Automatic Dishwasher Detergent Recipe

Posted by Mrs Money on September 14th, 2010


I hunted for a long time for how to make your own natural, homemade dishwasher detergent.  I found many recipes that were natural and called for just borax and washing soda, but they never seemed to work very well.  They just didn’t get the dishes clean.  I’ve found a recipe that finally works well and won’t poison my family!  It’s also super easy to make as well.

Automatic Dishwasher Detergent Recipe

-1/2 cup borax
-1/2 cup washing soda
-1/4 cup Citric Acid
-1/4 cup kosher salt

How to Make Dishwashing Detergent

Mix all ingredients together well by shaking. Mine clumps but I just shake it before I use it. If you don’t want to order citric acid online, you can check a beer making store or even a health food store. I found some in bulk at our local health food store!

Use about 1 Tablespoon per load.  If you wanted to scent yours, you could add a few drops of your favorite essential oils in.  I really didn’t mind it unscented, so I went with that. For months we purchased and used Ecover Dishwashing Liquid, which wasn’t exactly frugal but definitely is much better for us than conventional dish washing detergent.

Do you make your own dishwasher detergent?

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8 Responses to “Automatic Dishwasher Detergent Recipe”

  1. Little House says:

    My husband just gave up making his own dishwashing detergent. Our dishes were NOT getting clean and were covered in film! So we had to give in and go with a store bought brand. HOWEVER, I’ll share your recipe with him and we’ll give it a try. Thanks!


    Mrs Money Reply:

    Little House- I totally know what you mean!! I have tried many other recipes but I promise this one works for me. I don’t know if it’s the citric acid or what, but it really gets the dishes clean. 🙂 Let me know if you try it. I have also heard you can substitute lemon Kool Aid for the citric acid but haven’t tried that.


  2. Becky R says:

    I have tried many recipes and also none really worked. I ahve made one with all your ingredients but the acid, so maybe that is the key. I will see if I can buy some.


    Mrs Money Reply:

    Becky- I’ve heard you can substitute lemon Kool Aid for the citric acid but haven’t tried it. It may be worth a shot! