Did you know that you can make safe, effective and all-natural dish soap by combining a few household ingredients and following a few basic steps?  The finished product can be nearly as effective as items purchased in stores, and it doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to whip up a batch as needed.  Let’s take a look at a couple of different recipes that you can put to use now as well as during a prolonged-crisis.

Borax-Based Soap

2 cups of boiling water

1 tablespoon of borax

1-2 tablespoons of bar soap (grated)

10-20 drops of your favorite essential oils


Bring your water to a boil as you grate your soap.  While you can use any bar soap that you like, try to avoid choosing products that contain a lot of artificial colors and fragrances.  You also don’t need soaps that contain moisturizers or other compounds that soften, tighten or heal the skin, but there’s nothing wrong with using them either.

When finished grating, put the soap into a large bowl along with the borax and mix.  Next, carefully pour the water over the mixture and whisk or stir until the soap melts and the borax dissolves.  Let the mixture cool overnight and give it an occasional stir.  Give it another stir the following day before transferring the thick liquid into a spray or squeeze bottle.  Add in your essential oils, give it a good shake, and you’re good to go.

Vinegar-Based Soap

2 cups of boiling water

¼ cup of grated bar soap

2 tablespoons of white vinegar

1 tablespoon of glycerin

5-10 drops of lemon essential oil

Grate the soap and put it in a saucepan before adding cool water.  Bring up the heat to medium and stir continually until the soap melts.  However, it’s important that you don’t let the mixture come to a boil,  because doing so can change the chemical composition of the soap and render it useless.  Remove from heat when finished and let the mixture cool for 10 minutes or so.

Next, add the vinegar and glycerin and give it a good stir.  The glycerin will cause the mixture to slightly gel and thicken.  While using glycerin is technically optional, doing so can help you reduce waste and have better control over how much soap you use.  Finally, stir in the lemon essential oil before letting the soap set as it cools to room temperature.  Transfer it to an appropriate bottle or dispenser when finished.

There are two things that you will notice when using either of these homemade alternatives.  First, the soap will not be as sudsy when compared to store-bought products.  This is because those soaps contain additives that produce bubbles in order to give people the impression that it is working.  However, bubbles, or lack thereof, really have no association with the actual cleaning power of the soap.  Second, these soaps will not be as thick or gelatinous, even if you use glycerin, but this is nothing to worry about either.

Feel free to experiment with higher concentrations or soap, borax or vinegar to create a more-potent finished product.  Try these recipes out for yourself, because chances are that you’ll be surprised at their effectiveness.