These two easy recipes for homemade dish detergent for hand washing make enough washing up liquid for 16 sinks of dishes for around $2.75 and rate an A on the Environmental Working Group (EWG) Healthy Cleaning scale. Learn two simple ways to make liquid dish detergent and get my recommendations for what you should use to hand wash dishes.
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How to Make Liquid Soap for Dishwashing
I love creating and testing homemade cleaner recipes. Over the years I have created two different natural dishwasher detergent recipes, but I had never made my own homemade dish detergent for hand washing dishes. It’s become my most requested natural cleaning tutorial, so I began to investigate!
Researching the Best Cleaners
When I set out to make a new homemade cleaner recipe I start by researching cleaning recipes, ingredients, and their interactions. (Hello, I’m Bren and I’m a former college instructor who loves a good research project. AKA, Bren the green cleaning nerd!)
This initial background research is important for two reasons:
- Knowing how ingredients work allow me to make the most effective cleaners.
- Knowing how ingredient interact keeps me from combing ingredients that neutralize one another or have dangerous reactions.
Homemade Dish Detergent Standards
I set out to create an easy, affordable homemade dish detergent. I have three standards cleaning recipes need to meet:
- The homemade cleaner has to rate an A on the EWG scale.
- The homemade cleaner has to work as well as my favorite store bought dish washing liquid.
- The homemade cleaner has to be cost effective.
I started my quest for a non-toxic homemade dish detergent recipe at the mecca of all homemade cleaner recipes… Pinterest! Just type in home dish detergent and hundreds of recipes will pop up. The real task is sorting through them all to separate the good, the bad, and ineffective.
The recipes I found online all included some ingredients that I would not use for hand washing dishes, some cleaner combinations that neutralize one another, and some good green cleaning ingredients. Here’s the detailed breakdown:
Ingredients that Should NOT Be Used for Hand Washing Dishes
- BORAX – Borax a naturally occurring mineral but its use is somewhat controversial in “green” circles. It is toxic (it can be used to kill ants and cockroaches) and it scores an F on the EWG scale for respiratory effects and developmental toxicity, plus it has been banned as a food additive by the FDA. For these reasons I have decided not to use borax in areas where it comes into contact with food or mouths… AKA dishes.
- ESSENTIAL OILS– Essential oils are a great green cleaning ingredients, just not for washing dishes. Since many essential oils have antimicrobial, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties they are added to detergent recipes with the intent of boosting the cleaning power. However, hot water and detergent are good germs/bacteria killers on their own. There are four reasons why I skip the essential oils:
1 – Essential oils are not water soluble. Since essential oils do not mix with water you can end up with globs of undiluted oil that can touch your skin or the dishes. Undiluted essential oils can burn or damage skin and surfaces.
2 – Essential oils can damage or deteriorate plastics, rubber, wood and some metals. I don’t use a lot of plastic, but the items I use are designed to have less risk of chemical seepage (BPA free, etc). Exposing these items to essential oils can damage the finish and make them worthless. I prefer to avoid the risk.
3 – Many essential oils are recommended for topical use only (especially in young children and pregnant women). Since the oils are not water soluble they can leave globs in places that might later meet someone’s lips or skin. Yikes!
4 – A good hand washing with hot water and detergent kills bacteria/germs. I am cautious about overuse of antibacterial essential oils because today’s super bugs were created by the overuse of antibacterial cleaners and antibiotic medicines. I try to save antibacterial essential oils for treating a problem (for example, cleaning bathrooms when family member is sick, treating athlete’s foot, etc).
- MOISTURIZING OIL– Dishpan hands were the target of advertising campaigns beginning in the 1930s when housewives hand washed everything from dishes to laundry by hand with scrubbing boards and ringers. Detergent slogans through the 1970s promised to soften hands while washing dishes, so I can see why people add a moisturizing ingredient to their cleaner. Unfortunately it doesn’t work well since the job of dish detergent is to get oil and grease off of dishes. Adding oil to a detergent recipe makes the water (and dishes) extra dirty. Skip the oil in the detergent and rub a few drops onto damp hands when you’re done washing. Your hands will be softer and your dishes will be cleaner.
Ingredients that are Ineffective in Dish Washing Liquid (But Can be Used Other Ways)
- VINEGAR – Vinegar is a great all-natural cleaner, but it is acidic with a pH of 2.6. Most food soils are also acidic so they should be cleaned with a basic cleaner (the most effective dish detergents attack and neutralize acidic food residue and dirt because they are alkaline cleaners). Commercial hand washing dish soap usually has a alkaline pH of around 7.
- If you are using Castile soap in a cleaner recipe vinegar should never be added. The acidic vinegar breaks down the alkaline Castile soap making both ineffective.
- Use vinegar in the rinse water when doing dishes, it helps neutralize the alkaline detergent/soap for the cleanest possible rinse and prevents hard water spots by breaking down mineral deposits.
- BAKING SODA – Sodium Bicarbonate is an all-natural mild base (pH 7) that neutralizes eliminates odors, helps to break down food soils and stains, and softens water. (At least two tablespoons of baking soda should be added to each sink of dish water for best results.) Unfortunately it is not possible to keep this much baking soda suspended in liquid dish washing soap.
- Use baking soda in the wash water when doing dishes. A few tablespoons can be added along with the detergent if desired. Baking soda is a smart alternative to using toxic chemicals and boosts cleaning power.
Ingredients that Can Be Used for Hand Washing Dishes
- WASHING SODA – Sodium Carbonate is a natural, highly alkaline cleaner (pH 11) that effectively remove grease and stains. It neutralizes acids and eliminates odors, breaks down proteins and stains, and softens water to enhance the detergent’s effectiveness. Tips: washing soda is highly alkaline so rubber gloves should be worn when using it to clean, it should also be thoroughly rinsed so it does not leave a residue on the dishes, and it cannot be used on aluminum.
- CASTILE SOAP – Castile soap is one of my favorite natural cleaners. It’s all I use in my laundry and shower. It is a natural and effective alkaline cleaner (pH 9), however Castile is not always the best for washing dishes. It can leave a cloudy residue on glass and plastics and can be hard to rinse off which leaves dishes dull rather than shiny. If you use Castile soap in the detergent I recommend using vinegar in the rinse water to help prevent residue. Dilution 1-2 Tbsp for a sink of dishes.
- SAL’S SUDS – Sal’s Suds is one of my favorite commercial household cleaners. Sal’s Suds is made by Dr Bronner’s but it is a man made detergent made from plant-based surfactants (not petro-chemicals like many detergents) and does not contains synthetic dyes or fragrance. It is 100% cruelty-free and rates an A on the Environmental Working Group (EWG) scale. ½ tsp. Sal Suds in a large sink of water.
- GLYCERIN – Vegetable glycerin is a form of sugar alcohol derived from vegetable oils. It can also be a byproduct of soap making. Glycerin is a solvent that aids in cleansing by breaking down proteins and oils while fighting stains. Glycerin is soothing and softening to the skin so it can help keep skin soft while hand washing dishes.
Two Easy Homemade Dish Detergent Recipes
Each of these non-toxic dish detergent recipes make enough washing up liquid for 16 sinks of dishes.
1. Castile Soap Dish Washing Liquid
- Super Washing Soda – 1/3 cup (3.5 oz )
- Liquid Castile Soap – 1 cup (8 ounces)
- Water – 1 cup (8 ounces)
- Vegetable Glycerin – 1/2 Tbsp (optional)
- Bring water to a boil.
- Pour washing soda into a large glass bowl then stir in boiling water. Continue stirring until washing soda is completely dissolved
- Cool to room temperature.
- Stir in Castile soap and glycerin until well combined
- Store detergent in a glass bottle.
- Use 2 tablespoons of Castile Soap Dish Washing Liquid per large sink of water.
- For best results rinse dishes washed in Castile soap in a sink of water with 1 cup of white vinegar added.
2. Sal’s Suds Dish Washing Detergent
- Super Washing Soda – 1/3 cup (3.5 oz )
- Sal’s Suds Biodegadable Detergent – 1/4 cup (2 oz)
- Water – 1 cup (8 ounces)
- Vegetable Glycerin – 1/2 Tbsp (optional)
- Bring water to a boil.
- Pour washing soda into a large glass bowl then stir in boiling water. Continue stirring until washing soda is completely dissolved
- Cool to room temperature.
- Stir in Sal’s Suds and glycerin until well combined
- Store detergent in a glass bottle.
- Use 1.25 tablespoons of Sal’s Suds Dish Washing Detergent per large sink of water.
