Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

How to make your own dishwasher detergent - easy recipe

I’ve posted a lot of recipes for DIY natural cleaners in the past, but dishwasher detergent was one that I had trouble figuring out. I’d experimented with a lot of recipes, but all of them left a little residue, especially on glass. I wasn’t sure if I had too much of something or if I was missing an ingredient that would make it more effective.

Natural Dishwasher Detergent

Thanks to a little tip on Pinterest last week, I figured out what the missing ingredient was: Citric Acid.

Thankfully, I already had this on hand for making soothing salt bath bombs and after birth bath fizzies, so I was able to give it a try.

The result: clean and shiny dishes… finally (and naturally).

Much Ado…

I should mention that this recipe does include Borax, which has been the center of much online debate. In my personal opinion, Borax is very much on the low end of the scale when it comes to the potential toxicity of chemicals in cleaning products.

If not, I’ve also used enzyme cleaners like Biokleen and Tropical Traditions’ dishwasher soap and both seem to work well and do not contain borax.

DIY Dishwasher Detergent Recipe


  • 2 parts borax
  • 2 parts washing soda
  • 1 part citric acid
  • 1 part salt
  • essential oils for scent (completely optional)


  1. Combine all ingredients and store in an air tight container.
  2. Use 1 tablespoon per load as needed.
  3. For an extra boost, add a few drops of dishwashing liquid (only a few!!!) to the powder before closing the soap container in the dishwasher.
  4. You can also add white vinegar as the rinse agent, though honestly, I forget this most of the time and it still works.


1 Part= Any Measure you want.
In other words, if 1 part=1 cup, you would use 2 cups each of borax and washing soda and 1 cup each of citric acid and salt. If 1 part was 1/4 cup, you’d use 1/2 cup of borax/washing soda and 1/4 cup of citric acid/salt.

Not Working for you?

Homemade powdered dish detergent can be tricky and depending on how hard/soft your water is and the temperature you wash dishes at, it can be really difficult to find a recipe that works.

If you aren’t up for the DIY option, here is my review of all the natural store-bought versions I’ve tried and which ones actually worked. Also, there are quite a few other homemade dishwasher detergent recipes floating around online, like this one from Crunchy Betty and this one from Kitchen Stewardship, so if you want to experiment with other recipes, check theirs out.

New to Natural Cleaning?

If you’re just starting out with DIY or natural cleaners, here are some other easy and inexpensive recipes:

Natural Stain Treatment Reference Sheet [Printable]
Natural Homemade Laundry Detergent
Natural All-Purpose Cleaner Recipe
Natural Oven Cleaning
Natural Homemade Glass Cleaner Recipe
Easy Homemade Scouring Powder Recipe
Natural Cleaning and Organizing Checklist
Natural Bathroom Cleaning
Natural Kitchen Cleaning

What do you use in the dishwasher? Ever made your own dishwasher detergent? Share below!

Homemade dishwasher detergent makes natural cleaning easy. Borax, washing soda, citric acid and salt make an effective and inexpensive natural option.

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Reader Comments

  1. This looks great! In step three, you’re adding drops of what to the powder?

    • Dishwashing liquid

      • I don’t recommend putting any dishwashing liquid in as, I did this a long time ago and it causes a problem with my dishwasher and was costly to fix , dishwashers are not made to use dishwashing liquid, It caused. A bubble in the hoses because of the agitation it froths up, dishwasher powder doesn’t do this,

        • That’s why Katie stresses using only a few drops. I do this if the dishes are extra greasy and haven’t had any problems.

      • Hi Katie,

        I hope this finds you and your family thriving and happy! I enjoy your site so much and am working to making a number of your recipes including the toothpaste. I use the deodorant and it is the best I have EVER used!

        I am wondering if you might have a recipe for all natural dish soap, please? Not dishwasher soap…as I don’t have one…but one that lathers enough (like the bad stuff) when used in a sink full of water (rather than just sponging one dish at a time).

        Thank you for your help, and Happy Easter!

        Warmest wishes, Muriel

        • I’ve experimented with a few different recipes over the years, but haven’t created one that I just love. I’ve also found that it’s not very economical to make compared to purchasing a similar healthy one at the store. However, my friend Heather has a recipe you might want to try: http://www.mommypotamus.com/homemade-liquid-dish-soap-recipe/

          • Hi Katie,

            Thanks so much for the quick reply! I will give it a go. Someone said try 20/80 castille soap and water.

            Have a wonderful day.
            Warmest wishes,

          • Also, I noticed in many of the comments their mixture wasn’t working and leaving the dishes oily, dirty, etc. It might be that they used “baking soda” instead of “washing soda”.

        • I use Dr. Bronners liquid soap and dilute at least 4 to 1 with distilled water and put in a foaming pump dispenser. Really goes a long way and they have several natural scents and a non scented options. I use this at every sink and even in the shower to shave with.
          However, I must note that when I shave a sensitive area like the bikini line. I use oil instead of soap and it prevents razer burn. I mix a little castle oil into some coconut oil or I just use a little olive oil. Couple drops is all it takes. Sometimes I use a whole teaspoon of an oil and rub it onto my whole body while it is wet before getting out and then I just blot dry. Natural lotion. Oh, if you want to use essential oils this is a perfect time to add a drop or two. I am not left greasy. That means that you used to much. Damp skin helps it spread very thin.
          I don’t even turn the water off – start high and work down to your feet avoiding your hair.
          God Bless

    • Do not add a few drops of dish washing soap! It ruined our dishwasher. Add white vinegar!

      • This recipe did not work for me after the first use. It left white residue all over all my dishes, streaky & greasy. I tried adding the vinegar to the rinse, still gross. I tried using 1/2tbs, 1 tbs and 1 1/2 tbs. Fail for me.

        • Did you ever get this to work? I’ve been using it too, and it leaves my dishes murky and filmy…

        • I had the same problem until I used more. I fill up the soap container in the dishwasher and it cleaned great.

        • Mine too, sadly. I tried it for 2 weeks hoping it would work….it was as if I’d washed them in olive oil..the greasy film was so bad. I also got a huge cold sore, so know it did not killed germs as the 6 times I’ve had one in the last 20 years was either when living with roommates who didn’t wash dishes properly..or when travelling and same Mcause I believe. Major fail.

    • Do not add the powder. Add to the dishwasher “soap dispenser”.

  2. Thanks for this…I too have been trying and failing with the natural dishwahser route, can’t wait to get some citric acid and give this a try.

    • I too have been having unfavorable results with making my own dishwashing soap until I added dry bleach and find the results to be very good. I found Smart Bleach Crystals at Wal-Mart, added two packets and am quite happy with the results. Glasses and plastics are very clear and shiny. I do also use white vinegar in the rinse dispenser.

