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Dishwasher and Detergent

Homemade Automatic Dishwasher Detergent

This easy and super affordable homemade dishwasher detergent will make your dishes come out sparkling clean!
4.5 from 4 votes
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Course: Housekeeping
Cuisine: How-To
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Cost: $6.30

Equipment

  • Container, plastic or glass, with a tight-fitting lid

Ingredients

  • 2 cups baking soda (Note 2)
  • 1 cup borax (Note 3)
  • ½ cup washing soda (Note 4)
  • ¼ cup salt (Note 5)
  • ¼ cup citric acid (Note 6)
  • 10 drops lemon essential oil (Note 7)
  • ½ cup white vinegar per load of dishes, as you use the powder (Note 8)

Instructions

  • Add baking soda, borax, washing soda, salt, and citric acid (NOT the white vinegar!) to the container. Mix well. Apply lid. Done.
  • To Use: Add 1-2 tablespoons per dishwasher load, as you would any commercial dishwasher powder.
  • Each load: Place a small container that is filled half-way with white vinegar (about ½ cup) on the top rack. While optional, this will assure that your glassware comes out super clean and sparkly.

Notes

  1. A wide-mouth Mason jar or similar is excellent for homemade dishwasher detergent because it's easy to scoop from that wide-mouth, and easy to replace the lid to keep it as airtight as possible. However, any container with a tightly fitting top will work.
  2. This is ordinary baking soda, also known as bicarbonate of soda. You can find this in any grocery or supermarket in the baking aisle or online.
  3. Sold in several forms, you are probably most familiar with Twenty-Mule Team Borax in the laundry aisle often shelved near the Super Washing Soda. Or you can find generic borax in larger quantities, but much cheaper.
  4. Find Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda in the laundry aisle of some supermarkets, in discount department stores like Walmart and Target, and online. This is not the same as baking soda, but a distant cousin. It is also known as sodium carbonate. The generic version of washing soda is known as soda ash, which is generally a lot less expensive.
  5. Any type of table salt works here—table salt, Kosher salt, sea salt—whichever you have on hand. This, however, is not Epsom Salt, which is completely different and not used in this recipe.
  6. You can find citric acid in health food stores and online. An excellent substitute is Unsweetened Lemon (or Lemon-Lime) Kool-Aid! But it must be lemon or lemon-lime only, and unsweetened—no substitute Kool-Aid, please.
  7. This is an optional ingredient, but if you have Lemon Essential Oil it will give your detergent a boost and lovely fragrance.
  8. Each load: Place a small container that is filled half-way with white vinegar (about ½ cup) on the top rack. This will assure that your glassware comes out super clean and sparkly.
Tried this recipe?Mention @EverydayCheapskate or tag #EverydayCheapskate!