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Homemade Liquid Dish Soap Recipe

Affiliate Disclosure | in Healthy Home | by | with 219 Comments

 Homemade Liquid Dish Soap Recipe

Folks, There Is A Gladiator Of Homemade Dish Soaps . . .

And this is it. Round-after-round it knocked it’s opponents out cold: The watery formula’s, the ones that kept separating, the ones dried out my hands and looked like cottage cheese. 

Behold, the defeated.


Why Use Homemade Dish Soap At All?

Ahhh, good question! We all know that most commercial dish soaps are loaded with toxins, but even “green” cleaners often contain chemicals I’d rather not lather up with. For example, the second ingredient in a popular “healthy” store brand is sodium lauryl sulfate, which isoften contaminated with the carcinogen 1,4 dioxane and has been rated as a moderate health hazard by the Environmental Working Group (source).

There’s also another reason I love this recipe: It has a very low hassle factor. In other words, it doesn’t take much time and it’s easy.

An Important Note On Water Types

As you’ll see in the comments, some people love this recipe and some . . . well, not so much. My guess is that how well it works depends on the type of water you have – hardness, softness, pH, etc. Before you consider making a double  or triple batch, I suggest making  a small batch to see how it works in your area.

Homemade Liquid Dish Soap Recipe

Homemade Liquid Dish Soap Recipe

How To Make Homemade Liquid Dish Soap


  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1/4 cup grated Dr. Bronner’s bar soap, tightly packed*
  • 1/4 cup liquid castile soap
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon – 1 tablespoon (plus up to 1 teaspoon additional) super washing soda (adjust for desired thickness)**
  • 1/2 teaspoon non-GMO glycerin
  • 15-40 drops essential oil (lime, lemon and orange are great for cutting grease. Lavender and juniper are also good choices)


Used dish soap squirt bottle or pump dispenser. I splurged and got this adorable mason jar pump on Amazon.

*Other soaps, such as my pure coconut oil soap for laundry, can be used. However, some need more washing soda to thicken and some need less. When I first made a batch of liquid soap with coconut oil soap it was very watery, so I reheated the mixture and incrementally increased the amount of washing soda until it reached the right consistency.

** Super washing soda creates a stronger gel reaction than homemade washing soda. Because the strength of homemade will vary depending on whether all the baking soda is truly converted to washing soda, I can’t recommend a specific amount to use. However, I use about 2 tablespoons in my homemade recipe.


1. Place water on the stove over medium/high heat. Add grated bar soap and stir until dissolved.

2. Once the bar soap is dissolved, remove from heat and pour mixture into a container. I pour mine directly into my pump dispenser because it has a wide mouth that allows me to stir the ingredients.

3. Add liquid castile soap, 2 1/4 teaspoons of the super washing soda and glycerin. Stir thoroughly.

4. Let soap set for 24 hours, stirring occasionally, then check the consistency. Keep in mind that it will thicken over time, so a little runny is okay! If you want it thicker warm it up and dissolve in 3/4 teaspoon washing soda, then let it set again. If needed repeat the process – adding 1/2 teaspoon each time – until desired thickness is reached. Important Note: This soap tends to thicken over time. If that happens, no problem! Just add a little warm/hot water and stir to mix. Also, shake from time to time to make sure the liquid is thoroughly distributed.

5. If the soap is clumpy, give it a whir in the blender or mix with an immersion blender.

Once this soap has reached the consistency you desire stir in essential oils.
Place in container with pump or flip top squeeze lid and use!


Update: The Unpaper Towel Tutorial Is Live HERE

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219 Responses to Homemade Liquid Dish Soap Recipe

  1. Cary says:

    Do you have specific pans you use to make the soap? I just worry that the amount of time it spends in the pan would effect the food taste. Thanks for the recipe :)

  2. Missy says:

    This is a not a recipe that I have seen floating around for homemade dish soap. Definitely worth trying. Love the towels on the paper towel holder. Where did you get them? Thanks for all your great information and tutorials that you share.

  3. Penny says:

    Are those cloth towels on the holder? Love them! can you tell me more?

  4. Marste says:

    I’m so excited to find this recipe!

    If I used liquid soap in place of bar soap, would it work? I assume it would just be more watery, but do you think it would impact the cleaning ability at all?

  5. Jen B says:

    Thanks for the recipe! I may try this. I am about to change jobs and go from working 40 hrs to 5-10 hrs a week. Cash is goin to be in short supply so I am looking at ways to save money. I also LOVE the cloth towels in the towel dispenser! Please tell me more! And where did you get your soap dispenser???? Give us a link please! Thanks!

  6. Amanda says:

    A: can’t wait to try this recipe!
    B: PLEASE tell me more about those cloth paper towels…. I want desperately to get away from paper ones but am unhappy with the cloth ones I have now.
    C: keep up the fantastic work!!

  7. YES…please tell us where to get the “paper” towels! They are so pretty!

    • Kristten says:

      Agree…the towels are super cute. That would make so much sense in my kitchen. And I’m going to try the soap too:)

  8. Nicole Rice says:

    You and I have been on the same quest! (you are way ahead of me though :-P) During this quest, my husband asked a question I couldn’t answer- LOL. Maybe you can…….. Why not just use a little castile soap for everything?

    • Heather says:

      For me it comes down to cost. Even when I buy all expensive pre-made ingredients (Dr. Bronner’s soap instead of my own, etc) the price per oz is about $.29. Plain castile soap is about $.75 per oz :)

      • Leah says:

        Is making your own castile soap in your plans? That’s something I’d like to conquer.

        • Tara Moyes says:

          Youcan find recipes for castile soap online. If you want bar soap you use lye (sodium hydroxide). If you want liquid soap you use potassium hydroxide. Castile soap is tradtionally made withonlyolive oil.

      • Nicole Rice says:

        Perfect! Thanks for the explanation. To be honest- sometimes I choose to do stuff just for the pure “I made that myself” thrill :-P ……I know, I know- I’m kinda weird~

      • Nicki says:

        Hello, thank you for this recipe. i was wondering if there is a reason you specifically mentioned this brand of bar castile soap? Can i use any bar of organic castile soap or is there something specific you got from this brand?
        thank you in advance for your step by step. I have everything to make this except the bar castile so i’m excited to get it started.

        • Heather says:

          Hi Nicki, it’s just the one I personally use. It’s a mix of coconut and olive oil, which I like, but another brand might work just as well.

    • That’a what we do most of the time! We put a few tablespoons of Dr Bronner’s tea tree oil soap in foam pump container with water and orange/lemon essential oil. Voila! We use this as hand soap, body wash, face soap, dish soap, etc! Work like a charm! For stubborn dishes I sometimes use a mix similar to this recipe for soaking.


      • libi says:

        Is it safe for allergies to perfume/dye/yadda yadda? I’m using BabyGanics as it seems to be the only thing I’m not breaking out to lately (other than the $$$ prescribed).

  9. Leah G says:

    Laughing…the soap sounds great and I will give it a go. I like everyone else am on the edge of my seat waiting for more info on the towels.

  10. Neil says:

    Hi All,
    Washing Soda is Soda Ash. ( Na2CO3 )
    You can buy cheap Soda Ash from Hardware and Pool Supplies.
    This saves you energy to cook the Bi Carb.

  11. Kristen says:

    This sounds great! I’ve been looking all over the place for a decent dish soap since they are all toxic. Do you know if the Eco Me dish soap is safe? It gets an A on EWG. Definitely want to try this if it is cheaper. Can’t wait for the towel tutorial!!! lol so cute I’ve been trying to stop using paper towels.

  12. Emerald says:

    This recipe makes me sooo happy! Our family has replaced all of our chemical body care products/cleaners with natural, homemade alternatives – except dish soap, because after trying several of the recipes floating around the internet, we still couldn’t find something that worked!!! Thank you for all you hard work (I know what trying oodles of recipes is like. I am still trying to perfect my homemade castile soap/shampoo.)!

    • Jackie Surber says:

      I think that is great that you are now making your own soap and shampoo. I started this 6 years ago when my daughter was found to have eczema. I think everyone should know how to make their own products. I make everything I use except the dish soap because I have been too lazy. I made liquid soaps before and the recipe I had was time consuming and took hours.

  13. Amanda says:

    Does this make about 2 cups? Trying to crunch the numbers costwise…

    I also LOVE the unpaper towels. Can’t wait for the tutorial!

  14. Ellen says:

    Hello Heather,
    I have been on the “perfect-inexpensive-but-works-effectively-dish-soap” adventure for most of this year now. I have tried many brands, including a DIY one but am not at all satisfied with the end results.

    My question: Can this dish soap stand up to mounds of (greasy) dishes or is it more for a squirt here and there to wash up a couple of dishes? I don’t have a dishwasher and we use a fair amount of fat in cooking. I just can’t get something that cleans well without the SLS. I am currently using Dr. Bronner’s Sals Suds and am very happy with it (but not so pleased with the price).

    Also, do you think SLS is still detrimental when “naturally derived” from coconut or palm?

    • ? says:

      i’d like to know the answers to these questions also. thank you for the post!

      • Heather says:

        Hi Ellen! This recipe is more for the squirt and clean method. If you want to fill the sink with water and scrub a bunch of dishes you might consider trying straight washing soda. It doesn’t foam like SLS, but it does clean very well!

        • Monica says:

          Ok, I’m so glad you clarified that this is not for filling sink with greasy dishes but more of a squirt and clean type thing. I’m new to all of this and just made some, added it to a sink full of greasy dishes and it disappeared. I was wondering what I did wrong. Will try the washing soda. Love your site and your story!!

  15. Stephanie says:

    Thank you, thank you! This has been one of the few things we haven’t been able to do ourselves at home and you just nailed it! I also love how everyone is nagging you for the towels. They are super cute, and when your busy pregnant mama self can share with us I know we’ll all be thrilled :) No sewing machine so we’ve just been using flat and prefold diapers instead of paper towels, which work, but yours are adorable!

  16. Cheryl P says:

    Sounds like a great recipe. Can’t wait to read about the towels. :)
    I thought I’d share what I’ve been using for dishes – that still absolutely blows me away in how well it works and how simple it all is!! :)
    I started making my own washing soda (soda ash) by just keeping a cookie sheet full of baking soda in the oven through several cycles of bread baking @ 450F (no extra electricity needed).
    I don’t remember how I even stumbled onto this anymore, but I discovered that homemade washing soda alone makes an AWESOME cleaner!! I dissolve some in a bit of hot water (I just play this by ear depending on how heavy a job I’m doing – anywhere from a couple full pinches to a tablespoon), then dip my sponge in the concentrate, and go to town on everything from chicken-grease covered crock pots, to grease spattered stove top, to baked on crust. I was absolutely blown away at how well this works – even for a counter top full of dishes! There’s absolutely no foam/bubbles, so it can be disconcerting to use if you’re used to that. But I’m so happy to not have to resort to any store-bought soaps, and have a cleaner that works amazingly. It’s just me, and I don’t fill a sink to wash dishes that aren’t in the dishwasher (for which I use a DIY cleaner also but plan to experiment with just washing soda, lemon EO and vinegar soon!) so I just keep a small container of washing soda on my sink where I’d normally keep a bottle of dish soap, and dip my sponge whenever I need to. As an added note, my hands are perfectly happy with this and I only notice a little bit of drying if I’ve literally been washing for an hr or so, without rinsing off well in between.

