Last updated on December 14th, 2013
To make your own home-made dish soap is simple and easy. In comparison with store-bought dish soap, it will save you a surprising amount of money.
It only requires two ingredients. Bar soap, and water. Here’s how…
(Updated with my specific Fels-Naptha recipe and photos)
Bar soap, which can also be used to make your own laundry detergent, is really all that you need. The idea is to convert it into a thick liquid soap.
An advantage to making your own dish soap is that you can adjust the consistency the way you want it. Many people have the opinion that most store-bought dish soap is on the strong side, requiring significant rinsing to get all the soap residue off. By tailoring your own mixture you can make it last longer and will probably use less water doing the dishes.
When it comes to prepping, an advantage here is using one item (in this case, bar soap) for multiple purposes. It is surprisingly easy.
Dish Soap Recipe
This specific dish washing soap recipe uses Fels Naptha laundry soap, which has been around forever it seems. Other bar soaps may require different amounts of water to reach the desired consistency. I use Fels Naptha because I also use it to make my own laundry detergent, and I trust the brand.
1. Take one bar of Fels Naptha soap (5.5 oz) and shave it using a hand grater (or a ‘salad-shooter’). This will result in approximately 2 cups of soap shavings.
2. Place the shavings in a cooking pot.
3. Add 13 cups of water.
4. Slowly warm up the mixture on low-medium heat (without boiling) while stirring occasionally until all is combined into a smooth liquid.
5. Set aside to cool.
6. When cool, the mixture will have thickened. Stir it up to check consistency. A hand mixer works well (don’t worry, it won’t turn to bubbles). This is the step where you may choose to thin it further by adding more water, or perhaps next time you will choose a little less water. It’s a personal preference.
7. Rinse out and use an old dish soap container for your new home-made soap. Store the remaining soap in a cleaned out plastic milk jug or other such plastic jug for later.
$1.20 (1) Bar of Fels Naptha, if purchased by the case (of 24) from Amazon.
The home-made dish soap recipe above results in about 14 cups (224-oz)
$.05 per ounce
A typical squeeze-bottle of Palmolive might cost $3.69 (25-oz)
$0.15 per ounce
Bottom line… your home-made soap costs just 1/3 of store-bought (generally).
Fels-Naptha can irritate the skin when used excessively. Consider dish gloves.
Optionally add ‘Washing Soda’ to the mix, an old time laundry ingredient (soda ash) which comes in a bright yellow box. You will find it in stores near the laundry detergent. Based on the recipe amount above, add 1/4 cup.