Substitutes for Dish Soap

It's possible to make your own DIY dish soap at home or use a dish soap alternative. You may want to do this so you know exactly what ingredients are going into your dish soap and avoid any harmful chemicals. You can even make your own all-natural or organic soap. Making liquid dish soaps from scratch can help save you money. You may also want to shake things up and try a new substitute for store-bought soaps.

Woman Hand-Washing Dishes
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It's possible to make your own DIY dish soap at home or use a dish soap alternative.

DIY Nontoxic Dish Soap

You can use several simple ingredients to make your own nontoxic dish soap. You'll need 1/4 cup boiling water, 1/4 cup grated castile bar soap, 1 tablespoon washing soda and 1/4 cup liquid castile soap. It's optional to add essential oils; if using them, add 10 to 30 drops of your desired scents. These ingredients are available from most health food stores.

To make DIY dish soap, you'll first add grated castile soap to boiling water. Continue stirring until it has dissolved completely. Next, add in the washing soda and continue stirring. Then, pour liquid castile soap in and stir. Allow the mixture to cool.

If using essential oils, add about 20 drops of orange and 10 drops of tea tree essential oils. You can substitute other essential oils of your choice to create your own fresh scent. Use this substance when washing dishes and see the great results.

Three-Ingredient DIY Dish Soap

Another super simple recipe involves only three ingredients and will get those dishes sparkly clean. You'll need 1 tablespoon of white distilled vinegar, 1/2 cup Sal Suds dish soap and 1 tablespoon jojoba oil. You'll also need 1/2 cup of distilled or boiled water (boiling the water is best). You can substitute jojoba oil for another moisturizing oil such as sweet almond, coconut oil or olive oil. Sal Suds can be purchased at most health food stores.

First, mix the water and vinegar into your soap dispenser. Shake the soap dispenser thoroughly to mix the solution. Next, add in the Sal Suds and moisturizing oil. Gently shake the soap dispenser to mix the solution. The solution may bubble but will eventually settle.

Lemon DIY Dish Soap

For a DIY lemon dish soap, you'll need 1/4 cup soap flakes, 1 1/2 cups hot water, 1/4 cup vegetable glycerin and 1/2 teaspoon lemon oil. To make the soap flakes, you'll need to grate a bar of ivory soap with a cheese grater.

Pour the soap flakes into the hot water. Stir them until they're fully dissolved. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes. Next, slowly stir in the vegetable glycerin and lemon oil. The solution will form a loose gel as it cools. You may need to mix up the solution with a spoon if it starts to congeal. Put the solution in your soap dispenser. This lemony fresh dish soap alternative is a refreshing choice.

Laundry Soap Method

Try using a bar of all-natural laundry soap. A great choice is Dr. Bronner's multi-purpose baby soap, which comes in a bar form. It's non-GMO, vegan and biodegradable, and is great for sensitive skin. Normally used for babies, face, body and hair, it can also be used to clean dishes.

To use, cut out a one-by-one-inch square. Put the soap square in a pot and add hot water. Let the soap mixture melt overnight in the pot. The next morning, blend the solution thoroughly. Add more water until the solution foams. This is great for sensitive skin and a great dish soap alternative for vegans.

Use White Vinegar

There are many uses for white vinegar, and cleaning dishes is one. You can pour white vinegar into the rinse aid dispenser in your dishwasher. You can use this instead of a commercial rinse aid along with your regular dish detergent. White vinegar is an all-natural and inexpensive alternate rinse aid that's very effective.

Try Chlorine Bleach

You can use chlorine bleach alone to sanitize your dishes. First, soak the dirty dishes in hot water for 10 to 20 minutes to let caked-on food loosen. Then, place presoaked dishes in a gallon bucket of cool water, as hot water will negatively affect the sanitization of the dishes. Mix in 1 tablespoon of unscented chlorine bleach.

As a rule of thumb for proper sanitization, soak the dishes for 1 minute per dish. Soak dishes that came into contact with raw meat for longer since they may have more harmful bacteria or parasites on them that can make us sick. Lastly, rinse the dishes in clean fresh water.

Reuse Campfire Ashes

If you love the outdoors and are camping or having a bonfire in your backyard, put those ashes to good use. Wood ashes can be used as a natural dish soap alternative. Make sure you're just getting the ashes and not other debris. Pour hot water slowly over the ashes and stir thoroughly. You want the mixture to form a paste. Rub the ash paste into the dishes and scrub away the food residue with a sponge or paper towels. Rinse with fresh water when you're done.

When you mix the ashes with hot water, it dissolves the potassium salts. This forms a strong alkali solution that reacts with the fatty acids in the food grease on your dirty dishes to create soap. You should use gloves to protect your hands from this alkali solution since it's rough on your skin. Reconnect with the earth with this cleansing alternative.

Try using some of these DIY dish soaps and dish soap alternatives for sparkly clean dishes. Create an all-natural dish soap for a cleaner and greener home.


Meg Scanlon

Meg Scanlon

Meg Scanlon earned a Masters from Johns Hopkins University. Her writing can be found on Hunker, Cuteness, Funny or Die, BarkPost, Taste of Home, LoveTV and ALittleBitFunny.com.