Homemade Dish Detergent Cost & Ratings
Both of these homemade dish detergent recipes rates A on the EWG Healthy Cleaning Scale. The cost breakdown by ingredient:
- Washing Soda , EWG Rating = A, $0.25 per batch
- Castile Soap, EWG Rating = A, $2.56 per batch
- Sal’s Suds, EWG Rating = A, $1.14 per batch
- Glycerin, EWG Rating = A, $0.09 per batch
Total Cost Per Batch
- Castile Soap Dish Washing Liquid – $2.90 for 16 washes or $0.18 a wash
- Sal’s Suds Dish Washing Detergent – $1.73 for 16 washes or $0.11 a wash
Final Thoughts on Homemade Dish Detergent
It was interesting to research dish detergent and try making my own liquids for hand washing. But just how do the recipes measure up to my standards?
- EWG Ratings – Standard met. Both homemade cleaners rate an A on the EWG scale.
- Homemade Cleaner Effectiveness – One version met standard. The Sal’s Suds detergent works better than the Castile soap liquid. Plus it is more convenient to use a dish washing liquid without an extra vinegar rinsing step. (Note: both versions contain washing soda so they can leave a white film on counters and cannot be used on aluminum.)
- Cost – Neither version met standard. My favorite commercial dish washing detergents with an A rating on the EWG scale costs around $4.00 or about $0.11 a wash. This makes them more cost effective than the Castile dish washing soap and the same price as the Sal’s Suds homemade dish detergent. Or dishes can be washed with Sal’s Suds alone (using ½-1 tsp per wash) for about $0.10 a wash.
Make vs Buy
It was fun to try making hand washing detergent, but I’ll keep buying dish washing liquid for now.
I will continue to buy my favorite all natural commercial hand washing detergent because homemade dish detergent is more expensive than buying an all-natural commercial dish washing soap. I like to save both the time and money!
I use several kinds of hand washing soap, that work great, rate well*, and are cost effective:
- Biokleen Liquid Dish Soap (approximately $0.08 a wash)
- Puracy Natural Liquid Dish Soap (approximately $0.16 a wash)
*NOTE: I recommend checking product ratings as manufacturers change their formulations which will change the rating.
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I made the washing soda one and it ended up being so thick it’s practically bar soap. I used RO water. Should I use distilled water?
You can try using distilled water or simply dilute your thick mixture with extra tap water. If you dilute, increase the amount you use per load.
Hi Bren – Thanks so much for the recipe. I am new to all of this and having fun with experimenting. I was most excited about your recipe because it seemed very well-researched. I did the Sals Suds version, but, after 12 hours turned more into what I could best describe as a salt-slurry? I live in an old farmhouse and we have hot water, so maybe that’s the culprit. But any other suggestions or ideas? I am playing around with re-heating, blending, and adding more water; but would love to hear your take!
LOL – I meant, HARD water!! (of course we have hot water 😉
I think you have hit the nail on the head… it’s probably your hard water reacting with the mixture. You can try adding more water and reblending this batch and/or adding less washing soda to the next batch so it does not “geL’ as strongly. Good luck!
I’m looking to make my own dishwashing liquid to avoid consuming plastic. But both these recipes contain ingredients that come in plastic bottles. Do you have any suggestions to avoid plastic altogether?
Hannah, you can sometimes buy Sal’s suds or Castille soap from a refill container (you bring your own bottle and fill) at a natural foods store otherwise I would look for a dishwashing bar that can be used with a scrub brush.
I buy soap flakes in biodegradable packaging (from Australian Natural Soap Company) and use it to make cleaners for my dishes, toilet, shower & hands! I’ve never had them leave a film on my dishes.
I made the castille soap washing up liquid following your recipe and at first it was quite good but it quickly separated and now is half clear and half a thick glutinous mess – what did i do wrong and how can i adjust it? it is quite horribly thick at present and as it cost quite a lot more that ordinary liquid i am loath to just throw it out!
You can add extra water to thin it or just add it to your warm dishwater in its thick state and allow it to melt. It will still work fine either way.