  17. Kirstian says:

    I was wondering if you had found a liquid soap recipe? I know you make real soap. I want to make my own liquid castil from scratch but struggling to find one. Love your post! thanks so much.

  18. Angel says:

    Can’t wait to try this out! So excited for the weekend to roll over so I can get started!
    But quick question, can I use 1/2 cups of castile soap instead of 1/4 bar soap and 1/4 castile soap? Will that affect the outcome?
    Thanks for all the hard work! Love the posts! Can’t wait till the unpaper towel tutorial comes out!

  19. Jennifer says:

    Thank you Heather, this is my last non-homemade cleaner. Like you, I’ve tried many different recipes but I just got frustrated and gave up, I’m so glad you didn’t! I’m so excited to try this and like everyone else, I can’t wait to see the tutorial on the unpaper towels. Thanks so much!

  20. Juanita says:

    Same guestion, same question! Love it! Love it! Love it! I know I’ll wait. Thanks for sharing!

  21. Mary Beth says:

    I just started using the Dr. Bronners Sal Suds recently. It only takes a couple of teaspoons in a squirt bottle full of water, and then you just give a squirt onto the dish you are cleaning. It seems to be working well. Here is the link: Do you see anything wrong with doing it this way? I work full time so I would prefer to skip the make-it-yourself step!

  22. Sarah says:

    You can buy the paper towels on etsy if you’re not on a budget. I bought simple white ones that don’t snap on the roll because it looked like a pain to snap them all together ;) I love them and haven’t used a paper towel in months! Can’t wait to hear how to make them myself Heather!

  23. Kyndra says:

    I read somewhere that Dr. Bronners is is a base and that mixing any sort of any acid with it will unsaponify the soap–I guess I am asking because of the lemon essential oils that are in it. But, if it doesn’t effect it at all, awesome :)

  24. Alyssa says:

    Heather, is there anything you can’t do? :) Lol, seriously, thank you for all you share with us. Not sure where the appropriate place to post this would be but would you be willing to share your parenting/discipline style? You have been such an inspiration to me and I saw you posted that you are using parenting methods that are challenging and not mainstream. I am always looking for ways to improve upon my parenting (and maybe gain some extra patience). Thanks, Heather!

    • Heather says:

      Hi Alyssa! My husband and I use attachment parenting/positive discipline with our kids. It’s always a challenge because as they grow the stuff that was working stops and we have to find new techniques. In other words, I’m NO EXPERT, but I do think our overall philosophy has served us well :)

      • Alyssa says:

        Many many thanks for your response, Heather. We are on the same track with using attachment parenting and have the Positive Discipline book which I reference as needed. Just getting ready to sign up for the online class. Here’s to doing the best we can…which may not always feel like enough. I am so thankful for your site. Don’t know how I would function (or heal our leaky guts) without you! :)

  25. Mary Beth says:

    Cannot wait to try this recipe. The ones I’ve tried always leave a film on my dishes. Also, I cannot wait until you post a tutorial on how toake your un-paper towels.

  26. Molly says:

    Thank you!!! I have been needing/searching for a good dish soap recipe. I’m so excited to try it, and I LOVE your unpaper towels. Cant wait for the tutorial!

  27. Soledad says:

    Hi Heather!!! I absolutely love the idea of this natural dish soap, so I made it last night!! When I woke up this morning and came to stir it, it seems like the grates Castile had separated from the water… I’m reheating now and I just added 1 more teaspoon of super washing soda, but was wondering if this had happened to you…
    Love your blog and your book!!!
    Thanks for everything you do!!

    • Heather says:

      Hi Soledad! I did have an issue with some formulas separating until I added the glycerin – did you happen to maybe leave it out?

      • Soledad says:

        I added the glycerin… maybe I need to add more? Would it matter that I used filtered water? I just went to stir it and I think I see it trying to separate again…

        • Emilie says:

          I’m having the same issue, and followed the recipe to the letter. Added 2.25 tsp washing soda the first time, and it separated into a thin, gloppy mixture after 24 hrs. Reheated, added a bit more washing soda, and let sit for another 24 hours, and again, a gloppy (but thicker) mixture. Definitely added the glycerin. Any ideas what might be wrong?

          • Melissa says:

            I’m also having this issue…maybe I’ll go add a little glycerin AND a little washing soda. Let ya know tomorrow.

            Did either of you solve the issue?

          • Emilie says:

            Trying to reply to Melissa below, but for some reason can’t! I reheated my soap and added more water to it a few times, and it still formed chunks each time upon cooling. I haven’t yet used up this batch, so I haven’t tried a new batch to see if I have the same problem again.

          • Emilie says:

            Oh. Well I guess I did end up replying to Melissa. :)

          • tai says:

            Tried this last night and same thing… Nasty clumpy. Anyone ever figure it out? At least I haven’t added the essential oils so only pennies lost.

          • Heather says:

            I’m so sorry it didn’t work for you, Tai! I recently received an email from a reader who has used my recipe for awhile with great success, but is now having some trouble with it. The change coincided with her moving to a new house with very hard water, so we suspect that may affect the formula. Unfortunately it’s impossible for me to test how the formula will work with all types of water since I only have access to limited samples. Again, I’m sorry it didn’t work for you!

