Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Recipes

Dishwasher detergent is a necessary but expensive household item. Making your own detergent is a simple way to save money. This page contains homemade dishwasher detergent recipes.

Someone loading dishes into a dishwasher.
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Liquid Dishwasher Detergent

By melissa 275 423

If you prefer liquid detergent for your dishwasher, then this is for you! This is super inexpensive and easy to make. No more harsh chemicals, no more suds bubbles when you pour water into your clean cups. Cheaper and healthier, sounds good to me!

Approximate Time: a few minutes

Yield: a little over 3 cupsdecorated jar of detergent


  • 3 Tbsp pure castile liquid soap
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • empty jar
Liquid Dishwasher Detergent


  1. Add 3 cups hot water to a large bowl. Add your washing soda and castile soap.
  2. Liquid Dishwasher Detergent
  3. Mix well.
  4. Liquid Dishwasher Detergent
  5. Pour into a clean jar, I used a pickle jar.
  6. Liquid Dishwasher Detergent
  7. See how it tends to separate? Simply shake it every half hour or so for a couple hours and then before use in the dishwasher.
  8. Liquid Dishwasher Detergent
  9. Use 2 tablespoons per load. If you have hard water, you may want to add vinegar and coarse salt to the prewash to reduce film or water stains.
  10. Enjoy!
  11. Liquid Dishwasher Detergent

Source: Pinterest inspired

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Article: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

By Irishwitch 390 18

A dishwasher running with wine glasses in the top.This is like Cascade and Sun Light. This homemade natural formula will safely cut through grease and sanitize your dishes as well.

Automatic Dish Washing Soap


  • 1/2 cup liquid Castile soap
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 drops tea tree extract
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar


Combine water and liquid Castile soap. Stir and then add lemon juice, tea tree extract, and vinegar. Stir until blended evenly and store in a squeeze bottle.

Use 2 tablespoons per wash in a standard-size dishwasher.

Note: Do not substitute conventional liquid soap for the Castile soap unless it is a "low sudsing" soap. Regular soaps will produce too many suds and overflow the dishwasher.

Dishwashing Liquid

To a 22 oz. container of liquid Castile soap, add:

  • 10 drops lemon
  • 8 drops orange
  • 20 drops grapefruit

I hope that you love these like I do! Have a wonderful 2011 everyone!

Source: (for Automatic Dish Washing Soap) Casey Kellar, author of Natural Cleaning for Your Home: 95 Pure and Simple Recipes

By Jodi from Aurora Colorado

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Dishwasher Cubes

By melissa 275 423

I decided to make my own dishwasher detergent cubes because they are cheaper and healthier. Have you read some of the ingredients in the store bought kind? That residue lingers on your dishes and you are ingesting trace amounts every day. No thank you!
These are also easy to make and require common ingredients. Have fun!

Approximate Time: About 6 hours total with drying time...

Yield: 18 cubescubes drying


  • 1 cup borax
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • ice cube trays
Dishwasher Cubes


  1. Add borax and washing soda to a large bowl, mix well.
  2. Dishwasher Cubes
  3. Add vinegar and lemon juice, mix well.
  4. Dishwasher Cubes
  5. Pour evenly into 18 ice cube squares. Continue to stir as you pour, otherwise the powders will sink to the bottom.
  6. Dishwasher Cubes
  7. Let dry around 5 hours.
  8. Dishwasher Cubes
  9. Carefully pop out of the trays and let dry another hour or so on wax paper.
  10. Dishwasher Cubes
  11. Place in a container and use 1 per load of dishes. I picked this glass jar up at a thrift shop.
  12. Dishwasher Cubes
  13. If your water is especially hard, you may want to add vinegar and coarse salt to the prewash. This should aid in reducing film and hard water spots.
  14. Dishwasher Cubes

**If these do not fit into your dispenser very well, I would suggest pouring your liquid into 36 cubes and using 2 per load. Otherwise, just break in half. :)

Source: Pinterest inspired

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Tip: Homemade Automatic Dish Washing Detergent

By Alicia 1 3

So here is the recipe for Automatic dish washing detergent.

  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1 cup borax
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup citric acid

Shake thoroughly or stir and store in tightly covered jar. Use one tablespoon per load. For best results add white vinegar to the rinse dispenser.

All of the above items can be found in your local grocery store. This recipe cleans; cuts grease and yet gentle enough for fine china.

Source: http://ecomaidsofla.com/blog/2009/11/15/diy-dishwashing-detergent/

By ecogirl91304 from Los Angeles, CA

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Question: Homemade Dishwasher Soap

I use the 1 cup borax, 1 cup baking soda, 1/4 cup salt, and I have purchased citric acid in bulk instead of Kool-aid. How much citric acid should I use?
One of my relatives says the soap leaves spots and a milky film. Any ideas what to add to the soap?

