Schmutz Sticks (and Dish Soap)—With a Recipe

I think my Schmutz Sticks will get out just about any stain imaginable. That’s not necessarily a good thing (you’ll have to read Deathbed of Roses to find out why).

They’re easy to make and much less expensive (and more effective) than the stain sticks you buy in stores.

Here’s my recipe for a one pound batch. I make small batches since the soap is more effective when it’s fresh. If you want to convert this to a larger batch—remember DON'T SUPERFAT! You'll end up with slimy clothes.

Schmutz Sticks

10 oz. coconut oil
6 oz. lard

6.08 oz. water
2.68 oz of lye

.5 oz. essential oils

You can add any essential oils you like, I use rosemary—for its antibacterial properties and fresh scent and orange essential oil to help cut grease. Don't use fragrance oils—they could actually leave stains on the fabric.

Unmold and cut the soap into bars as soon as it starts to harden—otherwise you’ll never be able to get a knife through it.

To use, simply wet the fabric where the stain is, rub with your Schmutz Stick until the stain is coated and work up a lather. Then launder as usual. This soap will be extremely harsh on your hands, so wear rubber gloves when using it.

This recipe is also great for dish washing soap. Simply pour some of your Schmutz Stick batter into a small heat-safe bowl. I used a sauce dish I got from Pearl River Mart (my favorite store in NYC).

It might take you awhile to adjust to using a solid soap instead of a liquid, but you’ll find you use less soap and your glasses will be oh-so-sparkly. And it’s great for cutting through grease. Wear rubber gloves when you use it or you’ll end up with dish pan hands!


  1. how does that work- using this for as a dish soap?? do you put a piece in a sink of hot water and proceede washing the dishes??

  2. Hi Roberta! Thanks for dropping by.

    Yes, you could add a piece of the Schmutz Stick to your dish water. What I do is wet my dish sponge, rub it over the Schmutz Stick until I get a good lather then soap up my dishes and rinse. I think I use less water that way.


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