  28. stace rashkin says:

    Back to the soap recipe. what is a cost breakdown of the soap. I know the point of this recipe is more towards being green but I have been trying to stay frugaland sustainable while going green.

  29. William says:

    Hey – This is great. My family has been trying to ditch the liquid dish soap but we haven’t been able to find a good substitute. Thanks for doing all the trial and error for us already! William

  30. Jeannie Van Popta says:

    Can I use a bar of castile soap? Instead of liquid castile soap?

  31. Lisa says:

    I just purchased some super washing soda to make this dishwashing soap. Can I use one of your DIY soaps instead of castile soap? When I priced the bar of castile soap, it’s a little pricey.

  32. Ellen says:

    Does this soap hold up well to a large sink load of dishes?
    Do you know if SLS from a naturally derived source is a detrimental?

  33. Sherri says:

    This looks like such a great recipe! I have been experimenting and trying so many recipes for a good dish soap, but none have worked well! It seems like most people combine vinegar and castile soap (a big no-no), so I’m so glad this recipe doesn’t do that! I loved your picture with all the jars and notes! It made me laugh because that’s exactly how I feel sometimes!

    I’m really excited to try it and see how it stacks up! Thanks for the post!

  34. Wendy Jones says:

    Does this leave an film on dishes? I have read so many comments regarding other homemade dish soaps using castile soap leaving a film on the dishes that I have hesitated on the homemade stuff. I have transitioned so many other things…would love to try this but hate to waste ingredients if it doesn’t work as well. If it does leave a film, how do you go about avoiding it? Maybe vinegar rinses?

    • Heather says:

      Hi Wendy! I mostly use this for light duty stuff and put the rest in the dishwasher so I can’t say for sure on everything, but I haven’t notice a film. I did include glycerin in this recipe partly because it seemed to help with that, though :)

      • May I ask what your family uses for dishwasher detergent?
        Like you mentioned above, many of the ‘green’ store-bought products for dishwashers still seem to have some negative chemicals in them, but I can’t find any better, and haven’t found an effective DIY option either. Thanks for the info!

  35. Venny says:

    What if I skip the glycerin,would it still work,no idea where to find some

  36. Abey Witecka says:

    It is any reason why I can’t use Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Magic Soaps instead of 1/4 cup grated Dr. Bronner’s bar soap, tightly packed* & 1/4 cup liquid castile soap?

    • Heather says:

      Hi Abey, I think the grated soap gives it a little more cleaning power and volume, but you could definitely give it a try and see how you like it!

  37. […] homemade liquid dish soap recipe i already make my own laundry detergent (which i love) so the next step is moving to the kitchen with the homemade cleaning products. i figure it’s worth a shot. my mom tried making homemade dishwasher detergent and said it left her dishes all streaked so i’ve skipped over making that from scratch – i’ll try the soap that goes for hand-washing knives, pots and pans and some glassware. who knows if it’ll last…i do love the geranium scent of mrs. meyers a lot! […]

  38. Jenny says:

    I made this soap and it works great! What do you use in the dishwasher?

  39. Jessica says:

    Thanks for this! Just mixed it up and I’m letting it sit! I wanted to ask if you can make a double batch. Would that work ok? I’d like to be able to limit how often I have to make it.


      • Jessica says:

        Ok, if I can ask another question: I made it and Iove the way it suds. But, it “hardens” in my container (which is too small to get in to stir the mixture)…when I run hot water over my glass container it “melts”, but that’s time consuming :) Should I mix more water in with it? I tried to add about a 1/8 cup, but it just separates back out. Any ideas? Thanks for the help!!

        • Heather says:

          Yes, just mix more water in and give it a good stir :)

          • Jessica says:

            So, I had to scrap my first batch! Do you have any ideas? It hardened and wouldn’t incorporate any water. Also, it didn’t look the same lovely consistency as yours. It looked like the elements were separating back into bar soap bits and liquid.

            It says in your ingredients to add boiling water. In the directions, it says put water on med/med high heat. So, was your water boiling and then you put it down to med heat, or did you just heat it up on med heat. Maybe my water was too hot and it caused it all to break down? I’m just brainstorming here. Thanks again for all the help!

  40. Claire says:

    Hi Heather,

    I have been looking for a homemade dishwashing liquid for a while because I have extremely sensitive skin. We use Dawn to soak pans that are really greasy but I if I get it on my hands, my skin reacts horribly. How is this recipe on your skin? I’m looking at trying with sans glycerin because I have everything else on hand and I wouldn’t mind giving it a little shake before using it.

    This is my first visit to your blog but I am big into natural products/remedies so I will definitely be checking out your other posts! :)

    • Heather says:

      Hi Claire! My experience is that it’s very gentle in the sense that it doesn’t contain harsh chemicals, but it can be a bit drying. If it were me I’d give it a try and then follow up with moisturizer :)

  41. Lisa says:

    I have a bar of Homemade Lye Soap ( It has no perfume or dyes & says it can be used for shower, shampoo, dishes, clothes. Do you think it would work instead of (& as well as) Dr. Bonner’s bar soap?

    Neil – Thanks for the comment on getting Soda Ash from hardware/pool supply store. We have a pool so I asked my husband & we have a bucket of it. So, will use that – 1 item/many uses.

    Cheryl P. – Since now knowing I have so much Soda Ash I will try your method as well & keep some mixed & readily available for all my cleaning needs.

