This Handmade Life # 10—How to Make Your Own Dishwasher Detergent

This is something that I’ve been wanting to try for a while–making my own dishwasher detergent.

Think about it–the commercial stuff is so caustic, toxic, etc, that you’re not supposed to touch the stuff with bare hands.  I tried it in dishwater to tackle some major things, and it was rough stuff on the hands, and kinda ate a little of the gloves.  And, it’s expensive!

So, I went searching around the net and ran across a recipe for homemade dishwasher detergent.  I actually found this through Tipnut.

Yesterday I rounded up the supplies:


Baking Soda

Lemon Juice

I didn’t remember how much of what to put in the mix, so I just dumped the contents that I had (partial boxes of both the borax and baking soda–the big boxes) into a mixing bowl.  I added about half a large bottle of lemon juice for the citric acid.  It was probably too much, but it works.  Then, I stirred it all up, put it into a couple of smaller containers and stuffed them into the fridge.  After they’d cooled, it became more of a hardened mush, and when spooned out, is crumbly, much like the powdered stuff box detergent.

I ran a test through our portable dishwasher (yes, the big things that hook up to your sink–makes a great bread board and mixer holder on top tho).  The first time around it left a little white powder on a couple of things.  No biggie.  I put in some Jet Dry into the rinse container.  It’s all I have on hand right now, til I get to go shopping again for vinegar.  A second run through with a really nasty smelling round of pots and pans, and it worked excellent!

There also wasn’t a heavy lemon smell afterward.  I like that.

I ran some cut glass (the heavy kind) coffee cups through as well, and they look amazing!  My pots and pans (like the stockpots I’ve been using today to work on my sourdough experiment and my bread pans) went through just fine and are nice looking.  They went with the cut glass on the same cycle and looks great!

I’m not a scientist or chemist or anything.  I just know this works for us.  If you’d like to try it, play around with the 3 ingredients til you get a mush, and go to town washing dishes!

Now, I haven’t tried this in regular dishwater yet (that will come in time), as I’m a fan of Dawn, but I imagine I’ll be using it as a back up when I run out of Dawn at some point in time.

I really like this recipe!  I keep Borax on hand anyway for making laundry soap, and baking soda is a given around our house for general stuff.  Citric acid could be found in a bunch of koolaid lemonade packages (probably 20 or so of them would do it), or the lemon juice (I think that’d be better), or you can buy citric acid by itself.  I used what I had on hand. 🙂

You know, if you put some fels naptha in this, you’d have some laundry soap and/or general cleaner!

This wraps up the 10th edition in the “A Handmade Life” series!

Shared at:

Tip Junkie The Better Mom Raising Homemakers Growing Home Modest Mom

What Joy Is Mine

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