Make Your Own Dish Soap

How to make your own dishwashing soap

It’s no secret that dishwashing soap can be expensive. And if you’re like me, you want to avoid the harsh chemicals that are present in most dishwashing soaps. So what’s a girl to do? Make her own dishwashing soap, of course! It’s really easy to do and it only requires a few simple ingredients like water, coconut oil and lye. Plus, it’s a great way to save money and make your first steps to sustainable living.

How do you use a dish soap block to wash dishes?

When it comes to cleaning up after dinner, sometimes the last thing you feel like doing is battling with a big, sudsy bowl of dish soap. That’s where dish soap blocks come in! These handy little cubes of soap are the perfect solution for those who want to get their dishes clean without any fuss. Simply wet your sponge or dish cloth, rub it against the soap block until it lathers up, and then start washing away. The best part? No more struggling with trying to pour soap out of a bottle with wet hands. It’s almost like magic! So go ahead, give a dish soap block a try and see just how easy it is to keep your dishes clean and sparkling.

Dish Soap Recipe

Here’s what you need to make two pounds of soap:

32 oz (907 grams) of coconut oil

5.8 oz (116 grams) of lye (also called sodium hydroxide)

11 oz (332 grams) of water

1 oz Essential oils (optional)

Dishwashing Soap Recipe made on Soapcalc


First, you need to gather your supplies. You will need a pot, a measuring cup, a wooden spoon, some coconut oil and lye. Make sure that you have everything you need before you start.

Measure out the sodium hydroxide into a Pyrex measuring cup, or other container. This container must be made of stainless steel, glass or heat resistant (212 degrees F) plastic. It must not be made of aluminum or tin. Measure the water into a separate Pyrex measuring cup. Wearing an N-95 mask, slowly pour the lye into the water, stirring the mixture.

Lye, also known as sodium hydroxide, is what converts oils into saponified oils (i.e. soap).

Next, measure out the coconut oil and put them into the pot. Heat the pot on low heat until the oils are melted. Alternatively, you can put the coconut oil in a large pyrex container, and microwave until heated.

Once the oils are melted, add the lye to the pot and stir gently. Be careful not to splash the lye around as it is very caustic. Add the essential oils or fragrance oils if you are using this.

Use a hand blender (also called an immersion blender) to stir the mixture around. Instead of continuously blending, give it a few pulses, then stir, and repeat. When the mixture looks like pudding, pour into your soap mold.

Let your soap harden for a day, then you can remove it from the mold. Normally, body soap should cure for one month, but if you are using gloves to wash with this soap, you can use it right away, or wait the traditional month. To use, wet your dish sponge with the soap, make bubbles, then wash your dishes. You can also use this same soap to get laundry stains out, and as travel laundry soap. Enjoy your homemade dishwashing soap!

Make Your Own Dish Soap
Make Your Own Dish Soap. Photo by Karen Chow.
What is cold process soap?

Cold process soap is created by blending oils and lye until it reaches “trace,” where the mixture thickens and starts to resemble pudding. It’s then poured into a mold and left to cure for several weeks. On the other hand, hot process soap involves a similar process but with the added step of heating the mixture to speed up the saponification process. Lastly, melt and pour soap is made by melting pre-made soap base and adding in fragrance and color before pouring into a mold. Each method has its own unique benefits and techniques, making them all worth exploring!

What is lye and how is it used in soap making?

Have you ever wondered how soap gets its cleansing powers? Well, one of the key ingredients is lye! Lye is a highly alkaline solution made from mixing water and sodium hydroxide. When combined with oils and fats, lye creates a chemical reaction called saponification, which ultimately produces soap. It’s incredible to think that just a simple mixture of water and sodium hydroxide could create something as amazing as soap. But, be careful not to handle lye without proper protection, because it can be extremely caustic. Nevertheless, lye is a crucial element in soap making, and now you know a little more about how your favorite bars get their suds!

How do you safely handle lye for soap making?

Lye is a powerful chemical and is a key ingredient in soap making, but it can also be dangerous if not handled correctly. The first step is to always wear protective gear, such as gloves and goggles, when working with lye. Additionally, make sure to mix the lye with water in a well-ventilated area, as it can release harmful fumes. And of course, it’s important to keep lye out of reach of children and pets. By following these safety tips, you can confidently make beautiful, high-quality soap without any worries.

How do I store cold process soap?

First of all, it’s important to keep it in a cool, dry place. This will let the soap air out properly. If you’ve made a big batch and want to keep some of it for later, it’s a good idea to wrap each bar individually right before selling it. And finally, if you’re storing your soap for a long time, be sure to check on it occasionally to make sure it’s still in good condition. With a little bit of care, your cold process soap can last for months or even years!

How long do I need to let soap cure for?

Generally, most soaps need to cure for at least four weeks after they’re made before they’re ready to use. During this time, the soap will harden and excess water will evaporate, leaving behind a harder, longer-lasting bar of soap. Some recipes such as castile soap with a large percentage of olive oil may require a longer curing time such as one year, so it’s always a good idea to follow the instructions closely and be patient. Trust us, the end result will definitely be worth the wait!

Can I add colorants or other additives to cold process soap?

Yes, absolutely! Adding colorants and other additives to cold process soap can be a great way to get creative with your soap-making. You can experiment with natural colorants like clays, herbs, and spices, or use cosmetic-grade micas and oxides for more vibrant colors. As for additives, options include things like oatmeal, honey, and even coffee grounds for exfoliation. Just be sure to do your research and use safe, skin-friendly ingredients – and always follow proper soap-making techniques to ensure your creations turn out beautifully. Have fun!

Soap made by Karen Chow


Ah, soap making! There’s just something so satisfying about creating your own bars from scratch. Maybe it’s the way you can customize the scents and colors to your liking or the feeling of accomplishment when you finally slice into the finished product. But beyond the fun of the process, there’s also a bigger picture to consider. By making your own soap, you’re reducing your reliance on big corporations and the plastic waste that often comes along with store-bought brands. Making your own solid dish blocks is a great way to get rid of plastic bottles. Not only do they make washing dishes a breeze, but they also cut down on the number of plastic bottles cluttering up your recycling bin. So whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or just looking to make a small eco-friendly change, soap making solid dish blocks are definitely worth considering.

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