Homemade Dish Soap – Natural

Natural homemade dish soap is so easy to make, smells wonderful, saves you money and is environmentally friendly. How much better can it get? Not only will it cut through grease, but it’s safe for you and your family.

homemade dish soap in a glass soap pump laying on a white wash cloth on a wood cutting board with a white dish to the right with a blue dish scrubber

This natural dish soap is a new twist on a very old recipe on the blog. 

I did some tweaking to fix some problems that were coming up, and the new results are so much better! 

So many people find that natural products don’t work as well as their chemical counterparts, but I can assure you that this one works well.

It’s tough on grease and suds up amazingly well, making it easy to enjoy this natural switch.

It is also cheaper than typical, natural dish soaps, which usually cost around $4 per 25 oz. This one will set you back around $3. So, slightly cheaper.

It also has a better rating from the EWG website. I’ve tried a few of the store-bought, natural dish soap options, and I find them to be disappointing, and you need a lot of it for it to work.

However, I still love to use the store-bought options in this really effective DIY Stain Remover.

We’ve loved this natural DIY dish soap recipe in our house. Getting used to the consistency takes a little adjustment, and you don’t have to use very much for great results.

I promise you, this recipe works great, and your dishes will be remarkably clean.

diy dish soap in a glass soap pump jar on a white plate with oregano on a white plate


  • The consistency is much thinner than regular dish soap, and a little bit goes a long way. 
  • You can place it in a soap pump, foaming soap pump, or just put it in an old, dish soap bottle.
  • You may have to shake it up a little before you use it, but it shouldn’t clump and separate like the last recipe!

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Tools you may need:

Liquid measuring cup

Measuring spoons


The Ingredients:

homemade dish soap ingredients on a marble countertop with ivy in the background
  • Dr. Bronner’s Sal’s Suds – This is like the ultra-concentrated, cleaning power of Castile soaps (which is a staple in any natural-living cabinet, hello, hand soap). This stuff is powerful and works amazingly well to clean dishes.
  • Water – I would recommend using distilled water or water that was boiled and cooled to help reduce the chance of bacterial growth.
  • Vinegar – Helps cut grease and provides a streak-free shine.
  • Vegetable glycerin (optional) – This helps create more sudsing power and helps moisturize your hands.
  • Essential oils (optional): Twenty drops lemon or citrus essential oil (works great as a degreaser). Optional: 10-20 drops of On-Guard, Thieves, or tea tree oil (anti-bacterial; if you like the smell you can add more, if not, add less).

Watch The Tutorial

natural soap in a glass jar on a white dish cloth on a wood cutting board with a white plate to the right

How To Make Natural Homemade Dish Soap:

adding sals suds to a measuring cup with water

In a medium-sized bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir well. 

adding lemon essential oils to a homemade dish soap in a glass measuring cup

Add essential oils. I like to use citrus oils, like lemon, because it is tough on grease. You can also use use anti-bacterial type oils like On-Guard or Thieves. Tea tree would also work well.

That’s it! Wasn’t that easy? You do like two minutes of work and you’re done. 

wood cutting board with a white plate and a rag on top and natural dish soap in a glass bottle in the back

Can I use this dish soap as hand soap?

You can in a pinch, but I would recommend this foaming hand soap to use instead, or this natural hand sanitizer while you’re out and about.

Find More Natural Cleaners That Work!

If you’ve tried and loved this recipe, make sure to come back and give it 5 stars and tag me on Instagram @ablossominglife.

Homemade Dish Soap

This natural dish soap is a simple and tough on grease. You will be amazed at how effective it is.
Print Pin Rate
Course: natural product
Keyword: diy dish soap, homemade dish soap
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 13 oz
Author: Amy


  • Measuring cup and spoons



  • In a medium-sized bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir well. 
  • Add essential oils and stir. I like to use citrus oils, like lemon, because it is tough on grease.


Vegetable glycerin is optional. It gives it more sudsing power while also helping moisturize your hands.
Sals suds is different than castile soap and cannot be used interchangeably in this recipe.
Tried this recipe?Mention @ablossominglife or tag #ablossominglife!


  1. The tea tree oil I bought says it’s antiseptic. I’d imagine this isn’t safe to use. What particular brand did you buy?

    1. All tea tree essential oil is antiseptic by nature. That’s why people use it. It’s great for zits/boils, cleaning, freshening the air, and I dilute with a carrier oil and rub it around the ears (NOT in the ears) to prevent ear infections when the kiddos are sick. What part of “antiseptic” do you find to be bad? The germ killing action is not a man made “additive”, it’s just what tea tree oil does – kills bacteria and viruses.