I made the castile version today and it turned into slime and then hardened completely. I tried using it anyway and it didn’t make any suds at all. Kind of an expensive waste of time. 🙁
Ashley, sorry you had a had time with the detergent! Since Castile soap is not a detergent but a soap it will not suds like store-bought dish detergent. You can still use your hard handmade dishwashing soap by dissolving a teaspoon or so it in a sink of warm water o using it like a dish detergent bar (rub it with a dishcloth or dish brush to pick up the soap the use the cloth or brush to wash the dishes). Hope this helps. – Bren
I used your recipe with washing soda for the first time about a month ago. I thought I might have done something wrong because it partially gelled up in the container. I managed to still use it, but it was a very clumpy mess. I tried again today. Twice. As soon as the Castile soap made contact with the dissolved washing soda it congealed . I have tried researching the cause of this to no avail. Any ideas or suggestions. I love the cleaning power, but hate the consistency. I have several friends looking for natural diy recipes and would love to share this with them, but I want to perfect the consistency first. Thank you
I would add more water the next day until you get to the desired consistency.
Thank you so much for the research and thorough explanations in your article. I look forward to learning more from you.
My main objective in looking into homemade dish and laundry soaps is to eliminate the plastic bottles, since an overwhelming percentage of them are not recycled but end up polluting the environments of people and other life forms that remain invisible to most American families. I have been a Sal Suds user for years and love that its concentration level means I can literally use it 2 drops at a time, but I still end up with 3 or 4 plastic bottles per year. Perhaps the powder method mentioned in your comment section is the way to go.
I agree with you, I like to use less plastic. Do you have a natural foods co-op near your home? Some have areas where you can refill your bottle!
Thanks for this wonderfully helpful post, Bren!
It prompts a question: you say that the Sal’s Suds version “cannot be used on aluminum.” Why not, what will happen? I have visions of my pots dissolving in a hiss of acid like the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz–and that’s probably NOT what you meant…
In all seriousness, I’m looking for a workaround, suggestions?
Clare, actually neither version should be used on aluminum since they contain washing soda. Washing soda reacts with aluminum to form soluble aluminate, no instantly melting pans (like the Wicked Witch) but it will show up as a whitish discoloration on your aluminum pans or an etched surface.
Can I combined Alkalite + Citric Acid to substitute Washing Soda in Sal’s Suds recipe?
I’m not sure what you mean by “Alkalite.” However, citric acid would not be a good substitution for washing soda in this cleaner.
Can I substitute Coconut oil for the glycerin ? Love your blogs. Great way to save money in this Covid19 climate
Lil, I’ve never substituted coconut oil for glycerin so I’m not sure if it would work.
Hi Bren, I love your thorough explanation here! This is great! I decided not to make dish soap after reading your post all the way through. Thank you for calculating and figuring this out!!
Thanks, Brenda! Glad you found the article helpful!
Hi! Hope you’re keeping well during this time. I’m interested in doing the first recipe, but you also mention earlier that castile soap isn’t great because of the residue that get left behind, so by mixing it with the washing soda, glycerin and water eliminate this effect? Will I still get residue by using that recipe?
Ashley, castile soap will always leave a bit more residue than detergent. It’s the difference between the chemical makeup or soap vs. detergent. If you use vinegar in the rinse water if will eliminate the residue. Hope this helps! Bren
I used the Castile liquid soap recipe and it is a complete solid. I also used vegetable glycerin in the recipe. It’s a complete solid. What did I do wrong?
It can simply be a reaction to the water in your area. Add a bit more water to get the detergent to the thickness you desire, it will still work great!
I followed your 1st recipe to the letter. However, mine turned into a super thick mass. Are you sure that the 1/2 Tablespoon of Glycerin should have been 1/2 a teaspoon.
Yes, I use 1/2 tbsp of glycerin. Different minerals in the water can cause the liquid to gel differently so it might take a bit of experimentation or extra water to thin. Good luck!
Hi Brenda. Yesterday I discovered your blog. So far I’ve only read a few articles, but already you really stand out. What hooked me was the article on why baking soda and vinegar in a drain aren’t smart. I’m really appreciating that you go more carefully into your research than many natural diy type people do. I agree with that attitude, that just cause a zillion people are using the same great-sounding recipes doesn’t automatically mean it’s effective or safe. It’s best to slow down and dig deeper. I’m looking into starting my own home care blog and people like you inspire me!
P.S. Glad you don’t have Facebook-only comments so I can actually comment here!
Thanks, Flower! You’re so sweet!
