Lavender Lemon Dish Soap DIY (Essential Oil Based!)

I’ve been trying to switch out a lot of my home cleaning products to less toxic versions over the past few years, but one category I never got around to was dish soap! It’s obviously a product that we all use more times a day than we would like to (unless you’re a “dishwasher only” kind of gal), so it’s a great place to add in a healthier alternative to conventional dish soaps which can have artificial fragrances, added dyes, and foaming agents in their soaps. This soap has a delicious lavender lemon scent from added essential oils so you can enjoy a little aromatherapy while you tackle that looming pile of dinner dishes …
Lavender Lemon Dish Soap, makes 1 1/2 cups

1 cup unscented castile soap
2 tablespoons washing soda (you can find this one at most local stores)
1/2 cup water (you may need distilled or purified water depending on your tap water)
25 drops lavender essential oil
20 drops lemon essential oil
soap dispenser (clear glass or amber glass)

To give your dish soap an extra boost, we are going to add some washing soda! Washing soda is a cousin of baking soda and it helps give your soap a bit of a natural cleaning boost and thickens the mixture a bit. Dissolve 2 tablespoons of washing soda into 1/2 cup of hot or boiling water by stirring until soda has dissolved. I had a lot of trouble getting some organic washing soda I had bought to fully dissolve in water no matter how hot the water was or how long I stirred and stirred. I finally went out and bought the Arm & Hammer brand at a local store which did dissolve for me, but only when I put it into hot distilled water instead of my tap water or water from my home water purifier. So, just know that if you have issues getting your washing soda to dissolve in your tap water, you may want to try a store bought or distilled water instead. Add 1 cup of unscented castile soap into your water and washing soda mixture and stir to combine. My soap got kind of clumpy as it mixed with the washing soda, but a quick spin in the blender smoothed the soap out into dish soap consistency.Add your essential oils into your soap (add a little more for a stronger scent, less for a lighter scent) and stir. The lavender is great for tackling dishes because it has a calming effect and the lemon is an antiseptic so it’s perfect for DIY cleaning products. Pour your soap into your bottle with a funnel, replace the cap and you’re ready to wash dishes! If you find that your soap is too thick to get through the pump, add small amounts of water and stir (use the thin handle of a serving spoon to stir inside the bottle) to thin to the right consistency. As with all essential oil products, if you find that it irritates your skin, discontinue use or try lessening the amount of oils added to see if that helps by adding more castile soap. This soap smells amazing and I love that I can also feel good about it being made with natural ingredients (and washing dishes with pink gloves if you don’t like to get your hands wet and macaroon sponges make the job a lot more fun too!). You may be wondering, “That’s all nice, but does it work?” I’m happy to report that I haven’t noticed any difference in how well this soap cleans dishes versus other dish soaps so I would say it works really well! You can also print our dish soap label onto sticker paper and add your own pretty label to your bottle. Happy washing! xo. Laura

Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
  • I’d love to know now that some months have passed if you still use and like this recipe! 🙂

  • Love this idea!!! Planning a podcast episode on natural products soon…thanks to all your awesome posts!

  • I just love the idea of creating something by oneself….. You get a sense of creativity and the also be sure that the product will be free from harmful chemicals.

  • I just shared your yummy recipe for Lemon and Lavender soap with the ladies who frequent my website, www.gprevived. I know it will be a hit. Thank you!

  • yes, i am interested in how it does on your skin as well! how are your hands after washing with it? i feel like i’ve noticed meyers soap in previous pictures on the blog, i love meyers and how it isn’t hard on your hands! how does this soap compare to that?

    • I haven’t noticed a difference in my hands so far! I think if you have really sensitive skin the washing soda may bother you, but you can always leave that out if it does 🙂


  • I was literally thinking, “that sounds great but does it work?” as I was getting to the end of this post. Haha. I will have to give a try!

  • I think this would make a great hand soap but I never understood why anyone wants to use scented soap on anything you’re going to eat from.

    • The scent isn’t leftover on the dishes, the water should rinse everything off. It’s more about the aromatherapy for you while you wash and the antiseptic property of the lemon helps clean the dishes as well 🙂


  • Can you just use lemon and leave the lavender out? If so, do I need to double the drops of lemon?

    • Yes, you can leave it out! I would add a few drops extra of lavender and see if that’s a good level. You can always add more if you want it 🙂


  • Fantastic idea,I love essence of lavender

  • Such a fun idea of making soap yourself. Love this.
    xo, Meghan |

  • This sounds amazing! I’m totally trying this when we run out of our current soap!


  • Love the idea that you can make this yourself! Is it good for your hands as well?

  • If you want to try a simpler natural dish soap you can give Marseille soap a go! Rub your kitchen sponge on the soap bar and that’s all 🙂 Make sure it’s a 100% natural soap from Marseille to avoid all chemicals additives.

  • The lavender-lemon combo sounds so energizing! I’m working on this switch-over as well and this is the perfect next product to introduce!

  • you guys JUST tackled a cookbook.
    …i think its time for an essentials oil book!
    there’s so many things that can be done!

  • I am definitely going to give this a try. I am constantly switching out old cleaning products for new ones. I am still trying to figure out to make a dishsoap suitable for a dishwasher, but I will get there. I will try this one too.
    Thanks for sharing!

  • I’ve never heard of an essential oil based soap before – or maybe I’m just unknowledgable about soaps in general. But this dish soap seems like a really pleasant product, and it’s super useful for everyday life! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

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