By Larry

AnswerWas this helpful? Yes


Most Recent Answer

By S Durgeloh 7 25 Flag

October 3, 2011

Rather than baking soda one should use washing soda, usually found in the laundry aisle.

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Question: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

By scott 2

I need a recipe for homemade dish washing detergent for the dishwashing machine.

By Scott from Adelaide, Australia

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Most Recent Answer

By Laura 3 Flag

July 19, 2011

Hey wfulps, how about bleach and a drop of Dawn? Should be the best of both worlds without harmful reactions.

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Tip: Emergency Dishwasher Soap

By pam munro 522 790

I found out we had run out of dishwasher soap, even the samples I had gotten, and I went to the internet to find out a homemade substitute. Most of them mentioned either washing soda or baking soda + borax - some others mentioned shaved Zote Soap.

We had baking soda - but no borax. So I filled the containers with baking soda and added a few drops of dishwasher liquid to each pan. Then we ran the dishwasher. The waste water came out nice and dirty, with a few teeny bubbles, and the dishes turned out to be nice and clean.

Now, the dishes had been rinsed and were fairly clean already - and it was 1/2 a load at a full cycle - but nevertheless - it did work. I am getting more baking soda and will look for the borax.

(Note: the reason you can't use plain dishwashing liquid is that there would be a lot of bubbling, like a bubble bath out of control - but a few drops in the baking soda seems to be OK.)

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Tip: Homemade Liquid Dishwasher Soap

By Kellyb 2

I have had to be very frugal with my budget and have found myself without dishwasher detergent. I have tried this and found it to work very good! Take a squirt of orange cleaner, a squirt of your homemade everyday cleaner (vinegar/alcohol/water 3:1:2), and a squirt of dishwashing liquid and the dishes do quite well!

By Kellyb from IN

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Question: Homemade Dish Detergent Recipe

By amy 8 31

Does anyone know of a homemade dish detergent recipe? I save so much with the homemade laundry detergent, but have had no luck finding a dish detergent recipe.

By Amy from Rochester, NY

AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

Most Recent Answer

By Melodie99 1 Flag

September 25, 2011

This works really well for me the koolaide is to help break down the residue and grease.

1 cup of borax

1 cup washing soda

1/2 cup of kosher salt. (you can use regular salt, but I prefer kosher salt, more scrubbing power)

15 pkgs of lemon koolaide. I use the store brand it is a lot cheaper.

I also fill the rinse aid with white vinegar.

I use a spoon full in the pre wash and a spoon full in the one that you lock shut. You probably don't have to do that but I want my dishes really clean. I am a person that rinses my dishes before I put them in the dishwasher. If you don't I dont know how well it will work. But I've had other people say it works great for them too. I store it in a cheap plastic container. Wrote the ingredients on the outside of the jar and labeled the lid.

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Question: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

How do I make homemade dishwasher soap?

By Leslie

AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

Most Recent Answer

By S Durgeloh 7 25 Flag

June 1, 2011

Mix equal parts of Arm and Hammer washing soda and Borax. For spot free glasses, etc., instead of using expensive JetDri use white vinegar instead.

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Question: Dishwasher Detergent for Hard Water

By Betty 104 753

I live in west TX where the water is hard. I'm using a liquid dishwasher detergent. The dishwasher is not getting my dishes clean and the glasses come out hazy.

I'd like to hear from someone in Lubbock who had the same problem and found a solution; different detergent, etc. I run water from the kitchen faucet until it gets hot before I start the dishwasher, but that doesn't solve the problem. I even put vinegar in the dishwasher and that didn't help.

By Betty

AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

Most Recent Answer

By Louise B. 6 2,509 Flag

February 27, 2010

When I lived in an area without a water softner, I poured a cup of vinegar in my rince cycle to get the hard water deposit off of the glasses.

If you are getting deposits of foodstuff on the dishes, or the dishes are simply not coming clean, it is likely a detergent problem, not actually related to the water. Try different detergents. I prefer the powders. I like Calgon, but my water is soft. Also, I previously had a cheap dishwasher that didn't have enough jets to wash the top rack dishes. Nothing made a difference in that machine except only having about half a load of dishes.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

Question: Making Dishwasher Detergent

What are some homemade dishwasher detergents?


AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

Question: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Recipe

By abdul 2

Please let me know a recipe of homemade dishwasher detergent. Regards.

