Saturday, July 16, 2011

{Homemade Dishwasher Detergent}

A lot of people that we know have been asking me if I know a recipe for homemade dishwasher detergent. The answer is, yes! Yes I do! When I first began making our home cleaning products a couple of years ago, this was the first thing I tried to attempted. I tried LOTS of different recipes. Some of them left a film on the dishes, some of them didn't clean very well, and some of them just smelled funky. The one that we currently use, we have been using for quite some time now & love it. Here is the recipe if you are interested! I promise it's TOTALLY EASY!!!

You Will need:
* 1/2 C. Dr. Bronners Sal suds 
* 1/2 C. H2O
* 1 t. Lemon juice
* 3 drops Tea Tree essential oil
* 1/2 C. white vinegar
** If you would like to, you can add a few drops of another essential oil, ALONG WITH the tea tree oil to cover up the vinegar smell. Up to you! I would suggest a few drops of Lavender :)

Mix all in gredients together in a container with a lid that seals well. 
Give it a good shake, & you're done! See? I told you it was easy!

* Per Load, you will use 1T. Put it directly into the little compartment on your dishwasher where you normally put your dish soap. You will want to give it a good shake before you use it every time.

* Another thing we do: Instead of using Jet dry in the dishwasher, we just use white vinegar. Just pour the white vinegar in the little hole you usually pour jet dry! It works wonders. I promise :) 


Here is a break down of all the ingredients, in case you were wondering what all those things do & how cost effective making your own dishwasher detergent is :) 

Dr. Bronners Sal Suds: {$11.48 for 32 oz. on Amazon} It is a Super concentrated, natural, all purpose cleaner that is gentle on the skin. It works well in hard & soft water. You could also use Dr. Bronners Castile Soap in any scent, instead of the sal suds if you like, but i feel like the sal suds works a little better for this specific use. 
Lemon Juice: {$1 for squeezy lemon thing, anywhere!}  Fights soap residue & cuts grease
Tea tree essential oil: {$5 at whole foods}  natural Anti viral & anti bacterial essential oil.
White vinegar: {$1 at Walmart} Rinse aid. Leaves you dishes sparkling & gets rid of residue.

How does it compare? 
Just looking at the Sal suds, with one bottle, you can make this recipe 8 times. Each time you make the recipe you get about 20-24 loads...So.. 24x8= 192. 192 loads of dirty dishes for about $18 {add all the ingredients prices up}. sound good? I think so :) 

Let's use Cascade Complete as an example of a store bought detergent, {That's what we used to use}. 
It is about $7 for 26 loads. 26 goes into 192  about 7 times... so.. 7x7= 49
$49 vs. $18 for 192 loads?? I think the homemade dishwasher detergent wins the price battle :) & It honestly works just as well! 


Hope you all had a wonderful week!! Happy Sunday :) 


  1. Ashley, is that one tablespoon for the lemon juice and for the application amount?

  2. I just read on my bottle of Sals Suds that it contains sodium lauryl sulfate (which is supposedly a known cancer causing agent). Do you think it has the same affect if we wash our dishes with it? I'm concerned about this, but I love this recipe. What do you think?
    Also, just an FYI. I just read this article and it says you shouldn't mix pure castile soap with vinegar or lemon juice. But using Sals Suds is fine.

    1. @Danielle, I know this thread is pretty old but here goes. You're right about not mixing vinegar with any Dr. Bronners' soaps. Just leave the lemon juice and vinegar out of the recipe and and it to the rinse dispenser instead. SLS is pretty controversial and you'll find people that tell you it causes cancer and people that tell you it doesn't. I don't think it does. SLS is not safe for beauty products but for cleaning agents it's not that bad. I would just put 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of sal suds in your dishwasher and just put vinegar in the rinse dispenser. I've tried a lot of natural dishwasher detergents and they aren't very good. I will try the sal suds this week as I just purchased it for the first time. :) Also, check out this site:

  3. So, how are you supposed to make this? Mix it all together OR don't mix it all together? Thanks!

  4. Those measuring spoons are absolutely gorgeous:)