Dish Washing Soap

I have seen information for laundry detergent and fabric softener. Anyone have a recipe for liquid dish soap. The kind you use in the sink not the machine. Thanks Jan

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Kimberly - August 22, 2010

Hi Jan-

This suggestion isn’t exactly a “liquid” dishwashing soap, but I have found it to be a real money saver. Nowadays we are so conditioned that hand dishwashing soap has to be in liquid form that it is easy to forget the very basics. Try using a bar soap like Zote or a plain lye soap. Let the hot water run on the soap while filling the dishpan. Using your sponge or washcloth, just soap up like you were going to wash your face and wash away. You only have to soap the sponge/cloth a couple of times. Then the water has planty of soap in it. Just remove the bar of soap and wash as usual. If the dishes are very greasy, try adding a 1/4 cup baking soda to the wash water. To insure glasses don’t get spots you can rinse in water that has about a 1/4 cup vinegar in it. This is only necessary for clear glass, and not needed every time.

Mrs_Koehn - August 22, 2010

I would like to know too, bc I have never found a recipe I liked. They never foam or seem to clean well. I know the foam’s NOT the soap per se, but it just doesn’t seem to cut grease or anything like I like. And they are typically castile soap based, and that’s just olive oil and lye (and easy to make too and way cheaper than buying). I don’t like C soap bc it makes the sink and dishes filmy and greasy bc of the oil. My hands feel nice though. Haha

I just tried Green Works by Safeway (Lucerne), and I liked that. I also like Palmolive Free and Clear. I’m not thrilled with BioKleen and haven’t tried 7th Generation or any of the other organic/ natural brands yet.

Annie - August 25, 2010

Here’s what I do using soap nuts/soap berries. They’re completely non-toxic, hypo-allergenic, cheap when you buy in bulk (many, many online stores – check some out in your region/country), reusable and compostable.

– 10 halves or equivalent in pieces of soap nuts/soap berries.
– The rind (cut up a bit) and juice of 2 lemons
– 4 cups water
– 2 teaspoons baking soda

Bring everything except the baking soda to a very low simmer; not quite boiling. Leave at this temperature for 10 mins. Leave to steep overnight with the lid on.
Strain, KEEPING THE LIQUID! (I thoughtlessly drained the liquid into the sink once!) and discarding the lemon rind. You can use the soap nuts for one load of washing – anymore and they might not do the job.
Pour the liquid into an applicable bottle, add the baking soda. Give the bottle a good shake before each use and use about 1/3 cup every average sized wash. If you like, you can squirt a little bit of store-bought detergent into this mix, and your bottle of detergent should last ages. It does really work! The lather is not there, but we’ve been taught that lather means clean; this is not neccessarily the case.
For stubborn pots/pan/baking dishes, fill with warm water and a little baking soda and bring to the boil, boiling for 5 minutes. This will lift stuck food without you having to put in the leg work – or, rather, armwork.

You can use soap nuts/berries to wash your clothes, your dishes, your body, your hair, an all purpose cleaner and a mild pest deterent in the garden. I would seriously advise getting some!

    Bobbie - August 25, 2010

    I have been using soapnuts for over two years now, my clothes have never been cleaner or looked better. Seriously the best natural cleaning product out there, versatile and if you want to save a load of money you will never be sorry switching to soapnuts. I wash all my clothes with them and 4 to 5 nuts will do about 4 loads of laundry depending if you use cold or hat water. I just use the nuts in a little muslin that comes with them from where I order which is Maggie’s Soapnuts. I couldn’t believe how much detergent residue was being left in my laundry until I saw how much whiter my whites were after the first time I used them! Occasionally I need a little boost for very soiled items and then I just use Oxy Baby Soak. I agree with Annie, you won’t regret trying them.

      Annie - August 26, 2010

      I was sceptical at their strength at first, but my partner’s smelly socks and grubby shirts came out as clean as the proverbial whistle.
      For a sufferer of eczema, they are great for me.

Kathy - August 25, 2010

This is not making your own but with eight kids helping out doing dishes they can go through a lot of dish soap. So I buy my favorite which is Dawn and put about 1 inch in the bottom of a regular size bottle that is empty. I fill the rest up with water and then when they just carelessly give a big squirt they don’t waste so much. It doesn’t affect how well it works because only a drop would usually work anyway. I only buy the Dawn when it is on sale and I can make a bottle last a long time. Now if I could figure out how to “water” down the hot water to save on it!

Susan - September 1, 2010

You can find recipes for liquid dish soap on the Down to Earth Blog. It’s written by a delightful Australian woman. It’s a blog about simple living and saving money.

Jen K - September 1, 2010

I do not like bar soaps because, in my opinion, they harbor germs and are an eyesore. I like liquid soaps, especially the foam pumps, but found them to be costly. I do not make my own soap, because this seems time consuming. However, I have found a way to stretch the liquid soap that I purchase at the local dollar store.

I like to use the foam dish soap. I was at a Pampered Chef party and found that Pampered Chef sells a foam dispenser. You need the special dispenser, but to make the soap liquid you use 1 part dish detergent to about 6 parts water. The pampered chef brand dispensers are about $10, but they come with an extra pump, and are guaranteed not to clog (so if it does, you can send it back for a replacement). I chose to purchase one bottle of the Dawn foam pump, when empty I refill with the “watered down” liquid soap. This saves a lot of money.

I also use this in the bathroom for hand washing, and the shower for body wash. Buy cheap bottle of foam hand soap at the Dollar Store. When empty, use hand soap from Dollar Store diluted with water.

Please note that if you use soap which contains lotion, the pump will become clogged.

Chris - September 1, 2010

Great posts! I love old movies and noticed that back in the 50’s they used powdered soap, similar to washing powder. I have not seen this recently. I too like Dawn and always look for a coupon.

Becky - September 8, 2010

For years, my grandmother used a bar of Ivory soap. She kept it at her sink, and would toss it in the sink as she filled it full of water, then pull it out when full. Sometimes she’d rub a bit on a rag for stubborn cleaning, but usually didn’t have to. I can’t smell Ivory w/o thinking of my GM’s kitchen!

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