How To Make Your Own Dish Soap

updated May 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Whether you’re trying to save money, cut down on the chemicals in your home, or are trying to hold off on a trip to the grocery store, making your own dish soap can be a solution. It’s really not hard — there are just a few key things you need to know (if you want the best results, that is).

So recently, I set out to find the best recipe for an easy, effective DIY dish soap.

(Image credit: The Kitchn)

There are lots of recipes out there, but many use ingredients that aren’t particularly cheap or easy to find. Plus, some recipes result in a soap that’s not actually effective enough to cut grease on dishes and some alternative cleaning methods (baking soda comes to mind) can leave your dishes with a weird film unless you add another step. And many natural recipes can end up runny instead of gel-y, which doesn’t give your soap much time to get to work before sliding off its surface. Most natural recipes aren’t particularly bubbly, which doesn’t really matter but can change the experience if you’re used to a traditional dish soap. And some recipes are just way complicated.

That sounds like a lot of reasons not to make your own dish soap, right? Nah! You really can and should. You just need the right recipe.

This recipe, a mash-up of ones developed by Kristin at Live Simply and Christine at The Hippy Homemaker, delivers great results without a lot of weird ingredients.

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Combine the water and vinegar: In a medium-sized bowl, combine the water and vinegar. (Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

How To Make Your Own Dish Soap

What You’ll Need

  • 1/2 cup warm distilled water
  • 1/2 Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds
  • 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon essential oil, optional (try jojoba or coconut for moisturizing, or lavender or orange for a fresh scent)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, optional


  1. Combine the water and vinegar: In a medium-sized bowl, combine the water and vinegar.
  2. And the Sal Suds: Add the Sal Suds; stir to combine.
  3. Add the oil: If you’re using an essential oil, now’s the time to add it. Stir gently to combine.
  4. Thicken up your mixture: If your mixture seems thin add salt (a little at a time), stirring in between, to thicken it.
  5. Pour your mixture into a dispenser: Decant your mixture into a soap dispenser and use it as needed!