Dish Liquid

Learn how to make your own dishwashing liquid using Castile Soap.  This easy, natural DIY solution can also be used as hand wash and body wash!  


-  1/4 cup Liquid Castile Soap

-  1 3/4 cups of water*

-  1 teaspoon Xanthan Gum

Optional but recommended:

-  1 tablespoon Glycerine

-  20-25 drops Essential Oil

* Distilled or demineralised water is recommended, but boiled water from the kettle is next best. 


-  Mixing jug/bowl

-  Measuring spoons

- Whisk or Stick Blender

- Pump Bottle


Approx. 500ml


1.  First add the water into your mixing jug then the liquid Castile Soap. It's not essential to do it this way, but it does help stop it bubbling up to much this way. *

2.  You could add some essential oils & use the mix now as it is, however it may too runny for your liking. In this case thicken it with Xanthan Gum. You could simply add the Xanthan Gum & mix with a stick blender until all the lumps are gone, but you will find the mix will foam up & even double in amount thanks to the air bubbles from the soap. If you do this, let it sit & reduce before adding to your bottle. 

Another (probably better) option is to mix the Xanthan Gum with a Glycerine in a separate bowl/cup, this forms a nice gel which you can then mix into your liquid soap solution using a whisk. 

3.  You will need to mix & stir for a while as the mixture with thicken more over time. Once your happy, add to your pump bottle and voila. 

My original recipe suggesting adding 1 teaspoon of Coconut Soap Flakes to this mix, this helps with lather but does not allow the mixture to get to gluggy. Truthfully I don't do this often & is an experiment  with.


This dish liquid can take some time to get used to. It does not contain artificial foaming agents & is low in suds. It's most effective when pumped directly onto a wet sponge when you're washing a few dishes by hand.  If you're filling up a sink, you can team this with Dish Powder or a soap bar.

See some FAQ for more info


What is liquid Castile Soap?

This is a pure soap that is made from olive oil, water & lye (caustic soda). Depending on the type of lye you can make liquid or hard soap. 

Can I use the Dishwashing Liquid recipe as hand wash?

Absolutely! You can also experiment by adding other skin cleansing ingredients like Vitamin E, Shea Butter & Glycerine. If you have a foaming hand pump just leave out the Xanthan gum, you don't need to thicken it. 

What does Xanthan Gum do?

It has a few functions but the main one is to thicken liquid solutions naturally. You will find it as a thickening agent in shampoos, conditioners, detergents & a lot of cosmetics.

Can I mix Xanthan Gum by hand?

Yes, but you will need to be extremely patient as this can take some time. You are best off mixing the xanthan gum with vegetable glycerine  before adding to your mixture. This acts like a ‘roux’ (a mix corn flour & butter) used to thicken a soup, the butter helps spread the flour more evenly through the soup so there are less lumps. The glycerine works the same way with the xanthan gum however lumps still can form. So, the next step is to whisk the solution fast to create a vortex & then slowly add your glycerine gum mix. Then you need to keep whisking & whisking until lumps are gone.

What type of blender do I need?

A cheap stick blender will do the job. You could also use an upright blender, thermomix or whatever you have that will whisk fast. You don't need to have a separate blender for this & cooking, after all your making dishwashing liquid :-)

Is this safe for septic tanks?

The ingredients are mild, safe & biodegradable which should not affect the bacteria in septic tanks like harsh chemicals can.

Should I use distilled water?

Only if you are going to make a large batch that won't be used right away or your tap water is very hard. Not only should it be free from any contaminates but it has less hard minerals that react with soap. For a small batch that will be used within 4-6 weeks normal tap/boiled water should be fine. 

Have a Question?





Click on the product for the DIY recipe


This awesome recipe is exactly the same for dish liquid as it is for hand wash. The only difference is you may want to add a few more fancy things to your hand wash like Vitamin E, Aloe Vera or Jojoba Oil which your dishes would survive without.

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