How to Make Homemade Soap! 4-Ingredient Citrus Dish Soap

How to Make Homemade Soap! 4-Ingredient Eco-Friendly and Citrus Fresh Dish Soap

Wondering how to make homemade soap that’s good for your hands, your dishes, and the planet? Conventional soaps can lead to dry hands, and often contain phosphates that can be damaging to the environment. You can create your own non-toxic cleaning mixture at home with a few simple ingredients and a little shaking, skip the chemicals, and save money on pricey natural cleaning products.

How to Make Homemade Soap

Castile Soap & Salt

Start with pure liquid castile soap, a concentrated natural cleaning agent. One popular brand is Dr. Bronner’s, a certified organic and vegan product. You’ll also need a pinch of salt to thicken the mixture.

Vegetable Glycerin

The hardest part of this recipe is finding vegetable glycerin, which may be difficult to locate if you don’t have a good health food store nearby. But it’s easy to order online, and it has a long shelf life. Vegetable glycerin moisturizes as it cleans, and adds bubbles to the mix. Don’t expect this homemade soap to have the same foaming bubbles as store-bought mixtures – those are usually added by synthetic chemical agents. Humans have come to believe that lots of bubbles = great cleaning powers, but that’s not necessarily true. Conventional soap makers add extra suds to their products just for this reason, but they’re actually not needed to clean – it’s just for looks.

Fresh Citrus Oil

Essential oils don’t just smell wonderful, they also help to cut through grease on your dishes and hands. In particular, citrus oils are great at reducing stress levels and calming anxiety. Some studies show that they may also enhance cognitive performance, aid digestion, and even boost metabolism.

Choose your favorite oil for the recipe, or do a mix. Be sure to choose high-quality oils. Some essential oil companies sell a pre-blended citrus oil mixture, such as doTERRA’s Citrus Blend – a combination of wild orange, lemon, grapefruit, mandarin, bergamot, tangerine, clementine, and vanilla.

Get Pumped

You’ll also need an empty, clean dish soap bottle with a pump. Amazon sells soap pumps that fit on standard mason jars for a cute, vintage look.

How to Make Homemade Soap for Dishes & Hands


1 cup liquid castile soap
2 teaspoons vegetable glycerin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
50 drops of your favorite citrus essential oil (or a combination), such as lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange, mandarin, tangerine, clementine, bergamot


  1. Add all the ingredients to your mason jar or dish soap bottle.
  2. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds.
  3. Wait a couple of hours, and shake again. Repeat this process until the salt is fully dissolved and is no longer settling to the bottom of the jar.
  4. Enjoy your fresh-smelling citrus soap!

Note: this soap is not intended for use in dishwashing machines.

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Dirty dishes image via Shutterstock