      • could you please send me your recipe for dishwashing soap, I’m tired of having tea stains on my plastic cups.

        • Try Magic Eraser on cups for tea stains, works on plastics and ceramic. Removes them in seconds.

          • Thank you! Great idea.

          • Isn’t this toxic?

          • Magic Eraser is not toxic but I would think it might scratch a very fine finish. But sounds like a good idea.

  3. Do you find your glass is clear now and not cloudy looking? Thanks for the tip! Can’t wait to try this!

      • Hey can it be sea salt? Or only iodised table salt? Having trouble buying table salt in bulk but can get sea salt easily. For this is salt just salt? Thank you

      • Tell me how you are getting your glasses clear because mine are coming out cloudy. I use a combo of borax, citric acid, and baking soda. I’m also using vinegar as a rinse agent.

        • Not baking soda, washing soda.

    • I haven’t yet tried this recipe. Looking forward to it when I’m finished with the store bought stuff I have. But wondering for all of you with cloudy dishes, is your water hot enough. We have to run our tap water at kitchen sink until it’s hot, then start dishwasher, or we have similar problems…

  4. washing soda?

    • It can be found right next to the borax in your big box store’s laundry isle

    • it is also the same as PH stabilizer in pool stores.

    • You can make it by cooking baking soda in the oven at 450 for 1 hour. Stir a couple times during cooking. It makes a fine powder when done. Be careful it can make a nice dust on everything when you transfer it to a jar. I make batches and store in a mason jar for making laundry detergent, and such.

  5. Do you have a clumping problem? I made mine and half of it is pretty solid on the bottom of my mason jar… I’m going to have to stab at it with a knife to break it up. :/ Any thoughts on how to prevent this in the future batch?
    I do love the way it cleans though! Much cheaper than commercial stuff! I also put some distilled vinegar in the bottom of the washer before running, works as the rinse agent and makes my glass sparkle!

    • We had that problem as well. DH broke it up (with my good bread knife ????) and put it in the fridge. It stopped clumping after that.

      • Thanks, I’ll have to try that! With a crappy knife!!

      • just saw your post. i will try this too.

    • same problem…not sure what to do. it’s solid and i don’t use my dishwasher often enough to break it up regularly. it works great, though. may have to go back to the store bought stuff. 🙁

      • I made a second batch and pushed it into ice cube trays (not full or it won’t fit in the detergent slot). Let it harden for a day or so and it works fabulously!

        • It just hardens on its’ own? Do I put it in the tray and sit out?

    • has anyone tried making these in ice cube trays?

      • Yes! Just don’t fill it all the way or it won’t fit in the tray. It took about a day or so to completely harden. I just left them out in the sun.

    • Recycle those silica packs you get in packages in your container to keep it dry.

    • Hi,
      put some rice in an old sock, tie it up and let that sit inside the container where you store the powder. That’ll take care of the humidity that’s making the powder harden.
      It works well for me.

    • mine has not only gone as a lump but to a solution!?!? when mixing ingredients together, what have i done wrong?!?

      • mine has done the same, and it just keeps on expanding! if i put it in an airtight container i’ll have an explosion!! i think it might be the humidity here today- its currently at 60%, (i hate humid weather)

    • I take a couple of those cartridges that you find in pill bottles and throw those in the container. That keeps the moisture at bay and maintains the consistency. Either that or the silica packets that you find in packaging, like shoe boxes. Third option, put some rice in the toe of old panty hose and tie it off. Trim the excess hose and throw that in the container. I have hard water and add a little extra citric acid.

    • I’ve tried using an old sock filled with rice and it seems to help with the caking.

    • I used one of those “Brown Sugar Bears” from Bed Bath & Beyond ($3.99) it works 🙂

  6. I recently read that pouring vinegar into the rinse hole is not a good idea, which is what I have been doing. It breaks down the rubber gaskets. The new idea was to put a glass upright in the top rack filled with vinegar, this would seem to work the same as just pouring it in the bottom!

    • I believe that vinegar breaks ALL of the seals down, not just the dispensing unit. I don’t think putting a glass of vinegar in the top rack is going to solve that problem.

  7. I have been using this recipe and I have cloudy dishes all the time and sometimes they don’t get very clean. I have added vinegar and it does not seem to help. Any other suggestions??

    • I have been using this recipe for over a year an must use the few drops of dish soap, vinegar and a Jet Dry basket. The basket may not be all natural, but it lasts a couple months and it still quite cost effective. It helps me with my hard water. ;0)

    • Try lemon juice as a citric acid substitute to help with the cloudiness

      • How much lemon juice did you use to substitute for the citric acid?

    • Three drops of DAWN dish soap, plus the vinegar. Mine come out great!

      • NEVER use dish detergent in ur washer or dishwasher! This could damage your machine with build-up as well as voiding your factory warranty.

        • That is why you only use two or three drops. It will not create enough suds because it is well diluted.

    • I’m having the same problem- a dull residue on dishes. We use collected rain water which should be good. I used this recipe last summer with excellent results.
      Last year, I did put dissolved Washing Soda in my collection tanks which seems to soften the water, and have done the same this summer. Very frustrating.

  8. I have been using a similar recipe for almost 2 years now and I’m never going back to the store bought junk. The citric acid is what makes the batch clump. But I use lemon juice instead of the acid because it is more readily available. Also I don’t have a problem with residue using lemon juice.

    • Forgot to be more specific : add the lemon juice separately from your powder mixture

      • How much powder and how much lemon juice? Mix them and then add to dishwasher? Or just add them in the dishwasher?

    • Thanks for sharing! I’m not keen on citric acid.

    • how much lemon juice do you use for the recipe above?

      • I fill my detergent slot that you close with the powder and other open slot with lemon juice. It comes to be about 1/4 cup each. Hope this helps

      • I fill my detergent slot that you close with the powder and other open slot with lemon juice. It comes to be about 1/4 cup each. Hope this helps

        • Way too much. This is designed to use only 1 tablespoon per wash.

    • When you use the lemon juice instead of the citric acid are you making them into tabs or just puring the powder in the dishwasher spot with the lid and adding the lemon juice there too?

  9. No dishwashers for me! I would rather only think about my dishes once. What do you use when you hand wash dishes?

    • I stopped using dish soap several months back when I purchased some high-quality microfiber cloths that pick up EVERYTHING. There are two brands you can choose from: Norwex and eCloth. The Norwex cloths are self-purifying so can be used for multiple days, but are much pricier. I would personally recommend buying seven eCloth rags, using a clean one each day, and laundering weekly. I still keep my dish soap around in case of a really greasy job (like after frying eggrolls), but 99% of the time I just wash my dishes with hot water and the rag.

