How to Make Homemade Liquid Dish Soap

How to Make Homemade Liquid Dish Soap

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Liquid dish soap is a must-have in any home. It’s great for washing dishes, pots and pans, and even your hands! But store-bought liquid dish soaps can be expensive, and they often contain harsh chemicals that can be harmful to both you and the environment. So why not make your own homemade liquid dish soap? It’s easy to do, and it only requires a few simple ingredients. In this blog post, we will provide instructions on how to make homemade liquid dish soap, as well as information on the benefits of making your own soap, including the fact that you can skip the plastic bottles that dish soap comes in!

About our Homemade Liquid Dish Soap Recipe

Our recipe for liquid dish soap includes just two store-bought ingredients: Castille Bar Soap and Washing Soda. (You will also add have to add water.) It is designed to be a simple base that you can work with if you as is, or play with if you want to mix things up.

For example, you can add 1 teaspoon of glycerin if you want to add some softness for the skin to this recipe. In addition, you could add 15-20 drops of essential oil (like lemon, lavender, or sandalwood) to your soap if you’d like a scent. You can also choose to use a scented Castille bar which would also provide a light aromatic boost to the dish soap.

all natural homemade dish soap uses grated castille soap
Our all-natural ingredients are also plastic-free!

Why did we choose these ingredients?

As mentioned above, this recipe can be made with ONLY Castille Soap and Washing Soda, along with water. Why are we keeping it so simple?

First, one of the reasons we make our home homemade cleaning supplies is to avoid the large plastic bottles in which store-bought cleaning supplies are sold. Castille soap comes in a simple paper wrapper, and washing soda comes in a paper box. So these ingredients allow our recipe to be 100% Plastic Free!

Second, these ingredients are all-natural and free from harsh chemicals that we don’t want in our cleaning products. Castille bar soap comes in scented or unscented options, so you can also achieve a final product that is free from unwanted scents.

Third, these multipurpose products are useful for other cleaning needs around the house. We make our homemade laundry detergent and dishwasher detergent with washing soda, so that one box goes a long way.

And lastly, these ingredients are incredibly inexpensive. One box of Washing Soda is only about $7 at the store and that one box will be enough for all of the laundry detergent, dishwashing powder, and dish soap we need for months! Likewise, this recipe only uses about 1/4 of a bar of castille soap, which costs about $3.50. In the end, the ingredients for this dish soap (which makes about 3 cups) come in at less than $1 per batch.

How do these ingredients work?

Castille soap is a vegetable-based soap that has been around for centuries. It gets its name from the Castile region of Spain, where it was first made. Castille bar soap is saponified olive oil, which means that all of the glycerin in the soap has been retained. This makes castille soap a great choice for those with sensitive skin, as it will not dry out your skin like some of the harsher soaps on the market.

*Dr. Bronners is our go-to brand of Castille Soap. They have been around for ages and offer a reliable, safe, natural product that can be found in most grocery stores or ordered in bulk online.


Washing soda, or sodium carbonate, is a natural mineral that has many cleaning applications. It can be used to soften water, remove stains and odors, and even clean carpets! Washing is soda is different than baking soda, which we also use to clean around the house. Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) has a pH of about eight, whereas washing soda has a pH of 11 — meaning that it is more alkaline and better at removing tough stains. You can usually find washing soda in the laundry section of your grocery store. Washing soda is also an all-natural ingredient and is environmentally friendly. Just keep in mind that it can be harmful to the skin and eyes, so always handle with caution. We use Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda because it is a trustworthy brand and reliably available either online or in the grocery store (you’ll usually find it in the laundry detergent section).

mixing ingredients for homemade liquid dish soap

Homemade Liquid Dish Soap Instructions:


  • 3 Tablespoons grated Castille bar soap (unscented or scented)
  • 1 Tablespoon Washing Soda
  • 3 cups Water


  • Cheese Grater
  • Measuring Cup
  • Pot for Stove Top
  • Spoon or whisk
  • A storage container for your dish soap (I use a glass mason jar because I typically pour the soap into the dispenser in my sink. You’ll want a container with a pump if you are going to use the dish soap on your sink top).


  1. First, grate your Castille soap using a cheese grater. You can easily do this by hand. Pack it into a measuring cup to make sure you have the right amount.
  2. Next, put your 3 cups of water into a pot on the stovetop and add the grated Castille soap. Warm until it is melted and has incorporated into the water.
  3. Remove the pot from the stove, and gently stir in your washing soda (add glycerin or essential oils at this point if desired).
  4. Allow your soap to sit for about 24hrs and check the consistency. It will thicken over time. If the consistency is too thick, add some warm water. If it is too thin, you can stir in another 1/2 teaspoon or so of washing soda.

If your soap becomes lumpy (this is normal), you can always give it a shake or even a quick blend with an immersion blender. This works quite well to keep the soap incorporated.

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Carrie Williams Howe
Blogger & Homesteader at The Happy Hive
Carrie Williams Howe is an educational leader by day and an aspiring homesteader by night and weekend. She lives on a small homestead in Vermont with her husband, two children, and a rambunctious border collie. She is a Founder and Editor of Homestead How-To and also blogs about her family's homestead life at The Happy Hive.

1 thought on “How to Make Homemade Liquid Dish Soap”

  • I appreciate reading this. I’m a grandma helping her daughter raise kids and run our family farm. Was always so busy I never knew how all these products were made…so simple and cheap. Even I could do it!

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