Friday, July 22, 2011

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I was motivated by a friend’s trial of homemade dishwasher detergent to do some research for a recipe.

After doing a little searching, several comments I read indicated that homemade versions can cause a dull film residue to be left on your dishes.  Some claims were made that by adding citric acid to the recipe it helped to eliminate the issue. While looking through several sites, I came across this recipe that includes citric acid. 

I made my first batch of dishwasher detergent last night and have now run two loads using it.  It works great!


Dishwasher Powder
1 cup Borax
1 cup baking soda 
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup citric acid
I used the recipe as written with a few exceptions.  I didn't add the essential oils to the mixture. I use 1 Tablespoon in each of the two dispensers my dishwasher has.  In the first dispenser, I add a few drops of tea tree essential oil for its disinfecting properties.  In the second dispenser, I add a citrus essential oil.  I also use ¼ cup of vinegar in the rinse cycle to help eliminate water spots.  

I have now placed the powdered detergent into a plastic bag for storage.  The citric acid, when mixed with the other ingredients, tends to clump or harden.  By putting it in a plastic bag it is easier to break up and mix before use.

More recipes can be found on these following pages:

You can design the recipe to fit your needs and wants.  I like the way the dishes came clean.  They weren't left with a greasy or cloudy residue. The ingredients needed were easily obtained.  The amount of money the home made version will save, versus the name brand dishwasher detergents, is going to be immense.  I am not sure I will ever have to buy dishwasher detergent again!

The citric acid may be hard to find in local stores.  You may be able to find it in the vitamin isle if you look.  I know Now Foods sells it as a supplement. I purchase mine in bulk from Frontier Coop.  I get a 1 pound package for just over $5 with tax.  A little goes a long way.  It can also be used as "fruit fresh" to keep your fruit from turning brown when you dehydrate it.

I use essential oils in many aspects of cleaning and every day well being.  When purchasing essential oils, be sure to do your research.  Some are not true oils.  I like Aura Cacia the best.  I purchase them from  You can easily shop online.  If you purchase quite a bit, it is worth the $10 to become a wholesale member.  You get to purchase items at wholesale cost.  If your order is $250, shipping is free.  I join together each month with a few others to place an order so we can get free shipping.  By placing an order each month we can also take advantage of the monthly sales. 

1 comment:

  1. I like the idea of homemade dishwashing detergent and have been making my own for almost a year, now. My 'recipe' is the same all they way... EXCEPT that it says I can replace the citric acid with 2 packages of non-sweetened powdered drink mix in LEMON flavor (like Kool-Aid, but Wal-mart's 'Best Value?' costs just 10-cents a package). It's been working great for me, but we have a water softener. I don't kow if it would work the same with hard water. I LIKE your postings a lot. Doris