      • After visiting the eCloth site, I have recognized that your use of eCloths is most certainly off label. These cloths were designed for home cleaning, not dishwashing. It says on the site that the cloths deposit 1% of bacteria back onto the surface you are cleaning. I would not trust these cloths for dishwashing purposes. They do, however look fantastic for other home uses.

      • I did that for awhile. I got sick. Use soap.

    • I don’t have a dish washer either so I make castile soap for hand/body and dish soap. If you’re not ready to make soap, you can extend the life of a purchased bar soap by turning it into liquid soap. Dr. Bronners works well. 1 bar = 1 gallon liquid soap. Search the interwebs for how to make liquid soap from bar soap.

  10. I’ve been making my dishwasher soap for a couple years. I use baking soda and not washing soda. Also, for citric acid, I use a packet of unsweetened lemonade kool aid. It works well. And of course the vinegar.

    • Where do you get the kool aid from? Do we have it here in Australia?

  11. This is the exact recipe I use, but I mold mine (using a tablespoon, scoop & dump onto a sheet tray) and let sit overnight until hard. Then I store them in an airtight container (with a silica packet…). They work great and I don’t have to worry about a clump mess!

  12. I have not had much success with this detergent. To prevent clumping, I keep the citric acid in a separate container and just add it in right before i start up the dw. My dishes do not get that clean and my pyrex remains foggy and everything is just kinda greasy feeling. I always make sure my vinegar is filled up too. I have also tried soap nuts liquid (that i made from boiling soap nuts). This works fine when i’m handwashing but not so well in the dw. I have also tried using both the homemade stuff and the soap nuts together. Not any better. I have bought dw detergent from Tropical Traditions and i find that works well, but at $20 plus shipping, it seems like a hefty price. 🙁

  13. I tried this and used it twice, both times the detergent did not dissolve in my dishwasher, I was left with a big clump in the detergent compartment. Any idea as to why this might have happened?

    • the acid makes it clump…do you have hard water?

    • the acid makes it clump…do you have hard water?

    • I usually bleave the soap compartment open. Even with store bought detergent, the lid would not open on its own. It should dissolve if you just put it dishwasher and shut the door.

  14. Hey I have a question for you 🙂 I’ve used this recipe, and I used the Ball company citric acid, and it caused the whole mixture to be hardened and almost impossible to use. Do you think its the type of citric acid, or have you had the same issue? Do you have tips?

  15. what is washing soda?

  16. this recipe is great…it works awesome. i really really really want to use it. i have one problem. i have tried making it two different times and both times ended up in a solid mass. i tried it in a reused coconut oil container and a regular pint ball jar. i live in colorado so there is no humidity. can’t figure this one out! help!

    • just read through everyone else’s posts and it seems to be the citric acid. i will try putting it in the fridge as one post suggested or adding lemon juice or the citric acid separately. any suggestions/recipes for hand washing dishes? we prefer to do that more than use the dishwasher. i tried a recipe i found online that said “homemade liquid dishwashing soap that really works” and it sucked. everything was greasy

      • To cut grease I use Pure-Castile Soap. I few drops of this in your dishwater and everything will be squeaky clean. It does make the water cloudy so your water looks dirty faster but it works GREAT!!

      • Idk if you’re still trying to find a good hand washing soap, but our family friends have a goat dairy and are owners of Bend Soap Company. They make awesome soap made completely natural with goats milk. Along with lotion and milk bath. We use their soap for everything from hand washing and bathing to dish washing and more. It smells incredible and has been my most successful hand washing soap. My sponge never smells bad and actually always smells pleasant. You can google Bend Soap Company and find their site. I hope this helps and that you give their soap a try. You’ll love it! If price seems to be an issue, they offer scraps in bulk for less and still just as great! I wouldn’t even call it scraps. God Bless!

        • And when I mentioned hand washing, I meant hand washing dishes. Hints the sponge. 😉

        • I looked it up. Their site seems to be partially down right now?

    • Put an absorbent package from an old vitamin bottle, etc or a sachet of rice in your mixture. It’ll help it not to go solid.

  17. “store in an air tight container”… the lid of my container doesn’t seem to be air tight enough. The mixture is fizzing, and the lid POPS! 🙂

    • Yeah, that’s the citric acid reacting with moisture. You could add the citric acid after, like someone else said, or try molding them into little dishwasher tabs like someone else said. Just use a table spoon to make ball-ish lumps and let dry individually over night. then you can put them in a container without worry. It’s pretty much the same as making bath fizzies.

    • Hi Katie!

      Can you tell me what the borax does in the recipe? I’m not against using it I’m just wondering what it’s function is in the recipe.

  18. I found that adding a tied off sock filled with rice prevents mine from clumping.

  19. Hi Katie 🙂 Thank you for sharing all this info about DIY thingies!

    I tried the dishwasher detergent, but it doesn’t seem to work very well.
    My first mix was borax, washing soda, citric acid and salt. My container popped and the mixture got a bit hard. So I made a new mixture: borax, washing soda and salt. So I put a spoonfull in the dishwasher and add a teaspoon citric acid. Unfortunately, most of the dishes and cutlery come out dirty. Any suggestions? Thinking of adding some fluid natural soap.

    • I had similar problems with the dishwasher soap mixture, but found out it was not just the mixture. The pump on my dishwasher was not putting out enough pressure. Once this was fixed it was cloudy dishes, especially clear glass and plastics. The next batch I doubled the Citric Acid and it was amazing. The third batch I cut it down to about 1.5 the amount and it is perfect.

      I used a sock with rice for a bit to keep it from clumping, but decided to make it in ice trays a tablespoon in each pressed firmly down then popped out after a day on a cookie sheet to dry for several days in a cold oven. After 3 to 5 days (when I remember them) I take them and put the blocks in a airtight container, with the sock still there to manage the moisture. (I use the same method with the Toilet Cleaning Fizzies)

      J Albert

  20. I hear borax is toxic?? What can I use in place of it?

    • Much like anything, toxicity is dependent upon the amount. There is an article here on Wellness Mama https://wellnessmama.com/26407/borax-safe/ that discusses the safety of Borax. Hope this helps.

      J Albert

        • our dishwasher and washer all go into grey water and we water the orchard with it. So my question is ….is it safe for the orchard? thx much,

          • Apparently borax becomes boron in the soil & builds up to levels toxic to plants. Washing soda increases the amount of sodium, also becoming toxic in the soil. Perhaps it is ok used a few times a week in a system that has plenty of other neutral greywater to dilute it. It would be wise to research it further perhaps.