By Abdul

AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

Archive: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I tried making my own laundry detergent with Zote Laundry soap and Borax. I did not have any washing soda and was dying to make the detergent, so I experimented.

I used 1/3 bar Zote and 1 cup borax powder. I covered the Zote with water and melted it in the microwave until smooth then added the borax to almost 2 gallons of water. I split this between two ice cream buckets (5 quart size). Next, I divided the Zote soap liquid between the buckets and stirred well.

After the stuff gelled up, I tried it for laundry and it worked pretty well, I did have some things that needed stain treated after washing once, but it worked pretty well for a pretreat gel.

Since the Borax and Zote are both recommended for dishes and the detergent is non-sudsing, I tried it in my dishwasher, and it worked well, but be sure to use a rinse agent or vinegar in the rinse because of possible residue.

Cost = 48 Cents Per 2 Gallons

Even if you use 1 cup per load for laundry, this is a lot cheaper than anything else!!

Just as good for dishwasher and easier to store:

1 cup baking soda
1 cup borax
2-3 tablespoons citric acid (I used Fruit Fresh)

Use about 2 tablespoons per wash, this left no residue.

Cost = Around a penny per load

I bought my fruit fresh after season and got a mark-down. It will last more than 10 loads. I was buying detergent on sale that was 10 cents per load.


RE: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I am debating on making some dishwasher detergent for us to use. Why the fruit fresh (the citric acid)? With the borax, baking soda and fruit fresh do you need to use a rinsing agent, like vinegar? (10/19/2004)

By valleyrimgirl

RE: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Honestly, it's kinda funny. After having it sitting around for a long time and then reading about cleaning out your dishwasher by using Tang because it has citric acid, I figured it might be a good addition.

I figured it may cut out the rinse agent, but I filled my rinse agent well just a few days before my *big idea*, so I'll have to wait and see. So far, there is no residue,

Also, I was using way too much (filling the compartment) and it was leaving white dusty residue behind... use ONLY a tablespoon or two at most!! I have hard water, and two is sufficient for me.

By breezeetew

RE: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Rethinking the Fruit fresh idea. It's causing my detergent to get kinda moist and clumpy. It is ok for me, but wanted to warn you that my *big idea* is not working out like I had hoped! (10/21/2004)

By breezeetew

RE: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I use the 2 TBSP baking soda/borax mix and vinegar in the JetDri cup and am still getting residue.

How about putting the vinegar straight in the tub with the detergent? or adding it directly to the rinse cycle? how much vinegar? (11/26/2004)

By fratze

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Several years ago I discovered a tip for when you run out of automatic dishwashing soap. In the dishwasher dispenser - mine was in the door of the dishwasher - make a thick paste of 2 parts baking soda to one part liquid dish soap (Joy, Dawn, etc.). Run your dishwasher as normal.

The baking soda prevents the sudsing over that happens when you use liquid soap by itself. It also aids in getting your dishes really clean. You might like it well enough to use all the time! (03/06/2005)

By Elizabeth

RE: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

For those of you who are Costco members, they are offering "buy one-get-one free" Electrasol 2 in 1 Tabs with Jet dry powerball. (This week only coupon item). Thats 150 days worth of dishwashing (why mess with making detergent?). Also I put vinegar in my rinse cycle instead of Jet dry. (great savings!) and no water marks. (03/07/2005)

By pbcml

RE: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I always use 1/2 cup of borax and 1/2 cup of washing soda (not baking soda) and mix in a jar and use 1 or 2 tablespoons for each load of dishes. I also use vinegar in the rinse cycle. (03/18/2005)

By smathis123

RE: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I have tried Borax & baking soda and vinegar in the rinse cyle, my dishes come out with this film on them. Then I tried Borax & Washing Soda with the vinegar in the rinse, and still the same! There is still lipstick prints on the glasses when they come out! (05/15/2005)

By Tresses

RE: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I use white vinegar as a laundry rinse after using my homemade laundry liquid (made with little scraps of soap grated, washing soda and borax), but I put herb sprigs into the vinegar first to make it smell nicer. I like to stuff sprigs of lavender into the vinegar, but mint is also nice, or rosemary. (08/25/2005)

By ecoangel

RE: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

HI all. Just reading over these posts and I see a common "filmy residue" theme occurring.

First, only a rinse agent or pure white vinegar (nothing else) should ever go in your rinse agent dispenser. Baking soda will leave a film if used in quantity as will Borax as a rinse agent.

These ingredients listed seem fine for washing. The citric acid simply helps with dissolving calcium and lime (hard water!) during washing and drying cycles.

A better alternative to actual citric acid, which is caustic, than fruit fresh is a packet of unsweetened lemonade powder. Walmart sells them for less than 10 cents apiece. Put one of these in your powder if you like.

