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Make Dishwashing Detergent

Yesterday I showed you how to make your own laundry detergent. Today, I’ll show you how to use those very same ingredients to make your own dishwashing detergent. The cost break down goes like this: Costco brand dishwashing detergent costs 16 cents a load. This stuff costs 4 cents a load. PLUS, you’ll already have everything you need left over from the laundry detergent!

The dishwashing detergent is even easier than the laundry detergent was! Mix 1 cup of Borax with 1 cup of Washing Soda. VOILA!

For each load of dishes, use 2 tablespoons of the mixture. Add just a drop of a liquid dish soap (or a drop of the laundry detergent even!) to the powder before running the dishwasher. If you find that your dishes are coming out a bit cloudy, add some vinegar to the prewash cup in the dishwasher. Be sure to clearly label the container in which you store this soap!

Gettin’ Tipsy: If you’ve got hard water, try adding some kosher salt to the mix (about half a cup to this recipe) and see if that helps with the cloudiness. If you’re still bothered by cloudiness (which is only a visual issue, not indicative of your dishes being insufficiently cleaned) you can look into using citric acid, though this is pretty expensive and makes the price difference between homemade and store bought a bit less impressive! Strangely, you can substitute two small packages of lemon kool-aid (the kind without any sugar) if you’d like to keep this recipe super cheap but still have most of the shiny benefits of citric acid.

You can use essential oils if you’d like, perhaps lemon? I prefer to leave mine unscented.


This post may contain affiliate links or other sponsored material. Opinions are 100% the author's.

20 Responses to Make Dishwashing Detergent

  1. heather says:

    We have to use citric acid in our dishwasher. I buy it online at a wholesale bath & body supplier like Brambleberry (because they are close to where I live):

    It’s less than $5/lb and it is magic for hard water with calcium and/or rust stains. I use it everywhere we get water stains in my house, including in the laundry (you can’t use bleach in rusty water!)

    • Zach says:

      You can also get Citric Acid really cheap at your local wine or beer making shop, and you can get a smaller quantity, like 8 oz.

  2. Kathryn Fertick says:

    I just used the last of my first batch of this homemade dishwasher detergent. I think I’m going to have to try the kosher salt in the mix, because even with the drop of detergent AND the vinegar, I’m still seeing some cloudiness. We do have very hard water in our area. I’m using my second batch of the laundry soap. I love saving money on this stuff, it adds up fast!

  3. natasha says:

    just nade half a batch!

  4. Alison says:

    I’ve read that vinegar in your rinse aid compartment, it helps with the cloudiness 🙂

  5. Alison says:

    Sorry…it says right in your article to use vinegar in the pre-wash…that’s a preggo brain for ya! lol

  6. Shawn says:

    Anyone know how to get rid of the yellow stains that I keep getting on my white shirts from my washing machine? TY

  7. Peter says:

    This will work fine if you want regular detergent, but if you want the nuclear powered dissolve food off stuff, add about half a teaspoon of Tri-Sodium Phosphate, sold as TSP at any hardware store.

    • Mojo says:

      I agree with you Peter. TSP is a product that has been around for years. It’s inexpensive and works really well for getting things clean. It’s also great for washing walls and floors, cleaning bathrooms, and more. Highly recommeded product!

  8. Pingback: Make Your Own Dishwashing Detergent At Home - The Coupon Cupboard Coupon Forum

  9. Kim says:

    I made this, with the kosher salt and Kool-aid also included, and it left a very bad cloudy film on my classes and some dishes that is very hard to remove. I also tried it with vinegar in the rinse aid compartment, same result. I also tried it mixed 1/2 and 1/2 with Cascade (trying to use it up at least) and it is doing the same thing. Maybe my water is just too hard (it scores 119) but this did not work for me…

    • Dina says:

      I had the same problem-used kool-aid as well and added vinegar to rinse aid holder. Feel like I wasted money and now have a huge batch of the homemade disherwasher detergent to figure out some other use for.

  10. Debbie says:

    I have a friend who has been making her own laundry detergent for ages. She uses it for laundry, dishwasher/dishwashing and for her floors!

  11. Kimberly says:

    Very cool idea! I’d seen the laundry detergent before, but never dishwashing detergent. Thanks!

  12. Andee Eve says:

    Love this! I’m off to go get my supplies! Thanks so much for sharing.
    P.S. Visiting from tidy mom

  13. anjie says:

    Being a mother if 7,info on laundry detergent is going to be sooooo helpful…..thnx so much for all of the wonderful tips. And would you believe i just stumbled across this site! Thank GOD for you guys.

  14. nancy says:

    Don’t use kool-aid packets if someone in your home has celiac disease!

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