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Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Simple Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I decided to try and make my own homemade dishwasher detergent for a couple of reasons.  The first of which is that old saying, “You are what you eat.”  A lot of dishwasher soap is loaded with chemicals I don’t think anyone would willingly want to eat.  I don’t like the idea of little bits of chemicals being left on my dishes for me too eat.  So with that kind of gross thought in mind I decided it was time for me to try and make my own dishwasher detergent.

With all of that being said, here’s how to make homemade dishwasher detergent:

Time: 10 min.

– Ingredients –

homemade dishwasher detergent ingredients

Ok, here’s what you’ll need to make yourself some homemade dishwasher detergent:

 (links are for Amazon products)

– Step One –

homemade dishwasher detergent, add washing soda1 cup Washing Soda

Then add 1 cup of washing soda

Washing soda is not the same thing as baking soda, but it is similar because it fights odor, and dissolves and removes food left on dishes.  Washing soda is the ingredient that is going to get your dishes nice and sparkly clean.

– Step Two –

homemade dishwasher detergent, add borax

1 cup Borax

Measure out 1 cup of borax into a bowl, or a container that you can seal and shake.

Borax serves as a detergent booster, meaning that it helps the washing soda to get the dishes clean.  Borax helps cut through grease to make sure your dishes get a thorough cleaning.

– Step Three –

homemade dishwasher detergent, citric acid1/2 cup Citric Acid

Then add in 1/2 cup of citric acid to the washing soda and borax.

Often dishwasher detergents will leave behind white cloudy residue or streaks on your freshly cleaned dishes, especially green dishwasher detergents.  Citric acid will stop this from happening so you’ll never be grossed out again by a “dirty” looking glass.

– Step Four –

homemade dishwasher detergent, kosher salt1/2 cup Kosher Salt

Last of all add 1/2 cup of kosher salt to the other ingredients.

The kosher salt serves as an abrasive in this recipe, and helps to scrub away grime, and stuck on food chunks from your dishes.


– Step Five –

Shaken or Stirred

It doesn’t really matter how you mix it, just so long as you do.  Shaking it all together in a sealed container like a glass jar or reused plastic tub will work just fine.  Or you can stir it all together in a big bowl, it’s your choice!

– Using Your Dishwasher Detergent –

1 tbsp per load

It’s kind of awesome how efficient this dishwasher detergent is.  I’ve found that most of the time 1 tbsp is really all that I need to get my dishes nice and clean.  However if you have a particularly messy batch of dirty dishes you can use a little extra detergent.

– Storing The Detergent –

This detergent is prone to clumping, and if your not careful you can end up with a big solid block of detergent you have to chip apart.  Been there, done that, it’s not fun believe me.  You want to keep your homemade dishwasher detergent in an airtight container in a dry place so that there is no chance of moisture getting in and ruining the detergent you worked so hard to make.

Another thing that helps reduce the chances that the detergent will clump is adding in a little white rice to your detergent.  Adding a tablespoon or two of white rice will absorb any moisture, and keep the detergent from clumping.  Most people find that the rice has no ill effects on their dishwasher, and say that this is totally safe to do.  Personally I haven’t tried this yet, so be careful.

– Does It Work? –

My dishes have been coming out nice and sparkly clean every time.  The soap works just as well as any store bought detergent ever has with far less chemicals; so I’m happy.

I haven’t notice the detergent leaving any streaks, or anything like that.  So, far so good, as far as I’m concerned I’ve found my new permanent dishwasher detergent.

Let me know how this homemade detergent recipe works out for you, and leave a comment.



Tuesday 21st of August 2018

I tried 1 part washing soda and one part borax. Only put a tablespoon in, and it left cloudy residue everywhere! I will give this a try.


Thursday 23rd of January 2020

I hope this recipe worked out for you this time Sarah!


Sunday 8th of September 2013

Still using this? Still consider it a win? How long have you been using? I couldn't tell when the article was first published. I'm eager to give it a try.