Also, use 3 packets of lemonade powder (unsweetned) into your dishwashing dispenser and run and empty cycle. This cleans your dishwasher and heating element of deposits and grime and costs less than 30 cents vs. other expensive "dishwasher cleaners". It's also cheaper than Tang.

Finally, if you are using homemade detergent and a vinegar or rinse agent (again, never use any soda or borax, etc in your rinse dispenser), you may simply have a hard water or dirty dish problem.

Check your water softener or simply that you are rinsing dishes well before loading (I dont' care how well dishwashers promise to work, I have never been able to load a dish that is not well rinsed haha). Lipstick is full of waxes and oils and fats and a quick rinse and rub may elminate this residue problem.

I made my own dishwashing gel before but wasn't happy with the results. It didn't gel just right, then when it did gel, it wouldn't mix with the water and was clumpy. I may try your suggestion, but so far I find the electrasol tabs most convenient. I always use vinegar in my rinse dispenser and our dishes are always sparkling. No need to buy Jet Dri or other expensive agents.

By Missy

RE: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I am still filmy. I used all the above recipes and one that was liquid 1/2 c castile soap. 1/2 c water and a little lemon juice and tea tree oil, just a drop and still filmy yes there is vinager in the rinse compartment. Any ideas? Otherwise it back to 7th generation brand (09/12/2005)

By jsjamr

RE: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Try this: 1/8 cup bleach for the wash cycle, nothing else - no soaps, borax or anything. Just bleach. Then, 1/8 cup white vinegar for the rinse, nothing else. The bleach is alkaline and disintegrates grease. The vinegar is acid and disintegrates lime deposits. You should end up with clean, grease free, disinfected dishes without water spots and film. Glass will become permanently filmed over when using most commercial dishwasher products, and soda, too, because of the "grit". Soda is gritty. I use it to clean marks on my linoleum just as I might use powdered cleanser like Ajax or Comet. Soda actually etches fine lines into glass. Castille soap can be used only in very soft water, so if you want to use it you'll need a water softener, not a softener that is added at the time of washing. (12/08/2005)

By Kathleen Rounds

RE: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Does the bleach hurt stainless steel/copper? Sometimes I throw my pot/pans in to save time (i know!) (01/29/2006)

By camo_angels

Archive: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

A while back, I asked if anyone had a tip on making homemade dishwasher detergent. I got the reply to use 1/8 cup bleach, to dissolve the grease, using no soap at all and 1/8 cup vinegar in the rinse cycle to alleviate the lime deposits and get streak free dishes and glasses. WOW, WOW, WOW, did it ever work. I will forever use this recipe. Thanks ever so much.

By Jamish from Ransom, Kansas

Editor's Note: Make sure you add the vinegar at the rinse cycle, as described in the tip, and not when you add the bleach or it will create a horrible gas.


RE: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I had trouble finding washing soda too until I went out to make some adjustments to my swimming pool water and read the label on the ph increase I got from litehouse pools, sodium carbonate 100%, same as the name brand washing soda!

By Tammy

RE: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I used to add bleach to the dishwasher. My daughter worked at whirpool in customer relations. She said the bleach ruins the gasket eventualy and causes leakage. just a heads up.

By Ariela

RE: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Please don't use bleach in your dishwasher if you or anyone in your family has breathing problems like asthma or heart conditions. The fumes from bleach will trigger both of these problems. And the hot steam from the dishwasher (or washing machine) will make the fumes spread even more than if you were just using it in the sink.

By Karen

RE: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I simply use a very tiny bit of liquid dish soap ( not a dishwasher kind) and then add about 1/2 - 1 cup of vinegar at the beginning of each cycle. I set the dishwasher as usual and forget it. The dishes come out every bit as clean as they did buying commercial dishwasher detergants, which are very toxic according to a news broadcast that I heard. I am trying to go more natural in many areas of life.

By cathy

RE: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Just a heads up... mixing ANY kind of acid based product (including vinegar), or ammonia, with bleach can create extremely toxic chloride fumes.

By Kat63

RE: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I tried the borax and baking soda recipe with vinegar as a rinse aid but my dishes came out horribly filmy, so I let vinegar soak in the dishwasher overnight and ran it empty, then I tried the recipe at the top of the page for a little normal dish soap and 1/2 C vinegar and my dishes came out beautiful. I'm not sure which one did the trick but it works.

