top of page
  • Writer's pictureLoni Searl

How to Use Solid Dish Soap

Updated: Jun 11

Most people wouldn't think of using anything other than liquid soap for washing dishes.

If you take a moment to think about it, conventional liquid dish soap was invented less than 100 years ago. What did people use to wash dishes prior to this? Quite a variety of things actually. Wood ash, soapnuts, oils, washing soda, lemon, salt, vinegar, hot water, grated bar soap, and quite a bit of elbow grease!

So, solid dish soap. It makes sense, but how does it work with a sink full of dirty dishes? Here's a simple rundown:

  1. Wet your dishes and your cloth, sponge or brush (click on the links for zero waste options for these!)

  2. Rub your cloth (etc.) on the soap until it lathers and use it to wash your dishes, then rinse them

  3. Repeat rubbing your cloth (etc.) on the soap whenever you need more

If you want to fill your sink with water, go for it. However, all that is needed is for your dishes to be wet. Once you're done, pour off any water that has gathered in the soap bowl. This will extend the life of your soap, which will last you a very long time!

(See the end of this post for tips on how to extend this time as much as possible!)

And here's the kicker - the ingredient list is two things: saponified coconut oil (a.k.a. coconut oil that's been turned into soap) and a couple essential oils for a fresh scent.

And how about another perk? Not only does this solid dish soap lather beautifully and clean up all those foody messes, it can also be used for so much more than just your dishes!

Use it For More Than Just Dishes

Use your Solid Dish Soap as a multipurpose cleaner around your kitchen and bathroom, scrubbing down your stovetop, disinfecting after preparing meat, for cleaning your makeup brushes, small paint brushes, and so much more! The possibilities are almost endless!

What are you missing out on? Plastic bottles!!! Oh, it feels so good to avoid these. You'll also miss the inevitable times when all the bubbles are gone from your sink full of once-was-soapy-water-now-turned-dirty-and-oily and you have to choose to trust there's still soap in there doing it's job. Plus, you'll miss out on harsh ingredients and most likely toxic chemicals absorbing into your body and going down the drain. Sounds good to me!

Refill Pucks for Your Bowl? Yes Please!

At Searl Soap Company, I have a continual goal of becoming as zero waste as possible in both my production and packaging. One of the ways I do this is by offering refill dish soap pucks. Hold onto your empty bowl and simply buy a refill puck! The pucks are a perfect fit for your bowl and, because of the square shape, they won't spin when you're rubbing your cloth on them. You'll also find after you use your refill puck a handful of times, it will begin to attach to the bowl as it dries.

How to Extend the Life of Your Dish Soap

Another great way to reduce consumption, waste and money spent is to keep a few simple things in mind that will extend the life of your soap!

  • The most important one is to pour off any water that has gathered in the soap bowl during use. This allows your soap to dry faster and stay nice and hard!

  • Secondly, do not store your cloth, sponge or brush resting on your soap. Like the first suggestion, this allows your soap to dry faster and stay dry when not being used.

  • The more frequently the soap is used during the day, the more quickly it will be used up. For example, if you use the soap 6 times a day for little jobs as opposed to 3 times a day for bigger jobs it will not allow the soap to dry fully between uses and over time the top area will become softer. It is absolutely fine to use the soap this often, you'll just work through it more quickly.

  • The more abrasive your washing tool, the faster it will work through the soap. Because of this, using a cloth will give you a longer soap life than using a brush.

One last note: this dish soap lathers up beautifully without much effort! If you're using a brush with it and finding your soap is not lathering very quickly or well, it could be that your brush is too abrasive and gouging the soap rather than working up a lather. My Pot Brush or Dish Brush work wonderfully for everyday use with this dish soap!

For months after I began making this dish soap for our family to use, my husband actually enjoyed washing up the pots. Here's hoping you have some happy washing ahead of you as well!

(As always, other than links to my own products, the links included in this post will bring you to more information, not where to buy a product.)


Jul 23, 2022

I just discovered your products and site, amazing! I'm trying out the shampoo bar (haven't had much luck with those over the years but i'm willing to keep trying) and also purchased the solid dish soap. One question I had is - how can just saponified coconut oil get rid of serious bacteria like e. coli and salmonella? Thanks so much for sharing all of your insights and advice in this blog!

Loni Searl
Loni Searl
Jul 27, 2022
Replying to

Thanks for your comments and encouragement Teresa!

Shampoo bars can be a somewhat tricky switch especially if you don't have short hair, but I love that you haven't given up! You may have already seen this, but if not you can have a quick read through my post about shampoo bars. It's full of FAQs and tips for success! Find it here:

Great question about the dish soap! All bar soap is essentially various forms of fat combined with sodium hydroxide (lye) which creates a chemical reaction that turns them into soap. Once this chemical reaction has happened, the fats are called "saponified" - basically meaning a fat that's become a soap! It doesn't really matter which…

bottom of page