DIY Foaming Dish Soap

If you’re like me, you hate to run a sink full of dishwater for just a couple of items, and you don’t want to wait to wash them because they’re items that you use frequently. Sometimes it’s easier to just wash the item before the food residue dries into a crust that takes work to remove. Maybe you have things you prefer not to (or can’t) wash in the dishwasher.

Several years ago, someone told me about using liquid soap and water to make your own foaming cleanser. Now, I have sensitive skin and can’t use liquid soaps (they’re too drying). However, I can’t get away from washing dishes, so I tried using the pump for dish soap. It works great! I’ve been making my own for several years now and it really cuts down on the amount of dish soap I have to buy.

I’ve seen “recipes” online for foaming dish soap that use a lot more detergent than I do. With mine, depending on the brand of dish washing liquid I use, I use only using 1/4-1/2 inch of soap in the bottom, and I fill the rest with water. I took my old pump and labeled it for dish soap with a little printout from the computer and clear packaging tape (though it says Ivory, I now have to use either Norwex Dish-Washing Liquid as shown in the photo below or Seventh Generation Free & Clear Dish Soap). No fragrances for me!

My repurposed hand soap pump and Norwex dishwashing liquid ready for refilling

My dispenser was almost empty. So it was time to add my 1/4-1/2 inch of liquid dish soap and fill the rest with water.

Pump filled with up to 1/2 inch liquid dish soap and water

Just be sure to leave enough air space in the top of the container for the bottom part of the pump. Add the water in slowly so you don’t get too much foaming action. I turn the bottle on its side a bit like I’m pouring a beer! Put the top on and gently turn it upside down a few times to get the liquids mixed.

All mixed up and ready for dirty dishes (or hands)

This particular soap is a little bit more runny than some of the others, so you can decide how thick of foam you would like. If it’s too thin for you, add a little soap. If it is difficult to pump, dump a little out and add water until it’s the consistency you like. I find that it’s easier to add a little soap or water if you leave some room rather than filling the bottle too full at the start.

Then, just squirt a pump or two of foam and you can clean those knives, cutting boards or whatever you like. It’s also great to spray some on to soak your cooking utensils or pans while you eat so cleanup later is a breeze. A couple of sprays in the sink and using the dish brush makes the sink nice and clean.

Spray some foam in the sink, use your dish brush or sponge and give the sink a bath too!

For those of you who are extra observant, you may notice (no, not the water spots that I now notice in the pictures!) that my husband made the back splash behind the sink and below the window from a piece of stainless steel. It’s siliconed into place and works great with a suction cup towel bar for my dishcloth. No more wet, dripping dish cloth – it dries out overnight and it has a home so it’s never lost.

Happy cleaning!

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