    In terms of towels, we have minimized our paper towel usage by keeping a shoebox filled with wash cloths, rags, etc. underneath the kitchen sink to use for anything we would typically grab a paper towel for. This change has had a major impact on our towel usage. We have done the same with paper napkins, by going to cloth & washing them weekly or more often if needed. If we are having a particularly “messy” meal, we augment the cloth napkins with paper. This, too, has reduced our paper usage substantially. It’s just my husband & myself and we have our own color/design napkins so we know we are using our own.

  42. Michelle says:

    Does it matter what variety of the Dr.Bronner’s classic bar soap you use? I see there is the Baby Mild, Citrus Orange, Peppermint, Lavender..etc. I have never used this product before.

  43. Omgoodness those unpaper towels are beyond cute. Can’t wait to see how you made them. THanks for the awesome dish soap recipe!

  44. Clarissa says:

    I love using natural cleaning methods and making things myself. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

  45. Eileen says:

    Isn’t Dr. Bronners soap considered a castile soap? I was just wondering why you would have to add that as well as a liquid castile soap, considering your melting the Dr. Bronners to make liquid castile soap to begin with.

  46. sasha says:

    for me this came out very runny even over time:( But i whisked it with some gaur gum or xanthan powder and it comes out perfect!

  47. Iryth says:

    I love, love, love this recipe. I made a batch a few days ago. The only thing I’m noticing is that my hands feel a little dry after washing dishes. Is there something I could add that would make this a bit more moisturizing without affecting it negatively?

  48. Theresa says:

    Hi there! Looks like an awesome recipe and I can’t wait to try it out! Just curious on how much soap this recipe yields.

    • Heather says:

      About 2 cups. However, I’ve found that because it tends to thicken over time I add water every week or so. In other words, the original is kind of like a concentrate that needs to be diluted as it thickens, which means that actually yields more than two cups. It lasts a pretty long time in my house :)

  49. Bri says:

    Just an FYI that link for the glycerin has really bad reviews. Mountain Rose Herbs sells it and they are a great company. It can be found in the bulk items category.

  50. tara says:

    im doing everything correctly but this is leaving a film. it seems to be worse on the baby bottles. i really dont want to go back to using dawn,especially since it has chemicals in it i want to avoid. help!

    • Heather says:

      Hi Tara! If you are hand washing big batches of dishes like bottles you might try a vinegar rinse.

      • tara says:

        i will definitely try the vinegar rinse tonight. does omitting the glycerin make a difference in cleaning? also,i am out of liquid castile soap, but i have 2 bars of kirks castile soap…can i use just the bar soap instead of liquid and still get the cleaning power? thanks for your help! i love this site

        • Heather says:

          Yes, the glycerin does help create a cleaner rinse. I don’t know about trying just bar soap. My guess is it would contribute to filminess, but I can’t say for sure.

  51. tara says:

    i forgot to mention that i didnt use the glycerin. would that be the problem?

  52. mamis says:

    so i have tried this am i hate to say but it i am really disappointed with the results! it leaves a gross film on my hands and the suds only last washing one or two items at best. i never post comments but with this i really made the effort to make it work.I spent 25 bucks to buy all the supplies for it fail i am so upset! it did not work it was a waste of time and money. all i want is a dish soap that is sudsy and with not leave a film of grease. Also this washing soda is so bad that i left the mason jar with some residue on the bottom of it on my wood window frame ledge and it actually burned a dark ring completely ruining the wood under it!!!
    i even tried three different variations of this recipe of this and still awful result every time.
    – the original recipes low suds factor and with left super greasy filmy hands / yuck!
    – i used all liquid soap no bar with the original recipe . more suds but film on hands still ! yuck again
    – i tried using 1/8 cup of soap 1/2 cup liquid soap with the 2 tsp of washing soda and no glycerin and it made way more suds but still that film on my hands. i have given up.
    i have tried everything and the only one that works is dawn!!! sorry ;-)

    • Heather says:

      Hi Mamis, I’m sorry you were disappointed! I have not experienced the issues you describe so I wonder if maybe it is a difference in the water – do you perhaps live in an area with particularly hard water? Also, glycerin is a degreaser so in future beauty/cleaning formulations you might consider increasing the amount rather than decreasing it if you are experiencing a greasy finish.

  53. mamis says:

    so this did not work. i left a review and you deleted it?

  54. Tara says:

    Just to double check: its vegetable glycerin that is used, correct? Im ordering it from and want to make sure im getting the right thing before i complete my order. Thanks!

  55. Wendy C says:

    Hi Heather, I am almost done with the first batch of this recipe and am ready to make a second one. I ended up adding a little bit of water to try to make the consistency more liquid, but the soap remains gel-like. Is this the consistency of your soap? And if so, does it clog up the Mason jar dispenser? I am reusing a squeeze bottle from my last dish soap but it’s annoying to try to squeeze out gel out of two little holes.

    Thanks, Heather. This is a great recipe!

