DIY | How to make a natural hand and dish soap

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Looking for a soap that is all-natural, chemical-free and actually cleans well?  Castile Soap should be at the top of your list.  There a so many ways to incorporate Castile Soap in to your cleaning routine. It’s a great soap for your body, washing dishes, doing laundry, and is safe for children. Castile soaps are plant-based and don’t lose potency over time.  If you purchase the unscented soap you can add different essential oils to your hand and dish soap.

How to use nontoxic, environmentally friendly soap

Following are the four ways I use Castile Soap

  1. Washing floors

Our home is all hardwood flooring with marble tile in the bathrooms.  To remove surface dust and debris I vacuum with my Miele vacuum. Not only does this vacuum do an excellent job of cleaning the hepa filter helps purify the air.  Every couple weeks I use my wet-vac to do a deeper clean.  I add 2 tsp Castile Soap and 2-4 drops of Lavender essential oil to my wet-vac carafe.  The Castile Soap helps clean and the lavender makes everything smell good and neither one will harm the hardwood or marble. If you’ve never seen a wet-vac in use .. check out my Instagram highlights (cleaning).  It’s amazing what comes up off your floor!

2. Hand Soap

Using gentle, non toxic hand soaps are not only healthier they are also not as drying.  Hands that are dry and cracked can easily lead to other issues so make sure to moisturize after washing.  Get the suds all over your hands and wash with cold or warm water for 2o or sing Happy Birthday:) I’ve posted my hand soap recipe below!

3. Dish Soap

Run out of your regular dish soap?  Try using my recipe below to make your own! You can dilute your Castile soap with your favorite essential oil for a gentle soap that won’t irritate your skin.  For more tackling extra grime and grease I’d suggest using Sal’s Suds.  It’s a bit stronger and more concentrated so you’ll only need a drop or two.  Store your DIY hand and dish soap in a pretty container on your counter.  Separation is normal.  Just give your soap a little shake to mix it up prior to dispensing on your favorite sponge.

4. Sink Cleaner

Dish washing can create stains and orders in the sink. Almost every day I squirt some Castile soap in my sink and add baking soda. I use my sauce pan scrub brush to clean to the sink. If you need to remove stains and do not want to use bleach head over to this post.

What is Castile Soap?

What is Castile soap exactly? It’s an oil-based soap, which comes in bar or liquid form, that is created without the use of animal fats or synthetic ingredients. Pure Castile soap is considered to be all-natural and non-toxic.

DIY all natural hand and dish soap with castile soap and essential oils

How to make natural and environmentally friendly cleaning products

Hand Soap

What I love about this soap is that it’s quick and easy to make and you can change up the essential oils so you actually look forward to washing!  You’ll need only a few items: liquid soap, coconut oil, essential oil, a dispensing container and water.  That’s it.  I like the almond Castile soap for washing my floors and the unscented for making hand and dish soap.  All you have to do is combine 1/4 cup liquid soap with distilled or filtered water and then add a few drops of your favorite essential oil for a pretty and natural fragrance.  It’s also a good idea to melt one or two teaspoons of coconut oil and add it to your soap solution.  This will help moisturize your hands.

Dish Soap

For your dish soap, the Castile soap will be the primary ingredient and then you will add a few other ingredients to help get your dishes and pans clean.  Start with about a cup of liquid soap and then add a booster like washing soda to the mix. Baking soda can also be used however washing soda is more powerful when it comes to getting things clean.

A few details about washing soda:

It’s pure, natural, hypoallergenic, non-toxic, biodegradable, and contains zero harsh chemicals. It’s also abrasive on hard water deposists and High Efficiency (HE) water and septic safe. In the washer, you can use it on whites or colors!

I like to grate up some of my Dr. Bronner (bar) soap and add it to the mixture.

Sink Wash

Add 1/8 – 1/4 cup liquid Castile salop to your sink and sprinkle with about 1/2 cup baking soda. Using a scrub brush, give your sink a good scrub and allow the mixture to sit for a couple minutes. Rinse. I always enjoy the pretty shine in the sink when I’m finished! The sink smells good too :)

FAQS about DIY Castile Hand Soap

  • Will Castile Soap kill germs?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states there isn’t enough science that over-the-counter (OTC) antibacterial soaps are better at preventing illness than washing with soap and water. There is some data however stating that certain ingredients in antibacterial soap could have potentially negative effects on your health.  You can read more on that here if you’d like. That said it’s important to know that a disinfectant and  antibacterial products are strictly regulated terms and must kill or inhibit a certain percentage of germs.  All of this is monitored by the EPA and FDA.  Some of the substances are like pesticides and are not good for us.  Castile soap is nontoxic and will not kill germs so it’s not a disinfectant.  It does however remove germs.  If you’d like to increase the “germ killing” potential, you could add tea tree oil to your hand and dish soap.  Both tea tree and oregano oil contain natural antibacterial properties. More info on that here.

  • Is Castile Soap safe for children and pets?

Castile soap is a non toxic, vegetable oil based product and is safe for kids and pets. Use the Castile baby unscented variety for children and pets.  Always follow manufacturers directions when using.

  • Can you add other ingredients to increase cleaning power on places like bathtubs?

Yes! Simply fill a clear glass spray bottle with with ⅓ Castile liquid soap and ⅔ water. Spread baking soda liberally around the bath and then spray with your Castile soap mixture. Scrub with a scouring pad or scrub brush and then rinse for a sparkling, clean tub or shower. You can add a few drops of Sal’s Suds for extra cleaning power.