By niboki07But

RE: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I just got my dishwasher 2007 model which I installed myself saving $200 bucks and pickup $3.00 part at Home Depot just to get the hot water connected. Don't need to spend $15 bucks on a kit if you 'already had a dishwasher hookup. Anyway the unit came with a sample of Cascade Complete and Cascade Glass Spotter. I had Jet Dry Costco Jumbo Size already to last me a very long time. I also had Costco Krikland Sigtinure Series Automatic Dishwashing Detergent. I've tested that in my new one by itself. I it didn't clean the stainless steel pots and fooks, spoons and knifes so well.

So I gone back with Cascade 2-in-1 Pacs with Dawn did try that with one pad, but found out the hard way you need to use two of those. That did a very good job, but I did add Cascade Complete to the pre-rinse even though that product tells you you don't need to do it. Yeah, yeah. Pots and pans and everything else came out super duper clean. I ran out of the 2-in-1 pads they seem expensive to keep on adding them in. Costco has them for $12 for 90 pads, Wal-Mart 80 pads for $12, 50 pads for $8. I just got the biggest box of Cascade Complete at Costco for $7 bucks..

That cleans everything I put in the dishwasher even cast iron with oil. If it can't clean that then forget it. Which id did clean it so well maybe too well but hey just have to oil the iron and I back in business.

I use the Cascade Complete in both places also add a pre-wash. Just to play it safe. I'll stick with this product I did see the Bleach version but don't know if that's a good idea to smell bleach flumes during the drying cycle..

Good luck, making your own still cheaper to buy the ready made product.

By tipstir

RE: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I use 1/2 cup borax (can find at walmart, foodlion or publix) and 1/2 cup washing soda (can find at publix or kroger),and vinegar in the rinse.

By tanya

Archive: Homemade Dishwasher Soap?

Automatic Dishwasher Soap: I have made the laundry detergent, fabric softener and stain remover (pre-wash treatment); how about a recipe for automatic dishwashers? Anyone have any ideas?

Love this site,

Nelwyn from Bunkie, LA


RE: Homemade Dishwasher Soap?

I tried the 2 Tbsp. baking soda/2 Tbsp. borax but my dishes were still cloudy and dirty (07/10/2006)

By oliver1

RE: Homemade Dishwasher Soap?

I used an alternative, although it was not homemade. I used a small amount of laundry detergent in an emergency. I did read about some good recipes here that I'll try.

I'd guess baking soda would dry to a residue. How about adding a drop of dishwashing liquid to get that taken care of? It just SOUNDS like it would work. (05/03/2007)

By Mary

RE: Homemade Dishwasher Soap?

Hi, I am also looking for a recipe of laundry detergent with natural materials. Lots of people use borax, which is not very healthy, I thought, as it is an acid which affects your nerve system, kidneys and liver and gets absorbed through the skin. Are there any alternatives to Borax? (10/08/2007)

By Rudy

RE: Homemade Dishwasher Soap?

I use 1 1/2 tsp each of borax and washing soda in the prewash cup. I don't use the main cup (that closes) at all. I start the dishwasher and once it has started filling with water I put 1/2 to 1 cup vinegar in the tub. When it starts filling for the rinse cycle, I add 1/2-1 cup 35% food grade hydrogen peroxide and my glasses turn out beautiful! It's a bit of "baby-sitting" but I like the results! (12/02/2007)

By niw3446

RE: Homemade Dishwasher Soap?

I've been told that a cup of citric acid added to the 1 box borax + 1 box baking soda will cure the residue problem. (01/17/2009)

By Dawn

RE: Homemade Dishwasher Soap?

My recipe calls for 1 cup washing soda, one cup borax and 1/4 cup salt (I use sea salt). I have no filmy residue at all. It works wonderfully! (01/30/2009)


RE: Homemade Dishwasher Soap?

When I priced out the ingredients for homemade (borax, baking soda, vinegar, citric acid, etc.) it was pretty expensive. I use the cheap powdered store brand of dishwasher soap from WalMart or Aldi or even the dollar stores. They all work equally well and are very inexpensive.

Once I tried using just a scant tablespoon of laundry detergent, BIG MISTAKE! This bubbled out of the dishwasher and leaked into the floor even though I tried to soak up the leak with towels. I had a drip in the basement ceiling as a result. Please spare yourself that mess. (01/30/2009)

By OliveOyl

Archive: Automatic Dishwasher Powder

Does anyone have a recipe for homemade dishwasher soap? Preferably a powdered version.



(title)RE: Homemade Dishwasher Soap?(/title)

Here's some tips from the Dollar Stretcher:


Basically it is one part baking soda to one part borax using vinegar for the rinse agent. Another site I read used washing soda instead of baking soda with the borax.

Automatic Dishwasher Powder

Powdered Laundry Detergent

  • 2 bars Fels Naptha soap, grated (or enough bars to make 28 ounces)
  • 8 cups washing soda
  • 4 cups borax
  • 4 cups powdered all-color bleach (optional)
  • 20 drops (or more) essential oil (optional)
      Mix all ingredients together and store in a lidded container. This will last a LONG time!

      For light loads, use 1 tablespoon. For heavy or heavily soiled loads, use 2 tablespoons.

      Automatic Dishwasher Powder

      I use 1 box baking soda, 1 box cheap powder dish washer soap and 1 box borax mix it all together and put in a covered container works great!

      Carole from Maine

      Automatic Dishwasher Powder

      I've tried the baking soda/borax mix with no success, I always have residue. I've tried vinegar in the Jet Dri cup, vinegar in the tub, vinegar in the rinse cyle, less detergent, etc. and no luck. Does anyone have ideas for getting rid of the residue? The strange thing is that it is selective--a few random things get the residue each time. I'd like to continue using this cheaper, safer alternative, but unless I can solve the residue problem it's back to Cascade.

      By Fratze

      Automatic Dishwasher Powder

      I found this simple recipe for dishwasher soap at frugal living msn group:
      Automatic Dishwasher Powder

      "Use 2 tablespoons baking soda and 2 tablespoons borax per load."

      truleelee (10/11/2004)

      By ThriftyFun

      Automatic Dishwasher Powder

      Hi Fratze, maybe your hot water needs to be set at a higher setting? That may help the residue. I don't use my dishwasher much, but if I do, I go down the basement and turn my hot water tank up a few notches. Then when they are done, I turn it back down. Saves on my gas bill. (03/04/2006)

      By Mary.

      Automatic Dishwasher Powder

      Drat! I still have the residue problem. I'm right there and stuck with Fratze!

      This is a terrible blow, just recently cleaned out the motor andreplaced the drain motor, so everything is working mechanically.

      Please help! (01/18/2009)

      By ExtremeFrugalist

      Automatic Dishwasher Powder

      AHA! I think I know why our dishes turn out cloudy and with a powdery film all over when we use the Borax and Washing Soda Dishwasher Detergent Recipe.

      Well, try this now: Use that 1 Tbsp. of Borax and 1 Tbsp. Washing Soda. This time, mix it with a little water before you put it into the detergent reservoir. Like, in a little cup or something. Try not to get any of this slush on the rim of the door.

      No matter what we did, everything came out covered in a stubborn with "powdery looking" residue. I think this is caused by the fact that you are putting dry powder in the reservoir.

      The reservoir is not waterproof, so water gets in before the door is opened. In fact, the door can't open easily because powder has become a paste, a lump glued onto the walls of the reservoir." The door opens MUCH LATER than it should. Hence the un-rinsed off residue.

      If this doesn't work for you, please make the "gel" recipe and I'm sure that will do the trick! (01/22/2009)

      By ExtremeFrugalist

Archive: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

How do you make homemade dishwasher powder?

Pam from Australia


RE: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Just a note about the bleach as detergent suggestion: If you are on a septic system like we are, the bleach can actually kill all of the beneficial bacteria. Use it sparingly. (02/01/2009)

By Jessica

RE: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Just FYI: "Fruit Fresh" is ascorbic acid (vitamin C), not citric acid. It should still work similarly, though it is less acidic than the citric, and so more would be required to get the same effect. (02/02/2009)

By Dave

RE: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I use only bi carb of soda in dishwasher, works well. Use bi carb also in my washing machine for my clothes then use the grey water for my trees. Stubborn stains may need to be pre soaked first. (02/03/2009)

By mango

RE: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I'm running my first load with my homemade mix:

  • 1/2 cup borax (20 mule team)
  • 1/2 cup washing soda (by Arm and Hammer)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Fruit Fresh.
I put some in my first dispenser and some in the closed one. (some = about 1 tablespoon). I'm exited about the thought of saving $$. We've been using Everyday Living products from Fry's grocery (Kroger) and really like them. I like saving even bigger, though! I'll post my results after the dishwasher is done. Oh, BTW, my rinse dispenser still had some store brand jet-dry in it, so no vinegar today. (02/08/2009)

By TeresaR

RE: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I too, am interested in becoming more green;however, instead of "jumping right in," I wish to research first. My husband bought me a couple of books about Natural Cleaning. One book appears to liberally use Borax, the other book actually complains that we should not use too much borax.

I do not have an "automatic dishwasher."; I am the dishwasher, and I do not have my own dishcleaner yet; however, I would like to share with all of you, from this book, why Borax should be used sparingly. (Thriftyfun, if I've misquoted, or "done it wrong," please let me know so I can "make it right.")

