Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I would like to know an alternative to use in my dishwasher if my Cascade is gone, and I have no money to buy more for awhile. I have quite a bit of household items I am sure would work as an substitute, I just don't know what?


Any ideas would help as I don't want to wash them all by hand. Thanks.

By Annie from MN


Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Cascade is expensive. Have you considered using cheaper alternatives? I use WalMart's GreatValue brand of dishwasher powder. The one Aldi sells is also good. Dollar stores sell small boxes of dishwasher soap, obviously for a dollar. Substitutes are an option if you happen to have those ingredients, but if you have to buy borax and baking soda you might as well just buy the dishwasher soap to begin with. (07/21/2010)

By OliveOyl

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I always buy my dishwasher detergent from the dollar stores. It is so much cheaper than the brand name detergent and also does a great job. (07/21/2010)


Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I like the Walmart brand too, when I can afford Finish, I use that.
Alternative would be vinegar and baking soda. But cost for cost, make sure you have a full load, do not use regular sink dish detergent. It compromises the seals and leaks. Yep. Hubby did that once. Bubbles all over the whole floor the whole cycle. (07/29/2010)


By TandT Grandma

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I have read all the posts here about the homemade dishwasher soap. I see that a lot of you are having problems with the film on the dishes. Please don't give up. The solution is less. 1 cup of borax and 1 cup of baking soda, mix together in a container. Only use 2 teaspoons of the mixture and 1 drop of liquid dish soap in the cup, and straight vinegar in the rinse aid dispenser. That takes care of the film in my dishwasher. Everything is shiny and clean. (08/18/2010)

By tycrimson

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Not trying to rain on anyone's parade, but there is some inaccurate information listed here.

  1. Don't put an acid in your detergent. Washing soda and baking soda are alkaline (they dissolve proteins). Acids (i.e. Fruit Fresh, Tang, vinegar, etc.) dissolve plant-based foods. But if you mix them together, they do nothing, they cancel each other out.
  2. Some folks are recommending using bleach, and it will work well. It's extremely alkaline, so it will dissolve protein like a champ. It won't cut grease, though, because it's not a solvent or a detergent. And mixing it with other chemicals, specifically acids like vinegar, can produce chlorine gas. Too risky for my taste.

  3. All borax does is soften the water by dissolving some of the minerals in the water and holding them suspended. If you already have soft water, you don't need it. If you're on a well, you do.
  4. Yes you can substitute baking soda for washing soda, but it is less alkaline, so use half again as much (i.e. 1-1/2 cups baking soda = 1 cup washing soda).

That said, the washing soda (aka "sal soda) + salt (as an abrasive) + borax (if you have hard water) in the wash and vinegar in the rinse makes good solid sense. And if your stuff's still not getting clean, run an empty load with 1/2 cup of CLR or a quart of white vinegar to remove hard water mineral deposits from your water jets. You may have to do that twice.

Just my two cents!

By wfulps

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

The problem is that manufacturers on pressure from the eco-nuts have eliminated phosphates from the dishwasher soaps. It's the phosphates that do the hard work. I recently had a repairman here and he strongly suggested I stop using the less expensive Costco brand and go to either Cascade, Finish, or Electrosol. I have searched and found a place to buy commercial dishwasher soap with phosphates. (02/03/2011)

By syllabucks


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