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.

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.

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.

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