Homemade liquid dish soap

Homemade liquid dish soap

Sometimes it’s the small things that make a difference – like the gentle but effective homemade liquid dish soap in our home. Every day, our family of six works through three main meals and two snacks; less on weekends. Each meal is home cooked, so think of piles of dirty dishes, cups, pots and pans!

I don’t like using gloves as they make it difficult to check for oily or soapy residue. At some point, I gained a measure of environmental awareness and also began noticing the wear and tear that started showing on my hands. I then hunted for a liquid dish soap that would preserve our waterways and be kinder to me. Eventually, I decided to make my own.

There are many homemade liquid dish soap recipes online. I tested some, tweaked a few ingredients, and came up with a recipe I liked best. This recipe I’m about to share with you produces a thinner liquid soap compared to the thicker consistency of commercial ones. I need to squirt a bit more onto my cleaning sponge, but am pleased with the results so far. 

The following recipe makes enough homemade liquid dish soap to last us two weeks and takes around 10 minutes to make. I keep supplies in one box for easy access.


1 ½ cups (350 ml) boiling water

¼ cup (60 ml) grated vegetable bar soap

¼ cup (60 ml) liquid castile soap

1 ¼ tbsp washing soda

½ tsp glycerin

12-15 drops lemon essential oil


Heat water until boiling.

Add grated bar soap. Stir until dissolved.

Add liquid castile soap, washing soda and glycerin. Stir until dissolved.

Pour into glass dispenser.

Let soap cool and set overnight.

Add essential oil. Shake gently to combine.

You can start using this liquid dish soap immediately. The contents separate over time, but just give the bottle a good shake and it’s good to go again.

Where to buy

Vegetable bar soaps are available from most shops that stock natural products. The Sabine’s Secret bar soap that I bought from Village Grocer sometime ago is already reaching its end and I don’t see it on the shelves anymore, but any vegetable bar soap will do, really. The main thing is to use a natural soap with a vegetable base.

If you’re wondering what liquid castile soap is, check out this link (it’s not where I got my castile soap from, by the way). I’ve tried Dr Bronner’s (who sponsored a previous post about homemade liquid laundry soap) and am now using Melrose’s liquid castile soap which I found in a store in NU Sentral two years ago but now seems to have sadly disappeared. I am still looking for a sustainable source of liquid castile soap in Malaysia and will update this post when I do!

Washing soda (Arm & Hammer) is available at most Ace Hardware stores in the Klang Valley. The larger-sized box should last you for years if you’re using it purely to make this soap.

Glycerin is available at my favourite baking supplies shop – Bake With Yen, Taman Megah, Petaling Jaya.

Lemon essential oil is available in different grades from a variety of brands. The one I was using was a cheap brand which eventually didn’t smell so fresh, so I was extremely happy to try a sample of Young Living lemon essential oil some time ago. The results were wonderful. You can purchase YL lemon essential oil here (enter Referral Sponsor ID: 3756201) (Note: Non-affiliate sponsor’s link).

My glass dispenser is from IKEA.

Does this recipe work?

This homemade liquid dish soap works well even on oily pots and pans. I can’t get you to feel it, but take a look.

Dishes, dishes, and more dishes 

One of the many things I’ve learned after 12 years of being a parent is that you need to protect your own health, even as you strive to guard the health of those you love. Making my own liquid dish soap takes just a small amount of time and requires that bit of commitment, but I’ll readily admit that when my plate overflows with work out comes the bottle of commercial dish detergent. Still, I keep coming back to homemade. I know what’s in it, I like the feeling it leaves on my hands, and I value living in harmony with the environment.  

If you try this recipe and like it, please consider leaving a comment so I know it works for you too. Peace!

This post is kindly sponsored by my friend Ang Soo Huey, a state registered nurse for more than 20 years before moving into an advisory role. The recipe and opinions in this post are mine. Do check out Soo Huey’s pages here (enter Referral Sponsor ID: 3756201) and here for supplies of lemon EO, and get to know her on Facebook! As always, thank you for supporting local businesses which help keep this space afloat.


  • shia
    January 10, 2018 12:37 am

    hi dear, u can check out Newlife Castile Soap too…
    i cant do dishes too! fingerprints all gone.

  • Jane Murguia
    January 12, 2018 8:11 am

    Nice. Been wanting to make my own homemade liquid soap for a while now. I’m gonna try out your recipe.
    Jane Murguia recently posted…Matched betting for full time Mums – this is NOT gambling!My Profile

  • Jin
    January 14, 2018 10:35 am

    Oh dear, I heard recently from a friend who lost her fingerprints too! Thanks for the information, Shia. And nice to see you here again 🙂 All my love to your family!

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

%d bloggers like this: