Make Your Own Dishwasher Detergent--for Pennies!

Robyn Griggs Lawrence thumbnailI’m always on the lookout for new ways to make my own green cleaners, and Organic Authority is an excellent source. As Elizah Leigh points out in “DIY Automatic Dishwasher Soap That’s Naturally Effective,” making your own dishwasher detergent—and saying good bye to the chemicals found in expensive conventionally manufactured automatic dishwasher detergents –is ridiculously simple. All you really need are a few basic ingredients to get your dishes, utensils and glassware sparkling clean.


Powdered Dishwasher Detergent 

1 cup borax 

1 cup baking soda or washing soda

Mix ingredients in a container with a removable, snap-top lid. Add 2 tablespoons per load along with a splash of white vinegar in the rinse chamber of your dishwasher to prevent spots and/or residue. Add several drops of your favorite essential oil (naturally antiseptic tea tree oil is an excellent choice) as an optional finishing touch.

Liquid Dishwasher Detergent 

2 cups vegetable-based castile soap (such as Vermont Soap Organics or Dr. Bronner’s)

½ cup water

½ cup white vinegar 

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

3 drops essential oil of your choice

Pour ingredients into a recycled plastic bottle with a squirt-top and shake until thoroughly incorporated. Before using, shake liquid well and measure out 2 tablespoons per load.


Add a little essential oil to your homemade dishwasher detergent to make your kitchen smell heavenly.