Homemade Dish Soap


Update: So the jury is undecided on homemade dish soap. It seems to work for some and not at all for others. Thanks to a comment from Kristine, I believe the trouble starts right at the beginning when you mix soap (a base) with vinegar or lemon juice (acids). I’m going to try my hardest to find a solution and will update this post as soon as I do. I would hate to disappoint all you lovely Pinterest visitors!

We ran out of dishsoap the other day and even though I visited a number of stores, I kept forgetting to buy more. It didn’t take long for dishes to start piling up and when I had to eat my soup with a serving spoon, I knew something had to be done.

A quick search on the internet led me to Bonzai Aphrodite’s recipe for dishsoap. Super easy and if you’re already into alternative cleaners, you’ll have all the necessary ingredients on hand! All you need is Castille soap and water.  If you have unscented Castille soap, you can always add a few drops of essential oils (mint, lemon, etc). I used Dr. Bronner’s in Almond and it smells absolutely divine after we wash dishes now. Like someone washed the walls with Amaretto, yum! I also added a couple tablespoons of vinegar to help cut through any grease.

I should mention that a natural dishsoap, by it’s very nature, won’t lather up as much as commercial products and doesn’t cut grease as quickly due to the absence of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. While most experts agree that SLS cannot be directly linked to cancer, as once suspected, it is still pretty harsh on your skin and if you live in the desert like I do, you need all the help you can get. Plus, you know exactly what’s going into a homemade dish soap. I really like that idea considering some of my favorite people in the world eat off these plates!

I knew I was going to forget the actual measurements of the ingredients so I made up a little label for my reused dishsoap container. I just used sticky-backed laminating sheets to affix it to the bottle. We’ll see how long it lasts. Feel free to download the label off of my Scribd accounttoo!

Homemade Dish Soap

2 cups Castile soap
6 tbsp water
2 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice



  1. says

    what a great idea!
    I ? the label- the recipe being right on it makes it easy to make more.

    try Dr. Bonner’s and baking soda as a tub and tile scrub- I just squirt some soap on the tub and sprinkle with soda, scrub with an old loofah and rinse.

  2. says

    I posted this recipe on my blog awhile ago after trying it a few weeks. But I discovered that it leaves a film on my dishes and utensils. And it doesn’t really cut grease that well either so I end up using a lot of it, which doesn’t save that much money in the end. Have you noticed that with yours?

    • bumblev says

      Hi Karen, do you have hard water? The water in El Paso is ridiculously hard and it did, indeed, leave film behind.

      • Lorra says

        Add some baking soda to the mix. It will help thicken the soap and it won’t leave a film.

      • rebajoe says

        can you tell me how baking soda to add to the original recipe for harder water? Thanks!!!

  3. says

    Thank you! I just came over from pinterest. I already make our laundry soap, have tried the hand soap recipe… love it! and have made us deodorant… YAY It feels so empowering to take matters into my own hands and make safe and healthy products for my family to use! I am pinning this so that my next bottle of dish soap can be the one that I made myself!

      • Abby says

        I love making my own deodorant! I use that same recipe, but wanted to add that it’s totally customizable. In winter, my skin is dryer so I use a little bit more coconut oil, less in summer, etc. I have also found that arrowroot starch works just as well as cornstarch for those that are gluten-sensitive. The other tip I have is to use a moisturizer after shaving before applying, especially if you have sensitive skin (like I do). The starch/soda can be a little harsh. But I still think it’s worth it :)

    • Cynthia says

      I had trouble finding a natural deodorant that would actually work until I made my own:
      mix equal parts coconut oil, baking soda and corn starch then add essential oils in whatever scent you like (my son and husband like patchouli, I like rosewood, when I make it for my friend I add vanilla)

  4. Missy says

    Thanks for sharing I will be making very soon. I also noticed the cursive font on your label that I feel in love with as well. Would you mind sharing the font style? Thanks again really appreciate it.

  5. Tonya says

    Thanks for sharing. I LOVE your label, you are awesome. I have issues myself with dry skin and I’m hoping this will help me out. I’ll let you know. Thanks again!!!

  6. Rosabeth says

    I like your recipe but I don’t have the soap that you suggested does it have to be that soap or can i use some that i have at home? because i have Irish Spring and a lot of it because my dad likes it. Thanks so much for your recipe its awesome!

  7. Terri Long says

    I love making my own products for personal and environmental health as well as financial. However all the liquid dish soap recipes are actually more expensive per ounce than store purchased health/enviro products in my area. This is due to the cost of the castile soap. Am I missing something?

    • Claudia says

      I made liquid soap following that recipe. It makes pretty good liquid soap. The problem is trying to use it for dish washing. It leaves that weird oily film on the dishes, and you can feel it too on your hands while you are washing them. Even the rinsing water turns white-grayish color.

      I don’t know what vegetable oils are used to produce the commercial liquid castile soap, but I have not been able to make it at home by following any of the recipes I have found in internet (which use olive oil mainly).

      I am still looking for a good recipe.

  8. Kelly says

    Okay, so maybe this is a dumb question, but I use the bars of castile soap when making my laundry soap. Would it work to melt down the bar of it to use for this dish soap recipe?

    • Bill says

      I wouldn’t recommend melting the soap. I tried melting a bar of Kirk’s Castile Soap in the microwave and added it to the water and nothing happened…added another bar and still nothing happened. :( So now I figure I always have to grate the soap first.

  9. Shawna says

    I use 1 1/2 cups hot water, 1/2 cup liquid castile soap (mine has tea tree already added), 1 tbsp vinegar, 1 tbsp washing soda. This has worked well for me so far. I’ve been using only this for about 2 months now. I am trying to be as frugal as possible so to keep the cost down I use a small amount of the castile soap since it is kind of pricey. This is not thick, but I wash dishes by hand everyday and this will last about 2 weeks.

  10. gail says

    I can not use anything with coconut in it. all that type soap I found is made with coconut oil. do you have an alternative for the soap that has no coconut in it?

  11. jen says

    i have seen on several different sites that castile soap and vinegar cancel each other out and something about their makeup and maybe that is why it works for some and not others .. perhaps the ones that it works for are using lemon juice instead of vinegar .. just a though


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