The Best DIY Dish Soap

June 10, 2011 at 9:14 pm 15 comments

We’ve tried many different recipes for dish soap, and they’re either too watery, too soapy or they leave too much of a residue. But, just like Goldilocks, we’ve finally found one that’s just right!

Things you will need

Squeeze bottle (try to recycle one you have already used up).

2 cups of non-scented Dr. Bronners Castile Oil
5 Drops of of tea tree or lemon essential oil (make sure to handle with care, these are quite potent!)
Half a Cup of Water
1 table spoon of lemon juice
Half cup of vinegar

NOTE: Remember, the ingredients and materials used for this recipe can serve for many other DIY cleaner recipes! ;)

Place the funnel on the bottle and pour the ingredients in the order above.

Shake it up before using it.

Why make your own cleaning products?

1. It’s good for your health! Many cleaning product manufacturers, and yes even the green ones, use preservatives and ‘foaming’ agents such as SLS and SLES. Over a long period of use, these toxins can accumulate in your body and get stored in your cells.

2. It’s good for the environment. No more plastic jugs going into recycling or landfill. No more harmful chemicals going down our drains and into the water supply. Many municipal water filtration systems are not designed to remove all types of chemicals. This causes them to end up back in our own water supply! Whatever we put down the drain will come back in one way or another.

3. It’s cost effective! Making your own cleaners can save money in the long run specially if you make large batches.


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Entry filed under: Home and Health, Natural Cleaning. Tags: .

The Internet’s Environmental Impact Easy DIY Automatic Dishwasher Detergent Recipe

15 Comments Add your own

  • 1. rc  |  March 7, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    Wondering where you get unscented castille soap. The only unscented one I’ve found from dr. Bronners is the baby one. I also found liquid castille through a bulk seller but the ingredients differ a little. Any thoughts? The website is new directions aromatics.

    • 2. smartklean  |  March 7, 2013 at 8:09 pm

      Hi! Search on Amazon, there are many out there.

  • 3. S  |  March 6, 2013 at 12:13 am

    what if you have a cat? Essential oils are toxic and they do not like citrus. Any ideas? I have been looking for days.

    • 4. smartklean  |  March 6, 2013 at 12:29 am

      The smell is not left on the plates after you have washed and dried them. Is that what you mean? Essential oils are toxic when too much is used. You don’t have to use a citrus essential oil or any essential oil for that matter. The essential oils are added just for fragrance and a boost in disinfecting, although there’s not much to disinfect with food on plates.

  • 5. Esther Xi  |  October 19, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Did you mean castile soap when you mentioned castile oil in your recipe?

  • 6. Sarah  |  August 25, 2012 at 3:35 pm


    Where does one find Dr. Bronner’s castile oil?


    • 7. smartklean  |  August 27, 2012 at 5:18 pm

      Hi Sarah,

      You can find Dr. Bronner’s soap products in Whole Foods, and some grocery stores. You can also order online through

  • 8. V Provost  |  August 15, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Is there any way this recipe can be modified to work in a foaming dish soap bottle?

    • 9. smartklean  |  August 15, 2012 at 8:42 pm

      We haven’t tried it, but if you put it in a foaming bottle, it should come out as foam because of the dispenser. The recipe foams when you shake it too because of the vinegar mixed with soap. Try it and let us know how it worked!

  • 10. Mahasin Hazziez  |  December 21, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    How much do you use for a sinkful of dishes?

    • 11. smartklean  |  December 21, 2011 at 6:26 pm

      It really all depends on how dirty the dishes are. A few squirts every few plates usually do the job for us :)

  • 12. Christina  |  December 12, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Without preservatives, how long will one batch last?

    • 13. smartklean  |  December 13, 2011 at 8:31 pm

      In our home, this lasts about 2 months, however if you mean how long will it stay fresh, we’re not sure.

  • 14. Marj McClendon  |  July 6, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    I love the idea of no more plastic bottles going in to our landfills.

  • 15. Sarah  |  June 27, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    I’ve been looking for things like this, Thanks for the info.


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