    • You can substitute the borax with washing soda, baking soda, or oxygen bleach. No commercial detergents contain borax. I suspect its in recipes because it has a slight bleaching action, and it was more widely available before oxyclean came on the market. Personally I use a generic powdered oxygen bleach instead.

  21. After much research, I am very happy with this recipe! To prevent clumping and hardening, I simply add the citric acid when I start my dishwasher. I do not mix it in with other ingredients. Works great! Thanks Wellness Mama!

  22. I’ve tried so many of your home recipes and love them all! For some reason, this one isn’t working out so well for me. It seems my dishes keep coming out with a white film on them. I’ve tried adding some vinegar to the rinse cycle, but that hasn’t done anything. Do you have any other ideas of how I can fix this? Thanks so much!!

    • I’m having the same issue, and I don’t believe we have hard water where I live – hope we get a response 🙂

      • Same here….you better check down under the filter and the drain area. That white film was like concrete sand under the drain. It had created an abrasive mess and ruined our drain assembly. Not worth it unfortunately…..

  23. I really wanted this to work for me – even met a woman in the detergent isle who had been making it for years and loves this recipe!
    I used LemiShine – not sure if the citric acid works better?
    My issue – food didn’t et completely washed off.
    Glassware is all cloudy/gritty…
    I put the deterent in the bottom of washer (3rd time)
    and vinegar in rinse…not sure what the issue is or how to adjust the recipe to fix this?
    Any ideas would be appreciated, thanks1

  24. I see a potential chemical reaction here. The washing soda and the citric acid, when in the presence of water, will be converted to sodium citrate and carbon dioxide. It’s not a harmful reaction; in fact, sodium citrate is an ingredient in typical commercial dishwasher detergent.

    Just wanted to point out that the ingredients you put in aren’t necessarily the ones doing the work. And if you were thinking sodium citrate was one of those nasty chemicals that you don’t want to subject your family to, I’m sorry to inform you that you have been wrong. 🙂

  25. I just made some of this dishwasher detergent . The citric acid for 2.1 oz. at Walmart cost me over $30.00 dollars and it only made 1 1/2 cups of detergent. Who said this was inexpensive or am I buying the citric acid wrong?.

      • Just wanted to chime in and say that in a pinch LemiShine will work. It’s comprised of citric acid and natural citrus oils. One container of LemiShine is 12 oz. ( 1.5 cups ) so just add 1.5 cups salt, 3 cups borax and 3 cups washing soda. LemiShine can be found at Walmart and other stores for just a few dollars. The clumping can be solved with silica packets or a sachel of dry rice, like someone else mentioned. We have a water softener in our rental, which is not my favorite from a health standpoint, but that probably helps a lot with potential residue. Thanks so much for the great recipe!

    • Oh no!! 1 lb of (food grade) citric acid is $3.85, and 8 lbs is $15.84 ($1.98/lb) at the Bulk Apothecary.

  26. Hello, I posted an email yesterday and haven’t seen it. I really need to know if I am doing something wrong. It cost $32.00 for 2.1 oz of citric acid from Walmart. So 2.1 oz is about 1/4 cup, so I added 1/4 cup of salt, 1/2 washing soda and 1/2 cup of Borax. All I got out of this is 1 1/2 cup of detergent. This cannot be right. Please advise.
    Thank you

    • @Cheryl – Your recipe looks right – 1 part citric acid, 1 part salt, 2 parts Borax, 2 parts washing soda… I do think you are buying the wrong citric acid. I get my citric acid from the canning supply section at my local Walmart, it costs less than $3.00 and I think the container holds around 8 ounces. Citric acid is sold pretty much anywhere Ball/Mason jars or other canning supplies are sold.

    • I paid $2.97 for Citric Acid in the canning section of Walmart.

    • I bought Citric Acid on Amazon
      5lbs Citric Acid – Food Grade, Non-GMO, organic, 100% pure for $17.49 (free shipping with Prime)

  27. Hi Katie,
    I just made up a huge batch of this. The citric acid from Amazon, that weighs 1 lb, is 2 cups. I used a 1 gallon glass jar, and nearly filled it up with the ingredients. I’m not sure what the citric acid from Walmart is, but that is a very pricey 2 oz bottle!

    Katie, is this working for you? What are you doing about the clumping? Are your dishes getting clean? I feel stupid that I hadn’t carefully read all the comments before making this. Above Dave claims the detergent formed a giant mess in his drain. Has anyone else had that problem? I love the idea of this, and want it to work! I wish I had a better picture of the how and they why it fails.

    Thanks so much for being on the front lines of natural home care. I appreciate your willingness to try new things and work them out! –Elizabeth

  28. Cheryl, I am sorry but you got ripped off! Amazon sells citric acid in 5 lbs bags for less than $20 w/ prime free shipping. I see one brand, Milliard, on there that is $17.99. Wow, I just looked it up on Walmart and see a brand called Suppentown that is $31.22 for 2.1 oz. Is this what you bought? They should be ashamed of themselves to sell such an expensive product! That is insane! People need to complain to Walmart to get this product pulled from their shelves. I can’t believe the company who markets this gets away with this, but some prey on ignorance and slap a label on something making you think it is such an awesome,special thing! You could have even just bought a 7.5 oz Ball brand container in the canning section for $3 there. If I were you, I would bring it back if you still have the wrapper. Buy some other citric acid and replace in the bag, if you dont want to bring it back empty. You shouldnt be a dissatisfied customer! This is such a shame and I am sorry you had this experience.

  29. This recipe works just so long as you keep the whole dishwasher clean. each week or so take out the grease trap and filters and clean them. They can be super gross and greasy but if you dont clean them regularly this gunk goes through the machine and your dishes each time you use it. Run the machine with a cup of vinegar and a cup of bicarb on a hot cycle. Much safer than the awful cleaner they advertise on the TV.

    • What is a cup of bicarbonate?

      • Baking Soda

      • Adding this info somewhere conspicuous would be very helpful to some of the newer finders (like me) who seem to have the same questions over and over again:

        1. Cloudy dishes = hard water issue. Add more citric acid to your detergent. Be sure to use a white vinegar rinse (or Lemi-Shine rinse agent, but vinegar is cheaper) FYI: Brambleberry sells and EXCELLENT citric acid for $22/10lbs.

        2. Clumping/hardening issue = citric acid/washing soda reaction
        YES these ARE chemicals (the official chemical name of citric acid will probably scare you). YES these DO react with each other leaving behind sodium citrate when exposed to air and humidity. Unless you live in Phoenix, the clumping is pretty much inevitable. The good news is once it has clumped, you can run it through a food processor or blender to powder it back up again and it’s done. I just leave it out open and stir it several times a day for a few days before I put it up. I will try the rice sachet/silica gel packet idea, though! (Why didn’t I think of that!?!)

