Homemade dishwashing detergent: the results

Recently I was getting low on dishwashing detergent, which I thought was a great opportunity for me to try the homemade variety. I found two recipes online.
Recipe #1
Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
20 Mule Team Borax

Pretty simple:
Equal parts of each (I think I initially mixed up about 1 cup).
Add 2 Tablespoons to the dishwasher dispenser. (I used 1 1/2 Tablespoons).

*This recipe also suggested using Distilled White Vinegar in the rinse compartment.

Recipe #2
1 cup Borax
1 cup baking soda
1/4 cup salt.

Even simpler:
Use one Tablespoon per load.

*This recipe also suggested the vinegar, so apparently that's an important step.

The results:
I tried Recipe #1 first, and was pretty impressed. The dishes were definitely clean, but had a slightly different feel to them (which bothers me), so I ended up doing the vinegar thing. I think that helped matters. I used it for about a week and then decided to try Recipe #2 in case I liked that one better. I made more of that one and have used it longer but like it less (my dishes aren't getting quite as clean as they were with Recipe #1, and they feel a little chalky or something, coming out of the dishwasher.)

So back to Recipe #1 for me. And isn't it handy that it calls for some of the same ingredients that I already have on hand for the Homemade Laundry Detergent?

And if it cleans just as well, and I can save a bit of money? I'm sold.


  1. Ooh-- I've been wanting to try this. Thanks for sharing the recipes!

  2. I've been using your Recipe #1 with the same results you've had using Recipe #2. Chalky, filmy white stuff on my glasses. Oh, I've been putting vinegar in the rinse compartment, too.
    I've read that success with a home made dishwasher detergent often has quite a bit to do with matching the recipe you use with the type of water you have. I'm not sure whether we have hard water or soft water but I'm willing to keep playing with the recipe to see if I can make it work. I'm hoping to try your Recipe #2 next to see if my dishwasher likes it.
    Thanks for posting your ideas and thoughts on this Stacy!

    How's your sweet Addie? Better?

  3. I need to try this, because I keep trying natural dishwasher soaps and always go back to Elecrasol tablets, because they work better. Erik said the other day he might have to forbid me from trying any more natural ones! So I'd better try this before he does!

  4. Another low cost, green eco friendly way of making homemade liquid dishwashing cleaner is to use the soapberry which grows on the Chinaberry tree. It's been used for thousands of years and works very well.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. Okay, so I just put the laundry soap in the dishwasher... I'm not sure if I should have done that. It's the same laundry soap that you use/make. I put some vinegar in the rinse compartment but honestly, I'm not sure any vinegar comes out of there. I'm wondering if this was a wise choice...

  7. I checked my blog reader today and there was a (32) beside your blog name! Yikes! Maybe I should start reading from the bottom up, since I obviously don't get to W enough! :)

    I've been making my own Laundry Soap, so I'll have to try this next. Thanks! :)

  8. i found the homemade stuff (recipe 1, i think) didn't do a good job over time...but i have hard water, so that could be part of it. anyway, i ended up using equal parts recipe 1 and commercial detergent (seventh generation) and that is working great for me. cuts my detergent bill in half.


Thank you for commenting! I love hearing from you, and I will do
my best to reply back to you in the comment section.