Homemade Dishwasher Detergent



I’m rebelling a bit against chemicals in my cleaning supplies and the extra cost of brand name products.  Besides, I love making things for people I care about, and making our family’s cleaning products just seems to be a natural extension of that.

After a little research, I discovered just a few basic, inexpensive ingredients will go a long way.  I started with homemade dishwasher detergent and after a few loads, I love it!  You can find lots of recipes online, but here’s the one I used:

  • 1 cup Borax
  • 1 cup Washing Soda (not baking soda)
  • 1 packet Unsweetened Lemonade Drink Mix
  • Vinegar
  • Combine the Borax, washing soda and lemonade mix and store in a sealed container.  Add 1 Tablespoon per load.  Fill the rinse aid dispenser with vinegar.

    That’s it!  Easy, huh?  The lemonade mix provides citric acid and is essential as it keeps glass sparkling.  Use more if you notice your dishes look hazy, differences in water and the dishwashers themselves will effect performance.   The citric acid will also cause a little bit of clumping in your detergent.  Just remember: clumps are not a big deal.

    And now that I’m happy with my dishwasher detergent, I suppose I really should be making up my own glass cleaner.  (Look at that filthy window behind the clean jar!  How did I not see that?!)

    Next up, homemade laundry detergent!

    8 thoughts on “Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

      • This is so easy, I love it! Can’t wait to try making laundry detergent, but I had to order one ingredient from Amazon that I couldn’t find locally.

    1. hmmm…. this sounds like something great to try. We had heard to use equal parts baking soda and borax, but I’d like to try this recipe. Thanks! :)

      • Hi! :) I’m still fiddling with this recipe a little. I loved it at first, but a couple times it hasn’t worked as well as store bought and I’ve had to run the dishwasher a second time — not very helpful or green, huh? I’ve tried adjusting the recipe a bit and I’ll see how it does.

        The homemade laundry soap is a keeper, though!

    2. Hey Sarah Girl!

      I should have come to your site first in my quest to find an alternative to my dishwasher detergent. ;-) We have always used Cascade (not good I know) but they have recently changed their formula and now all my dishes (particularly anything with black on it) is ruined with a hazy white residue. Anything shiny, like utensils are now dull and feel awful to hold.

      I have ended up rewashing everything by hand a couple of times, with vinegar, and I can’t get the residue off. Anyway, I was thinking that if I switched to a natural product going forward it might help.

      This sounds like a great recipe and I’m going to give it a go. Wish me luck!

      Jen Girl

    3. Hey, Jen Girl!

      I’m glad for your visit, but gotta tell you, I’m not thrilled with this recipe over time. I’ve tried to fiddle with it a little (more citric acid) but I still get a haze on my dishes, too. I’ve heard other people have tried and it loved it though, so maybe it’s a difference in water, too?

      Please let me know how it works for you!

      I’m THRILLED with the homemade laundry detergent, if you want to give that a go!


    4. Yeah that haze is causing me grief. I can’t seem to get it off even washing it by hand. I’m ready to give it a try and see how it goes…I’ll let you know.

      Definitely…I’ll be trying the laundry detergent too. Thanks for sharing all these great tips. You’re awesome!


    5. My dishes had a haze on them too and I used bar keepers friend (it’s in a conatiner simular to how the powder comet would come). It took most of the haze off of my black plates, but after a few washed in the dishwasher the haze was back. It’s frustrating!

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