|The dish soap is on the right. On the left is a bouquet of chive blossoms that has been going strong for about a week. Who knew?
Over the past week our sink-side squeezie bottle of Planet® dishwashing liquid has been getting mighty light. I was pretty surprised every time I inverted it and still got a drop of soap after the inevitable “bottle fart” (think of what the ketchup does every time you go to a diner). A new bottle of Dish soap was not going to break the bank by any means, but with a house full of natural cleaner ingredients – Castile soap, borax, baking and washing soda, vinegar, etc. – I knew there must be some way of making my own. I consulted my bevy of books but they all wanted me to start with oil and lye and I wasn’t looking for quite such an involved project.
So during yesterday’s trip to the library, while I had one tab Googling poultry shears, one tab searching the library database for a war movie that had recently come up in conversation, and one tab comparing prices on water filter refills, I opened a fourth tab to Google “homemade dish soap”.
Unlike when I actually was
searching for dishwasher detergent I was awash (ha!) with dishwasher detergent recipes this time and had to modify my search term to find regular “hand” dishwashing liquid.
I decided to try a very simple (and very cheap) sounding recipe, “Homemade Dish Soap Recipe #2” from a site delightfully called Hillbilly Housewife
When the mixture was still on the stove it didn’t look very promising. There weren’t many suds when I stirred it. I went ahead and poured it into a pint mason jar and set it beside the sink anyhow. During dinner prep I needed a utensil that was sitting in the dishwasher, unwashed, so I dipped what’s left of my current redwheel remnant in the now opalescent lemon-colored liquid and gave it a try. Hey, whaddya know! Worked just as well as the stuff in the plastic bottle.
 At Matt’s shop they use industrial-grade abrasive pads, which the workers call redwheels on account of their being round and red, to deburr parts. The softer ones are made of the same stuff as the green Scotch-Brite® scrubbies you buy at the grocery store. When they are worn down to 3” in diameter they no longer protrude out of the buffer. Rather than throw them out he brings them home to me and I get several months of dishwashing use out of them before they are truly useless.