Best Natural Dishwasher Detergent Options

Katie Wells Avatar

Reading Time: 2 minutes

This post contains affiliate links.

Read my affiliate policy.

Best Natural Dishwasher Detergent Options
Wellness Mama » Blog » Natural Home » Best Natural Dishwasher Detergent Options

Dishwasher detergent can be one of the tougher products to find good natural options for. Homemade versions can work, but getting the ratios right is really important.

On the other hand, there are some good options out there but separating the good from the bad can be difficult.

These are the options that I’ve tried that actually work and that I use at our house:

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent:

I use this recipe when I make homemade dishwasher detergent. It works but it can be persnickety and form clumps (that still work) if there is a lot of humidity.

The upside is that it is a simple and cost effective recipe and you know exactly what it contains. The downside is that it can leave a residue depending on your water, the temperature used, and other factors.
powdered dishwasher detergent lg

Tropical Traditions Dishwasher Detergent

Another option that I use often is Tropical Traditions Powdered Dish Detergent. It is also all-natural and an enzyme cleaner so it is a much safer option than many store bought dish detergents.

One canister lasts at least a month at our house (often much longer). This one is a little pricier but it cleans well and lasts longer than many of the other natural options.

Ecover Powder

Another natural option that works well is Ecover Powder. It is available locally in many places, it cleans well and it isn’t that much more expensive than store bought brands. It was pretty close between Ecover and Tropical Traditions as to which one cleaned better, and I’d use either one.

Mrs. Myers

Another natural brand that I’ve tried that actually gets the dishes clean is Mrs. Myers. It comes in a variety of natural scents and is also available locally in many places. It is more expensive than the other natural options, but it does a good job.

What I Do

I’m all for a DIY option whenever possible, but in the case of dishwasher detergent, finding a homemade option that works with your water quality and dishwasher can be difficult.

If the homemade options haven’t worked for you, I’ve used all three of the other above powdered dish soaps with good results and would use them again. Most often, I use Tropical Traditions, but it is only available online and the other two can often be found locally.

Your turn- what do you use in your dishwasher? Share below!

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


101 responses to “Best Natural Dishwasher Detergent Options”

  1. Nicole Avatar

    I too have had great luck with Method Smarty dish tabs. Not the 100% best rating on EWG but I can live with it. I use one tab plus a small squirt of seventh generation dish soap in the tab compartment and the pre-wash compartment. Coupled with the Seventh Generation rinse aid, my dishes come out sparkling clean 99% of the time.

    Next time I am Trader Joe’s, I am going to try their tabs and I am excited to try the Honest Company’s tabs once they are available at Target mid-June.

    I sadly have not had much luck with make your own dishwasher tabs.. might be my water or I haven’t gotten the receipt right yet but I was not happy with my results.

    For rinse aids, I have had great luck with Seventh Generation’s rinse aid and we are going to try Ecover as it was on sale 🙂

    I do caution people to read up on using white vinegar as a rinse aid with every wash. I read a blog post (I think it was on 100 days of real food’s blog) about how great this was as a rinse aid. A follow up blog posting was made a few months later about how the white vinegar (according to the dishwasher repair guy) was extremely corrosive in the rinse aid compartment and damages it. I don’t personally know this from experience and I will admit, white vinegar leaves dishes sparkling and is so inexpensive however as someone who does not have the money in the budget to replace their dishwasher right now, I would exercise caution with this.

    Love your blog Katie! Your lip chap and deodorant recipes are some of the best ever!

  2. Anna Avatar

    I’ve used Trader Joe’s powdered dishwasher soap for years, and love the outcome. Sparkly clean dishes, with no residue.

    I’m still trying to find the perfect homemade version for our dishwasher, but everything i’ve tried hasn’t even come close the clean I get from Trader Joe’s brand. Theirs is fairly inexpensive too, so I have a hard time putting too much time or effort into it right now.

    1. Pierce Avatar

      Hi Rachel wld that be a 50: 50 ratio? How much wld you use per wash? So I can try out. Also borax is very hard to find where I live is there an alternative? Thanx in advance.What do you use as a rinse aid?

  3. ed Avatar

    You screen your comments? Now I know you’re a fake. Keep faking it. Zzz a community of fakes.

    1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

      NO, I don’t. A spam filter does. If you have comments that haven’t appeared, it is because it somehow views you as spam. Also, if you don’t like my blog or consider me a fake, save both of our time/energy and go read one that you do agree with.

    2. peggy Avatar

      Wow, hopefully you have found something better to do with your time than this. If you don’t like and/or agree with her blog, go start your own. I bet you won’t get many followers

  4. ed Avatar

    Yea bc Kosher salt is any different than non rabbi blessed salt. Give me a break. Oxy clean? Would you drink oxy clean? Do any of you actually test these products to prove what they claim? I hear crickets… Most of you have no idea how to enumerate a strategy. Is baking soda and vinegar safe? Yes. So why not try that? Did any of you with cloudy problems ever stop to think that just maybe the dishwasher needs cleaning? Also, why would you want to make this girl more and more wealthy? She obviously receives kickback from every company she endorses. Hell i bet she erases this comment just after she reads it to stop you from leaving this crap site. Uea, welness mama bc shes an expert on the subject with no formal education on the subject. I bet she is a housewife wth no job because she doesnt want to work like her husband and has no degree.

