Dish Soap - Easy

Prep Time

10 min

Prep Notes

Cooking Time

5 min


about 1/3 of a bottle.


  1. 1 1/4 cups boiling water
  2. 1 tablespoon washing soda (use a little more for a thicker soap)
  3. 2 T Borax
  4. 1/4 cup liquid castile soap or 3/4 Sal Suds
  5. 10-30 drops essential oils (optional; I use 20 drops orange and 10 drops tea tree)

  • ½ TB nourishing oil (jojoba, almond, olive oil, etc.)--If you'll be using this soap with bare hands.


1.  In a saucepan, heat the water just until it reaches a boiling point.  Turn off the heat and add the washing soda and borax, stirring to dissolve.  Let the mixture cool for 3-5 minutes, just until warm, but no longer hot.

2.  Add the Sal Suds and essential oils to the water mixture.  Vigorously whisk the ingredients together.  Add in the nourishing oil, if using.

3.  Use a funnel to pour the dish soap into a soap dispenser.  The soap may separate after 24 hours.  If this happens, vigorously shake to recombine, or just shake well before each use.


This stuff works! It acts and feels like a real dish soap – it bubbles up nicely, cleans very well, and rinses away with no nasty film or residue. It’s initially very liquidy but it thickens up as it sets. The first day it was completely clear like the photo at the beginning of this post, and by the next day it had become a thick, white product. But I just shook it up real well and it loosened right up and was more gel-like, which totally works for me.

If it’s too thick to shake up, I just add a little warm water, give it a good shake and it’s good to go. Since not all kitchens or water systems are the same, your soap may behave a little differently depending on the temperature of your kitchen and the hardness of your water. You can play around with the amount of washing soda in the recipe until you find an amount that works best for you. I wouldn't recommend doubling the recipe, or adding more washing soda to thicken it up.  I tried both of these, and it became too hard.  My recommendation...follow the recipe, wait till the next day and shake it up before using :)

Important Note on Dishwashing Method: I just wash my dishes with a wet sponge and soap – meaning that I don’t fill the sink with water and let the dishes soak. The soap has great suds on the sponge, but I have to make sure I don’t add more water to the sponge after I’ve put soap on it because then the soap starts to lose its suds. So I can imagine that using this soap with the soaking method probably wouldn’t work very well. 

Soap mixture will harden as it sets. If it's too thick to pour, just add a tiny bit of warm water and give it a good shake to loosen it up.The amount of washing soda you use will dictate how thick the soap gets, so adjust accordingly. 

The temperature of your kitchen is also a factor.