Jul 19, 2015

Safe & Effective Dish Soap

I have long been an advocate of natural cleaning products that aren't comprised of toxic and harsh chemicals; there are alternatives to do a better job and honestly, I wouldn't want to leave the residue of chemicals on dishes that I eat from. When the label on your product says "danger" or "warning", don't use it. Over the years I have made glass cleaner, laundry soap, disinfectant, and dishwashing soap. I have a large family both two and four-legged, and many of them have sensitive skin.  The natural cleaners work fabulously, smell wonderful and I know that I don't have to worry about children or pets coming into contact with noxious products.  Making this receive can also be fun for children.  They participate in something they understand the use of, it smells fantastic, and "cooking" is always fascinating. 

My favorite recipe for making dish soap is below. Most of the ingredients are available at Amazon.com and LuckyVitamin.com at really competitive price points. You can also purchase them at your local healthy food store, and many grocery stores have sections with natural products. While the initial cost to purchase all of the items is higher than your typical bottle of dish soap, your gain is having ingredients for many repetitions of the recipe and those same ingredients are on hand for other natural cleaning products.  The long-term savings is both monetary and having a healthier home. 

Ingredients: When I buy in bulk, I transfer most of the ingredients to attractive containers. I do a lot of laundry and dishes and like to see an organized and neat closet when I open it.   That's a totally personal choice, but when I found some of the bottles at IKEA on clearance, and others are repurposed water and lemonade bottles it was easy and inexpensive to get the look.  The glass containers that house extra washing soda and things like borax and home made laundry soap are from Anchor Hocking and are available at Amazon.com, Walmart, and Target.

  • 1 1/4 cup distilled or filtered water (I have a Britta filter or I simply buy a gallon of distilled water. I also use that in my iron since we have such hard water in Southern California.)
  • 2/3 cup unscented castile soap. (I purchase Dr. Bronner's at Trader Joe's. It's a natural cleaning agent made from coconut or olive oil that is renewable and biodegradable. I've used it for years and, slightly diluted, also wash my dogs with it.)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons washing soda. (They sell the bulk size at Costco and Amazon.com but I got a smaller box at Walmart.)
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable glycerine. (Again, Amazon.com has some, but I purchased mine at Walmart) 
  • 20 drops essential oil. (I have many brands and switch the oil frequently but this one happens to use lavender from Aura Cacia. Some oils have antibacterial and anti fungal  properties The list of those I like include lemongrass, eucalyptus, peppermint, and oregano)
  • 1 Tablespoon aloe gel which is optional. (I don't wear gloves when I wash dishes and this is a great additive for sensitive skin.)

1. Heat water until it's warm and add the washing soda, stirring until it dissolves. 

2. Add the Castile soap 

3. Stir together and then add the glycerin and your choice of essential oil. In addition to adding a nice scent to your dish soap, you added a level of antifungal or antibacterial protection.