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Rub-a-Scrub-Scrub your dishes with this recipe

making dish soap bar

making dish soap bar

Thanks for the grub, now let’s Rub-a-Scrub-Scrub!

Rub-a-dub-dub, three men in a tub, and who do you think they be? The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker… and the dishwasher, if you please! In case this rhyme doesn’t magically clean the dishes for you, why not try making your own tub of Rub-a-Scrub-Scrub? Thanks to this DIY dish soap bar, the daily task of washing dishes will be easier and more enjoyable.

There are many advantages to using solid dish soap. Not only is it simple to make and environmentally friendly, it’s also easy on the pocketbook: a single pot will last you several months. Thanks to the vinegar and washing soda, it conquers even the toughest grease.

So if you’d like to make your own dish soap bar, read on to learn how to make Rub-a-Scrub-Scrub. It’s as easy as 1-2-3!

How to make homemade dish soap?

Before you begin

Washing soda (sodium carbonate) and SCI (sodium cocoyl isethionate) are irritants. We therefore recommend using the following safety equipment:

  • Safety glasses

  • Nitrile gloves

  • Shoes that fully cover your feet

  • Dust mask (SCI is a respiratory tract irritant)

In addition, we recommend working in a well-ventilated space (under the hood of the stove, for example).

Once all the ingredients have reacted, there is no further risk for respiratory or skin irritation, so you can use this solid dish soap worry-free.

You may use a coffee grinder to grind the SCI into a powder for this recipe. You should carefully rinse the grinder afterwards, and it should not be reused for food.


how to make homemade dish soap


Good to know!

  • The vinegar acts as a descaling agent and will make your dishes shine.

  • The washing soda degreases and cleans your pots and pans.

  • When selecting your essential oil(s), we recommend choosing those with degreasing and/or antibacterial properties.

  • SCI is a surfactant that is gentle on skin and will produce a nice foam.

  • The SCI/water/vinegar mixture may dry out when on the double boiler. If this occurs, don’t hesitate to add water (in 0.2 g increments) until the SCI granules have completely melted.

Video of the recipe

Steps to follow

  1. In a small stainless steel bowl, weigh the SCI and grind to a fine powder using a grinder, coffee grinder, or mortar and pestle. Use caution: SCI is very powdery, so make sure to protect your respiratory system.
  2. Weigh the water and vinegar and add to the SCI.homemade washing-up bar soap
  3. Place bowl on the double boiler to melt.
  4. Mix regularly, crushing the SCI until a smooth paste is obtained.
  5. Remove from heat and add the washing soda. Mix soap DIY
  6. Add the essential oil(s) and mix.
  7. Transfer the mixture to the PETE plastic pot. As you add the soap to the pot, compact it with a spoon or by hand (wearing gloves).

how to make homemade dish soap

Use and conservation

This solid dish soap is easy to use: rub a damp sponge on the soap and then use to clean your dishes. It will foam up nicely and clean even the greasiest dishes.

Made in optimal sanitary conditions, this DIY dish soap bar will keep for at least 6 months.


  • Helen

    I made this according to your recipe but the paste hardened up into chunky bits when I was waiting for it to cool a little before adding the essential oils. Should I have added more water or vinegar to keep the paste softer? I melted this in the microwave in 1 minute or 30 second bursts instead of a double boiler because it was taking too long to melt.
    Also, do we need a preservative?

    • Coop Coco

      Hello Helen,
      If you melted in the microwave, it can explain the reaction. We advise using a double boiler because it is softer and it is easier to control the heat.
      If it’s too dry, you can add some water.
      This recipe doesn’t need a preservative. There isn’t enough water in the finished product to have contamination.
      Have a nice day!

  • Sona

    Firstly, thank you for posting this recipe. I would like to try this recipe but had a query. I have some lemon peel powder which i would like to add to this recipe. Could you please tell me how to add that in to the recipe and a possible quantity to do so.
    Thanks in Advance,

    • Coop Coco

      Hello Sona,
      We never used this powder before, so it’s a bit difficult to answer your query. You can try to add 5 g of this powder (step 2). If your mixture is too dry, add a small amount of water (step 5).
      Have a nice day!

  • Lorraine Ferguson

    how solid is this? would this be able to be made into a more solid bar by squishing into a bar mould?

  • gebre

    Thank you for posting this important and good idea.
    My question here is, is it ideal for a business? Do the ingredients are cheap?

    Many thanks!

    • Coop Coco

      Hello Gebre,
      Unfortunately we are not very qualified to answer this kind of question, you should make your own calculations.
      Have a nice day and good luck with your business!

  • Karoline

    I made the soap a while back but only had enough SCI left for 1/3. Then I accidentally added too much vinegar so it was not ideal I added some corn starch and some SLSA (which I don’t like because it’s usually made from Palm oil). Nevertheless the result was absolutely great. I tried the correct recipe just now, so I hope this is just as great. I also put it in moulds, let’s see how that works. Thank you for this amazing recipe.

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