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Liquid Dish Soap


Here are a few of my favorite combinations:

15 drops lemon, 10 drops grapefruit, 10 drops juniper berry (my most favorite!)
10 drops lemon, 10 drops grapefruit, 10 drops wild orange, 10 drops lime
15 drops lemongrass, 15 drops tangerine
15 drops wild orange, 15 drops peppermint
20 drops lemon, 15 drops eucalyptus
15 drops lemon, 15 drops thyme
5 drops cinnamon or cassia oil, 20 drops wild orange

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Liquid Dish Soap 1 Picture


  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons grated bar soap– I used my homemade tallow soap (it’s a very basic soap–nothing fancy. *Important* See note below.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon washing soda
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin
  • 20-50 drops essential oils — possible combination ideas below (my favorite essential oils)


Adapted from


Step 1

Mix the water, grated soap, and washing soda in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the mixture is hot and all the ingredients are dissolved. (If it simmers or boils, that’s ok–just make sure everything is completely dissolved.)

Remove the mixture from the heat, and mix in the vegetable glycerin and essential oils. (If it’s very hot, allow it to cool slightly before adding the essential oils)

Pour the liquid dish soap mixture into a jar and allow it to sit at room temperature for 6-12 hours. It will thicken during this time. I like to give it a stir every couple hours (if I think of it), but you don’t have to.

When you are ready to use it, give it a vigorous stir (it might seem too thick at first, but should easily soften once you start stirring) and pour into a soap pump or squeezable container. (I repurposed an empty dish soap bottle)

*Important Note* Keep in mind that your results may vary a bit depending on the type of bar soap you use. My homemade tallow soap is quite hard. I also tried this with a softer homemade soap (containing ingredients such as coconut oil and olive oil), and I had to tweak the ingredients a bit.

For the batch using the softer bar soap, I had to increase the soap flakes to 3 tablespoons and the washing soda to 1/2 teaspoon. You may even have to go as far as 4 tablespoons of soap flakes and 1 teaspoon of washing soda.

However, there is a fine line–and I found that adding too many soap flakes makes it too thick, and too much washing soda results in it separating into cloudy chunks.

I used my simple homemade tallow soap for this recipe, but castile bar soap, or other homemade soaps should work as well. I think commercially available bars such as Ivory should be fine too, but I haven’t tried it yet. I grated mine with the fine side of my cheese grater.

The washing soda acts as a thickener and de-greaser. It is not the same as baking soda.
A lot of DIY dish soap recipes call for adding liquid castile soap– I tried that but found it reacted with the washing soda and made things horribly clumpy.

This recipe will not yield lots of suds. However–did you know that suds are merely an illusion? They don’t actually do any cleaning, so I figure it’s no big deal if my homemade dish soap doesn’t get sudsy.

Too thick? Try adding 1/4-1/2 cup of warm water and giving it a brisk shake.

Too thin? Re-heat the mixture and trying adding in a bit more washing soda or a tablespoon more of soap flakes.

This is recipe is NOT intended for use in dishwashers–only for hand-washing dishes in the sink.

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