Those were the two words I heard as I walked from the hallway into the bathroom where the kids were taking a bath.
“What happened, Piper?”
“I dumped out your shampoo!”
I looked at Piper and Londyn splashing around in the tub now filled with shampoo bubbles, “Why did you dump out the shampoo?”
“We wanted bubbles, but it’s okay, you can make more, Mama!”
It was at that moment that the act of Piper dumping my expensive, store-bought (more natural) shampoo in the bath-tub quickly fled from my thoughts as I chuckled about his comment, “It’s okay, you can make more, Mama!”
I chuckled about this simplified life that’s become so normal to him. One where toothpaste comes in a clear, reusable tube and body wash comes from a mason jar. I’m excited (and if I’m honest, a bit nervous) about his first year of kindergarten next year. “Mrs. Jones, why is this hand soap blue?” or “It’s okay, Mrs. Jones, my mom can make some hand sanitizer for you!” You know, totally normal five year-old stuff. Maybe Mrs. Jones and I should have a talk before the big first day?
Now, on to the DIY or as Piper would say, “You can make more, Mama” project of the day.
I think you’re going to love today’s DIY as it’s become one of the most requested homemade recipes around Live Simply. Today is finally the day for DIY Dish Soap! So gather the supplies and fire-up the stove-top, we’re going to make an effective homemade dish soap that’s tough on germs and grease. In other words, this stuff actually works!
First, let’s take a look at the ingredients…
1. Washing Soda: Just like baking soda, washing soda has the cleaning power to cut tough dirt, stains, and even grease. Not only does this ingredient take care of the unwanted stains and grease, it also deodorizes. That Tupperware of two week-old spaghetti is no match for this stain-fighting and deodorizing ingredient.
2. Borax: This ingredient has been highly debated in the natural community. Some believe this ingredient is toxic, while others, like myself, hold strong to the belief that borax is just as natural as baking soda. If you’re on the fence about this ingredient, I highly recommend reading this well-researched article from Wellness Mama. Then, add this ingredient to your homemade dish soap for its grease-fighting power. Borax also helps to fight against hard water spots and residue.
3. Sal Suds: One of my favorite multipurpose DIY ingredients. Castile soap is a concentrated vegetable-based soap with easy to recognize ingredients. I use castile soap for everything from homemade laundry detergent to hand soap and face wash. While I love castile soap, I purchase castile soap’s cousin, Sal Suds, for tough cleaning jobs. Sal Suds is tougher on grease and stubborn stains than castile soap.
4. Essential Oils: Peppermint and tea tree essential oils are known for their natural cleaning power (antibacterial and antiseptic) which is why both are added to this recipe. Peppermint essential oil also adds an amazing fresh scent to this soap.
5. Optional Ingredients: I like to add glycerin and a nourishing oil to this dish soap recipe for moisturizing benefits. Trust me, your hands will thank you! You can add these ingredients or skip them, either way you’ll still create an effective dish soap.
This DIY Dish Soap can easily be doubled or even tripled, if desired. I suggest first trying this recipe and testing it out to see if you like homemade dish soap, as we all have our preferences when it comes to cleaning products.
Before I leave, remember, if your kids decide to enjoy an afternoon of bubbles in the sink, “You can always make more, Mama!” thanks to this super easy DIY Dish Soap recipe.
- 2 TB borax (where to buy)
- 2 TB washing soda (where to buy)
- 1¼ cups water
- ¾ cup Sal Suds (where to buy)
- 15-20 drops each: peppermint essential oil (where to buy) and tea tree essential oil (where to buy)
- ½ TB nourishing oil (jojoba, almond, olive oil, etc.)--If you'll be using this soap with bare hands.
- In a saucepan, heat the the water just until it reaches a boiling point. Turn off the heat and add the washing soda and borax, stirring to dissolve. Let the mixture cool for 3-5 minutes, just until warm, but no longer hot.
- Add the Sal Suds and and essential oils to the water mixture. Vigorously whisk the ingredients together.
- Use a funnel to pour the dish soap into a soap dispenser (I found one at IKEA). The soap may separate after sitting for 24 hours. If this happens, vigorously shake the soap bottle until the ingredients are combined.
When you introduce water into a product without a preservative you always run the risk of introducing bacteria, so use water-based products quickly.
Don’t want to “cook” your dish soap? I love this no-cook recipe as well.
Hard Water Note: If you have hard water, like myself, this soap will clean and remove all the germies (including grease), however, it’s not a 100% spotless formula. This means when you hold up glasses in the light you may see some dry water spots (although the Borax helps to reduce the amount you would see with other homemade dish soap recipes). Ah yes, the curse and blessing of mineral-rich, hard water. Even with store-bought soap I have an issue with water spots.
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