Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent is my latest DIY project on the homestead! Not only is making my own homemade cleaning products, like laundry soap, and dishwasher detergent fun, it is economical and practical. 

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Homemade Dishwasher Detergent is also non-toxic and inexpensive. This is a wonderful alternative to commercial versions if you’re looking for a non-toxic recipe that you can make yourself from just three basic household ingredients. 

Many people think that DIY items like this homemade dishwasher detergent are knockoffs of the traditional store-bought ones. I used to be one of those myself! But that can’t be any farther from the truth. 

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent
Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Inspiration 

The inspiration behind learning how to make my own homemade dishwasher detergent is that part of being a prepper is learning how to make things myself instead of relying on the grocery store to always have what I want in stock. 

We are seeing more and more supply shortages becoming the new normal. It is the perfect time to step up and start making things ourselves. There is nothing better than non-toxic alternatives that help me become more self-sufficient in the process. 

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent
Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Ingredients 

Washing Soda 1 cup 

Washing soda (see the recipe for making below) has a high alkaline content and that allows it to act as a solvent to remove tough stains from both dishes and clothes. Bonus points for being a multi-use item! 

Washing soda is also often used to treat hard water and soften it. 

Baking Soda ½ cup 

Baking soda is something I think all preppers should have a healthy stock of at home because it has a ton of uses. Another multi-use item in the house. Baking soda helps to freshen the smell of dishes (I use it to wash my hands after chopping garlic or onions for this same reason) and lift the grime off of dishes. 

Citric Acid ¼ cup 

Citric acid will also help to soften the water and keep the dishwasher clean. 

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent
Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Instructions 

Mix all of the ingredients together and place in an airtight glass jar like this. When you are ready to use, spoon 2 or 3 scoops into the dishwasher, and then add the essential oil if you choose to. 

Be sure to keep the jar with the homemade dishwasher detergent dry. Do not allow water or the essential oils to come in contact with the powder until you are ready to use it. 

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent
Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Addition Options 

You can add 5 drops of lemon or thieves essential oil if desired. Add this in once it is in the dishwasher though, since it is a liquid and it will activate the citric acid and make a mess. 

You can also use vinegar in the rinse cycle to make dishes really sparkle. 

Why I Love This Homemade Dishwasher Detergent 

I love this dishwashing detergent because it is so easy to make and uses just three ingredients. It is also far cheaper than buying a commercially made dishwashing detergent. This recipe makes the homemaker in me very happy!

I always feel like I am spending a small fortune when I buy household products at the store. Do you feel that way too? With this recipe, the big ingredients are baking soda and washing soda, and the washing soda is made from baking soda. Which essentially makes this a two ingredient recipe. How easy is that?! 

It is also really gratifying to know that I can easily make something we use daily myself. Cutting down the reliance on grocery stores and becoming more self-sufficient just feels incredible. It is a confidence booster! Knowledge is power! 

I am also a big fan of knowing what is in the things I’m using and consuming. 

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent
Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Make Your Own Washing Soda 

Did you know that you can make your own washing soda if there isn’t any available in the grocery store? It is easy! 

Using an old cookie sheet you don’t bake on anymore, spread baking soda out on it. Then bake in the oven at 475 degrees for 1 hour. You will notice that the baking soda changes color and has a grey tint to it. Baking the baking soda at a high temperature changes the PH level and turns it into washing soda. 

Washing soda does irritate the skin and lungs, so please be cautious when making or using it. I always recommend using gloves and doing it outside or in a well-ventilated area. 


Have you made this homemade dishwasher detergent yourself? Are you interested in making the shift from commercial cleaners to non-toxic alternatives? Let me know about your experience in the comments! 

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Homemade Dishwasher Detergent


  • Lyosha

    Sounds like a very handy product. I might look into it when we are running out of dishwasher tables we currently use. I like knowing you can be independent and yet use useful home tech

  • Britt K

    Interesting. I’ve heard of and tried making homemade laundry soap before but never dishwasher detergent. That being said, it’s a great way to save some money and control everything that goes into the products that you’re using. I am going to have to give this one a try! I love that there are so few ingredients involved, just a simple recipe without the need for complicating everything like we often do.

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