Looking for an all-natural, zero-waste, easy-to-make project that everyone can use (or gift)? Today I’m sharing how to make cold press dish soap bars; a fun and earth-friendly project anyone can do.
A few weeks ago I did a blog post on learning to make cold press soaps and it has been fun! It started because a friend of mine makes homemade soaps and I am forever buying from her. Then I got to thinking how fun a gender-reveal soap would be for a baby shower… which lead to give ideas, and now I’m at the point where I’ve made about 78 bars of cold process soap as Christmas gifts for family and friends.
Yes, I know Christmas is a ways off, but cold press soaps take 4-6 weeks to fully cure, so starting now was necessary.
*This post contains Amazon affiliate links to the items I used to make these soaps (or similar). For the full Amazon affiliate disclosure, please see the bottom of the page.
I’ve tried making shampoo bars – which (in my opinion) were a giant fail because they made my scalp itch and my hair feel coated. I made a charcoal and tea tree soap which I plan to bag up as little sacks of “coal” for Santa’s naughty list. Eucalyptus-spearmint was another version I wanted to test, thinking it would be a nice scent for those winter days when you have a cold and a steamy eucalyptus shower might be a soothing decongestant….
and now, I’ve made dish soap bars!
These might be my favourite of the recipes I’ve done so far because they are stylish, zero-waste, last forever (longer than regular dish soap) and can be paired as a gift with a bristle brush and stand.
I did not create the recipe – I’m far too new at soap making to know how to create a properly sudsing, lathering, and cleaning soap – so I’m linking to Soap Deli News for the cold press dish soap recipe I used. Her article is so informative and gives the step-by-step on making your own cold process dish soap bars.
My version changed her ingredient list only slightly
Cold press dish soap bars:
- 8.5 oz distilled water. (241 gm)
- 5.6 oz sodium hydroxide (lye). (159 gm)
- 29 oz coconut oil. (822 gm)
- 3.2 oz castor oil. (91 gm)
- 2 tbsp citric acid. (12.5 gm)
- 1 oz lemon essential oil. (28 gm)
- 1 tsp yellow mica powder
I’m going to try her lime/mandarin combo next, but for this version I didn’t have lemons to zest and I really wanted the lemon scent.
Again, please refer to Soap Deli News for the complete recipe and instructions.
I purchased a 6-puck silicone mold so that my cold press dish soap bars would be round, but this recipe actually made enough to have about 9 dish soap bars, so I used my rectangular loaf mold to hold the overage.
I added the tsp of yellow mica to a small portion of the liquid soap (before it hardened) and mixed it in with a kebab skewer to create a subtle swirl pattern to my dish soap.
The pucks are actually the perfect size to hold the scrubbing bristle brush right on top!
I cut the loaf dish soap into rectangular bars and then used a vegetable peeler to angle the edges so that it looks more professional.
I set them on my soap drying rack to cure for a minimum of 4 weeks. In this case, I’m 3 months out from Christmas, so I can leave them here until I’m ready to wrap.
I have started packaging up the soaps that are already fully cured and have included a soap-saver with each bar.
Guess what guys?
My latest adventure in learning to make cold process dish soap bars is a TOTAL SUCCESS!!
Look at those suds!
I picked up a box of a dozen bristle dish brushes to pair with each bar that I’ll be gifting.
These little counter platforms, I whipped up out of scrap bits of wood and some wooden beads.
The stands have been sealed with 4 coats of exterior sealer so that they shouldn’t get damaged with water. The above is just walnut firewood that I cut down to fit a dish soap bar and brush, then glued wooden beads to the bottom.
Below is the oak version, but same process.
I can’t give you an exact cost breakdown on my make your own dish soaps because the ingredients have been shared between several types of soaps. I have done a cost breakdown of everything I’ve invested into soap making – including the bristle brushes, squiggly soap dishes, loofahs, molds, wood sealer etc and I’m averaging about $8/bar of soap I’ve made so far.
Which isn’t entirely accurate because I have a TON of ingredients leftover and I won’t need to invest in molds or scales or thermometers etc going forward – so it’s deceptive. Without those add-ons, these may ring in around $4-$5 CDN per bar?
The HUGE bonus of making your own cold press dish soap bars is the fact that they are zero waste. No plastic bottles for landfill or recycling, and these bars are supposed to outlast traditional store-purchased liquid dish soap by almost double.
It’s so trendy – yet traditional – and stylish on your counter! I just love how this looks!
I’d love to receive this as a gift myself, so I’ll be so proud to give these sets as hostess gifts, Christmas gifts, housewarming gifts etc.
I “need” to keep one for myself of course – strictly because I had to test out the lather, suds and whether it cut grease and cleaned dishes.
It really, really does!
All in, I’d say this took about 30 minutes of actual “work” – which involved measuring ingredients, stirring and then pouring into molds. SO EASY!
Head over to Soap Deli News for her complete instructions and ingredient list, and PIN this image so you can come back and make more and more and more…
Have a great one!