In the book, "HOME HINTS AND TIPS: The New Guide to Natural, Safe, and Healthy Living" by Rosamond Richardson, published by DK Publishing, Copyright circa 2003, American Edition, Dorling Kindersley Limited Text copyright circa 2003 Rosamind Richardson

Page 47 BORAX "a naturally occurring mineral and may be used in small quantities for treating stains and mildew, and removing odors. However, it contains the element boron, which cannot biodegrade, and consequently should only be used sparingly."

Also, in this same book, in the Glossary,page 187, under BORON, "Boron is an essential mineral for plants but not animals. In fact, it can be toxic in excess." In the same book, on page 186, BORAX, "widely and diversely used , for example, as a mild antiseptic, a cleansing agent, a water softener, and in the manufacture of enamels, shellacs, heat-resistent glass, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, and other chemicals. It contains the element boron" And again, the same book, on page 186 under BORON& "A mineral element that is a necessary food supplement for some living creatures, but can be damaging at high levels."

What is a low, safe level of Borax? I don't know. From the book I quoted out of, Borax contains Boron, a mineral that cannot biodegrade, so the more it's used, the more it builds up in the septic, etc. The book also says Boron is toxic in high amounts. What is a high amount? I don't know, but I would think if I were washing dishes on an everyday basis with it, it would definitely build up, and probably become toxic.

I really want to be "green" but I also want to be smart about it. I am really proud to say that in my community, I can recycle plastics 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7. I can also recycle cans without having to remove the labels (no food stuck to them, of course), and I don't have to crush the cans. I can also recycle, (and this excites me), newspapers with inserts, magazines, books, catalogs, phone books, and junkmail, along with glass. cardboard, and food boxes that don't have any food stuck to them. I can also recycle aluminum foil as long as there isn't any food stuck to it.
I have a type of septic system, and I don't want Borax building up on the property. Borax is nonbiodegradable, and can be toxic in "large amounts," I don't know the math.

I did see a couple of dishwasher recipes that looked safer than the ones with Borax. Because of what I read in the above book, I would be afraid to use Borax on a daily basis in a dishwasher, because I'm afraid it could build up on the dishes, pots and pans. Borax could build up in septic or septic type systems, and not only that, even in a city, Borax could build up in water supplies.

I've heard the scare stories about Los Angeles, and how anti-depressants and such are showing up in the water, is Borax or nonbiodegradable Boron next? (02/08/2009)

By Carol L.

RE: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

The dishwasher is done and it is amazing! No more $$ at the grocery store for the liquid dishwasher detergent! Way cool! (02/09/2009)

By TeresaR

RE: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I just wanted to add what I found this am: ";Now, none of these risks mean that you shouldn't use borax. If you do a bit of research, you will find risks associated with all cleaning products, natural or man-made. However, you do need to be aware of product risks so that you can use those products properly. Don't use borax around food, keep it out of reach of children and pets, and make sure you rinse borax out of clothes and off of surfaces before use."

Retrieved fromhttp://chemistry.about.com/od/howthingsworkfaqs/a/howboraxworks.htm

I don't know, but I'm going to do more research! thanks to Carol for the added information. (02/09/2009)

By TeresaR

RE: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Just to let everyone know. I still am using regular detergent in my dishwasher ( although I'm currently trying to find a good recipe for homemade stuff). However, my kids were frequently getting strep throat when they were little and the Doctor told me to use bleach in the dishwasher since strep can live on anything plastic for 24 hours or more. It worked and since bleach naturally dissolves after drying, it is safe for the kids to eat on after washing. I don't use it in the dishwasher all of the time now, but I will put some in the dispenser with the other soap, if someone at home has been sick. Another tip is to put toothbrushes in the dishwasher with bleach after someone in the house has been sick. (02/13/2009)

By Tara

RE: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I have tried the equal parts of Washing soda and Borax (1 tablespoon of each) to each load in my dishwasher for a month now. I've read all these comments raving about how great it does. I'm going back to regular dishwasher detergent, my dishes look terrible! They don't get clean, and my glasses and silverware have a white yucky film on them that I had to scrub off with dish soap and vinegar. What could I be doing wrong? (02/18/2009)

By Diane

RE: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

To make sure the dishes come out sparkling clean, you have to add salt to the mixture. I mix 1 cup Borax, 1 cup washing soda and 1/2 cup sea salt in a margarine container and mix it well. Works great! (03/02/2009)


