Eco-Friendly Solid Dish Soap Recipe

9 Materials
2 Hours

Save money and help the environment with this homemade solid dish soap recipe. An eco-friendly solid dish soap is a great way to reduce plastic waste, avoid palm oil and reduce daily household cleaning expenses. This homemade dishwashing soap recipe with citrus essential oils gives you plenty of suds, and it cuts through grease as good as the bottled brands.

Further Reading

Be sure to stop over at Soap Deli News for a printable version of my solid dish soap recipe, more detailed instructions and soap mold options. In addition, you'll also learn about the different methods for making solid dish soap and the positive impact that using a solid dish soap has on the environment, as well as discover more in depth information on the process of making your own DIY solid dish soap recipe.

The Ingredients I Use to Make My Solid Dish Soap

All soap making oils have different properties when used to make cold process soap from scratch. Once saponified, these properties become evident. Some soap making oils help create a hard bar while others are extra cleansing, give soap a fluffy lather, a stable lather, or add skin conditioning properties. Therefore, choosing which oils to create a solid dish soap bar does matter. You want your solid dishwashing soap to clean your dishes but not totally destroy your hands in the process. This can be a delicate balance.

For my solid dish soap recipe, I chose to use a combination of coconut oil and castor oil for cleansing and stable lather. In addition to these ingredients, I also used lime juice, citric acid and a blend of two citrus essential oils -- mandarin and lime.

Once you've gathered the materials needed for this solid dish soap recipe, you're ready to get started.

The Soap Making Process

You will need to know how to make cold process soap in order to make your DIY solid dish soap using my recipe. If you are not familiar with the process or safety precautions, you can discover how to make cold process soap here.

You can find the quantities for each ingredient required to make this recipe in the materials list below.

To make this soap, start by weighing out the coconut oil and castor oil. Place them into a non-aluminum stock pot. 

Then heat the soap making oils over medium-low to medium heat. Once melted, remove from heat and set aside.

Now measure out the water into a separate heat safe container. Then, weigh out the lye and add to a third container.

Pour the lye into the lye into the water. Mix until all of the lye has dissolved. Set aside to cool.

Measure out the lime juice into a glass measuring cup. Now measure out the citric acid using a measuring spoon and mix into the lime juice into it dissolves.

Weigh out the essential oils, then stir them into the lime juice and citric acid mixture. Set aside.

Once the lye-water and the melted oils have cooled to around 100°F to 110°F, you’re for the next step.

Remix the lime juice, essential oil and citric acid mixture with a utensil. Add the lime zest. Then pour it into the soap making oils.

Mix them together using an immersion blender until fully incorporated.

Pour the lye-water into the soap making oils. Mix with the immersion blender until you reach a light to medium trace.

Pour the soap into the molds of your choice. Use a spatula to smooth out the tops.

Allow the solid dish soap bars to set up in the molds overnight. Then unmold the next day.

Allow your soaps to cure in a cool, dry location over a period of four weeks prior to use.

This solid dish soap recipe will yield approximately 3 lbs. of soap before the cure. You can make approximately 16 - 3 oz. round bars with this recipe at around $1.50-$2 per bar depending on where you source your ingredients and whether or not you buy in bulk.

How to Use Your Solid Dish Soap

To use your solid dish soap, simply soak a sponge in hot water and rub over the bar of soap. Then clean your dishes as usual. When the sponge runs out of soap, rub it over the soap and keep cleaning. Alternately, you can also use a palm scrub brush.

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Rebecca D. Dillon
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