I love your chemistry and analyses for why the various common cleaning agents one might think to use for dishes don’t work (baking soda, vinegar, etc). It was very informative. I love the honesty at the end too – screw the homemade stuff, let’s save some money and time instead 🙂
This is my first time at this blog and I found it very helpful. I went to a few other sites first in the hopes that I could use something around the house as a substitute for dish detergent (since we have apparently run out and I don’t have time to drive to the store) – and your site was the first to go more in-depth than just lists or common household cleaning products. I’ll probably have to go to the store anyway as I don’t have any of the ingredients above for effective cleaning, and it sounds like I’m probably better off anyway. I appreciate the time and research that went into this post! 🙂
Hi though I’m not new to your site, I am new to diys. My question is do you have to rinse with vinegar using the Sal’s Suds detergent like you would with the Castile soap one.
No, the Sal’s Suds version is cleaner rinsing.
I just tried this. Mine turned into a gel. I hated to throw it out, so I added another cup of hot water and whisked it. I used a tablespoon of the mixture and added to a bucket of hot water, cleaned my bathroom floor like a boss!
I’m glad it worked! It’s perfectly fine to add extra water to get to the right consistency. No need to throw it out!
I don’t like the smell of Castile soap. I know the kind I bought says fragrance free, but I still detect a smell that just doesn’t appeal to me. Do you have any ideas about how to make fragranced soap besides using essential oils? Thank you.
I would look for a natural commercial version with a smell you love!
HELP! i just made the castile soap – according to recipe and it’s a big hunk of gel as well… what do I do to make it less thick??
Kim, thin with water until you reach the desired constancy. You may have to use a bit more but it will still clean great.
My goal is to find a way to not use plastic bottles.
Someone should invent a powder product that can be purchased in a paper bag or cardboard box to mix with water as needed. I have so many bottles and jugs to fill!!
I’ve been trying and trying to find powdered soap like me grandma used to buy with no luck. Let me know if you find any!
I have been using a 1/3 tsp of powdered dish washer soap dissolved in a small bowl of water. I dip my dish mop into that and it seems to clean anything. It comes in a cardboard box.
I do agree with you on saving time and money. However, if you factor in the effects on the planet then the homemade dish soap wins. Buying ingredients in bulk wastes less plastic. We can all try harder to avoid using/buying plastic.
I agree, Melinda!
I too tried your recipe and ended up with a solid lump Wasted time and money. It would of been best to read the comments first. Why are you promoting this recipe knowing that people are having issues? One of your last comments are “Sorry you had problems. As I mention in the article I’ve found that commercial dish detergent is my option too. Luckily there are lots of good alternatives!” Really? My feedback is that your website is no longer trust worthy.
Lisa, I’m sorry you had trouble with the recipe and were confused/dismayed by my comment. I love making my own dish detergent but it does take time. Some readers do not want to take this extra time or dislike the trial and error that making your own cleaning products can take. I hope to encourage people to make better choices for their health and the environment whether they are homemade or store bought, so I like to mention that I use both homemade and store bought dish soap depending on the time I have available so no one feels badly about not making all their own cleaners. Hope this helps clarify. -Bren
Hi Bren, Thanks for the recipe. Tried the castille soap recipe and was very disappointed as it was not a runny consistency . It all clumped up and and was jelly like . What cld be the reason?
It can be due to minerals in your water. Just add more water to make it thinner. It will still work great!
i’d like to try the sals suds recipe. do you think the liquid would work in a bottle with a foaming pump. i’m wondering if it would clog up the pump.
It depends on how thick your detergent is once it gels, you can definitely thin it after it is cool so it will work in a pump. Good luck!
Hi Bren, thanks for the recipes, I have lots of them all over my home now!
I tried the castille soap recipe here and instead of a lovely runny consistency, I have a lump of jelly in the bottle! I decided to make it in the plastic bottle that my castille soap was already in, to save yet another plastic bottle going to land fill. Could that be what caused the jelly?! Should I add water to make it runny, or more soap, or something else, or is it doomed?? Thanks for any help 🙂
I had the same experience. Have you figured out how to keep it from becoming gelatinous?
Michelle, you can add a bit more water to thin the gel, it will still clean great!
In the end, you mentioned “I use two kinds of hand washing soap” I checked 7th generation and I see that it is not good as you mentioned. It has a C rating on EWG. It has SLS & 3 other chemicals which can cause Cancer and some studies claimed that it can break ur DNA.
Avi, I recommend checking product ratings frequently as manufacturers change their formulations which will change the rating. (Unilever, the parent company to brands like Dove, Axe and Vaseline, bought Seventh Generation in 2016.) I’ve currently been using Puracy and Biokleen dish soap for hand-washing dishes. I’ve updated the post with this information. Hope you find a dish detergent you love!