        3. Don’t like having sodium citrate laying around your house = Store the citric acid separately and add them separately to the dishwasher just before running. The sodium citrate is what is doing most of the washing work. Don’t believe me? Try running the load without the citric acid.

        4. Don’t like citric acid = substitute lemon juice or lemi-shine. SURPRISE! Besides water, lemon juice = citric acid. Lemi-shine is primarily citric acid.

        5. Just remember: going DIY does NOT mean going chemical-free. It just means being EDUCATED and IN CHARGE of the chemicals in your home. And that is A LOT MORE IMPORTANT than being afraid of using the right ones!

        From your friendly neighborhood chemistry teacher, homesteader, soaper, and DIY fan. 🙂

  30. I made this for the first time today, I am desperate for it to work as my son is have allergic reactions to the shop stuff. When i mixed the powders together they audibly fizzed and now it its just getting wetter and wetter… is this normal???

    • Did you use the exact ingredients? Did any water come in contact with it?

      • Hi-thank you for your reply. i did use the exact ingredients but i was in a rush so there might of been a bit of stray water in the bowel or spoon, they were taken out of dry clean cupboards but i didn’t check for moisture before starting… do you think that’s could of caused it, my mixture is getting wetter all the time but still working? Also i mixed with a metal spoon would that of caused a reaction?

        • I’m not sure what caused the reaction, but it should still work. You could also try pressing in to an ice cube tray or mold if it starts to harden and use as dishwasher tablets

          • Just made my second batch and was sure no moister around but did the exact same thing! Definite chemical reaction!!! Realised i using Dead Sea bath salt must be that i presume?

    • It’s the citric acid and washing soda reacting together and pulling moisture from the air. They are making sodium citrate and CO2. The moisture from the air makes the powder clump and when it evaporates the clumps harden. The CO2 from the reaction causes bubbles and containers swelling and popping. The sodium citrate is desirable, it’s a good cleanser. If you leave the lid off and let the reaction run its course, and run the hard clumps through a food processor, the powder will remain in powder form from then on.

  31. Loved the end result- clean glasses and dishes, so thanks for the ‘recipe’.
    I had the same issue with it fizzing up and liquefying. Everything was dry as a bone. There was definitely no moisture in any part of it. I’ve put it in the freezer in an ice cube tray- thanks for that tip.
    Am very happy that it cleans things well!

  32. Hello, as others have mentioned this becomes a rock solid mass. Apparently from the citric acid. I now know to add that separately but can anyone give tips to ‘un’ harden it? I quadrupled the recipe as I do a couple loads per day and don’t want to waste it all. I’ve got it all in a very large 3 pint mason jar (that is airtight). The only way to loosen up the detergent is a spoon and hammer!!!! However I do love the recipe… Just would have been nice if that would have been pointed out in the directions!! Thanks for the recipe and please reply if you have any ideas for me!!! Thanks!!
    Ps Katie I’ve used several of your homemade creations like laundry soap, bug spray, skinny wraps (which kicks tarted a 10# weight loss out of the blue), and the sun block!!! So thank you for your website!!!!! I love it!

    • Hi,

      Just wondering what is the skinny wraps recipe? Tried searching on the site to no avail!



    • I mix it for a long time when I make a batch. I leave it out in a big open container and stir it every time I walk by for 2-3 days. When you fill your pint jar, give the back stock a stir.

  33. im about to make this, but I have no idea if my water is hard/soft as I am moving in a few days. Instead of citric acid, can I use those lemon aid packets people talk about? I may make a tiny bit and see how it goes. 🙂

  34. I tried this and I have to rewash my dishes each time. Totally bummed. I’ve read through all the comments and nothing helps…

  35. Hi Katie,

    A couple of questions and observations for you or any of your knowledgeable readers!

    First off, I made a laundry detergent that I ultimately found in the comments section of your laundry detergent blog. It consisted of 3 tbs borax, 3 tbs washing soda and 3 tbs dawn dish soap. I added the borax and washing soda with 4 cups of super hot water and shook, then I added the dawn and shook a little more. I used this (2 tbs) in my super capacity Kenmore (about 10 years old) for about 15 loads and loved it tremendously! My clothes are super soft and scentless (which serves me well) – and I mean scentless! No fragrance but certainly no smell of dirty or worn laundry. I recently purchased a HE top loader and have been using the same soap in it with the same fabulous results!

    I loved the way it worked so much (and have been reading about borax and washing soda) that I made a diluted version and keep in under my sink in the kitchen to clean my counters and sink (and occasional dish) and again I love it. My stainless steel sink is super clean and I have no complaints about my countertops and it makes my hands soft.

    So here are my questions –

    1. Should I be using this mixture in my kitchen? From everything I’ve read, it seems okay and in line with some homemade cleaners and I haven’t noticed any residue or ill effects from using it.

    2. Would this be acceptable to try in my dishwasher? I would just throw it in there and try but I know there is some chemistry and whatnot behind these cleaners and I’m a bit leary of ruining my dishwasher or dishes. If it’s just a matter of preference, I’ll just try it 🙂

    3. You stated that you occasionally add a couple of drops liquid dish soap to your load. I’ve done this in the past and thoughts the results were great and have even used it when I’ve run out of detergent. Does anyone just use a few drops instead of detergent? What are the results?

  36. This does get dishes sparkling clean, BUT even in an air tight jar turns to a solid rock in the jar after a few days. I do like the way this cleans, so I’ll probably try making dishwasher tablets as others have suggested. Please edit your recipe directions to warn people before they waste money and ingredients.

  37. Does it matter what type of salt you use?

  38. We just mixed this together but didn’t have any regular table salt, so we left salt out (didn’t want to use our Himalayan). There has been no chemical reaction yet and it is just a powder. We may try using it without salt and see how it cleans, or if we add salt will probably go the ice cube tray route. I agree with the others – if that is an expected problem it should probably be suggested up in the recipe itself (to use ice cube trays.) Will try to update once we see how it works.

    Thanks for everything!

  39. I wanted to test this out, so I mixed up a small quantity and stored it in a jar. Then I noticed the reviews complaining about clumping and thought, “Uh oh…” My fears were unfounded.

    I know it’s not lack of humidity. I live in Chicago where humidity is a very real thing. I didn’t use any essential oils, and the jar I’m using is air tight. After a week of sitting in the jar in the darkness under my sink, there was only the slightest of clumping that completely broke apart when I vigorously shook the jar.

