This Solid Dishwashing Brick is the solid, even lower waste sister of 2018’s Super Concentrated Lemon Dishwashing Paste. It’s also super concentrated, but significantly more solid (surprise, ha) and doesn’t require any packaging. I’ve been storing it in a small stainless steel bowl beside my kitchen sink, but a soap dish would also work well (and would be a better idea if you live somewhere more humid than I do). Simply run your wet sponge across the top of the brick and start washing—you’ll be amazed at how clean your dishes get with positively minuscule amounts of product!
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The bulk of this Solid Dishwashing Brick is Sodium Coco Sulfate (SCS), which is an awesome surfactant for cleaning up stubborn messes—especially in high concentrations, as done here. In skin and hair care I use it at significantly lower concentrations for awesome lather and cleansing, balancing it out with gentler surfactants like Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (SCI), but this is for pots and pans, so lots of Sodium Coco Sulfate (SCS) it is!
The other major part of this Solid Dishwashing Brick is washing soda, aka sodium carbonate, to further boost the de-greasing powers of the brick. Due to the washing soda content, you’ll want to avoid using this on aluminum things (or at least on aluminum things that you like…).
Version 1 of this brick was primarily Sodium Coco Sulfate (SCS) and washing soda with a small amount of carrageenan (a thing I first tried with this formulation), and then moistened with some water. The general idea was to slightly dissolve the base ingredients, press them together, and then have them fuse together as they dry. That did kind of work, but the problem I ran into was that the bar dried out so much over time that it started crumbling aggressively on use, picking up big chunks of surfactant that didn’t dissolve while washing up—I’d find them stuck to my clean dishes after washing. Hmm… not ideal.
To fix that problem I included some additional types of liquids; some Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside and vegetable glycerine. Vegetable glycerine is a humectant, and humectants help keep products from drying out too much, allowing this bar to maintain enough moisture that it doesn’t start to crumble like a dried out sandcastle when you start using it (the non-ionic Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside helps with that as well, and helps make the brick a bit easier on the hands by blending surfactant charges).
The making part is really easy—mix the dry ingredients together, massage in the wet ingredients, and then press the mixture. You will want some kind of press for these; it doesn’t necessarily have to be a high powered one (I think a hand press would work), but you do need to be able to get some good leverage in order to really squish the mixture together. Then we’ll leave the bars to dry for three days, and that’s it! If you’re more interested in buying a finished product than DIYing, Ariane at La Fille de la Mer sells a Cake Dish Bloc in two different scents 😊
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Solid Dishwashing Brick
28.2g | 56.4% Sodium Coco Sulfate (SCS) (USA / Canada)
13.5g | 27% washing soda
1.35g | 2.7% iota carrageenan
2.8g | 5.6% distilled water
2.2g | 4.4% Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside (USA / Canada)
1.85g | 3.7% vegetable glycerine (USA / Canada)
0.1g | 0.2% Liquid Germall Plus™ (USA / Canada)
Put on your dust mask and a pair of nitrile gloves. Make sure both fit well; a tight-fitting dust mask does a much better job of keeping powdered surfactants out of your airways, and well-fitting nitrile gloves are much nicer to work in than ones that are sloppily big or too tight.
Weigh the Sodium Coco Sulfate (SCS), washing soda, and carrageenan (the primary phase) into a bowl. Mix with your hands to combine.
Add the secondary phase and mix thoroughly with your hands.
Now it’s time to press the bars! I used the cube mold, pressing 50g of the Solid Dishwashing Brick into each bar. I set the regulated pressure to 55psi. Please watch the video to see this in action. If you don’t have a press you could try hand-pressing the mixture into a firm mold (I don’t recommend silicone as the sides tend to bow out if you really try to compress a mixture in one, and this bar needs some serious squishing). My top choice from the things I already have at home would be a plastic or metal measuring cup. Line the top & bottom with cut-to-size pieces of parchment paper, and then use the bottom of the next size down measuring cup to press everything together as firmly as you can, stamping it around to get full coverage. I’ve also heard good things about moon cake presses!
Carefully un-mold the bars (they’re quite delicate directly after pressing, much like bath bombs) and leave them to dry for at least 48 hours before using.
To use, rub a wet sponge over the surface of the bar to pick up some product, and then use that
Shelf Life & Storage
Because this dishwashing brick will regularly come into contact with water, I recommend including a broad-spectrum preservative to ward off microbial growth. That said, this bar is very likely self-preserving due to its low water content, high anionic active surfactant matter, and relatively high pH.
