When it comes to “saving,” it is a toss up as to whether I prefer to save money or to save time. As a busy mama on a tight budget, both are crucial to successfully managing day-to-day life. When it comes to taking care of my home and family, I also like to incorporate as many natural and “green” alternatives as possible.
In my quest to do all of the above, I created a pretty amazing 3-in-1 liquid “soap.” I hesitate to use the word soap, as most people associate soap with foamy, bubbly suds. This recipe is definitely NOT a sudsy soap, but no one in my family minds. In fact, they much prefer how clean it gets everything I use it for.
This recipe is my go-to dishwasher liquid detergent, dish soap, and hand soap. One container, three uses. It does not get more green than that. Plus, there are no harsh chemicals, and it really does get everything squeaky clean.
Here is my secret super easy recipe. I hope you make it, use it, and love it!
Dishwasher Liquid Detergent, Dish Soap, and Hand Soap
- 1 4-ounce bar plain soap like this one
- 8 cups water or strained citrus water (which adds a nice mild scent)
- 1/2 teaspoon tea tree, grapefruit, or bergamot essential oil (optional)
- If making citrus water, simply add peels (or a whole cut up piece of citrus of your choice) to 8 cups room temperature water. You can use more than one type of citrus at a time. I happen to love lemon and lime together).
- Let the mixture sit in a sunny, warm spot for 24 hours then strain out the peels/citrus.
- Grate the bar soap with a cheese grater (freezing the soap beforehand may make this easier).
- Heat the water in a large pot until it is warm but not boiling.
- Take the pot off the stove, add the soap gratings and essential oil, if using, and mix well with a wire whisk or an immersion blender.
- Let sit in the pot, lightly covered, for 8 to 12 hours.
- If the mixture is not completely uniform, mix it well again and let it sit for another 8 to 12 hours.
- Pour your soap into a mason jar, old wine bottle, or any other glass container. If you have an old hand soap dispenser, fill that up so you can have hand soap in an easier to access container.
- Before using as a dish soap or dishwasher liquid detergent, give the jar a gentle shake.
- Fill your detergent cup per the manufacturer’s instructions and run the dishwasher.
- If you have a particularly greasy load, add 1/2 cup white vinegar.
- For washing dishes by hand, use as needed. Remember – it won’t make suds!