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DIY Dishwasher Detergent and Cleaner

Updated on April 27, 2015

Why make your own homemade cleaning products when you can go to the store and just buy something already meant for cleaning? You should make your own cleaners and then find out why!

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What's in Store-bought Detergents?

You would think that the all of the cleaners lining the shelves of the supermarkets today are tested and held to high standards of safety both on our health and the environment, right? Well think twice and really research those ingredients in the cleaners you use every day, because you’re in for quite the shock!

We have this very flawed act that was passed in 1976, called the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA), which is in dire need of a reform. According to safechemicals.org, the act allows for the manufacturers of chemicals to keep the ingredients in some of the chemicals a secret. 20 percent of the 80,000+ chemicals on the market are secret! That’s over 16,000 chemicals that we know nothing about, like how they are made, how they will affect our health, if they are carcinogens, or what they even are! It’s just not right, and I refuse to support this lack of transparency.

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Solution: Make your own cleaners!

With those numbers, it’s like we are being treated as a laboratory of guinea pigs for these big corporations--we are the test. How does it feel to be a test? Do you feel like you’ve been deceived, that your trust has been abused? I certainly do, which is why I now like to make all of my own homemade cleaning products. One of my favorites that works really well is making homemade dishwasher detergent!

If you flip over a container of store bought dishwasher detergent, you will see a whole list of ingredients and may not be able to pronounce many of them! It may have you thinking that you cannot possibly make your own. How in the world will you find all of those ingredients and the time to put them together?

Good news for you; you won’t be using those ingredients. You’ll be taking a more natural approach so that you know what is in your homemade dishwasher detergent, and you know it’s not bad for your health. With just four ingredients, you’ll be ready to run that dishwasher!

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Homemade detergent recipe

The four ingredients to homemade dishwashing detergent:

  • 2 cups of washing soda

  • 2 cups of borax

  • 1 cup of kosher salt

  • 1 cup of citric acid

This recipe makes 48 oz. of homemade dishwasher detergent and cannot be any easier to make. Simply place all of the ingredients in a glass jar that is big enough to have space at the top and shake it up really good. If you don’t have a big enough jar, feel free to cut the recipe in half to make 24 oz. instead of 48 oz.

Additional tips

  • Clumping: Sometimes you might run into a clumping situation in which you might find it best to add a tablespoon or so of rice to absorb any moisture in the jar. Other than that, just use a tablespoon of the mixture in each load of dishes and you have a great homemade dishwasher detergent!

  • The jar: Make sure the lid is airtight so that you can help avoid moisture from overtaking your detergent. Also, feel free to decorate the jar and make it pretty. Make sure it is at least well-labeled.

  • Rinse agent: Another great thing used in many of my homemade household cleaners is vinegar. It’s cheap and really gets the job done, and is also great in the dishwasher. If you feel like you need a rinse agent to go along, simply fill the designated compartment with white vinegar and let it work its magic on your load.

Will you try this homemade dishwasher cleaner?

See results

It’s that easy!

Once you are using homemade dishwasher detergent, you will love the results and how cheap it is to make so much that you will never go back to using store bought detergent ever again.

To buy the ingredients needed to make this, the cost per load when compared to store bought detergents is about ⅓ that of what it costs to use store bought. In the long run, that’s a lot of savings!

You are not only doing your pocket and environment a favor, but your health isn’t at stake and you are not feeding money into the pockets of big, greedy corporations. It’s a win for your household all the way around!

Homemade Dish Soap

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    • PinkstonePictures profile image

      PinkstonePictures 3 years ago from Miami Beach, FL

      This sounds fab - got to try this :-)

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      I'd certainly like to try this. Always looking for ways to eliminate the chemicals in the house. Gotta see where I can get citric acid though. Anything that could be substituted? Thanks for sharing the idea!

    • LCDWriter profile image

      L C David 3 years ago from Florida

      Very interesting idea. I'm going to try this in my own dishwasher! Shared and voted up!