DIY: Three Different Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Recipes: Powder and Liquid

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Thrifty Thinking

DIY FRI.

It’s DIY FRI. , where every weekend I try to post something you can do yourself rather than buy, which is a money saver, and can be VERY REWARDING.  Some of these posts are crafts, sewing projects, homemade cleaners, homemade health aids, tutorials, and the like.

**Update 10/11/12: Recipe #3 has been updated so it works even more efficiently, and reduced to only three ingredients.  The vinegar and castile liquid soap don’t work together well at the same time.  Still use the vinegar as a rinse aid.  Go here to see updated recipe.

I was running out of dishwasher detergent earlier this year, and I thought I would try to make some.  I wanted to find a way to have it more economically then buying it commercially, and I wanted something that would be better for the environment.

I am including three different recipes because I know that not everyone has the same kind of water, and one recipe may work for you that didn’t work for me.  My favorite was #3, the liquid.**Update 10/11/12: Recipe #3 has been updated so it works even more efficiently, and reduced to only three ingredients.  Go here to see updated recipe.

dishwasher detergent

Dishwasher Detergent Ingredients

I found a recipe at Quiver Full of Blessing that inspired me to start exploring the  world of homemade dishwasher detergent.  I made this recipe and used it until it was gone.  I can’t remember how long that was exactly, but it was approximately 3-4 weeks.  It got the dishes mostly clean but not as clean as my Palmolive Phosphate Free Dishwasher Detergent I’ve been buying at Walmart for 2 years without a coupon since it’s the best price there.  Sometimes at the end of a cycle there would be a clump of detergent left which was kind of disconcerting.

At first I had NO idea where to buy citric acid in the recipe.  It’s in so many products at the store, but the stores usually don’t sell it unless you go to a pharmacy or local co-op store.  I went to standard stores like Walmart to try to find it, but I could not.  A local pharmacy, Hilton’s in Marysville, WA sells it for $20.43/4 ounces.  Ouch!  The local co-ops in Mt. Vernon and Everett sell it for approximately $7/lb.: much better price!  I found the borax and washing soda in the laundry soap section at our local Walmart, though.

Also, use the vinegar as the rinse aid.  It’s so important as it really works and it doesn’t leave your dishes smelling like vinegar.  Promise!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Borax
  • 1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
  • 1/2 cup citric acid
  • 1/2 cup salt

Instructions

  1. Put all ingredients in an airtight container, and shake to mix.
  2. Use 1 T per load.
  3. Use 2 T of white vinegar as a rinse aid.
2.4
http://practical-stewardship.com/2012/06/14/diy-three-different-homemade-dishwasher-deteregent-recipes-powder-and-liquid/

I am not a fan of powered dishwasher detergent.  I wanted to see if I could find a recipe that would work more effectively than the first recipe.  The second recipe is another powder homemade dishwasher detergent recipe that I found at Stacy Makes Cents.  I found Lemishine at our local WinCo in the dish detergent area.  You can even go to there website, and it will tell you where the nearest stores are that carry this product.  I found this highly helpful! 

Homemade Dishwasher Deteregent Recipe #2

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Borax
  • 2 cups Washing Soda
  • 1 cup Lemi-Shine (found in the detergent aisle)

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients.
  2. Store in an airtight container.
  3. Use 2 T white vinegar as a rinse aid.
2.4
http://practical-stewardship.com/2012/06/14/diy-three-different-homemade-dishwasher-deteregent-recipes-powder-and-liquid/

The second recipe did clump some for me and didn’t get the dishes as clean as I would like.  It may work for you, though (that’s why I am sharing this).

As I stated at the beginning, my favorite kind of dishwasher detergent to use is liquid.  Early in our marriage we would have problems with clumping powdered detergents, so I’ve used liquid dishwasher detergents for over a decade.  The last recipe I found at Mother Earth News.  I did adapt the recipe a bit because I used Lemishine instead of real lemons.  I believe it’s the safest of the 3 recipes, as I have heard some people question using Borax on dishes you eat with, although with a good rinse aid like vinegar, the problems should be washed away.