As always, be aware that making substitutions will change the final product. While these swaps won’t break the recipe, you will get a different final product than I did.
- As I’ve provided this recipe in percentages as well as grams you can easily calculate it to any size using a simple spreadsheet as I’ve explained in this post. As written in grams this recipe will make 50g.
- To learn more about the ingredients used in this recipe, including why they’re included and what you can substitute them with, please visit the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia. It doesn’t have everything in it yet, but there’s lots of good information there! If I have not given a specific substitution suggestion in this list please look up the ingredient in the encyclopedia before asking.
- I don’t recommend switching the surfactant.
- You could try Sodium Coco Sulfate (SCS) in a different solid format (finely powdered, for instance), though you will need more water to moisten the mixture.
- You could try Sodium Lauryl Suldate (SLS)
- You could try a different gum instead of the iota carageenan, or a different type of carageenan (kappa or lambda are the ones you’re most likely to find)
- You could try a different liquid glucoside, like Coco Glucoside (USA / Canada).
- You could try baking soda instead of washing soda.
- If you’re like to use a different preservative, please review this page.
- This dishwashing brick is NOT dishwasher safe!
The bath bomb press and cube mould were gifted by The Bath Bomb Press.
YOU DID IT!!! You can’t see me but I’m jumping up and down right now! Trying this one TODAY!!!!!!! yaaaaay! Love you Marie!!!
Hooray! I hope you love it ❤️
I absolutely love the concentrated dish paste and have been using it almost exclusively for at least a year. My only problem with it was that sometimes my husband or kids would leave the top of the jar open and the paste would start to dry out, making it harder to reconstitute/use, unless I added more water to it and mixed it in, sometimes making a slimy/snotty goop. Problem solved with this. Can’t wait to try it!
Hooray! I hope you love it 🙂 Thanks for DIYing with me, and happy making!
What are the advantages/disadvantages of this vs the paste? I just ordered the stuff for the paste after loving using it in SA.
Advantages: no packaging needed! Disadvantages: since it’s a lot harder, you can’t pick up as much product. It still works wonderfully, but if you like having a big dollop of the paste on your sponge, you won’t get that here 🙂 Happy making!
Thank you for this! I’ve been wanting to try a solid dish soap block. I tried a recipe for cold process dish soap block, which worked well at first, but after a while would leave a film on the dishes and sink, so had to switch back to Dawn. I’m excited to try a surfactant based recipe.
I hope you love it! I’ve had similar results using soap to wash dishes—it just doesn’t work as well as surfactants. Happy making!
For me personally, I need to be able to pour something over my dishes and soak them when I’m washing them. The whole brick/solid thing just does not appeal to me – it just seems to me like it’s more work to have to rub the sponge on something and then keep rubbing it throughout – but maybe that’s just me. Maybe I’m lazy! LOL. I actually did make the paste, however, and it is awesome. I’ve been experimenting A LOT lately with making my own laundry detergent and also using it for the dishes. Basically just putting combinations of surfactants together with some guar or salt (depending on the surfactants), some glycerin, some limonene and some water and that has been fantastic in washing both my clothing and my dishes.
I usually have both a solid and a liquid detergent at the sink—I use the liquid for soaking and the solid to apply directly to the sponge for scrubbing up things that need more attention 🙂 I’m thrilled to hear you’re having fun making + testing liquid detergents—a liquid one definitely needs to be my next dish detergent thing!
Instead of pressing this into a brick, is there a way you could keep it as a powder you could sprinkle onto dishes? Thanks for the recipe and I’m looking forward to trying it!
I made this and I think it works great – lots of suds with just a swipe of your sponge. But I don’t have a bath bomb press so just tried to press it using your alternate suggestion. It did form and hold together until I started using it. then it just fell apart. I wonder if anyone has tried using a moon cake press? That might work better. Definitely worth trying again.
I don’t have a moon cake press, but if you store the bar in a small bowl the crumbling will matter a lot less 🙂
Just to try this, I have SLSa. Do you think that would make a big difference? I don’t have a pressure, but I do have a Moon Press. I will try that and see what happens. Would appreciate your thoughts on using the SLSa. Thanks!
I don’t have any thoughts beyond the ones noted in the substitutions list on this page. Happy making!
