How to Make DIY Dishwasher Detergent

We are all for saving money and living sustainably, so today we are sharing one of our favorite money saving techniques- DIY dish soap for your dishwasher.  Not only is it inexpensive, it WORKS!


As of July 1, 2010, all of the detergent makers have removed phosphates from their detergents because the chemical compounds pollute lakes, bays and streams. They create algae blooms and starve fish of oxygen.

In order to keep your dishes sparkly and clean (and save the fish as well), several home remedies have been stumbled upon, and work surprisingly well. Just try for yourself!

For dishwasher Detergent, you have a couple of options:

Option One:

  1. ½ cup Borax, found in the detergent aisle in any major store

  2. ½ cup Washing Soda, (NOT baking soda), should be able to find this near Borax

  3. ¼ cup Citric Acid, responsible for the “sparkle and shine”, may be difficult to find, may be the best bet for this one.

  4. ¼ cup coarse kosher salt, used as a scrubber


Mix together until even. Use I Tbs per load.

Use vinegar as a rinse aid instead of a store bought rinse aid.

Option Two: (simpler option)

  1. 1 teaspoon of oxygen bleach

  2. ½ teaspoon of Dawn dish soap


Simply place the oxygen bleach and Dawn in the detergent dispenser, no mixing needed. Place ½ cup of vinegar in a cup on the top shelf, this way the vinegar will be diluted and will be evenly dispersed throughout the dishwasher.

Option Three:

  1. 1 cup Borax

  2. 1 cup Washing Soda


Mix together, use 1 Tbs per dishwasher load

Use vinegar as a rinse aid

Option Four:

  1. Baking Soda

  2. Washing Soda

  3. Lemonade Drink Mix (for the sparkle and shine effect and a pleasant smell)


Mix all ingredients together, use 1Tbs per dishwasher load.

May use vinegar as a rinse aid if necessary.

May need to adjust the recipe and amounts according to your dishwasher type and water hardness.

(Mom’s recipe 😉)

The measurements may vary by region, depending on the hardness or softness of your water, you may need to adjust the ratios to give your dishes that good old sparkle you used to know.

And remember for all of your appliance parts needs, visit!

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