  56. […] Basic Melt and Pour Soap Easy Homemade Lye Soap Tea Tree Shampoo Bar Easy Shampoo Recipe Homemade Laundry Detergent Homemade Liquid Dish Soap […]

  57. Nanci says:

    I have made this twice but are you sure the amount of glycerine is correct? Mine is sooooo thick I have to keep adding water to even be able to shake it! I finally added only a 1/2 cup to my container and almost filled to the top with water…what am I doing wrong? Thanks

    • Heather says:

      Hi Nanci! It sounds like you probably need to add less washing soda. The good news is, the soap you have is basically a concentrate, so diluting it with warm water to whatever consistency you like is just fine :)

  58. ali says:

    Hi heather,

    Thanks for posting this recipe, and reading the comments has helped with a few problems I had, namely:

    -huge thickening issues (I also put mine in an old plastic dish squirt bottle which made it quite a bit harder to shake and to squeeze. I was worried about the dilution issue so I’m happy to hear about the concentrate part.
    – I also found that blending the final product (the next day) with an immersion blender made a difference in terms of clumpiness and smoothness
    – I had read that coconut milk had natural saponins in it so tried that and it seems to work fine – not better or worse. I was wondering if you had any thoughts on that.
    – I was interested in one of the comments to just try straight washing soda, and I was wondering what the advantages of this would be over doing that – cost or just the familiarity of a “soap” product or if you had heard of doing it before?

    • Heather says:

      Hi Ali! I have used straight washing soda in a pinch and just don’t think it works as well. Re: coconut milk – that’s interesting! I hadn’t heard that so I’ll have to check it out :)

  59. Stacy says:

    I’m new to the DIY kick and have had fun and success so far. So I am going to be making this dishsoap when my store bought runs out. Thanks for the post.

  60. […] The store bought kind generally contains all kinds of nasty things.This “recipe” from Mommypotamus seems the best I’ve found though: […]

  61. Cassandra says:

    Hi… Thanks for the website and your book of DIY cleaning recipes. I purchased it and have made many of the recipes with great success. The dish soap came out foamy and chunky though and I am not sure what I did wrong. I followed the recipe to the T using 1 TBLS of Super Washing Soda. We don’t have a dishwasher so everything is done by hand and I would like a recipe that would work well for a sink full. I saw a post earlier that said this recipe is better used on a rag for spot washing. I will try to make it again using less washing soda and see if it might work better. In the mean time, do you know of a way to tweak this recipe for that? I am eliminating all chemicals from our household and really want to get Dawn out of my kitchen. Thanks again for all your help.

    • Heather says:

      Hi Dawn, I would agree that this recipe works best with spot washing rather than filling up the kitchen sink and scrubbing lots of pieces at one time. If it were me, I’d try straight washing soda for a sink full of dishes followed by the rinse aids listed in my dish detergent section. Hope that helps!

  62. Nikki says:

    I really liked the idea of this homemade dish soap, so I made it. I didn’t add the essential oil at the end because i used Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile soap in citrus orange, which already had orange, lemon, and lime essential oils in it, and it smelled really good. I washed a sink full of dishes using 1/2 tsp. soap, and the dishes seemed greasy. Do I need to add the orange essential oil I purchased to make it less greasy? Also, how much soap should I be using per sink full of dishes? Thanks for your help because I really want this to work. : )

    • Heather says:

      Nikki, it may have something to do with the mineral content of your water. Overall, though, this recipe is better for hand-washing individual dishes. If you’re looking for something to wash a sink full of dishes with you might consider adding extra washing soda to the basin.

      • Nikki says:

        I will try that. It’s okay that I didn’t add the essential oil? I’m also excited to make the towels. I was wondering though, do the buttons on the towels scratch surfaces? Thanks!

  63. Marsha Smith says:

    Hey there – I put this dish soap together 2-3 days ago and it has thickened up nicely. It is incredible! I just used It to soak my burner pans and they look like new. I purchased your ebook and although I’m one of those people that do not really like ebooks (they scroll funny) I will enjoy the recipes it contains. I have already made the washing detergent and it also works great!

  64. Pamela says:

    I love your blog & the great info that you share. I have tried a few recipes with great success. I just tried the Liquid Dish Detergent. Mine did gel well but I’m finding that I do not get any bubbles. None. I expected very few but your picture showed some. I’m wondering if you think it was because I used a bar of glycerin melting soap. Keep up the great work.

  65. Emily says:

    Mine is really thick like over beaten whipped cream!

  66. zayesha says:

    Hi can i use castille soap instead of home made soap? Whats the diffrence?

  67. Gina says:

    I enjoy making everything myself…. probiotic pills, toothpaste, moisturizer and not dish soap!

  68. Theresa says:

    I was wondering why you use both grated soap bar and liquid soap? Thanks for your reply!

  69. Damien says:

    Bit misleading, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) does not contain dioxane as it has not been ethoxylated. If SLS is ethoxylated to make it more mild then it becomes Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulphate (Also knows as Sodium Laureth Sulphate) (SLES) which can contain dioxane as a bi product. It is still not proven to cause cancer.

    Sorry I am a chemist and I hate these myths being put over as facts. (Not by you as you’ve taken it from the source website you quote)

  70. marcia says:

    I used my own homemade soap, hope it works, ok. soap was a cocoanut oil soap. use good glove when grating bars, also veggie peeler works good. you can sculpt those funny looking homemade bars into great looking soaps.

  71. Carrie says:

    Does homemade dish soap kill germs as well as store bought dish soap? I’ve been wanting to make my own dish soap for a couple years now but we eat a lot of chicken and I want to make sure my cutting board, knife, and counter will be clean afterwards. Don’t want any lingering germs to make my family sick!

    • Heather says:

      Carrie, it is my understanding that soap works differently than antibacterial preparations. Soap rids a surface of bacteria by lifting and washing them away, while anti-bacterial substances attempt to kill germs without necessarily removing them. The problem with anti-bacterial substances, of course, is that if certain germs do survive they tend to be the stronger ones.

