Make Your Own Dishwashing Liquid

I love to challenge myself to make things myself instead of buying them.

Sometimes, the motivation is financial. Homemade stuff is almost always cheaper. Sometimes, it’s the healthier, more natural option. And all of the time, the homemade version is more environmentally friendly.

I’ve been unhappy with the green dishwashing liquids I’ve tried. Most of them are very expensive. Even with sales and coupons, you can expect to pay over $2 for a bottle of the stuff. And it’s not terribly effective.

Another option for dishwashing liquid is diluted castille soap, but even if I bought Dr. Bronner’s soap by the gallon, the price would be around .35 an ounce, comparable to store bought.

Then I came across this recipe for homemade dishwashing liquid on Annienygma’s site. I thoroughly enjoy her blog because of her “Possum Living” lifestyle. I decided to give it a shot.

All you need are:

- Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
- Octagon soap
- Water
- Cute assistant (optional)

I always keep Washing Soda on hand because I use it in my homemade laundry detergent recipe.  Turns out a local grocery store was going out of business, so I swung by and bought 15 bars of Octagon soap at a discount. They were around .50 each.

I had never used Octagon before, but I remember my Grandmother always had it around her house. It has a very mild fragrance and the finished product wasn’t perfumey at all (my main gripe with commercially available dishwashing liquid, the smell of all of them makes me sick). You could easily add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to pretty up the fragrance.

The recipe called for a half bar of grated Octagon soap and just 1 Tablespoon Washing Powder.  I cut the recipe in half, which means that the half gallon of dishwashing liquid I made cost me less than .20.

Most definitely a frugal choice. I poured the finished soap into a pretty soap dispenser next to my sink using a small funnel.

But how does it work?

We’ve been using it for the dishes we hand wash (pots and pans, items that aren’t dishwasher safe) and it works awesome! However, it makes ZERO lather. This might be an issue for some, but it doesn’t matter to me. I know that “lather” doesn’t have anything to do with how clean something is. Lather comes from Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, an ingredient I avoid in cleaning products.

I imagine this recipe would also make an awesome laundry stain treatment since that’s traditionally one of the uses of Octagon soap. I plan on keeping a squeeze bottle of it in the laundry room to put a bit directly on stains before washing clothes.

Have you ever made your own dishwashing liquid? Got a great recipe to share?

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3 Responses to Make Your Own Dishwashing Liquid

  1. Candi says:

    I’ll have to try this one day. I don’t usually buy the “green” dishwashing liquids at the store, so I have quite a few of the ones from CVS for $.50 or so. But there haven’t been many good sales, so I’ll have to try this sooner than later.

  2. Good post. I use Eco Friendly Dishwashing Liquid sometime. This product Extreme Green Dishwashing Liquid is an extremely concentrated,hand dishwashing detergent for use in hotels,at home,businesses and as a general purpose detergent.Thank you !!!!

  3. Dineen F says:

    I’ve washed dishes just by rubbing my dish sponge right against the bar of Octagon. It cuts grease really well and smells heavenly of what seems like real citrus.

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