Make Your Own Dishwasher Detergent

Learn how surprisingly simple it is to make your own dishwasher detergent. It will save money and reduce toxins in your home!

Did you know that you can easily make your own dishwasher detergent?

Did you know that it will also save you money?

I will show you everything you need to know to make your own. You’ll love your sparkly clean dishes while reducing toxins in your home.

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Why make your own?

Most commercial dishwasher detergents are full of chemicals that are rated very badly at EWG. They can irritate our respiratory systems and the skin, they often contain carcinogenic ingredients, they may contain developmental and reproductive toxins, and are often toxic to the environment. Yikes!!

Advertisements lead us to believe that we need these harsh cleaners to get rid of all the dirt in our home.

Fortunately, it is not only very simple to make your own. It will also save you money (depending on where you buy your ingredients). Most importantly, making your own is very effective and better for your health and that of the planet.

If you have watched my video, you may have noticed that in my excitement I told you the wrong dollar amount. The cost per load of your own dishwasher detergent is around 5 cents or less. I apologize for any confusion.

I personally really enjoy making my own and being self-reliant. That way I know exactly what is in my cleaners.

And lastly, you’ll save on packaging. Many dishwasher detergents come in plastic bottles which are a huge problem for the environment.

homade dishwasher detergent in jar

How to make your own dishwasher detergent?

If you have been following me for a while, you may have seen my recipe for how to make your own laundry detergent. We are using very similar ingredients for the dishwasher detergent so you may already have them:

  • Borax (find it in grocery stores or here)
  • Washing Soda (you can find it in grocery stores or here)
  • Citric Acid (you can find it in any canning section or here)
  • Salt ( your grocery store – you probably already have it!)
  • optional: essential oils (such as lemon for that fresh scent)
ingredients for DIY dishwasher detergent

Borax softens your water and converts some of the water molecules to hydrogen peroxide. Thus, it acts as a bleach. It is also anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-mold.

Washing soda helps to remove greasy build-up on your dishes. It also removes stains (such as tea or coffee).

Citric acid removes any hard water stains.

Salt adds extra scrubbing power.

The essential oils are just for good smell and thus completely optional.

Simply measure out 2 cups of borax, 2 cups of washing soda, 1 cup of citric acid and 1 cup of salt.

If you’d like to make a smaller amount, just keep the ratio as follows: 2 parts borax, 2 parts washing soda, 1 part citric acid, 1 part salt.

If you like to add essential oils you can use any you like. Anywhere around 15 drops is a good amount. I like the fresh scent of lemon in my dishwasher detergent. Grapefruit, lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus, or pine would all work well here.

Now, you just mix all of the ingredients together. You could do that in a big bowl or directly in your container. Plus point if you reuse an empty container from something else. I like to put my dishwasher detergent in a pretty glass jar (such as these from Ikea). They look nice and most of all, have a tight sealing lid. If you do mix it directly in your container, just give everything a good shake until well combined.

You might even like to add a pretty label to your container or jar (I like these that I find online).

When using, you’ll need about 1 Tablespoon of your dishwasher detergent per load. For that, I reuse the little measuring spoons that often come with products. The above recipe will last you a while. Therefore, it is very economical.

How about a rinse agent?

Since we’re on the topic of automatic dishwashers, I’d like to mention that I haven’t used a commercial rinse agent in years!

All I use is white 5% vinegar. Yep. I just fill that in the rinse agent compartment and that’s it. Very simple and inexpensive. You’ll love your clean and sparkly dishes.

diy dishwasher detergent, vinegar rinse

I hope that I could show you another easy way to make your own (dishwasher detergent) that is effective, non-toxic, and saves you money!

You can also check out my recipe for making your own laundry detergent or my post about making your own cleaners.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below if you have made your own dishwasher detergent. Also, feel free to ask me any questions!

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  1. Hello, I absolutely love your channel. I am subscribed to your channel already, you have a very calm way of explaining thing’s, which I really need.

    Just one question, when maki g the dishwasher detergent, is that just regular baking soda?
    I’m in Canada and can’t find the same product.
    Thanks again.

    1. I guess you could but it might be a bit harsh on your hands unless you wear gloves. I use Sal Suds and water 1:1 handwashing my dishes. Hope this helps ~ Anja

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