-We don't have a lot of dishes.
-Pots + pans + collander + wooden spoons + my grandma's milk glass mixing bowl have to be hand-washed anyway.
-Pre-washing dishes + then having to inspect + scrub them after they come out of the dishwasher uses time + water (+ is annoying).
-Might as well just wipe a washcloth over it + be done, if pre-washing/rinsing food off of it anyway.
-Each one in our tribe washes her/his own plate + utensil + one pot or bowl directly after eating + it's all done...quickly + painlessly.
-Washing dishes right away takes less water than waiting until the food is dried on.
We've been doing dishes this way since Julia, our younger daughter, was seven...and only waited that long, because that's when the idea came to us. Jo encountered this method at a friend's house + we've done it the same way ever since! Thank you, Anushka! :)
In pursuit of a zero-waste soap option, I've tried making my own liquid soap (with poor results). I've tried castile soap as well (which also comes in plastic bottles- whether bought in bulk or not), but don't like it because it's oily, expensive + doesn't lather. I don't like it for my hair (same reasons), and I find no need for it in my cleaning solution.
I buy the biggest jug of dish soap that I can find at the grocery store + consider it bulk. I then refill a smaller soap dispenser about 1/4 full at a time, because I find that a full bottle dispenses too much soap + we go through it faster. This one bottle of soap works for dishes, hands, and hand washing intimates too. One drop is all it takes.