    As to dishes, I filled the primary cleaner slot plus a small dash in the extra cleaner cup with the powder. I am using a store-bought eco-friendly rinse aid. Dishes look good. I won’t call them spotless, but then again, I don’t expect spotless dishes with my cheap, bottom-of-the-line dishwasher. But they are no more or less spotted than I was getting with store bought liquid dishwasher detergent. (I stopped using store-bought powdered detergent because the spots were really bad no matter how well I filled the rinse aid compartment.) Actually the real sign that it did well was that my plastic in the top rack was relatively spot-free, which has been rare, even with liquid detergent.

    I declare this a DIY triumph.

  40. Yeah my first load washed beautifully. I didn’t have greasy pots in there though – that’s another test for another time.
    I did what others suggested and scooped the mixed powder into ice tray compartments but it did NOT want to ‘clog’ / firm! It must be the dry Johannesburg air. So I scooped everything back into a tub that can seal well. I also used maybe closer to 2 tablespoons but less might have worked too.
    THANKS so much for another HEALTHIER and COST-SAVING solution!
    Jhb, South Africa

    • I’m so glad it works for you! Thanks for reading!

  41. A couple of comments.

    For hard water, double the amount of kosher salt you use.

    unsweetened lemonade packets work great as a citric acid substitute. Also helps with rinsing, and smells great.

    Regular baking soda can help cut down on grease.

    I cut the borax in half and substituted one cup of baking soda.

    Also, if using ounces….8 ounces in a cup 😉

  42. Hi

    Thanks for the good ads on natural health. Well i am 44 years old and have a problem of swelling feet and ankles after i got my last child. pls advise since i have used medication to no avail.



    • 500 mg capsules of Hesperidin.
      Start off with 1 per day.
      Do some of your own research.
      Work up to 2 per day if you feel like
      It may be safe for your body.
      I usually take 1 per day and in a few
      Weeks it made my feet swelling go down enough I could wear regular shoes again.
      It doesn’t work like a Rx type product. Feels much more Natural and easy on the body.
      Hope this helps!

  43. I’ve been using this recipe for several months now with some adjustments for our hard water (a little extra citric acid and a little baking soda leaves our glasses sparkling) but I found our countertop dishwasher doesn’t like powdered detergent–even store bought doesn’t play nicely with the single spray arm–so I mix up my powder and dissolve it in almost-boiling water. I add just enough water to achieve liquid detergent consistency, and give it a good stir before each use to re-incorporate the settled washing soda. I’ve been very pleased with the results, and no longer have gritty bits of undissolved detergent left behind.

  44. Hi, i am goint to star doing the recipe I amnew in this natural stuff, I would like to know how much do you save doing the dishwasher soap compare with the company made??
    And also I see that you also put that you also use enzyme cleaner like bioken , do you change borax with this product in your recipe? Or you just wash with the bioken.
    Thank you

  45. I found these magnets that you stick in your washer and they wash your clothes WITHOUT SOAP! I haven’t tried them yet but plan on ordering soon. My son has a terrible time with soap and detergents due to eczema. I think they will help. I was wondering if you heard of these or have tried them?

    • Big old scam. You can’t clean anything with magnets. Don’t waste your money.

  46. Hi Katie! I love your site and have gotten so much great information here, so thank you so much for all the work that you do!

  47. This recipe definitely did not work for me. Left a thick white film on everything which was impossible to scrub off. Took soaking my glasses in dish detergent, baking soda and vinegar and a lot of scrubbing to get it off. Some of my glasses are still a mess.

  48. I’m excited and anxious to give this recipe a try. I’ve read all of the comments before-hand so am well aware that I may need to tweak a thing or two before getting things right for our hard water, older dishwasher, and the terrible humidity of the south-east.

    I don’t think we ever have sparking bright dishes but we don’t have cloudiness that some have mentioned noticing when using this recipe. We also don’t have an issue with food stuck behind because I get all of that off before even putting anything in the dishwasher. I guess I look at the dishwasher more of as a way to deep clean or sanitize the dishes and don’t expect it to do the entire job of scraping food off, cleaning, rinsing and drying. I always clean the food off and rinse before putting the dishes in the washer before-hand. I also take the trap apart on the bottom of the dishwasher every couple of months just to give it a good wash and rinse in the sink and then run the dishwasher as always just without dishes after cleaning the trap so maybe that helps.

    I’m going to give this recipe a try though because I think it’s just what I am looking for and I will report back with how it turns out for me.

    Thanks Wellness Mama for all the effort you put into this site to help the rest of us and for taking the time to share so we can have healthier homes too.

  49. I love the soap, first one that has ever worked for me. I just am having one problem, after I’ve run the dishwasher everything comes out clean except the door. There is like this brown runny watery stuff on the door. I was wondering if you had any ideas of a way to get rid of that.
    Thanks so much

  50. I’ve tried this recipe before, but the difference is that I added ten packets of lemon Koolaid packs, unsweetened. It did clump some. I was supposed to keep it in an airtight jar so as not to clump, but I kept it in some Tupperware. I just shook it occasionally and was fine. However, I was not entirely convinced of its cleansing ability, so this time, I did two parts Borax, two parts washing soda, two parts Zote flakes, half cup salt, half cup baking soda, and only three packets of lemonade. I think the Zote flakes will probably keep it from clumping. Anyway, wish me luck!

  51. I love this recipe for dishwasher soap. The only problem is that no matter how I store it, it gets really hard and I have to take a knife to break it up.

  52. My washing soda was quite damp (the shop where I get it from its always damp) so it reacted instantly with the other ingredients, did this happen to anyone else?

  53. Works really well! Tried it today and I got all the dishes sparkly clean!
    Love it! Thank you for sharing the recipe! Karin

  54. My first batch was brilliant – everything sparkly. Second batch was awful and greasy. I had changed brands of borax and citric acid. So, I went back to the borax from the supermarket with the safety lid. I just used it then. Still using the second brand of citric acid. Just opened the dishwasher at the end of the cycle…. BRILLIANT AND SPARKLY AGAIN. So keep that in mind… apparently there are differences in types of Borax… not sure why.

  55. Hey! So I totally agree with you on so many things you post! Have made your recipes for cleaning supplies, and love them! I just came across this recipe and I wanted to do a little research on borax and citric acid, since I was completely clueless about what is in them, and I came across an article discussing it.

    In this case, my thoughts are that my options are limited to a variation of this recipe you have provided, or a store-bought cleaning detergent. Even if this citric acid is horrible, it definitely beats the store-bought alternatives, right? But… I just wanted to hear your thoughts! Maybe you know something I don’t.

    XOXO Thanks!

    • I’ve seen mixed research on citric acid. I hope we see more research in the future, but for now, I feel safer using it than most other types of dishwasher soaps.

