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Old-Fashioned Dishwashing Detergent

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Old Fashioned Dishwashing Detergent- back in the day it was common to make your own handwashing detergent (you didn’t really think this was an automatic dishwashing detergent, did you?) which used only 2 very basic ingredients.

1 pint grated soap (often lye based) but for this recipe we recommend Dr Bronners Castile Soap.
1 gallon water

Bring ingredients to a boil, uncovered, reduce heat and simmer 8-10 minutes. Cool slightly, pour into a Mason jar. Use 1 to 2 teaspoons per dishpan.

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5 thoughts on “Old-Fashioned Dishwashing Detergent”

  1. i’m confused…this recipe calls for grated “soap”. what kind of soap? i love the super laundry sauce and i want to expand that success but i’m not sure what kind of soap to purchase for this “recipe”.


    • I’m confused…this recipe calls for grated “soap”. What kind of soap? I love the super laundry sauce and I want to expand that success but I’m not sure what kind of soap to purchase for this “recipe”. Thanks.

      It doesn’t really matter what kind, but we recommend Dr. Bronners Castile Soap for dishware.

  2. I just made this for the first time. I found the castile soap at Walmart, which was nice. I’m wondering about the amount of the ingredients. A gallon of water is a lot (16 cups). On a whim, I decided to try making it with two bars of soap (1 bar is just over a pint, or 2 cups, after it’s been shredded). I only had 3 available mason jars and it’s filled all three to the brim with some left over.

    I’m wondering, do I use it the way I would use a store bought detergent (ie. put some on a sponge) It has a different consistency, which is why I hesitate.

    I am looking forward to using it!

  3. Update: I poured a little of the liquid onto a sponge and it worked just as well as store bought detergent. I’m so happy I found this recipe! Will definitely use it again after my 4 quart mason jars are through. From the look of it, it’ll take a few months before I need to make more. YES!

  4. One more comment/question. What is the consistency supposed to be like. The morning after I made my last comment, I found that the detergent gained the consistency of snot. IMO it could be because I used two bars of soap. It still works well, though next time I’m going to try this with one bar like I should’ve in the first place. lol


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