    1. Sarid Avatar

      Just for your information, Kosher salt isn’t salt that has been blessed by a rabbi. In fact, no food (kosher or not) gets blessed by a rabbi. Kosher salt is coarse salt that is used in the process of removing blood from the meat, thereby rendering it kosher (since blood is NOT kosher). People use kosher (or coarse) salt in recipes as opposed to fine-grain salt.. NOT as opposed to salt from a pig!

  5. Jenn Sklener Avatar
    Jenn Sklener

    I’m sorry to sound like a nay sayer. However, I’ve read some items about using vinegar in the dishwasher. Please read this post:

    As someone who has paid a lot of money to repair a dishwasher (different problem), I am very concerned about damaging my dishwasher.

    I did see a lot individuals recommend using vinegar to clean the dishwasher. This is probably okay since you don’t do it every day. But as an dishwasher aid or as the cleaner, I’d exercise some caution.

    I’d like to see some other people with newer sytled dishwashers and a long time experience. Does it damage your dishwasher?


  6. Stacy Avatar

    I unfortunately haven’t had any luck with natural dishwasher detergent. I did try one by Palmolive but is really is just as poisonous as using Cascade. I did have great success using White Vinegar in place of the Jet Dry stuff, it made my plates and glasses squeaky clean and clear. However….I forgot about the fact that Vinegar decalcifies and learned that additionally it is a rust remover or loosener. I live in an Apartment and didn’t know how old my dishwasher and it spewed rust and lime out of the jet dry dispenser. Had to run a bunch of short cycles to get it all out. The Upside is: by accident, we know how to keep our Jet Dry dispenser rust and calcium free. I will try Mrs. Myers, I saw it in Target which also has their own brand of natural Dishwasher products. I’d like to do more research on how plant based they are. Companies tend to slip in the poison if you don’t know what you are looking for.

  7. Kate Avatar

    I recently switched to the Method Smarty Dish tablets in Pink Grapefruit & I am having great luck with them. We have a 12 year old dishwasher & I tend to pack it very efficiently (stuffed full), having 4 kids and needing to run it near-daily. I really like them so far! I might try Mrs. Meyers as well but so far so good!

  8. Cindy Avatar

    I have hard well water and prefer Seventh Generation and have used Ecover with good results too. They do a great job, I have no spots and my silverware is not rusting. We rinse our dishes well before we load them. I love white vinegar for cleaning and mixed with baking soda it works well on almost anything. However citrus or acid is very hard on it and can cause rusting and other issues. The only place I don’t use vinegar is in my dishwasher. It’s great to add to laundry, though!

  9. Jenn Avatar

    Try this, for me, it works better than finish.
    1 cup borax
    1 cup super washing soda
    1/4 ascorbic acid (canning isle)
    1/4 oxy clean (dollar store)
    1/2 cup kosher salt
    Mix all ingredients in a jar use 2 Tablespoons in wash compartment.
    I put 1 cup vinegar in the bottom of the machine with ever load.
    My glasses are spot free, and my plastics come out clear!

  10. Dassy Dieffenbach Avatar
    Dassy Dieffenbach

    I have been using the dishwashing detergent from Melaluca. They are a company that uses natural products as well as smaller required amounts. Very reasonably priced!!

  11. lexee Avatar

    we love seventh generation powder and it got an “A” rating from the EWG! 🙂

  12. Tara Avatar

    Shaklee’s detergent is the best we’ve used! Environmentally friendly AND non-toxic, which cannot be said for many “Green” cleaners on the market.

  13. Kerry Avatar

    I use white vinegar instead of Jet dry. My glasses sparkle and it is so much cheaper.

  14. Emily Avatar

    7th Generation powder works great for us… the liquid, however, doesn’t work at all for us.

  15. melinda Avatar

    Melaleuca sells a pretty decent natural dishwasher detergent in packets so it’s convenient as well.

  16. Mandie Avatar

    After a lot of research (and trial and error), I came up with a homemade recipe that has been working pretty well. I melt bar soap in water and add some lemon juice (no exact measurements because I haven’t quite gotten it right–I made it too thick last time and have been diluting it to a consistency that looks good). I use that in the detergent compartment and washing soda in the prerinse. (I don’t use borax because there is so much back-and-forth about whether or not it is safe. I figure if I can easily avoid it, then I don’t have to decide.) I also use vinegar in the rinse compartment, but I don’t know if it’s better because I haven’t tried it without.

    1. Janet Avatar

      I simply use washing soda in the prerinse and wash. I use vinegar in the rinse. I have been doing this for a couple years and my dishes are consistently clean and unspotted after.

  17. Ann Marie Avatar
    Ann Marie


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *