plus, I pretty much always have the ingredients on hand so I can mix some up whenever I want without running to the store. Win!
Homemade Dish Soap Foaming Version
For our family, I wanted to use a foaming dispenser so I modified the original recipe. This homemade dish soap makes a 1:2 concentrate that can be used in a foaming dispenser or directly as is. If using a regular bottle the mixture will be quite thin. Just remember that a little goes a long way. I will typically squirt the thin mixture to fill a sink full of dishes or for very dirty pans but use the foaming dispenser for regular hand washing. We tend to just use the foaming dispenser and soap the rag or dish rather than filling the whole sink.
A foaming dispenser is certainly not necessary to try this homemade dish soap, but I do think it works better and ends up being less wasteful. We have a tendency to use more than necessary when we don’t use a foaming dispenser. Most dispensers say to use 1:4 soap to water. For this formulation, use a 1:2 ratio. Homemade Natural Dish Soap is meant to be used undiluted or foaming, so the dilution is already adjusted.
- Distilled Water: Distilled or boiled water should always be used as there is the potential for bacterial growth in a water based product. We usually go through our Homemade Dish Soap pretty quickly, but I still always use distilled water. Its literally $1.09 in the grocery store. I always keep a spare jug on hand. No biggie. You could boil tap water for 10 minutes if you don’t have distilled but I think it’s more convenient to just buy the gallon at the store.
- Sunflower Seed Oil: Sunflower Seed Oil is used to make the Homemade Dish Soap just a little bit softer on the hands. My hands are super prone to dryness and this has helped me. Sunflower Seed Oil is also reported to be high in vitamin e. By all means, use whatever carrier oil you like in this recipe-Sweet Almond, Olive Oil, Avocado Oil, or especially Jojoba Oil would all be good.
- Tea Tree Oil: Tea Tree Oil has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Aboriginal Australians used Tea Tree Oil to treat a myriad of conditions. It came into more widespread use during the 1920’s and 1930’s. Anecdotal evidence reports anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties to Tea Tree Oil. Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil: a Review of Antimicrobial and Other Medicinal Properties by C.F. Carson, K. A. Hammer, and T. V. Riley on the NCBI website is super informative.
- Distilled Vinegar: Vinegar is added to this recipe to reduce water spots and for its disinfectant properties. We use vinegar in lots of our household natural cleaning products.
- Sal Suds: Sal Suds is kinda the big brother to Castile Soap. You could certainly use Castile Soap but I don’t think it has the same grease cutting power and cleaning ability of Sal Suds. If you try to use Castile Soap, do NOT use the vinegar. It will un-saponify the soap and make a big worthless mess.
- Birch Sweet Essential Oil: This oil is used for its aromatic properties. You could certainly substitute Peppermint, Spearmint, Lavendar or any citrus. Lemon Essential Oil also has benefits in cleaning and would be good. We specifically use Birch Sweet because of my husband (see story below).
Sal Suds Controversy
There seems to be a lot of confusion and controversy over one of the ingredients in Sal Suds, specifically sodium lauryl sulfate or SLS. If you want to know more, this article from Lisa Bronner explains it very well. Sal Suds is used specifically for cleaning not for body care products. The goal is to use a “more” natural product. This Homemade Dish Soap is definitely “cleaner” than most commercial dish soaps that we used to use.
For my family, I am not concerned about using Sal Suds. In fact, I use it in home made All Purpose Cleaner and Bathroom Scrub Cleaner. The way I figure it, Sal Suds is still a vast improvement over most other commercially available cleaning products.
So, a little story time…..
One day my husband and I were at our local Natural Grocers shopping. Of course, I had to go over to the essential oil section to check out the wares, see if there was any sales going on and just to sniff. 🙂 I opened up the birch sweet and had my husband smell it…… His eyes lit up, his whole face relaxed and he started smiling. “What is that?” He asked. “That’s Birch Sweet” I said, then promptly put the bottle in the cart! Gabe is very tolerant of my “experiments”. But this was the first time that he had such a positive reaction to any of my “crunchy” stuff. Totally not going to pass up on this one. 🙂
Birch Sweet in included in this recipe mostly for the scent. Sal Suds has a bit of a piney, minty smell to it already so the Birch sweet blends really well and enhances the original scent. Also, I really don’t like the smell of Tea Tree Oil and this really masks the scent. It really does smell great, like a minty forest! As an added bonus, hubby has been helping more with the dishes!!!!
(Shhhhh, don’t tell his friends, but… Sometimes I catch him sniffing the dish soap when he thinks no one is looking. LOL! 😉 )
Enough chit chat, here is the recipe. I hope you love it as much as we do.
Homemade Dish Soap (foaming, soy free, more natural)
- 1 1/2 cup Distilled Water Distilled preferred or boiled tap water
- 2 Tablespoon Vinegar, white distilled
- 1 Tablespoon Sunflower Oil could use Sweet Almond, Olive, Avocado, etc
- 8 drops Birch sweet, essential oil optional: could try Peppermint, Spearmint, Lemon or any citrus
- 6 drops Tea Tree Oil
- 1/2 cup Sal Suds
Homemade Dish Soap
- Wash and allow bottle to thoroughly dry. I use old dish soap bottles but any bottle really will do. I find a plastic bottle that has a cap you can squeeze out of works best.
- Using a funnel add water to bottle. Next add vinegar, oil and essential oils to the bottle. Shake bottle to combine.
- Add the Sal Suds and swish gently to combine. At this point you can use the Homemade Dish Soap directly on your rag, on super grimy pots and pans or for a sink full of dishes.
- In your foaming dispenser, fill just shy of halfway with your Homemade Dish Soap. Fill the rest of the dispenser with Distilled Water, leaving about 1/2 to 1" at the top for the dispenser head. Screw on the top. Your Homemade Dish Soap is now ready to use!
I hope you love this Homemade Dish Soap. If you make it, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below or you can show us your creation on Instagram #naturallyliz.
This recipe is incredible! I’m so excited to be able to use a natural soap that suds and cleans so well! Bravo!
I’m so glad you like the soap!
Have a great day!