      • Hi there Kate, we don’t have a dishwasher, so it’s all by hand. I’m going to try this recipe of yours and play with the salt citric acid and borax a bit. I hear a lot of people chatting about hardening….I wonder if I just added water to my mix and used it like a dishwashing liquid…what do you think. We are in our rainy season here in Zambia, so I aniticipate humidity soon. Thank you so much for your terrific site. I’m loving it to bits.

    • Hi! Late to the party here, I know… I tried to follow that link to the citric acid article you mention and it has been removed. But it is worth mentioning that citric acid is made by all “citric” fruits (lemons, limes, oranges, etc) and is what is responsible for their tartness. Lemon juice, on average, is 4.7% by volume citric acid.

      That being said, lemons occasionally dissolve through the styrofoam of my fast-food cup when I order water with a lemon in it. So acids (all acids, even vinegar) definitely deserve an amount of respect.

      I ran across this article, and I really like it. It even mentions the citric acid that your body makes during regular metabolism: http://www.livestrong.com/article/484402-citric-acid-vs-lemon-juice/

  56. I made this For the first time and it works great! I do not have hard water where I live. No issues with a white film that some had. My glasses are sparkling and free of water marks!

  57. What is washing soda? Is it the same as baking soda? I hope so because that’s what I just used!

  58. I have been using this recipe for a couple weeks, and I’m so impressed! I will never go back to store bought soap again.

  59. I have been using this recipe for a few months. My first batch did clump, but I have found several ways to alleviate that. It is very important to mix the ingredients completely( I don’t use the optional essential oils). I make a pint mason jar each time, I find a small batch is less “clumpy”. I drop a silica packet(saved from shoe boxes, luggage, etc) in the jar each time. If you shake the jar when you use it, that helps to keep it clump-free. If it starts to stick to the sides of the jar, run a knife around the sides to free it up. Using a tablespoon for each dishwasher load works fine(and I have a “builder grade” machine). It takes very little effort to produce a quality result with the added benefit of saving money. I have no plans to ever switch back to commercial dishwashing products. Thanks, Katie!

  60. I made this and after running several loads I can say it does an amazing job! I add vinegar to the bottom of my dishwasher and leave out the drops of dishsoap. Everything comes out clean and uncloudy. It does clump but I just bang the plastic container on the counter and shake it up and it’s good to go. The ingredients were really reasonably priced at Walmart, even the citric acid was only a few dollars for enough to make a double batch recipe.

  61. Hi, I am wondering why does it all turn liquid like once i mix the ingredients (as per the instructions)?
    I mix it all in a bowl and then transfer into a jar. it all bubbles up and foams then is of liquid consistency
    any tips why this chemical reaction happens (and how to avoid it) would be very much appreciated!

    • WOW! Are you starting with all powders, or are you using liquid lemon juice or liquid lemi-shine? If you are starting with all powders, they should stay powdered, but clump over time due to the washing soda/citric acid reaction.

      Also, don’t mix the vinegar with the powders. That goes in as rinse agent in the dishwasher. It’s not really part of the detergent recipe.

  62. Hi. I really appreciate this blog! I live in Egypt and I don’t get a lot of stuff here. Can you please tell me what is washing soda? Thank you.

  63. Hi, I’ve been using this recipe for a couple years now. I made a huge batch and have been working through it. I use a vinegar rinse with the detergent. Although it cleans my dishes, over time I’ve noticed some issues. It has taken off the shine on my silverware and the writing on my glasses and mugs have all disappeared. My plates have also seemed to have lost their glossy coating. I don’t want to go back to the toxic detergents and I’m not sure my silverware and glasses can be changed for the better at this point but I don’t want to continue to ruin them. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Jen,

      I’ve been having the same problem with my plates and other items losing their shiny finish. I’ve been using this recipe (exactly as above, haven’t made any substitutions or additions) for several months now and have come to the conclusion that the dullness has to be caused by this homemade detergent. I’m bummed….love making my own stuff… and hope to find a solution soon so I don’t have to go buy commercial detergent again! Does anyone have any suggestions as to what is causing this and if there are any ingredients that could/should be substituted to prevent this from happening? I’d greatly appreciate any help!!

      Thank you!

  64. I think it would be a good idea to get hot water to the sink before starting the dish washer.

  65. Made it, tried it for a week, and love it! My glasses are sparkling!

  66. Do I still need to use desperate dishwasher salt? Or could I miss out the salt in this recipe? The salt compartment has just recently been filled with about a kilo of salt! I am not scooping all that out with a teaspoon lol

  67. I suggest trying FOOD GRADE 100% Diatomaceous Earth as anti-caking agent. It is 89% naturally sourced silica.

    I will be making it/trying it this week 🙂

    • Did the DE work to prevent caking? Did you add it to the mixture itself and, if so, how much?

  68. I have used this recipe for a while but the clumping was a problem. I gave up on it and I was looking for a different recipe on the internet and found the exact same one but that one recommended leaving the mixture out in a bowl for 3 days and stirring it every so often to break up the clumps. After 3 days, put it into a container. Well, I have made 2 batches so far and no problems with the clumping. If you have little kids, try the top of the fridge to keep them out of it. I also made a smaller batch than I did before. I did add a few drops of citrus essential oils and that also seems to be helpful.

    My results have been pretty good. I need to add about a half teaspoon of dish liquid OR about 1-2 teaspoons of bleach to get the best results (don’t use both at the same time).

  69. This soap works AMAZING!! I have about 5 moisture packs in the jar as well as a piece of fabric filled with rice and so far it is not clumping. But it gets my dishes incredibly clean!!! I didn’t realize how much the detergent actually made. I had been using the Costco gel, but this is way better. Thank you for sharing this recipe!!

  70. Well I made this dishwasher detergent, followed the recipe exactly, and unfortunately it definitely did not work for me. I read all the comments and its obvious that it works for lots of other people, so i’m wondering if it’s our water? We have very hard water here and after a few washes my dishes started to look very dingy. I thought maybe I wasn’t rinsing my dishes enough, so I pretty much hand washed my dishes spotless before putting them in the dishwasher (which sorta defeats the whole purpose of using a dishwasher..lol) and they actually came out looking and feeling dirtier than before I had put them in there. Maybe with our hard water, we need more of something, or less of something else…not sure, but I went back to my regular store bought dishwasher detergent (for now) and after one wash they were sparkling clean again. I’d still like to make my own, but am now reluctant and don’t really know where to start anymore…lol..anyone have any success with a homemade dishwasher detergent with very hard water?

