Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Homemade Liquid AND Foaming Dish/Hand Soaps

First of all, let me share w/you a section about "Soap vs. Detergent" from the book, "The Naturally Clean Home" by Karyn Siegel-Maier. This information helped solidify my conviction to make my own house cleaning products. FYI...my own comments will in brackets [ ].

"Before the dawn of large-scale manufacturing, liquid soaps were made from saponins, foaming, sudsy substances found in the roots of soapwort, soapberry, & yucca. The typical liquid dishwashing soap bought from the grocery store is made from a petroleum distillate, a toxic pollutant & nonrenewable source. [Dish detergents are a leading cause of FATAL poisonings in small children!!] This product is actually a detergent, not soap. The safe & natural alternative is a vegetable-based soap called castile, a pure soap made from coconut or olive oil. It is readily biodegradable...Castile soap can be found in liquid or solid form in health food stores &, thankfully, some supermarkets [I get mine in the health food section of Kroger]."

Here's my favorite formula:

Liquid Castile soap
10 drops lavender essential oil
10 drops rosemary essential oil **Other great essential oils are grapefruit, orange, citrus, eucalyptus, or bergamot, Tea Tree. Experiment w/your own favorites.

~Fill a clean, old dish soap bottle, or same size squirt bottle, w/liquid Castile soap.
~Add oils. **When using this formula as a hand soap, add about 10-15 drops of Tea Tree essential oil to make it more anti-bacterial.
~Shake bottle before each use.
~Squirt in dish water & wash. **This is a relatively low-lather soap so don't over-use. 1-2 TB per sink full will do.

Foaming dish OR hand soap:

This is almost embarrassingly easy. You can do this for BOTH foaming hand soap AND dish soap.


~Have on-hand an empty foaming soap pump bottle.
~Pour in 1TB to 1" high (depending on the size of your bottle) of liquid hand soap OR liquid Castile soap.
~Add 10 drops of Tea Tree essential oil OR lavender OR some sort of citrus oil for anti-bacterial benefits.
~Fill bottle to about 1/4" from the top.
~Shake gently to blend.
~Pump & enjoy!


  1. I love using the liquid castile soap! It cleared up a diaper rashes when nothing else would. Have you found any brands other than Dr. Bronners? They're the cheapest, and most readily available through our coop, but I really have a problem with the new age/one religion/one god stuff that is plastered all over the bottle...I know a lot of people don't have a problem with it and buy it anyway, but I'd love to find another source. ;)

  2. I know what you mean, but I've not seen any other, either. If you find some - that doesn't cost a fortune - let me know.


  3. Hello Marmee! THis is my fovorite soap! I developed allergies a few years back and even the doctor recomended soaps left me with hives. After some research I setteled on Dr. Bonner's Peppermint soap in the kitchen and in the bathroom.Like you have the same problem with the New Age message on the bottles, but have not found an alternate supply.

  4. Welll, I did a little research (I'm putting in my monthly coop order, so it seemed fitting...) and ran across this: http://www.amazon.com/Desert-Essence-Castile-Liquid-liquid/dp/B0011DKSK2/ref=sr_1_32?ie=UTF8&s=hpc&qid=1262984256&sr=1-32

    I have used Dessert Essences face wash before, and love it. The only real different I'm noticing between this and Dr. Bronners is an absence of glycerin, and vitamin E, and the addition of tea tree oil. While this may not work on sensitive baby skin, it would definitely be perfect for a cleaner, with the tea tree already being added. So far I haven't seen any alternatives to the fragrance free...

    I'm going to order some (it's a whopping $5.25 for a 32oz bottle through my coop this month!) and see how it does!

  5. WOW! That's a great price & I get the Dessert Essence Tea Tree face pads from our food co-op. I'll have to look for that! Thanks so much.


  6. That is too funny, because I was browsing through the sale items this month and decided to try those tee tree face pads! :)

  7. Excellent idea. I like lemon, geranium, and Bergamot essential oils... together they make a very "happy" scent!
    Mountain Rose Herbs also sells liquid Castille soap at a reasonable price (not as good a deal as LeAnna found, but still worth checking out).

    I'm enjoying your blog, Kim :) .


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