One Recipe, Three Uses: Dishwasher Liquid Detergent, Dish Soap, and Hand Soap

Welcome to the April 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Family Recipes

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants are sharing their recipes, their stories, their pictures, and their memories.




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 washing 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!


  • 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)


  1. 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).
  2. Let the mixture sit in a sunny, warm spot for 24 hours then strain out the peels/citrus.
  3. Grate the bar soap with a cheese grater (freezing the soap beforehand may make this easier).
  4. Heat the water in a large pot until it is warm but not boiling.
  5. 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.
  6. Let sit in the pot, lightly covered, for 8 to 12 hours.
  7. If the mixture is not completely uniform, mix it well again and let it sit for another 8 to 12 hours.



To Use

  1. 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.
  2. Before using as a dish soap or dishwasher detergent, give the jar a gentle shake.
  3. Fill your detergent cup per the manufacturer’s instructions and run the dishwasher.
  4. If you have a particularly greasy load, add 1/2 cup white vinegar.
  5. For washing dishes by hand, use as needed. Remember – it won’t make suds!


Photo Credit 1: Free Digital Photos

Photo Credit 2: judahm


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • Three Favorite Family Recipes: To Eat, To Wash, To Play — Kristin at Intrepid Murmurings is back with three family favorites: gluten-free vanilla orange sugar cookies, DIY powdered laundry detergent, and something fun for the kids: homemade “Flubber”!
  • Black Bean Soup Forever — Mercedes at Project Procrastinot shares a soup recipe that’s been around forever.
  • Do you want to know a secret? — SRB at Little Chicken Nuggets lets go of her mac and cheese recipe, a comfort food favourite for friends and family for years.
  • Creating Our Own Family Recipes — Emily at S.A.H.M. i AM shares how she’s trying to create meals that her girls will want to pass down to their own children some day.
  • Vranameer Chicken: A Family Recipe — Luschka at Diary of a First Child shares a recipe that reminds her of childhood and more specifically, of her mother. It’s a South African take on sweet and sour chicken and what it lacks in healthy it makes up for in tantalising to the taste buds.
  • One Recipe, Three Uses: Dishwasher Liquid Detergent, Dish Soap, and Hand Soap — If you love saving money and time, you’ll love this green recipe from Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama, guest posting at Natural Parents Network.
  • Our Family’s Favorite Pies — Abbie at Farmer’s Daughter shares recipes and tutorials for the quintessential American dessert.
  • Deliciously Easy Crock Pot ChiliLactating Girl shares her crock pot chili that is not only quick and easy, but awesome.
  • All-Purpose Crock Pot PorkCrunchy Con Mommy‘s simple “recipe” for cooking perfect pork in the crock pot is for whatever mood her family is in!
  • Family Rules: A Recipe for Harmony — Cooped-up kids + winter weather + frazzled parents can all blend together into a recipe for disaster. Dionna at Code Name: Mama shares what brought back the peace in her house.
  • Favorite Healthy Family Recipes — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares her family’s healthy eating experiences along with links to free printable vegetarian recipes that her family has created with love.
  • Grandma’s Banana Bread — Megan at The Boho Mama has early and fond memories of her grandma’s banana bread. It’s love in a loaf!
  • Family Comfort Food — Jorje of Momma Jorje shares a recipe handed down that moms have made for their kids, for regular meals as well as to comfort.

About The Author: Jennifer S

HybridRastaMama My NPN Posts

Jennifer blogs about conscious parenting practices, mindful living, holistic health and wellness, natural healing, real foods (with a focus on coconut oil) as well as Waldorf based parenting approaches at Hybrid Rasta Mama.

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