RE: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Re: bleach as an antiseptic; more environmentally friendly is hydrogen peroxide which can be bought in gallon size bottles at most grocery stores. We keep our toothbrushes soaking in it and have had no plaque buildup on our teeth since. Use it to disinfect counter tops, bleach stains, and probably could be used in the dishwasher as well. Re: borax, I'm not concerned about using it. 20 Mule Team has been around as long as I can remember. I'd much prefer that to toxic household cleaners. Re: washing soda, I called Alicia at Arm and Hammer and ordered my two and got the free shipping. Awesome deal. (03/12/2009)

By maleesh

RE: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I made a mixture of 20 mule team borax, washing soda, fruit fresh, and glycerin yesterday and it took forever to cook! It was worth it as three loads have gone through the dishwasher and the glassware looks great. I allowed the finished product to cool in a glass gallon jar and kept mixing it as it cooled. It did settle, but a good shake is all it take to have a liquid dishwasher detergent for pennies! I didn't measure as I mixed, but I did use much less washing soda than borax. Worth the effort to use my dishwasher for pennies rather than the store bought product! (03/15/2009)

By TeresaR

Archive: Homemade Dish Detergent Recipe

I am trying to make the homemade dish washing detergent, using 20 mule team borax, washing soda, fresh fruit, and glycerin with vinegar rinse. What are the measurements for this recipe?

I tried one using baking soda, 20 mule team borax, and a tiny bit of regular dish soap, I used Dawn. It left a terrible residue on the dishes and I had to use CLR by hand to remove it. I am using my electric automatic dish washer. Thanks for the help.

By Joanne from Glasgow, MT


RE: Homemade Dishwashing Detergent Recipe

I do not use a homemade detergent. To save money, I use the FMV brand of laundry detergent from Fred Meyers. Buying it in the bucket is only about $7.99 and it works very well. Gets my dishes clean . The detergent has no phosphorous or perfumes. I been using this for several months now. (06/05/2009)

By SarahAnn

Archive: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I never buy dishwasher soap anymore. I buy a large box of 20 mule team borax, a large baking soda, and a large bottle of white vinegar. I keep them on hand just for dishwasher soap.

I mix 2 cups of borax, 1 cup of baking soda together and keep in a large jar. I add this to the dishwasher dispenser as usual. Then I add white vinegar to the rinse dispenser.

It lasts quite a long time and is certainly much cheaper than buying it at the store all the time and I almost never run out.

Source: Mary Jane's Farm magazine.

By Nelliemary from West VA


RE: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

It's good to know about making your own dishwasher detergent, but I don't know if those ingredients are cheaper. I use the cheapest powdered DW detergent I can find, usually WalMart or Aldi brands.

I get very good results from this and a smaller box lasts a very long time since I use the DW only 2-3 times a week and I fill the cups about 1/2 full. A 45 oz. box costs approx. $2.25. (09/21/2009)

By OliveOyl

Archive: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Does any body have a good recipe for homemade dishwasher detergent? Thanks.

By Belle from Versailles, OH


RE: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I mix 1 cup borax, 1 cup washing soda (Arm and Hammer) and 1/2 cup sea salt. Use one tbsp for prewash and wash, and use vinegar in the rinse dispenser. It works great. (03/05/2010)


RE: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I use a similar recipe adding citric acid for shine. It also makes it smell like a lemon drop. Into a 32 oz bottle with screw top (clear vinegar bottle) I add:

  • 1/2 c borax
  • 1/2 c super washing soda
  • 1/2 c salt
  • 3 envelopes unsweetened lemon drink mix (Dollar General sells them for around 10 cents each)

Fill bottle nearly to top with warm water, cap, and shake well. I leave it sitting out to further dissolve. Shake well before each use.

I haven't bought dishwasher detergent in months. I use vinegar in my rinse dispenser. This solution smells really nice, too. (04/23/2010)

By market2u

Archive: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

How do you make dishwasher detergent?

By Mindy

Archive: Homemade Dish Detergent Recipe

I am looking for homemade dish detergent recipes.

By zinniaguy from MO


RE: Homemade Dish Detergent Recipe

Start with plain bicarb (baking soda). For stubborn food, use it straight on your washcloth or sponge. If you don't soak all dishes and bowls right away, you may have to go to washing soda (that's the carbonate, not bicarbonate) and/or borax. These are stronger, so I prefer the soak method.
And why do this instead of the dollar store remedy? You spend 99c-$1, plus gas, plus time, and get you-know-not-what for the trouble. Bicarb is cheaper, with multiple uses, and less stress on hands. End with vinegar rinse if you like.

For a machine? I save water (yes, even over the more economical dishwashers now sold) by hand washing, so I don't have an answer. (10/01/2009)

By peseta

Home and Garden Cleaning Cleaning Supply Recipes DishesOctober 13, 2011
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