Bren, at the end of your evaluation of homemade dish washing liquids you suddenly switched to writing handwashing liquids. Did you mean to say that you use seventh gen. Handwashing soap for washing dishes? I hope so because of the low price per pan.
Thanks for writing the instructkions and evaluation. I am not criticizing but I am confused. Anna
Anna, I use natural store-bought handwashing soap for washing dishes in the sink. At the end of the post I compare to cost of making handwashing dish soap vs buying handwashing dish soap to show that making your own cleaners isn’t always more cost effective.
Thank you My goal is to get rid of plastic in my life, so making my own even at a slight increase in price, is well worth not contributing to the landfill!
Thanks Robin! I love buying bulk at my local natural foods store to save on plastic too.
I am new to DIY cleaners. One of the primary reasons I am interested in creating my own cleaners, besides avoiding man made chemicals, is that I want to dramatically reduce the amount of things I purchase that are in plastic bottles. For both recipe’s above, I would need to either purchase Castile soap in a plastic bottle or the Sal’s Sud’s in a plastic bottle. I can buy washing soda & baking soda in paper bags or cardboard boxes, so feel a little better about that. It is very difficult to lead a plastic free life in today’s world unfortunatley.
Patty, check your local natural grocery store. Many sell castile soap and Sal’s Sud from giant refillable containers (bring your own bottle and refill it in the store).
Borax is banned in the UK but we have borax substitute which I use for washing dishes, I wouldn’t worry about adding essential oils to your dishwashing liquid because they aren’t that effective at killing bacteria.
Thanks for commenting, Jeanne. What is the Borax substitute you use?
i’m going to try the sal’s suds dish washing liquid recipe. i’m on the fence about using glycerin. you state it helps break down proteins and oils and fights stains, but it doesn’t take long to wash a dish so i’m wondering if the glycerin has enough time to get to really get to working on the dish. can anyone share their experience with using glycerin this way?
I’ve not tried the detergent without the glycerin so I’m not sure how it would work.
I’m looking forward to trying this. Thanks for doing your research. Keep in mind, it’s not just about the toxic ingredients and the cost. I am doing my best to limit the plastic I am sending to the landfill. Sadly, much of what we put in our recycling still ends up in the landfill. By buying concentrated amounts and making my own cleaners I am reducing the plastic I use. Did you know that all the plastic that has ever been created is still here?
I agree, NJ. Limiting plastic use is a great goal. We are moving toward a plastic-free home.
Didn’t work. Even added two cups more water and still have a hard clump. Followed the directions exactly. Tried using it as a solid but even with a vinegar rinse it leaves a residue. I’ve wasted so much time and money trying so many different receipes. Just going back to the bet commercial product I can find.
Sorry you had problems. As I mention in the article I’ve found that homemade dish detergent does take time to perfect and you might need to try several options to find one you love. Buying commercial dish soap is sometimes my option when I am busy as well. Luckily there are lots of good alternatives!
Very informative…thanks for sharing.
I also use xanthan gum with EO’s. Works very well to immerse EO’s into water or similar liquids.
Thanks for the tip, April. I’ll have to check it out.
I love your posts, Brenn! Thanks for sharing the recipes as well as insights into the ingredients and costs/savings. I have been experimenting with dish soap recently in an effort to reduce my household’s plastic waste. Have you come across any large quantity commercial dish soaps? Currently I am purchasing a gallon of Dr. Bronner’s castile soap for multiple recipes.
Thanks, Diana! I would check out you local co-op or health food store. They generally sell these types of products in bulk.
The Dr. Bronner’s products have essential oils in them, are they enough to harm some materials? Also I have used Sal Suds before but I am not fond of the odor, so I added a few drops of essential oils, but they don’t disperse well and often just sit at the top, even if the mixture is diluted in water and shaken well.
The EOs in Dr Bronner products are added during the production process so they are fully incorporated and will not damage plastic like drops of EO may.
Hi! I’m glad I found you because I’m enjoying your recipes for soaps and food! Is there anything that you can add to the dish soap that will make it not as runny, like say, glycerin? I’m used to the more gel like soap.
You can lessen the amount of water to make it less runny. I would not add anything else. Good luck!