    2. I found a few sources online that said it should never be ingested, in any quantity (however diluted), and was worried that it wouldn’t be the best to use on plates and cups that I would be eating/drinking out of. That’s where the concern stemmed from.

  2. I might try try if I find a substitute to to tea tree oil in it.
    Although touted as an essential oil and antibiotic, according to the American Cancer Society: “Tea tree oil is toxic when swallowed…” If you’re washing dishes with it you are probably going to be swallowing some of it it over the long run. According to a new study from University of Western Australia, tea tree oil does not cause anti-biotic resistance in humans contrary to previous reports.

  3. I only use doTERRA essential oils, so I feel perfectly comfortable using Melaleuca (tea tree) internally and certainly in this form. I would NOT ingest tea tree from any other source. I know that doTERRA uses STRINGENT testing and I know that people have been using tea tree in this manner for a long, long time. Everything is toxic in the right quantities and certainly if there are unknown byproducts/ingredients.

    Just MHO.

  4. Since I’ve seen a few people had trouble getting it to thicken, just to clarify, are you using the entire 5 oz. bar of soap or 1/2 cup (4 oz) of the grated stuff with the 4 cups of water?

  5. Hello,
    I have had the same problem with a greasy like film from using this. I did find if I added some vinegar to the dish soap after it cools that it does help with the greasy type film. I am going to play around with this alittle and if i discover how to do with no film i will let everyone know.

    1. I tried vinegar as well and it didn’t help at all. The Castille soap is just too greasy.

  6. what does this soap end up smelling like? I see citrus, and then tree oil– I have no idea what tree oil smells like

  7. Mine ended up way too thick–a jello consistency. What can I do? Do I throw it out and start again? I used a bar of natural soap (not Dr. Bonar’s) and grated half of a bar of pure vegetable glycerin and melted both with the water. Is this my problem? Too much glycerin? I’d love to be able to fix what I have and still use it.

  8. Well, I made this and it turned out exactly as described: like thick snot. I used Dr. Bronner’s citrus soap and 20 drops of orange essential oil (which wasn’t enough, so I added 20 more drops). The extra 20 drops of EO made the soap less snot-like and more liquidy, but did not add any grease-cutting power whatsoever. In fact, I was greatly disappointed with this soap. It did not clean well, and the grease floated around the top of the water line, so everything was still greasy and dirty after washing. I had to use a LOT of it to get a little bit of cleaning power. It also leaves white splotches on the dishes, and I have never had white splotches on my dishes after washing before, so it’s not the water. 🙁

    1. The same thing happened to me. I consider this ‘recipe’ a waste of time and money.

  9. Soap leaves residue. Detergents don’t, and that’s why most cleaners on the market are detergents. Soap does clean really well and you may want to add some vinegar to your rinse water and don’t use too much soap. Also, wash your less dirty dishes first, then the heavier soiled/greasy stuff last. If your water is really greasy, then perhaps you need to dump the water and put in fresh to wash the really greasy dishes at the end.

    When I moved I could only find my Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap for the first week so that’s what I used to bathe with, do dishes with, and washed the laundry with it. I loved it but it’s WAY too expensive purchased as a liquid to use this way all the time. Over time it can build a film. That’s why you get soap scum in your tub when you use real soap. I may have to try this recipe as castille soap and glycerin usually cleans really well.

  10. Finally a dish soap without borax and washing soda – thank you for sharing the recipe <3

  11. I wanted to comment on the acidity of lemon and orange oil. I am a doTERRA essential oil Independent Product Consultant; when using lemon and orange look to see if it was cold pressed. Cold pressing is when the skin/peel of the citrus fruits are pressed to extract the oil. Lemon juice and orange juice are acidic, however, cold pressed oils from the peel of the lemon and orange are not! We take lemon essential oil internally to flush out toxins and to help balance our bodies’ alkaline environment. Also, remember, that all oils are not created equally. Read your labels and check out the company online, many companies claim to be pure but when you check their site you will see that there is no information available to back up that claim! I have been using the Dr. Bronner’s liquid citrus for cleaning, dishes, etc. I really love it!!

  12. I think the “boogery” aspect is caused by the glycerin. Cut back/eliminate your glycerin and it will help.

  13. I have the liquid Dr. Bromners (tea tree oil) castile soap. Any suggestion for a recipe that uses that? I have 2 big bottles. 🙂 Thanks.

  14. Hi, just had a question….I made this, and it is extremely thick….is there something I can add to it to thin it out? Thanks,

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