  • How long will my soap last?

Castile soap is said to have a shelf life of about three years.  Always check the expiration date on the bottle before using and store in a container with a tight fitting lid to avoid potential contaminants from entering.

  • What are your favorite essential oils?

For dish and hand soap I would recommend lemon, grapefruit, or lavender.

What if my soap gets clumpy?

Try this:

The secret to clump-free DIY Laundry Detergent is to allow the grated soap to air dry overnight before mixing it with the powdered ingredients
or ..
Keep in a cool dry place where moisture is low
Put something in with the powder like rice or a dry crust of bread that absorbs moisture
Store in a tightly sealed container to keep the moisture out

Always take Precautions

Just because a product is labeled natural or organic doesn’t make it totally safe.  Some natural products contain essential oils that can be toxic to pets or pregnant women.  Like any product, it’s best to apply a small amount at first to check for potential reactions.  Although the ingredients are gentle and nontoxic there is potential for allergy or irritation just like every other product.

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diy hand and dish soap with essential oil #diyhandsoap #homemadehandsoap #diydishsoap #diynaturalhandsoap

DIY all natural hand and dish soap with essential oils

If you enjoy making your own household products and skin care check out this recipe for body scrub with essential oils!

Thank you so much for stopping by!

This post contains affiliate links which means that if you were to make a purchase using one of my links I would receive a small amount of compensation. I only link to products that I personally own, or know and love.

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DIY non toxic hand soap

Using a gentle, non toxic soap removes germs and doesn't dry out hands as much as commercial brands. This is so easy and very economical.

  • 8 – 12 ounces distilled water
  • 10 drops essential oil (lemon, grapefruit, or lavender)
  • 1 tbsp fractionated coconut oil or a few drops of vitamin E (acts as a moisturizer)
  • 1/4 cup Castile soap (unscented)
  1. Mix all of the ingredients together and pour into a soap dispenser. The coconut oil or vitamin E will act as a moisturizer. Distilled water is a good choice for making your DIY hand soap as it contains fewer minerals and other stuff (found in tap water) that might interfere with the soaps sudsing capacity.

Try switching up your oils! I like lavender, lemon, and grapefruit.  

DIY Dish Soap with Castile Soap

Making your own dish soap is simple and cost effective. All you need are a few ingredients!

  • 1 cup Unscented Castile Soap
  • 6 ounces distilled or filtered water
  • 1/4 cup grated Dr. Bronner's Soap (optional)
  • 1/3 cup Washing or Baking Soda
  • 10 drops Essential oil (grapefruit, lemon, citrus blends, and eucalyptus are my favorites)
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and pour into your favorite dispenser. Start washing!

Washing soda is all natural soap ash and is hypoallergenic, non-toxic, biodegradable, and contains no harsh chemicals.  You can even use it in your HE (high efficiency) washing machine!  I’ve linked the sources for my favorite products on the blog.

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25 Comments

    1. Hi Barbara, If you scroll down to the bottom of my blog post your will see SHOP the post. This is where I share sources for items used in the blog post. Simply click on any item that you’d like and you will go to the source :) Try this and let me know if you still have questions and I’m happy to help. xoxo

  1. I made the dish soap recipe and it became a bar of soap. I should mention that i use a hand held mixer to combine and the water was warm. Did this happen to you by any chance?

          1. Funny thing is I actually like it solid! I put the hardened mixture in a double boiler and liquified it again, then poured it into a pretty bowl and let it reharden and just swipe a dish brush over it and scrub the dishes. I was determined to find a way to still use it!

  2. Hi, I made this by grating bars of Castile soap, some glycerin, baking soda and filtered water. Mine over time has started to solidify and clog up my dispenser. My soap was all dissolved in the water when I put it in the bottle. Any suggestions on how to get it back to more liquid.

    1. I think the baking soda is the culprit as it does solidify over time. This is why people often buy manufactured products, they are easier to use. That said I have found that even my store bought soaps can clog the dispenser up.

    2. Try this:

      The secret to clump-free DIY Laundry Detergent is to allow the grated soap to air dry overnight before mixing it with the powdered ingredients
      or ..
      Keep in a cool dry place where moisture is low
      Put something in with the powder like rice or a dry crust of bread that absorbs moisture
      Store in a tightly sealed container to keep the moisture out

  3. I used:
    1 cup Almond Castile Soap 6 ounces distilled water
    1/3 cup Baking Soda
    and 2 tsp salt.

    I saw a yt video with a similar recipe and they added salt to thicken it. It smells delicious and feel luxurious. However, it immediately separates. It has to be shaken each time you want to use it. That’s aggravating when both hands need washing.

    1. Yes, unfortunately the mixture is not perfect. I pour a little castile in my sink and then sprinkle with baking soda and salt. I use my scrub brush to clean..

  4. Thank you for sharing this wonderful tutorial. It’s so refreshing to see an eco-friendly option that’s easy to make and safe for the environment. Happy soap-making

  5. Hi! I was wondering if this dish soap is meant to be used for washing by hand or put in the dishwasher? I made it for washing by hand but it seems very thick compared to store bought, more like fish detergent!
    Thank you

  6. The ingredient list in this blog is so simple and wholesome – it’s like a natural spa day for our hands and dishes. I’m eyeing that lemon-scented dish soap!

    I am curious to know how the homemade soap performs compared to store-bought versions. Are there any differences in terms of effectiveness or maybe even in how the skin felt afterward?

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