DIY Dishwasher Detergent

I’m excited to cross one more thing off of my typical grocery/household spending list. Our family typically fills a dishwasher load every day and I usually run it every night. In the past, I’ve been a big fan of dishwasher tablets and have used them pretty faithfully. However, what I don’t dig is how much they end up costing me. Since I discovered how cost-effective making your own laundry detergent is, I was on the hunt for a good dishwasher detergent recipe. I was ecstatic to find one that used a lot of the same ingredients as the laundry detergent recipe I use. Willing to at least give it a go, I made this recipe this past week and have been quite pleased with the results.

It definitely does a great job at cleaning our grungy dishes and I’m loving the cost. As you can see, it makes a powder form of detergent. I put it in a clear plastic canister with a pour spout and stuck an old measuring spoon inside. Interested in possibly making your own? Here’s the recipe I followed:

Dishwasher Detergent

1 cup Borax

1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda

1/2 cup citric acid

1/2 cup salt

Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a bowl and put in an airtight container. Use 1 TB per load.

I also recommend using a shot of white vinegar as a rinse aid. It works great!

17 thoughts on “DIY Dishwasher Detergent

  1. It is a good feeling to cross something off your shopping list! I made pita chips for the first time yesterday and I can’t imagine why I didn’t make my own sooner as they were super easy to make.

    I’ve always wanted to make my own dishwasher detergent. This seems so easy!

    1. Borax can be found at WalMart or other stores in the laundry aisle. Citric acid is a little trickier to find–some people use lemonade KoolAid because it contains a lot of citric acid. I just recommended to another reader that it can be found with canning supplies–I get mine at a local bulk foods store. It comes in a white powder form. I hope that helps!

  2. Great recipe, but does it really clean the dishes as well as say, Cascade compleete? We are dish scrapers, but not “wash dishes before they go in the dish washer” kind of people, and hubby gets super irritated when the dishes come out with food still stuck on them. We’ve resorted to buying the super expensive detergent because we think it’s worth it. What do you think? Thanks!

  3. Hi Rachel! I’m up late waiting to “skype” with my husband. Saw this homemade dishwashing recipe. It’s just like what I’ve been using, but with salt. Also, I add the citric acid in separately-was told it can cause the powder to clump when all mixed together-? Does yours clump? I’m due to make another batch & I’m going to add the salt. Occassionaly my mix has had some “mixed results”, so maybe the salt will be just what it needs for that extra kick! And the vinegar is just great for EVERYTHING! Love the natural cleaning products. Still looking for a regular dish detergent recipe…have made a few, but nothing I like or that would be cost effective. Any suggestions?

  4. Hi Rachel, I was looking for a diy dishwasher detergent on pinterest and happened to click on yours! I didn’t know it was you though! How funny 🙂 Can’t wait to try it!

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