Jan 20, 2010

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent


Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Almost a year ago a coupon came out in the paper for $2.50/1 Electrosol Tabs. When this coupon first came out I STOCKED up!! We didn’t buy dishwashing detergent for a very LONG time.

But eventually we ran out and I just couldn’t bring myself to pay even $2 for dishwashing detergent. I just couldn’t. Something about it just seemed wrong! It’s like actually paying money for toothpaste… I just CAN’T do it!

So I decided to take a shot at making my own homemade dishwasher detergent. It’s super easy to make it yourself and everyone likely already has all of these ingredients already!

I’ve been using these recipes for the past few years and they have worked really well for us.

Just be sure NOT to put too much of the powder in.

Option #1:

2 cups borax
2 cups Arm & Hammer washing soda
1 cup Citric Acid (you can find it in the canning section or buy it online here)
1 cup salt (any kind of salt will work)

Mix all of the above together and add 1-2 Tablespoons per load.

The Citric Acid in this recipe makes all the difference in the world for keeping that white film off of your dishes!

Option #2:

1 small box of baking soda
1 16oz box of salt
5 pkgs of Lemonade NO SUGAR drink mix

Mix all of the above well and use 1 Tbsp. per load. (Thanks Gale!)

Option #3:

A box of 20 Mule Team Borax
A box of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
White Distilled Vinegar

Put 1 Tbsp. of Borax and 1 Tbsp. of Washing Soda in the detergent holder. Then fill up the rinse aid section with white vinegar.

And that’s it!! You might need more or less of the ingredients depending on your dishwasher, so just try it out with these measurements and adjust it from there.

What about you guys? Do you make your own dishwasher detergent? What’s your recipe?

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    I just started making my own laundry detergent. I am definately going to try this!

  2. I have used homemade dishwasher detergent for a long time. I have found (at least with my particular dishwasher/water supply), my dishes still come out a bit cloudy with that exact recipe. To fix that issue, I have found that if you add equal parts of borax, washing soda and electrasol powder form dishwasher soap, your dishes come out clear. I usually mix up a batch in a plastic storage container and add 1 tbsp to each load.

  3. Thanks for the great suggestion! Hubby was just saying this morning we needed more dishwasher soap, so this will be great to try! If you do have the above mentioned ingredients, you can also make your own laundry soap! Have been doing this for a while, with very positive results (I just made more yesterday…should last us almost 6 months!)! And SO MUCH CHEAPER!!! Look at the Duggar Family’s website for the exact recipe and directions.

  4. I’ve been making my own laundry soap using the same ingredients (+ Ivory soap) for over a year and love it; didn’t know I could use the same in the dishwasher! Thanks!

  5. I love tips like this one, all ingredients being cheap and eco-friendly. Vinegar, borax and soda are such powerful cleaning agents. I wish more people would discover how useful they can be.

  6. Gale Osborn says:

    My recipe for automatic dish washer , dish cleaner

    1 small box baking soda
    1 16oz box salt
    5 pkgs of lemonaide no sugar drink mix
    buy cheapest you can find of all ingredients
    mix well and use about 1 tablespoon per load

    makes about 60 loads

  7. My DW manufacturer recommends a specific brand of commercial cleaner and states anything else might break the dishwasher. Can you comment on this for me. I would love to use the homemade recipe’s if they will be safe to use. Thanks so much.

    • The only reason that I wouldn’t use these is if it were to void the warranty of the dishwasher. My best guess is that the Dishwasher Manufacturer got paid by the dishwasher detergent company to give that recommendation though. I would do a google search with your specific dishwasher to see if anyone else has used other detergents successfully in your specific brand. I’ve used my homemade stuff in several different dishwashers though and it always works great!

  8. I would like to hear from folks that have used these recipes or one of them, over a long period of time. I’ve tried making my own DW detergent for several years now and no matter what recipe I use, I end up with a film on my dishes after a period of time. Any suggestions from those that have used their own detergent for more than a couple of months?

  9. Love these ifess can’t wait to try.

  10. I use: 2 cups borax, 2 cups Arm & Hammer washing soda, 1 cup Citric Acid – no salt. Have used it a long time. Works in most machines. Sometimes film when first use (dirty machine) and occasional film if especially greasy pot or other dish is in load but usually the citric acid keeps things sparkling.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I have seen on other popular blogs that using vinegar ruined a dishwasher because it ate the seals on the washer.

    • Anonymous says:

      I can tell you with my dishwasher we were using the diy recipe and using vinegar as the rinse agent and the rinse compartment (which is made of plastic) started to disinegrate and stopped working. I had to take a knife to unclog the openings in the rinse compartment and get it cleaned out by putting some store bought rinse agent and now it’s working again. I have also read that it eats away the plastic in the new washers and ours is only 2 years old. We know just us oxy-rinse agent from the store and the homaide soap and I’ve had no further problems except for the occasional cloudy dishes-and then I know I need to adjust my soup and the rinse agent…
      I would be careful with the vinegar is my point as well…

  12. mama spins says:

    I don’t use my dishwasher because of the fact that my dishes do not come clean! I will try this in the future. Thanks for sharing!

  13. I use chlorox mixed with baking soda and dishwashing soap. Once every third time, I add a cup of vinegar in the bottom of the washer.

  14. I’ve substituted using baking soda and a few drops of Dawn dish soap and it works great.

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  1. 31 Days of Organizing for a Better 2010: Go Green | Organizing Your Way says:

    […] It’s easy to be overwhelmed by what we don’t know and all the questions that keep us from getting started: How do I compost? Which cloth diapers should I buy? How do I clean up spills without paper towels? How do I make my own dishwasher detergent? […]