Hi, I’d love to hear the results of using the mooncake press before I order one
I am using them for solid shampoo and they are OK, you just have to get use to them. I usually wrap the product to be pressed and then press it. anyway they are cheap in amazon, £4-£6 foe me in uk so worth to buy one and try.
Hi Marie! Thank you for another great recipe. Quick question. So I thought I had all the ingredients when my iota stuff came in but alas, I do not. However I may have found another option. Since I don’t have coco glucoside or or Caprylyl/Capryl glucoside, I do have a small 2 oz bottle of Plantapon LGC SORB which appears to be the same as Plantapon TF (different supplier) and that Has coco and decyl glucoside (excuse spelling lol). That should work right? I’m really itching to make this haha!
“Plantapon” is the name of a big line of products from BASF, and the bits that come after that differentiate all the different products, so LGC SORB is not the same as TF 🙂 The INCI is Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate (and) Sodium Lauryl Glucoside vs. Decyl Glucoside (and) Polyglyceryl-10 Caprylate/Caprate (and) Coco-Glucoside (and) Glyceryl Oleate for TF. It should work in the sense that it’s still a liquid surfactant, but it’s not the same thing 🙂 Happy making!
Hi! sorry my english. I’m Johanna from Argentina and I fell in love with your page. Thank you very much! I wanted to ask you if instead of sodium carbonate I could use sodium percarbonate, that’s what I’m getting here.
I already tested with sci, instead of carrageenan, agar agar, and bicarbonate. Beautiful result! Thank you
I think it’s worth a try 🙂 Start small & see how it goes. Happy making!
Amazing! I’ve stubbornly bought houshold and dish washing detergents which are “certified organic” or sustainable but doesn’t perform well. So annoying and silly, I know. My shower gel is propably more effective than they are, ha. So even though I don’t do dishes often, I’m asthonishing how effective this is. I hand pressed it and skipped preservative and made two swaps: decyl glucoside and xanthan gum. We’re useing it with dish washing brush. I’ll let you know about the shelf life? Thank you. ❤️
I’ve felt that same annoyance! At this point in time, I feel like life is far too short to wash dishes for any longer than strictly required, ha.
😀 Spot on! I feel totally comfortable with these ingredients and less waste is easy living as well.
Prachtige site zonder belangen vooral voor hobbyisten. Dankjewel!
Ik ben een hobbyist. In Corona tijd heb ik ook bezigheden nodig..
ik ven begonnen met shampoo bar te naken met SCI en SLSA, Betaine, gum, Citroën zuur en allerlei oliën, honing enz..
ik heb een stevige gemaakt! Erg blij me:))
1- intens schuim, mijn haar is klitten
2- pluizige en niet vorm krijgende haar, maar super zacht
3- is onderdouche niet kambaar, ik gebruik azijn spoeling.
4- mijn lange haar valt enorm uit!
5- het lukt dat mijn haar iets lichtere kleur wordt?
Van harte jullie mening feedback
Waar maak fout?
Misschien is de waskracht te sterk? Dan kun je er klei bij voegen, of maïzena, of tapiocapoeder.
Of misschien moet je de pH nog aanpassen? Op deze site staan er trouwens heel wat prima recepten voor shampoobars.
Maybe the washing power is too strong? Then you can add clay, or cornstarch, or tapioca powder.
Or maybe you still need to adjust the pH?
By the way, there are a lot of great recipes for shampoo bars on this site.
First off, congratulations Marie on a fantastic site and for realizing your passion.
I’ve found so many interesting formulations that I plan to make.
As an aside for people who don’t have a bathbomb press, have you thought of using a car jack for the 3 or 4 bars you might be making? There are plenty of ideas out there and I’m sure you’ll find something that works for you.
If I wanted to add d-limonene, would I need to add some solubizer, too? Or would the capryl g. take care of it?
Would you reduce the water component? Would they still harden? LOL, so many questions!!!
I’m afraid I can’t say for sure—it would really depend on how much you want to add. I doubt you’d need a solubilizer, you would need to reduce the liquid content, but I’m not sure how it would impact hardening. You’ll have to try and see 🙂
I’d love a natural safe option for the dishwasher. Is this something you have looked into? or could look into?
I’m afraid that’s something I’ll never do; I don’t want to destroy my dishwasher/floor/kitchen/etc. with failed attempts. Ditto for machine laundry detergent.