**Update 10/11/12: Recipe #3 has been updated so it works even more efficiently, and reduced to only three ingredients.  The vinegar and castile liquid soap don’t work together well at the same time.  Still use the vinegar as a rinse aid.  Go here to see updated recipe.

Homemade Dishwasher Deteregent Recipe #3: Liquid

Ingredients

  • 2 cups vegetable-based castile soap (I got mine at Trader Joe's)
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Lemishine
  • 3 drops essential oil of your choice (I used Tea Tree Oil from Trader Joe's)
  • **Update 10/11/12: Recipe #3 has been updated so it works even more efficiently, and reduced to only three ingredients. The vinegar and castile liquid soap don't work together well at the same time. Still use the vinegar as a rinse aid. Go here to see updated recipe.

Instructions

  1. Save an old bottle of liquid dishwasher detergent, or find a pourable container. Pour all ingredients in the bottle and shake well.
  2. Shake each time before using.
  3. Use 2 tablespoons per load.
  4. If you find this is not working as well, fill the dispenser completely with the homemade liquid dishwasher detergent as the dishwasher manufacturer. This should work really well. Everytime you use the dishwasher, slightly decrease the amount of detergent you use until you get an amount that works well.
  5. Always use vinegar as a rinse aid.
2.4
http://practical-stewardship.com/2012/06/14/diy-three-different-homemade-dishwasher-deteregent-recipes-powder-and-liquid/

**Update 10/11/12: Recipe #3 has been updated so it works even more efficiently, and reduced to only three ingredients.  The vinegar and castile liquid soap don’t work together well at the same time.  Still use the vinegar as a rinse aid.  Go here to see updated recipe.

The first time I used the homemade liquid dishwasher detergent I forgot the vinegar rinse aid and my dishes weren’t completely clean and some dishes were cloudy.  After that experience and needing to rinse and/or clean EVERY DISH from that washing again, I remembered to put the vinegar in the rinse every time after that.  The liquid detergent worked well after that and is my favorite of the three recipes!  7/29/12 Update Read here to learn about several tests done on Lemi Shine @ Chemistry-Blog.com .  Update 10/11/12: Recipe #3 has been updated so it works even more efficiently, and reduced to only three ingredients.  Go here to see updated recipe.

All of these homemade dishwasher detergent are soooo fast and easy to make!  You really should try one or all of them.

Have you tried to make your own dishwasher detergent or other cleaners or health aids before?

Have you made…:

Re-purposed Mesh Bags to Scouring Pad Scrubbies @ practical-stewardship.com

Babywipes Solution

Foaming Hand Soap @ practical-stewardship.com

3 Deodorant Alternatives @ practical-stewardship.com

We would love to hear from you!  Feel free to comment.  Get free e-mail updates by subscribing here.  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. “Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful”  (1 Corinthians 4:2 ESV).  Thanks for visiting!

Sonja

Shared @ SNS, Simply Natural Saturdays, Link & Greet Saturday, Weekend Whatever Link Up, Weekend Wrap Up Party, Homemaking Link up Party Friday, Friday Flair, Free-for-All Friday, TGIF, I’m Lovin’ It, Prudent Pantry & Smart Solutions, Crumbs & Chaos, Weekend Whatever, Fantabulous Friday, Homesteading Link Up Thur. Chic & Crafty, Simple Lives Thursday, The Mommy Club Wednesday, Show Me Extraordinary, Wed. Adorned from Above, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Lil’ Luna Link Party Wed., Tutorials & Tips Tuesday, Tuesday Treasure, Take It On Tuesday, Take A Look Tuesday,Tiny Tips Tuesday, Tip Me Tuesday, One Project @ a TimeDomestically Divine Tuesday, Simply Sensational Tuesday, Homestead Barn Hop, Making Space Monday, Welcome Home Monday,
.
Tiny Tip Tuesday @ Nature's Nurture