Homemade Bar Dish Soap Recipe
Homemade Bar Dish Soap Recipe

Homemade Bar Dish Soap Recipe

Most American kitchens rely on some version of liquid dish soap for all of their dish-washing needs. Most generic liquid dish soaps are packaged in plastic bottles and rarely recycled or reused, contributing largely to the packaging waste issues facing the world today. While liquid dish soap can definitely be adapted to the low or zero-waste lifestyle (as long as you’re utilizing a  refillable container), solid dish soap and dish soap bars have proven to be effective, low-waste alternatives. 



Solid dish soap and dish soap bars are completely container-free and a conscious step toward low-waste living. There are many online options available for purchase, but we like to make our own with the recipe below! This recipe is calculated at 1% superfat, which makes it a potent grease fighter. The use of coconut oil and castor oil results in a rich lather that is not harsh on hands and is, of course, completely biodegradable and sewer-friendly.



You will want to take the usual precautions when making your soap. Eye protection, gloves, and an apron are always recommended. We will be using individual molds for this recipe, since the final product is very hard and difficult to cut as a loaf.

Minimalist Mama Bar Dish Soap Recipe

Yield: 1 pound
You will need:
14.4 oz virgin coconut oil (where to buy)

1.6 oz castor oil (where to buy)
6.08 oz distilled water
2.82 oz lye (where to buy)
Stick blender
Individual soap molds (any shape is fine) 

Make the Lye Water

Measure out the 6.08 oz of distilled water into a heat-safe container. Weight out the lye into a separate container, then carefully pour it into the water container. It will get hot and may bubble. Gently swirl or stir to mix until fully dissolved. Set aside to cool.

Melt the Oils

Weigh out your coconut oil and castor oil and place in a microwave safe container. Microwave at 45-second bursts until fully melted. Alternatively, you can melt your oils using a double boiler, but the microwave is faster.


Before you blend, make sure your molds are clean and ready. When your oils and lye mixture have each reached about 110 degrees, you can blend them. Pour the lye mixture in a steady stream into your oil mixture, blending on low speed with a stick blender. Once the lye water has been fully incorporated, you can switch to high speed on your blender. You will reach trace fairly quickly, so try not to overshoot it. A thin trace is preferable, since we are using individual molds here. The mixture should resemble thin pancake batter.

Pour into Molds

Pour your mixture immediately into the prepared molds. Allow them to dry and harden for 24 hours (it happens fast). Unmold bars and store them in a cool, dry place.


Note: you can certainly add fragrance to these bars. However, you will want to use natural oils, such as lemon or orange essential oils-not synthetic versions. You will also need to incorporate these oils into your calculations. Soapcal.net has an excellent calculator that accounts for these adjustments. You will be using 90% coconut oil and 10% castor oil.


To use your bars, place one on a wooden or bamboo soap dish. You can get a lather going with your hands under some running water, then place the bar back on the dish and use a scrub brush or sponge to scoop the lather onto what you are cleaning.


We hope you enjoyed this recipe! Please let us know how it worked for you in the comments!

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Minimalist Mama is a curated story of mamahood, minimalism and simple living.

Portia Owens


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