1 1/4 cups boiling water
1/4 cup (tightly packed) grated castile bar soap
1 Tbsp. washing soda
1/4 cup liquid castile soap
10-30 drops essential oils (I recommend Lemongrass, Lemon, Orange, Tea Tree and/or Lavender for their antimicrobial properties, but you can use any scent you like)
Add grated castile soap to boiling water and stir until dissolved
Add washing soda and stir
Add liquid castile soap and stir
Let mixture cool, then add essential oils
Transfer to a repurposed container and use as regular dish soap.
It will take about 2-3 days to harden.
Finished product costs ~50 cents per 12 oz bottle (will thicken and turn white as it cools):
Breathe deeply while washing the dishes, giving gratitude for the life-giving food they held. My dear friend Will Raff always aimed to wash his dishes with the same tenderness as he would a newborn babe. I encourage a “It’s the journey, not the destination” type of mentality for the brightest spirit.
Use your bare hands (or your bear hands) to wash the dishes, rather than a sponge or towel. Not only is it a more intimate way to connect with the act of washing the dishes, but sponges harbor all sorts of gross bacteria (see this article for more information on what I’m talking about). Your fingers are highly skilled at feeling for remaining food-particles.
A little bit goes a long way. Water can ease dispersion and lengthen soap’s life. Being conscious of how much product you’re using (and how much water you’re using) is a wonderful way to practice sustainability and help heal our Earth, one dish at a time!
Keep a toothpick on hand in case the cap clogs.
Have some baking soda and distilled white vinegar nearby to tackle the toughest dishes. Baking soda works best for oily messes. White vinegar combines with baking soda for a 1-2 punch.
Read on to get the most out of your dish-washing experience!
How to Keep Your Spirit Bright Using SpiritBright Dish Soap:
SpiritBright Dish Soap requires the use of no sponges or wash cloths – just two hands and running water. A brief, yet essential note on running water: Make more out of less by being mindful as you wash the dishes, realizing that a gentle trickle can accomplish all you need it to. Always lean towards a lighter water pressure, and try to collect grey-water in other dishes to help prep them. Conserving water protects future generations and honors the Earth.
When you journey across the Earth with light foot steps, each day turns into a dance.
Please use the following outline to get the most out of your dish-washing experience. And remember, as with all adventures, the journey is at least as important as the destination.
It’s not just about getting the dishes done.
1) Preparation of Self
Prepare yourself to wash the dishes by taking a slow, gracious breath in. Inhale uplifting energy from the Earth, giving gratitude for the food that was consumed in the process of dirtying the dishes. Pause for a moment at the top of the breath to acknowledge the feeling of complete full-ness. Full belly. Full lungs. Full presence. Exhale the recycled air from your lungs, consciously letting go of any dis-eases. Pause again at the bottom of the breath, relishing in the contentment and peace found after a round of conscious breathing.
Carry this conscious breath-work with you throughout the duties of your day, and it will carry you above and beyond mountains of dishes. One suggestion to sustain conscious breathing is to use the mantra of your choice, or perhaps silently saying “soooo” on the inhale and “good” on the exhale, remembering how yummy the food tasted and how nourished it made you feel.
2) Preparation of Dishes
Before you bust out your Spirit Soap, you can save water by preparing the greasy dishes with a quick baking-soda rub. We keep a small container of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) near the sink used exclusively for this purpose. This step is especially essential for oily dishes, because water spreads the oil, whereas baking soda cuts and absorbs the oil (my smart hubby says it’s due to the polar vs non-polar molecular structures). By preparing your greasy dishes with baking soda, you conserve both soap and water. Baking soda is CHEAP. It is strong enough to scour off stuck-on food particles, yet gentle enough to use with your bare hands. Rub until you feel the grease and particles lift, and rinse clean using a gentle trickle of water. It can be fun, when you can afford the time, to make it a game to see how very little water you can use throughout the dish-washing process.
Note: Some dishes, especially ones that were baked in the oven, need to be pre-soaked before they can be prepped. Set these dishes in the sink to collect the grey water from other dishes.
3) Take ’em One at a Time
Once all the dishes are prepped (meaning they look clean to the naked eye) you can grab your bottle of SpiritBright Dish Soap and give thanks for the tools to clean your dishes! Give the bottle a good shake and squeeze a small drop of soap onto the dish in hand. A little goes a long way. If the dish is already wet, the soap should easily spread. If you squirt too much soap, you can put that dish on the side, and use its pool of soap to wash other dishes. If it’s a lot of extra soap, try scooping it back into the bottle.
Breathe. Become your favorite tree as you root into the Earth, drawing up the cleansing water required to do your dishes.
Keep your “water sack” (i.e. the hydrated physical body) full by taking a break whenever you need one, knowing (and praying) that there will always be dirty dishes to wash. When you realize that you are blessed to have eaten of the Earth’s bounty, dishes become another opportunity to celebrate life.
Give gratitude that this experience of cleaning the dishes has allowed you the opportunity to clean your mind as well.
Note: Since making my own cleaning products, I have saved SO much money, so much packaging waste, and most importantly, I’ve saved my home from invasive carcinogenic ingredients found in normal household cleaners! Did you know indoor air is two to five times more polluted than outdoor air because of the cleaning products people use? Craziness!
You can opt out by greening your home. Every city has a ‘hazardous waste removal’ facility where you can bring household cleaning agents, art supplies, make-up, etc. and they’ll dispose of it properly so that it doesn’t hurt the earth any more than it already has. When I went through the process of de-chemicalizing, I thought I had been living a natural life. I ended up finding over 200 products with dangerous chemicals in them! That sounds like a lot, and it was! If you began to go through your drawers and cabinets, I bet you would be equally surprised. If you’re interested in learning more about this, watch the documentary ‘Chemerical’ on Netflix, or join the movement here by clicking on the ‘Chemerical’ poster.
Onwards towards clean homes, minds and bodies!