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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.
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.
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.
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!
Discussion (101 Comments)
I have multiple chemical sensitivity and have learned to be creative with finding solutions for just about everything. I use 1 tablespoon of baking soda, 1 cup of
white vinegar and a couple drops of Friendly Planet Free and Clear Dishmate dishwashing detergent. I do rinse my dishes before they are put in the dishwasher. So far this works great, there is no residue left on my dishes, no scent or odor and the dishes are clean.
I would like to try this! Do you add this concoction in the soap compartment? And did you mean Earth Friendly Products Dish Soap for the sink?
Ahhhh, thank you SO much for this post!!!
In the last 10 months, we’ve done a pretty good job switching out products and this is one area I haven’t comquered yet! We just purchased Ecover yesterday actually and, I’m looking forward to trying it now! Yay!
We’ve been using a really harmful and toxic brand, and I usually end up rinsing most of our dishes again under our filtered water. I just couldn’t handle having dirty dishes anymore with the homemade stuff!!
Anyway, thanks again! 😉
I have tried so many brands, my poor hubby has been struggling to support my desire to change, but I was on the brink of going back to cascade. After over 2 years of experimenting, I finally discovered Ecover the other day. All of our cups and pitchers had dark stains from tea. It wouldn’t come out and he was disgusted, insisting that they weren’t clean. I argued they were clean, just stained. One run through with Ecover and all of those stains are gone!! Yay!
I’ve had good luck with Ecover! And I have a lousy dishwasher and hard water?
Me too!!! Just switched to Ecover a few weeks ago. Love it.
We live in Alaska and hard doesn’t even begin to describe our water. I had a homemade version that worked pretty well, but the clumps drove us crazy. We started using the Seventh Generation powder. It works beautifully, and it’s cheaper than the homemade version I was using. Plus, it doesn’t clump!
I do not like using powders (and liquids, made from powders) as they generally, add to the ‘solids’ that are pumped out of my septic tank (as required); unless the powders contain ‘No Fillers’. Generally, a ‘salt’ will flow out of the tank, into the leach-bed.
I use the Honest Company for my dish detergent. It works well and I’m comfortable with ingredients. You can get it at the honest.com
Try adding a teaspoon or two of powdered cellulose to prevent caking. It works really well!
I use the dish washing detergent from the honest company & it works pretty good-still some cloudiness.
Perhaps this is a silly question, but how can I find out if I have hard or soft water?
Katie - Wellness Mama
You can have it tested, or you might be able to call your water company to ask.
I use one tablespoon Of 50% borax and 50% washing soda, plus a few drops of liquid dish detergent. Works really well (with a Samsung machine, and soft water).