This post was updated December 2018
Its Frugal Friday! This recipe for homemade dishwasher detergent is so stinking frugal, so easy it’s crazy, and you have to try it! It takes about 2 minutes, costs about $0.65 to make, and should last about 100 loads. That’s not even a penny a load! Talk about saving money!
Have I convinced you yet? Also, I think it works better that the brand name stuff. This is a great beginners project for someone who wants to make more items homemade and purchase less consumer products.
I thought I’d make some homemade dishwasher detergent today because I’m so thankful to have my dishwasher working again after it broke on us for a couple of days. So, what better way to celebrate than a DIY project?
This is a much more natural version of dishwasher detergent than many you can find in the store. Cheap and more natural? Sign me up.
The following are affiliate links. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Tips For Using Homemade Dishwasher Detergent
- Use 1 Tbs in both the pre-wash cup and the main wash cup.
- Different water types can have different results with DIY dishwasher detergent. If you are getting any cloudiness, add a few drops of natural dish soap to the mix.
- If you want a natural dishwasher detergent, but don’t want to make it you could try this natural option.
- Add vinegar as a rinse aid as a natural way to get sparkly dishes.
How To Make Homemade Dishwasher Detergent
Gather ingredients! You will need:
- 2 cups Borax (I use this kind)
- 2 cups washing soda (I use this kind)
- 4 packets of sugar free lemonade Kool-aid (or you can use citric acid- Like this one)
Mix all ingredients together and keep in some kind of container. It could be a super cute old mason jar like mine 🙂 or just an empty detergent box you have.
Use it: Place 1 Tbs in the pre-wash (open cup) and 1 Tbs in the main wash (closed cup).
I found if you put a squirt of Dawn or some other brand in the main wash container it makes your dishes much more sparkly!
Want some more DIY Natural Products? Try these!
- DIY Foaming Hand Soap
- Homemade furniture polish is a cheap and natural cleaner.
- Get my favorite natural cleaning tips here.
- If you are a mom you definitely need this DIY Hand Sanitizer.
Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Recipe
Make this super simple and inexpensive recipe to get sparkly clean dishes.
Homemade Dishwasher Detergent
Homemade dishwasher detergent is a simple, cheap, and effective way to clean dishes in the dishwasher.
- 2 cups Borax I use this kind
- 2 cups washing soda I use this kind
- 4 packets of sugar free lemonade Kool-aid or you can use citric acid
- Mix all ingredients together and keep in some kind of container. It could be a super cute old mason jar like mine 🙂 or just an empty detergent box you have.
To use: Place 1 Tbs in the pre-wash (open cup) and 1 Tbs in the main wash (closed cup). I found if you put a squirt of Dawn or some other brand in the main wash container it makes your dishes much more sparkly!
Is Borax Toxic?
This has been up for debate for some time. Katie over at the Wellness Mama has a great article here. Basically, there isn’t conclusive evidence of it being bad for you. Maybe one of these days I will try to come up with homemade dishwasher detergent that doesn’t have borax in it just in case you are concerned about that. I’m a mom and totally get that.
I’m getting water spots or cloudiness! What do I do?
You can add a few drops of dish detergent and fill the rinse aide container with vinegar. That should get rid of any water spots or cloudiness. You can also add a tsp of baking soda to the dishwasher to help against lime buildup.
Are there any good natural store bought dishwasher detergents?
You betcha. When I’m strapped for time… or just when I had my second child, I will frequently reach for Seventh Generation powder. Biokleen also scores an A on EWG, as does Ecos, Fit Organic, and Mama Suds.
Have you ever tried to make your own DIY dishwasher detergent?