DIY Dishwasher Detergent

I’ve realized something in the last couple of days. I’ve talked and talked (well, written really) about how to go green and some great alternatives to use in your home, but I don’t think I’ve ever written about how to make your own dishwasher detergent.

When it comes to green cleaning, some of the worst products you can use in your home are dishwasher detergent and laundry soap. Many unnecessary chemicals are used to put fragrance into the detergents and can be extremely hazardous to your health and safety. (So if I haven’t convinced you to make your own dishwasher detergent by the end of this blog, then I at least want you to make the commitment to buying only fragrance-free dishwasher detergent.)

One of the greatest things about this DIY dishwasher detergent is just how inexpensive it is. This recipe yields about 50 loads of dishes, equaling out to be just around 2¢ a load, depending on where you buy your ingredients. After you mix it up, be sure to secure it in a holder with an air tight lid. And although this dishwasher detergent isn’t toxic like traditional liquid detergent, it does contain Borax, which has been known to cause an upset tummy to a curious child.

Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

2 cups of Borax
2 cups of Baking soda
1/2 cup of Salt
*3 packages of unsweetened lemonade Kool-Aid (or citric acid, if you can find some)- be sure to ONLY get the unsweetened lemonade flavor because otherwise your dishwasher might turn some interesting colors!
*optional* 20 drops of any essential oil

Mix all of the ingredients together well in a container that has an air tight lid, such as a mason jar. Use two tablespoons per cycle, with one going into the capped detergent holder and another into the open detergent holder. Your dishes will be clean, but best of all they will be clean with only ingredients that you chose.

Even though this DIY dishwasher detergent is an excellent alternative to the store-bought liquid kind, I do have to give some fair warning. For those of you who are used to putting dishes in the dishwasher with caked-on food, those days are over if you want to use the natural cleaner. Because this dishwasher detergent is missing some of the really powerful chemicals that the liquid detergent has, it won’t blast food particles off. However, your dishes will be disinfected, cleaned, and all without toxic chemicals.

4 thoughts on “DIY Dishwasher Detergent

  1. Pingback: New products for 2012 betray a worrying trend of slowing innovation | Intentious

  2. Pingback: On the DIY bandwagon « Write on the World

  3. We cleaned our microwave in the office recently.. Perhaps your readers could use a useful cleaning tip like this: :)

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