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Homemade Dishwasher Soap

April 27, 2012

Over two years ago, I posted a recipe for Homemade Laundry Soap. I have made it on-and-off since then and started making it again about a month ago, but then my Kitchen Aid needed to trot off to the repair shop and I couldn’t finish grating all my soap. (Well, I could have, by hand, but that is rather time-consuming and dries the hands.)

Meanwhile, I started brainstorming about other things I may be able to make at home and so I googled “homemade dishwasher detergent.” It seems we’re always buying dishwasher detergent. We either buy the expensive green detergent, or the cheapest store brand, and I am not particularly compelled by any of them. And I found a recipe at!

Making your own household cleaning products is a win-win-win situation.

Your budget wins because you save money.
Your health and the environment wins because you use fewer toxic chemicals to clean.
You and your family wins because of both those reasons!

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Mix together in a an old yogurt or cottage cheese container:
1 C. Borax (It’s sold at most large grocery stores with the laundry supplies. Borax is the brand name for sodium borate, a boron compound. It is fairly safe unless you ingest a ton of it, but there is no reason to ingest any.)
1 C. washing soda (NOT baking soda; I find mine at Ace Hardware.)
½ C. citric acid (This is easy to find at home brewing stores. It costs about $4 for one pound.)
½ C. Kosher salt (available at all grocery stores)
white vinegar

When your dishwasher is full, use 1-2 T.  detergent and fill the rinse compartment with white vinegar.

This mixture will cake because of the citric acid, so you will need to chop it up with a knife to get the chunks out. You may also have to experiment a little depending on the type of dishwasher you have and the type of water that comes out of your tap. (Note: I do not wash plastics in the dishwasher, so I don’t know how this will work with plastic dishes.)

You can find tons of other household product recipes on for things including toothpaste, deoderant, shampoo–plus lots of troubleshooting tips about homemade dishwasher and laundry detergent!

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