I’ve been testing out different homemade dishwasher “detergents” for some time now, and have finally found a recipe that meets all of my cleanliness-criteria! It’s super easy to make, ridiculously affordable, and incredibly effective.
I should note that this recipe didn’t come to me in my sleep (similar versions are all over Pinterest), but I have tested many homemade dishwasher detergent’s (borax-free, liquid dishwasher detergent, detergent tabs etc.) and this concoction is my favorite–so just consider me your personal test-kitchen on this one!
I make my own dishwasher “detergent” for the same reason that I make Laundry Soap, and Dish Soap: to avoid harsh chemicals that are toxic to my health and the environment (and the cost savings certainly doesn’t hurt!) The reason that detergent is in “quotations” is because it’s not really a detergent. Like I mention in my Liquid Laundry Soap post, detergents are a chemically-derived, synthetic versions of soap that contain a slew of toxins, and are used in most commercial brands because they are a cheaper alternative to soap. This recipe is more like a Dishwasher Soap, however, the alliteration of DIY Dishwasher “Detergent” just has a nicer ring to it For a list of ingredients found in common household detergents, and the impact that they have on your health and the environment, check out my Eco-Friendly, Liquid Laundry Soap post.
This recipe uses Borax, Washing Soda, Citric Acid and Coarse Salt. You can find both Borax and Washing Soda in the laundry or cleaning aisle at the grocery store. Citric acid can be ordered online or, you may be able to find it in the canning section at the grocery store. I almost hate to mention this, but I’ve heard of people using Kool-Aid as a substitute for citric acid.
In the rinse compartment, I use the citrus-infused vinegar that I use for cleaning, but you can also use plain ol’ white vinegar.
By the way, many people are skeptical about using Borax in their homemade DIY projects. From the research that I’ve done, I feel very comfortable using it, both in terms of my health and the environment. However, feel free to do your own research and some to a conclusion of your own. There are many Borax-free alternatives out there if you decide it’s not for you
- 2 Cups Washing Soda
- 2 Cups Borax
- ½ Cup Coarse Salt
- ¼ Cup Citric Acid
- Mix all ingredients together, and transfer to a jar with a tight lid.
- Add about ½ - 1 Tbsp per load (More is not Better!)
- Add white vinegar or homemade citrus-infused vinegar to the rinse compartment.