13 Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Recipes

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Commercial dishwasher detergents are expensive and can have chemicals that pollute the water. You don’t want to be using products with these ingredients, but you also need a way to clean your dishes without breaking the bank.

Homemade dishwasher detergent recipes are an excellent alternative to store-bought cleaners. These recipes use simple household items like baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice which cost much less than the name brand cleaners, and they work just as well.

If you're worried about the effects of using store bought detergent, why not consider a DIY solution? These household ingredients can help you make soap for your dishwashing machine without sacrificing a lot. Here are some of the most popular recipes for you homemade dishwasher.

1. Vinegar

If you are looking to keep your total expenditures on a soap for the dishwasher low, vinegar should be high on your list of considerations. Some of the incredible uses for white vinegar in a homemade dishwashing machine cleaner recipe is to clean dishes because it is acidic and can break up both oil-based and water-based stains.

The only drawback to using vinegar is that it doesn't work well in soft water. If you have a particular problem with mineral deposits, this homemade dishwasher soap solution might not be the best option for you.

2. Fresh Citrus DIY Dishwasher Detergent

This DIY dishwasher detergent recipe uses the power of fresh citrus to shine your dishes clean. If you have ever used one of those commercial dishwasher cleaners that smell like a bowl of fruit, this is a similar concept.

Ingredients

  • Washing soda
  • Grapefruit essential oil
  • Lemon essential oil

3. DIY Dishwasher Detergent and Rinse Agent

If you do a lot of dishwashing and want a DIY solution, this homemade dishwasher detergent recipe is great for getting your dishes sparkling clean. You simply use 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the mixture in the bottom of your dishwasher pan after adding detergent to the soap dispenser. Here are the ingredients:

  • Borax
  • Washing soda
  • Citric acid
  • Kosher salt

4. Homemade Dishwasher Detergent with Borax

Borax is a fantastic all-natural cleaner in addition to being an effective laundry booster. While you'll find the main ingredients in commercial dishwasher detergents, this homemade version includes washing soda and citric acid for stain removal.

Here are the common ingredients:

  • Borax
  • Washing soda
  • Citric acid
  • Salt

5. Borax and Washing Soda Recipe

Some people have found the simple borax and baking soda recipe leaves a film on their dishes. This recipe uses washing soda instead of baking soda and adds citric acid and salt, both of which can be more effective at getting dishes and glasses clean. You'll need to find a food grade citric acid, or you can use unsweetened lemonade mix.

Ingredients

  • One tablespoon borax
  • One tablespoon washing soda
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon food grade citric acid

Instructions

Mix all the ingredients. Use one to two tablespoons per load of dishes. You can substitute unsweetened lemonade mix for the citric acid, as it's mostly citric acid. This also adds a lemony scent. The salt is used to soften hard water and may not be necessary if you have soft water.

6. Borax Free Recipe

Ingredients

  • Three tablespoons washing soda
  • Three tablespoons citric acid
  • One tablespoon baking soda
  • One tablespoon kosher salt
Borax Free Recipe
Image credit: https://www.thespruce.com/

Instructions

Mix together and use one to two tablespoons per load in your dishwasher. Store the rest in a glass container. As with the second recipe, you may not need salt if you have soft water.

7. DIY Natural Powdered Dishwasher Detergent Recipe

Ingredients:

  • One cup super washing soda
  • Half cup citric acid
  • Half cup kosher salt
  • White distilled vinegar as a rinse aid
  • Silicone mold
  • One cup 20 mule team borax from the cardboard box
Natural Powdered Dishwasher Detergent
Image credit: https://www.thespruce.com/

Instructions

Mix all ingredients and transfer them by a spoonful to the silicone mold. If you have sensitive skin, wear rubber gloves while pressing the powders into the mold. The citri if you have sensitive skinc acid will cause the mixture to harden within an hour or two. Use 1-2 tablets per load, how much you use will depend on whether or not you have hard water.

For hard water, you might need two, so it could be a bit of an experiment first. Make sure you store them in an air tight container. If you use distilled white vinegar as a rinse aid, you can make citrus infused vinegar or add 2-3 drops of lemon essential oil per load to aid in the cleaning power and make it smell better. You can also add lemon juice to it instead of the essential oil.

8. DIY Natural Liquid Dishwasher Detergent Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • One tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Dr Bronner's Sal Suds
  • 16oz. squeeze container
  • 15 drops of lemon essential oil
  • Three tablespoons citric acid
Natural Liquid Dishwasher Detergent
Image credit: https://www.mom4real.com/

Instructions

In a small bowl, add water and kosher salt. Stir until the salt is fully dissolved. Add the Sal Suds. In your squeeze container, add the vinegar, then pour the soap solution on top of the vinegar. Add the citric acid and essential oils and combine them with a gentle shakebine.

9. Dishwasher Detergent Tabs

Ingredients

  • Washing soda
  • Borax
  • Epsom salt
  • Vinegar
  • Lemon essential oil

Instructions

In a food processor, combine the washing soda, borax, Epsom salt and citric acid. Pulse until fully combined. Add about one tablespoon of this mixture to your dishwasher soap compartment, then fill to the top with vinegar. Close the door and give it a shake. Add 10-15 drops of lemon essential oil.

10. All-Natural Dishwasher Pods

Ingredients

  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar or Citric Acid
  • Natural dish soap
  • Distilled vinegar
  • Salt
All-Natural Dishwasher Pods
Image credit: https://www.auracacia.com/

Instructions

In a food processor, combine the washing soda and baking soda. Pulse until fully combined. Add about one tablespoon of this mixture to your dishwasher soap compartment, then fill to the top with vinegar or citric acid.

11. Homemade Dishwasher Detergent with Essential Oils

Ingredients

  • Essential oils
  • Baking soda
  • Borax
  • Kosher salt
  • Unsweetened lemonade mix

Instructions

This is another recipe with lots of cleaning power that include essential oils. Mix one part borax, two parts baking soda and three parts kosher salt together in a bowl. Add about 20 drops of your favorite essential oil to the mix, then transfer it into an old spice jar. Use 1/2 to 1 tablespoon (depending on how dirty your dishes are) each time you run your dishwasher.

12. Streak-Free Dishwasher Detergent

Ingredients

  • Borax
  • Washing soda
  • Lemi shine
  • Kosher salt
  • White vinegar

Instructions

Mix one cup borax, half cup washing soda, 1/2 cup Lemi shine, 1/4 cup kosher salt and two tablespoons white vinegar in a bowl. Transfer the mixture to an old spice jar or any other container you have on hand. Use about 1-2 tablespoons when loading your dishwasher for sparkling dishes every time. This is an excellent mix for getting rid of hard water stains.

13. 3-Ingredient DIY Dishwasher Detergent

Ingredients

  • Washing soda
  • Borax
  • Vinegar

Instructions

Mix one cup borax, half cup of washing soda and two tablespoons vinegar in a bowl. Add about 15 drops of lemon essential oil to give it a fresh scent. Store this dishwasher detergent recipe in an airtight container that is easy to access for quick use. If you're looking on saving money on your washing detergents, then look no further than this recipe.

Benefits of Making Your Own Dishwasher Detergent

It's Cheaper

When you buy products in the store, you're paying for mostly water. When you buy these ingredients, especially in bulk, you save money.

It's Much More Eco-Friendly

Commercial washing detergents contain harmful chemicals and other ingredients that cause adverse effects on the environment. When you make your own, you can be sure it's all-natural and good for the earth.

It's Safe

Most commercial dishwasher detergents include bleach and ammonia, which can irritate sensitive skin and damage surfaces. You can keep your skin safe and avoid damaging your home or dishware by making your own.

FAQs on Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Recipes

Is homemade dishwasher detergent safe for the dishwasher?

Yes. Just be sure to follow the right measurements and instructions, especially regarding the concentration of detergent in water. But if you’re still doubtful, here are some alternatives to dishwasher detergents that you can consider.

Why does homemade dishwasher detergent leave a film?

The most common reason for a dishwasher film is the overuse of the product. Measure carefully and don't use more than you need in order to avoid this problem.

What is the difference between homemade liquid and powdered dishwasher detergent recipes?

Liquid recipes tend to be easier, but they often require more liquid when filling up the machine. Powdered dishwasher detergent is usually fluffier and easier to measure, but it takes time for the powder to dissolve.

Final Thought on Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Recipes

As you can see, homemade dishwasher detergents are an easy way to save money while simultaneously being kinder to the environment. It's a win-win situation. What are you waiting for? Try out these homemade dishwasher detergents and enjoy the benefits they come with.

 

Kristina Perrin

Kristina Perrin

Kristina is a stay-at-home-mom and an expert chef. When she's not cooking or experimenting with new recipes, you can find her writing about her favorite kitchen appliances on Kitchen Infinity blog.

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