  71. Is this recipe better for cleaning stainless steel cookware in the dishwasher vs. the store stuff?

  72. I recently tried the Dishwasher Detergent recipe above, using 1 part citric acid and 4 parts washing soda (to avoid the borax) and was hoping to switch to this recipe permanently. However, the dishwasher cycle ended with an error message, indicating that the filter was clogged. When we inspected the filter in the dishwasher, it was “caked” in white (the citric acid and washing soda). We do not have hard water, so I would be interested in any suggestions about why this would have happened and how we could modify the recipe to avoid this in the future. Is there a liquid version of this recipe? I enjoy reading your blog and website and will look forward to any idea you may have about this.

  73. Hey Katie,

    Thank you for the recipe…. I must admit that I did not try this one yet.
    I used vinegar to clean my dishwashers but I noticed that in time, vinegar affects the rubber parts …

    I will try this for a month and will post here again to share my findings.

  74. This detergent has been working very well to clean our dishes. However, the smell/”powder poof in the air” when I scoop it into the compartment is very bothersome. Does anyone else have this problem or know why?

  75. What kind of salt do I use for this recipe?

  76. What kind of salt should I use in the recipe?

  77. Question: What is the difference, if any, between baking soda and baking powder, and is it essential to create washing soda from baking soda to make dishwashing detergent?

    • Baking powder contains baking soda, but also has other ingredients and they are not at all interchangeable!

      You can use baking soda or washing soda, the washing soda is just more powerful.

  78. Wonderful recipes and information on your site. Thank you for doing all the hard work of finding and trying all these recipes and sharing the best with us!! Question about dishwasher detergent….I am having trouble with staining on my dishes. Any advice wellness mama? Also, wanted to say that since I have changed over to homemade skin care and cleaning items, my goiter from thyroid issues has gone down by two-thirds!!! Am now trying magnesium and coconut oil daily to see if I can get the rest of it gone. Thank you so much!! You have helped me so much!!! May God continue to bless you and guide you.

  79. This recipe makes my glassware sparkle like crazy. It does leave a light film on my plastics, and I can’t figure out why. I use the hottest water, and we have a whole house water softening system. Any ideas as to what causes the film on the plastics and what I can do to eliminate it? I love your natural approach to cleaning.

  80. We are loving this recipe and have not had any significant clumping, but we live in a very dry area. I also make fairly small batches at a time. I use regular store-brand kosher salt and straight-up citric acid. I do have hard water, and we do need to use the drop of dawn along with a nice spray of vinegar on the dishes. Our results are better than the commercial tablets.

  81. This recipe works for me without clumping:
    1 cup Borax
    1 cup washing soda
    1 cup kosher salt
    5 packs unsweetened lemonade Kool-Ade
    Store in an airtight container in a cool place. Before starting machine, run tap until it is very hot.

  82. Hi,

    I just made this, and after one load, I am totally sold! Works perfect!

    I do have some clumping in my storage container, so I’ll try using rice to combat that, but just a minor inconvenience.

    I am really impressed with how well it works.

    Thank you!

  83. Love this and love your site! I’ve been doing this for almost a year now and it’s great. I just re-read the post and I realize it says 1/4cup citric acid/salt. I’ve been adding 1/4 citric acid and 1/4 sea salt. Is this correct? or was I supposed to just add 1/4 citric acid OR salt? I’ve been having some residue issues (that I think I’ve solved with vinegar…we’ll see) but maybe my recipe measurements are the problem.


    • Try just using the citric acid and removing the salt if you are having trouble with it…

  84. Hi Katie! Searching for a DIY liquid dish soap… suggestions? I’m tired of paying the price of good liquid dish soaps in the store.

  85. Just made this and not only are my dishes squeaky clean and glasses crystal clear, I think my dishwasher looks cleaner. I did use the vinegar as well.
    I wonder why people dont like citric acid? It is an organic. And it is an anticoagulant so should stop clumping not encourage it.
    I did not use any oils or dish soap. I am so pleased. Will never buy those pods again!

  86. Wondering g what would help “ringing” in the ears

  87. Instead of citric acid, I just squeezed a little bit of fresh LIME juice into the dispenser after adding the other ingredients…my morning porridge pot came out squeaky clean….glasses and overnight dishes…excellent…. very happy!! 🙂

  88. I was super excited to try this, but after the first wash they dishes feel almost greasy and the glass is definitely cloudy. I did not use vinegar. Would this help? Or what would be another option to try?

  89. Would Redmond salt work? It is a lot bigger than regular salt. Will it dissolve enough?

  90. Does anyone know about the salt? What kind to use? Is it necessary? Wondering the salt makes it clump and harden as salt drawls moisture.

  91. Is the Borax the same as the Borax in the laundry soap recipe? The link is different and I wasn’t sure if there is some difference here.

  92. This is so easy to follow! I taught my niece to make homemade dishwasher detergent too, and now, she helps her parents make one for home use.

  93. I made a batch and was super excited to use it! My first few loads were quite experimental…I got a TON of white residue. I came back to the comments to see if others were experiencing the same issue. I tried the lemon juice, kook-aid, and vinegar (not at once!!!) but nothing seemed to work. After a few more loads, I realized I was using WAYYY too much of the detergent! I scaled way back, and now I have perfectly shiny, clean, sparkly dishes, just like Katie promised! 🙂 I wanted to be sure and post this because maybe someone else is having a similar issue and is mistakenly using too much. A little goes a long way! I love it because now it’s even more economical! 🙂 Thank you, Katie!

  94. I use 1 cup each of borax and washing soda, 2 cups kosher salt, and five packets of unsweetened lemonade drink mix. No clumping, and no more cloudy glassware as with the original recipe. And, of course, white vinegar in the rinse aid dispenser.

  95. There have been times when I am out of some of the ingredients and I have made due with using baking soda, salt and citric acid and adding vinegar into the rinse dispenser thingy.

  96. This is the best DIY dishwasher soap I’ve tried, thank you! I’ve had bad results with other DIYs, but this particular combination worked perfectly with our hard water. I did choose not to use essential oils, but everything else went right into the machine, and I couldn’t be happier– the dishes sparkle! Thanks again, Debbie

  97. For those having the mix expand, it is because Citric Acid (An Acid) is reacting with Borax and Soda (Bases). Add humidity or water and you get the same reaction as mixing baking soda and vinegar, you end up with salt (not table salt), a gas, and water. An inert cleaning solution that will leave dishes filmy. It is disconcerting how many of these so called green cleaning people advertise solutions that mix acids and bases and can’t figure out why everything is still dirty. Buy a grade school science book before posting this garbage.

  98. Is Ball Citric Acid Additive the right citric acid?

    This is for canning and it’s cheap, but is it the same as we need for this recipe? I don’t understand why all the price differences.