Without a doubt, you are the most innovative and practical DIYer I have ever found on the web because you go to the trouble to find and use the science – an admirable pursuit. Here is my offering which I hope will expand your knowing: the borax conspiracy, walter last (borax is dangerous to roaches due to the effect of desiccation, but not as much to people – you are being hoodwinked with a fear based control move possibly); Essential oils can be emulsed into solution by using a bit of xanthan gum – not too much – you can experiment – which will solve the globby problem, and a fairly thick solution will disperse from a sprayer if you want sticking power for something like mold/mildew on a shower wall – might want to dissolve in a small amt of your solution, and then disperse back into it with a whisk. Cost effective is a good target, but what value do you place on your safety/health? As you note in other replies, the dishliquids you elect to continue to use have their own issues that present a risk to humans, so consider – look around, so many of the things that the ‘officials/authorities’ push at us are actually not dangerous – they just make healthy people from which pharma cannot make a profit, so, think here, it is not a desired condition to the profiteers. Keep seeking – you are on the right path.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I love knowing there are others out there eager to find a more natural solution to cleaning. -Bren
Would the Sal’s recipe work in a pump nozzle dispenser?
Yes, it should work. You may have to thin it a bit… especially if using a foaming dispenser.
I don’t wash my dishes in a sink full of water, but under a slow spray of water from my reduced flow faucet. I make my dish soap by putting a few ounces of Sal Suds in a foaming pump dispenser then filling the rest of the container with water. Turn upside down gently a few times to mix and I’m ready to go! It does a great job on dishes. No other ingredients necessary. Cuts grease very well and the pump is very handy for dispensing on the sponge — especially when your hands are full — rather than having to pick up a squeeze bottle. I’m not sure how many dishes I can wash with a bottle of the homemade foaming liquid, but it lasts a pretty long time. I don’t have a dishwasher, so I was a lot of dishes each day.
Thanks for the tip, Robin!
Just had a green cleaning make-and-take and used lots of your recipes! So happy I found your site since many others are primarily cost-focused rather than choosing ingredients based on health and environmental impacts! Thanks for your work to create such great recipes along with providing helpful insights. Wondering the reason you are suggesting to store the dish washing liquids above in glass bottles?
Good question, Holly. I like to use glass for storage (when possible) to prevent any chemicals from leaching out of a plastic container.
I’m having trouble with step 2. I pour boiling water into glass bottle containing washing sod and stir for awhile, however it does not seem to dissolve completely. Any tips or advice? Thanks!
Bailey, you can try using distilled water to make sure it is not an issue with minerals in your water. Other use the double boiler method (place a heat safe glass bowl over nearly boiling water in a pan then stir until ingredients are dissolved). You can also try add the washing soda slowly to the water, a tablespoon at a time. Good luck!
Thank you for all of your research! I was wondering with the first recipe (Castile soap) can I add salt to this if I wanted? Moreso, out of curiosity really. I’m just curious as to the reaction.
Mary, you should be able to add salt without changing the mix. Let me know how it works if you try.
Thanks so much for your post! I am new to the green cleaning business as I am preparing to give birth to my first baby this November! I saw your comments about using essential oils to clean dishes and agree completely. I am wary of using essential oils for a lot in general because of the unknown effects. I was curious though, since the Sal’s Suds contains a couple essential oils in the ingredients, can you explain why you choose to use this product on dishes? I am super interested in using it to wash my dishes, but I wanted to get your thoughts on that! I would hate for residual essential oils to be left on dishes and then ingested by my family!
Thanks so much for any feedback!
Ashley, since the essential oils are added during the actual production of Sal’s Suds I feel safe using it on dishes. It’s totally blended so you won’t get any “blobs” of EOs that could stick to your dishes. When making my own cleaning combinations I don’t add EOs in recipes with lots of water )or ones you use on hands, dishes, etc) because the EOs may not emulsify (combine) completely and could leave a residue. Hope this helps! I’m so glad you stating green cleaning with a little one on the way! 🙂
Hi Bren: I’ve been itching to try this recipe but oh no… what went wrong?
I dissolved the washing soda in water as directed but when I added the Castille soap it coagulated immediately and now I have a bowl of soft mushy soap. Even adding the glycerin it has the consistency of soft mush. I thought it was supposed to be a liquid?? Not sure!
Susie, you can add some more water to thin the mix. It can get quite thick. Start with 1/2 cup of water and work up from there. Good luck!