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How To Make Solid Dish Soap

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

Have you heard of solid dish soap? Solid dish soap is literally what the name implies, a solid container or disk of soap suitable for cleaning rather than skin care. Solid dish soap has been gaining in popularity over the last couple of years as an eco friendly alternative to regular dish soap. How is it an eco friendly product? First, typically when you purchase solid dish soap it is in plastic free packaging. I have seen it sold as just the solid disc of soap or in containers of metal, glass or ceramic. Also many of the solid dish soaps I have seen have cleaner ingredients than store bought dish soap. I feel like this is probably because a good portion of the solid dish soaps I have seen are made by artisan soap makers which tend to use cleaner ingredients than more commercial operations.

Now you may be thinking, couldn't I just use a regular bar of soap then to clean my dishes? You could, but probably not with very good results. Solid dish soaps are formulated to be a lot more cleansing than a regular bar of soap and would be too harsh to use on your skin on a regular basis. They also don't contain any of the moisturizing additives many bar soaps contain as that would cut down on some of the cleansing properties of the dish soap and would also quite honestly be a waste of a good ingredient.

Another perk of solid dish soap is it is really easy and affordable to make. The recipe I am going to share with you today is my current favorite for solid dish soap. This recipe is a cold process soap recipe and does you lye to make the soap. If you are new to soap making, I encourage you to do your research on lye and how to safely use it before making your first batch of soap. Here is a great video on the basics of lye done by Royalty Soaps to help get you started.

For this solid dish soap you will need:

Four 4oz Ramekins- I got mine from Dollar Tree

19.2oz of Coconut Oil - Costco and Sams both have great prices on coconut oil

1.2oz of Stearic Acid

1.2oz of Castor Oil

2.4oz of Olive Oil.

4.17oz Lye(Sodium Hydroxide)

9.12oz Distilled Water

Heat Safe Containers

To Make:

  1. First and most importantly, put on your safety goggles and gloves then measure out your coconut oil, stearic acid, castor and olive oils into a container. Coconut Oil has a very high cleansing value in soap which is why it makes up the majority of this recipe. Many people make this soap using only the coconut oil. I have added in the olive oil to make the soap slightly more gentle on your hands when you are washing dishes, the castor oil for additional lather and the stearic acid to make the soap harder so it will last longer.

  2. Next measure out your Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil and then set it to the side for later. I chose this essential oil as it has strong cleansing properties and a fresh clean scent similar to Lemongrass.

  3. Now measure out your lye and water and combine(always pouring the lye into the water). For this soap I do the heat transfer method so I don't allow my lye water to cool to room temperature but pour it into my oils warm to melt down the coconu oil and bring up the temperature of the other ingredients. If you are more comfortable with allowing your lye water to cool and heating your oils to melt them, you can definitely do that as well. Since this is such a simple soap with no additional colors or swirls, I typically do the heat transfer method just for convenience.

  4. Add your lye water to your oils and stir until melted. Once everything has melted, add in your lemon eucalyptus essential oil and then stick blend until you reach a thin to medium trace. Trace in soap making jut means when you reach the point of all of your components forming one batter and no longer seperating out from one another. A light trace would resemble a thin cake batter and medium trace would be slightly thicker.

  5. Once you have reached trace, pour your batter into your ramekins and allow to set up for a minimum of 48 hours. After this point your solid dish soap will be fully saponified and safe to use. If you want a more long lasting solid dish soap, then I suggest letting it sit for 3-4 weeks before using. This will allow more water to evaporate out of the soap making for a harder more long lasting soap.

To Use:

Place a small amount of water on top of your dish soap and then use a sponge or scrub brush to apply the soap to your dishes and then clean as you normally would. I use this soap daily on my dishes and love it. It even works on my soap making dishes which are always super oily and hard to clean.

If you do make this soap, let me know how you like it in the comments!

*This post contains affiliate links meaning, when you use my link, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting The Oily Life.

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