  72. david says:

    Was excited to give this a try but ended up pretty disastrous. As several others have tried, we put the mixture in a recycled dish soap bottle, but the result was too thick and sudsy to properly squeeze out. Pouring a couple of capsules into the dishwater resulted in a cloudy water that left a very waxy residue on the dishes, my hands, and in the sink once it was drained. This may not be a valid solution for filling the sink, but even so I’m not sure that I’d use it to wash just a dish or two considering the waxy film covering everything.

    • Heather says:

      So sorry it didn’t work out for you, David! Do you happen to know whether you have hard or soft water? I’m wondering if that could be affecting your results.

  73. david says:

    Pretty neutral water, not hard enough to leave deposits on anything and not soft enough to feel filmy/soapy. We’ll probably try again using much less grated bar soap and may leave out the liquid soap altogether based on other recipes we’ve been reviewing.

  74. Karla says:

    Do you think this would also work well as a dishwasher detergent? I’m having a hard time finding a DIY recipe that doesn’t leave some sort of residue.

  75. Aimee says:


    We have one of those dispenser / scrubby all in one things where the soap goes in the handle of the scrubby. Do you think this soap would work well in that? Is is still “sudsy”? Thanks!

  76. Grace says:

    I really love this dish soap! I made it awhile ago and am making some more right now. :) I don’t have a dishwasher, so I hand wash all of my dishes & this works perfectly. I used the citrus castile soap and put some tea tree oil in it. It’s excellent.

  77. Gina says:

    Very excited to find your recipe, thank you!! One question… Do you have to shake the bottle to remix this soap before using? I have been in search for a DIY dish soap but all the ones I have found thus far require shaking to remix before using and I have an in sink dispenser for my dish soap. Your recipe doesn’t say that it does so hoping I have found the one! :) Thank you!

    • Heather says:

      Hi Gina, unfortunately I wouldn’t recommend using this recipe with an in-sink dispenser. It does need shaking from time to time and can thicken as well. It’s no problem if you’re using a bottle because you can just add water and shake, but obviously that won’t work for you.

      • Gina says:

        Ah, I’m so bummed! Back to the drawing board I guess. :-/ Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question! :)
        Also, I have been oil cleansing for about a month now, since reading your blog post about it. I am LOVING it!! Thank you for such an informative post on the subject, I have shared it with many!

  78. […] sure you want to make your own? The dispenser you guys asked about from my homemade dish soap recipe came from Industrial Rewind. It was pricey, but given that I was pregnant with #3, working on a […]

  79. amber says:

    I am allergic to Castille soap because they use hemp in it. is there anything I can use instead of it?

  80. Ivy from FL says:

    Thanks for the dish soap recipe! It was easy to make and suds up beautifully! I make my own Washing Soda and having added 2 heaping Tbsp, I must have added too much, because the results were a solid gelatinous mass at room temperature. Heat it up and it went back to being liquid. I will make another batch and add less Washing Soda. I did notice that I tend to use a lot more than I did when I used P&G Dawn liquid soap, so I will make another batch and see if, once I get the recipe right, I still use larger amounts than before. If so then this recipe become uneconomical, which was half the battle. Here’s to Hopes and Prayers that I succeed!

  81. […] came across a recipe that looked very promising and well-tested. I made a few minor tweaks, and it was the best one yet. […]

  82. Tai says:

    My previous post wouldn’t let me reply. I had issues with this soap being clumpy and nasty. Unwilling to throw it away and unsure what to do with clumpy, sorta liquid soap, I kept stirring it throughout the day until it resembled cream of wheat. This morning I figured I had nothing to loose and stirred the soap with my stick blender and that did the trick! Perfect creamy liquid soap. So if anyone else has trouble getting a nice consistency, I would recommend trying a blender of sorts before giving up.

    • Heather says:

      Thank you, Tai! I’m going to add that to the instructions :)

    • Ivy from Atlanta says:

      Yes, using a wand, I whipped mine into a froth then bottled it. After a few days it separated and clumped again. But used with hot water, the clumps quickly melt. I still like the recipe. I will have to add less Washing Soda next time. Thanks for the whipping idea!

  83. Hailey says:

    Would it hurt to use Bonners Castile soap with peppermint in it? Thats the only one I can buy locally and I need soap now :)

  84. […] going to be trying out their homemade dish soap sometime this week as well. I also found this site as well for homemade dish soap, so I’m excited to try variations. She also has homemade […]

  85. Ashley says:


    First off, just wanted to say I’m so thankful for your site!
    Secondly, I tried making this dish soap liquid and it seems to leave a film on my silverware. Have you ever had this complication? Is there anything I can do to fix this? My batch turned out to be a bit clumpy– would adding water resolve it?

    • Heather says:

      Hi Ashley, I’ve had a few people report that – it seems to have something to do with the hardness/softness of water in different areas. You might try adding a bit more glycerin and giving it a whir in the blender to eliminate clumps. If it is also thick adding water should help.

  86. Leah says:

    Thanks for the dish soap recipe! I’m gonna try it! I know tree tea oil can be used as an anti-bacterial. Do you think it would be okay to add tree tea oil and lemon essential oil?? And if so Aprox how much should I use?
    Thank you!

  87. Diana says:

    How long does the soap lasts when stored and do you use Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap in the recipe or another castile soap?

  88. Shelley West says:

    Do you think Zote soap could be used in place of the bar soap?

  89. Kat says:

    Can I use 2x the liquid castile soap instead of bar soap?

  90. Sina says:

    Great recipe. I always make a double batch and fill a large old bronners soap bottle. I have had some consistency issues in the beginning but figured out the right amount of washing soda to use. mine never separated, I am about to make a batch right now and am out of glycerin, I will let you know if it will cause mine to separate or turn out differently. thanks for your inspiration I love your website!

