How to Make Dishwashing Liquid with Castile Soap

homemade dishwashing liquid ecokarenAs you might have guessed, I’m on a Castile Soap kick lately. I use it in my Dishwasher Detergent that makes my glass squeaky spotless clean and my wonderfully scrubby Soft Scrub. I think my upstate friend would be very jealous at how spotless my glasses come out. She has hard water and she says she has to use detergents with phosphate to make her glasses spotless. I wonder if my home made formula would make those spots go away.  Hmmm….must tell her to try.

Anyway, I wanted to tell you how to make dishwashing liquid using castile soap. You know that it’s greener to wash your dishes in the dishwasher since it uses less water but there are pots and pans that don’t fit in my dishwasher – although I remember one professional chef saying that he never buys pots and pans that do not fit in his dishwasher. (Yes, he must have one ginormous dishwasher!) – and “wash by hands only” items like wine glasses and china.

So here is the formula I use.

Dishwashing Liquid with Castile Soap

  • 1 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Cup Liquid Castile Soap
  • 1 Tbsp Washing Soda – to thicken the soap

Mix gently and store in your upcycled glass jar soap dispenser. And you are good to go!

How easy was that? I use this for washing dishes and washing hands. Since Castile soap is made with vegetable oils, there are no harsh chemicals to irritate your skin. You can wash dishes until the cows come home without ruining your prettyful nails!

UPDATE: I just bought Dr. Bronner’s Almond Castile Soap for the kitchen and I LOVE the smell. It’s more in line with the kitchen aroma than the Lavender or Peppermint or Baby Mild that I’ve tried. I’ll try the Citrus one after I run out of this bottle, which might be for awhile. So it’s a good thing that I like this Almond smell.

UPDATE #2: I am not sure if I like Castile soap for washing dishes by hand. For some reason, it leaves a little bit of film on my utensils and dishes. But the dishes from the dishwashers don’t. So I am thinking, that vinegar must help the rinsing part when I use the dishwasher but since I don’t use vinegar to rinse by hand, the filmy feeling is left on the dishes. Hmmmm……I may need to go back to researching the formula for hand washing. The jury is out on this one. (December 10,2011)

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Dishwasher more efficient than washing by hand? that's crazy! this could only be true if you are running the water the whole time for the water consideration. But there are other costs besides water: the energy embodied in manufacturing the dishwasher as well as the energy it takes to run it. It's easy to use about 1 gallon to do a whole load of dishes: just capture the rinsewater in a clean sink basin as you rinse the dishes, and use that as soak water for the batch of dirty dishes - they'll be a cinch to wash since they will have had a chance to rest in some soapy water first or be rinsed off in it. Of course, don't soak wood implements or knives (for safety).


me again! I somehow missed your earlier post about soft scrub and so glad you posted a link here. I made it and my daugther and I had a fun time scrubing her bathtub. Had quite the ring but now it's gone! Am waiting on a ecokaren version of laundry detergent! :)


Hi Sarah, Yes, it does take energy and resources to make dishwashers but I think in the long run, the benefit of using a dishwasher outweighs hand washing. According to Treehugger, (and others), dishwasher is more eco-friendly. It definitely uses less water and detergent. And since I dont' use it to dry the dishes, my energy star machine runs with little electricity. I still wash some by hand, using your method, but in general, I run a full load every other day. If I had to wash all those by hand, I would use a lot of water and detergent even if I don't let the water run.