Glimpse of Yesterday

Glimpse of Yesterday

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Homemade Dishwashing Detergent

At long last, I have found an effective, easy homemade recipe for handwashing dish detergent.

Now, I do own a dishwasher. But, it came with the house. 20 years ago. It's also SO noisy that all members of the family would go into their rooms and shut the doors to get away from the racket. And forget about using the telephone while it was going - I used to have to take the cordless phone down in the basement just to hold a conversation. Never mind that, being so old, I'm sure it isn't energy efficient at all. So, I haven't used it in a few years. I plan on removing it (it's a built-in) and using the space for other things.

I don't mind hand washing dishes at all. I have a nice window right above the sink that looks out onto one of my flower gardens and a dogwood tree that holds a bird feeder. I usually wash a sink full of dishes every afternoon when I get home from work. It's a nice way to wind down from work and think about what I'd like to accomplish for the rest of the day.

Now, I usually would buy whatever dishwashing detergent is the cheapest at the grocery store. But, just like laundry detergent, if I don't have an extra bottle in stock, it's a hassle to run out of it when there's a pile to dishes that need attention. So, since I recently began making my own homemade laundry detergent (and loving it!), I decided to find a homemade recipe for the dishes, too.

The last kind of detergent I actually bought from a store was a Trader Joe's brand. I just ran out of that kind yesterday, so I kept the 25 oz. bottle. Here's the recipe I used:

1/4 cup soap flakes (I used my Pampered Chef cheese grater & grated an Ivory soap bar)
2 cups hot water
1/4 cup glycerin OR castile soap

Add the soap flakes to hot water until dissolved. Add the glycerin or castile soap and mix. Let mixture cool. Using funnel, pour into desired container.

I bought a bottle of castile soap at Trader Joe's for $8.99 for a 32-oz. bottle. I haven't checked Walmart or another comparable store to see if it may be cheaper.

Well, I used the detergent today for the first time and I do like it. It doesn't bubble or have suds. That's kind of different since I'm so used to commercial detergents having rich suds. The detergent seemed to move any grease or oil to the sides of the sink, so I think it was effective in breaking down oils. The dishes are very clean, and if I towel-dried them, they wouldn't have the occasional water spots. My hands do not feel tight and dried-out like they usually do after washing dishes.

So, overall, I don't think I'll be buying dish detergent again. I'm happy with the homemade recipe, both in washing the dishes and saving money.

How about you? Do you have a homemade recipe or remedy to share? If you try this or any other homemade dish washing detergent, please let me know how you like it (or not).

Have a blessed day!



  1. Good for you Lee! I recently started buying the Costco dishwasher detergent instead of Cascade...the Costco brand (Kirkland) is a 2 pack of 7.81 lbs each (x two)..for the SAME price as 1 Cascade. It works wonderfully too!

    My dishwasher is noisy too!

  2. I want a quiet dishwasher. Actually, he is pretty quiet. ;D

    I'm glad that you found something that works really well for you. So many people are trying these homemade recipes.

    One thing I tried was a homemade bathroom wipe. Nope, got going to do it again. Ha!

  3. Thanks for the soap recipe. I have been hand washing more dishes lately because I enjoy it and I think it uses less water and I know it uses less energy.

    BTW I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the sewing machine you and Lacey found. What a great score:-)