  91. Just out of curiosity does anybody know how to thicken clear, liquid soap? Any kind- just hand soap, dish, etc.
    I had an easy recipe that was just water, Bronner’s liquid castile soap and a little EO, just for nice-smelling liquid hand soap, that looked pretty in glass dispensers. …But it was so runny that it was really hard to keep from slipping through your fingers.
    So I’ve wondered for a while what companies do to make their soaps thicker, and a little more gel-like. Do we think there’s any healthy, non-toxic way to do this, while keeping it mainly clear, and pretty-looking. (Totally for vanity’s sake, I know.) But please share if you have insight! :)

    • Kat says:

      I make liquid hand soap in old B&B works foaming dispensers using 1/3 cup scented Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap & 2/3 cup filtered water.

  92. K says:

    Has anyone used 2x the liquid castile soap instead of bar soap? Would that work?

  93. […] These two can be paired for DIY laundry soap and all purpose cleaner. Mix one or both with Castile soap and essential oils and you’ve got yourself liquid dish soap. […]

  94. Lola says:

    I am not sure I like the Super Washing Soda. It is not exactly something I want to be pouring down my drain to reach a stream or watershed. Is there something else besides this that’s safe?

    • Heather says:

      Washing soda is exactly the same as baking soda, except it’s been heated. I make mine by placing baking soda in the oven. I’m not aware of a suitable replacement, but personally I am comfortable using washing soda.

  95. Joe says:

    Is there a reason that I can not cut and paste this recipe?

    Too much of a PITA if I can’t.

  96. Kat says:

    Would this recipe work if I used 2x the liquid castile soap instead of bar soap?

  97. Lotus says:

    Would honey or maple syrup work instead of vegetable glycerin? They help shampoos rinse clean and I have used them in homemade bubble solutions for the kids in place of glycerin. Also, would these effect the shelf life if used?

  98. […] Liquid Dish Soap – ever looked at the back of your dish soap at the unpronounceable ingredients? Not only does this liquid dish soap work fantastically, it’s safe and non-toxic. Can’t beat that! Via Mommypotamus […]

  99. Judy Downes says:

    I would like to make this soap, but I hate the smell of castile soap. In fact, when I started dating my husband, I had to ask him if he would change his soap. He was using a castile soap and I could smell it on him. Is there something else I could use?

  100. Shannon Schjolin says:

    Do I have to wait the full 24 hours before using? What’s the significance? I’m all out of soap so need to hurry up the process if I can. Thanks

    • Hi Shannon, the reason I suggest waiting is that the soap thickens a lot. If you use it beforehand you may think it’s too thin and add more washing soda, which will cause it to thicken too much to use after it sets. Hope that helps!

  101. Cristina says:

    I’ve seen a similar recipe but the washing soda was used after the soap was dissolved. Is there any difference in order?
    Would like to know before trying it. Thanks!

  102. Katie says:

    I am really excited to make my own dish soap but I am concerned with it not killing things like ecoli. Are there certain ingredients that kill the nasties on the dishes, cutting boards etc?

  103. Randa says:

    So I couldn’t read through all the comments to see if there was an answer to my question. I just made this last night and it as very clumpy so I added water and mixed it got clumpier in a matter of 5 minutes, and then I add more water and blended it and this morning it’s very solid that it doesn’t move if you shake the blender. Is it the water? And if it does using distilled spring water make it better?

    • Heather says:

      It sounds like the minerals in your water over-reacted with the washing soda. Try using less washing soda next time. For this batch, just thin it out by adding more water :)

  104. Ashlie says:

    Thanks so much! I’m definitely going to try this recipe. How would you adapt it for thick, liquid hand soap? Also, I’ve seen recipes that use dish soap to make laundry detergent. I’m having a problem with oil stains on my clothes from picking up kiddos with homemade lotion on them (almond & coconut oil, etc). Thanks again!

  105. Emily says:

    Hi there! I just recently discovered your blog and am loving it. I scrolled through some of the comments, but there are just so many. I’m wondering if this not only keeps icky ingredients/toxins out of the house, but also saves money on store bought dish soaps? Thanks!

  106. terya says:

    I tried this recipe today, followed it exactly, no success. No bubbles at all, greasy film over every dish. Not sure why.

  107. Veronika says:

    Hi Mommypotamus, I am very happy that I found recipe for washing liquid without borax!
    But I don’t have any Liquid castile soap. I am from Austria it is a bit to expensive order it from amazon for me…
    Can I instead use just bar soup or it is necessary use liquid one too?
    Thanks for your answer.

  108. Nicole says:

    Hi Mommypotamus,

    I just love your recipes, great work. Your blog is really helping me on my quest for chemical free. The last frontier is the dishes. I tried your dish liquid recipe last week, and although it works I found the mixture thickened substantially (almost solid). So, I added more 1 cup boiling water (as mentioned above), gave it a whirl with a stick blender then let it cool. Still very thick, so I added more boiling water and another whirl. I don’t think it is our water as we have filters and use rain water. Should I just keep adding water until it slightly liquid, or start again?


  109. Norma Ulmer says:

    Hi, I recently found out I am allergic to coconut oil. I have been looking for a soap that I could

    Hi, I recently found that I’m allergic to coconut oil, dissappointed because alot of diy home products are made using coconut oil, and difficult to find recipes that use a different oil. any suggestions on the best oil to replace it? Was pleased that I found a recipe for a Shea Butter face lotion!!!! It’s amazing!!!

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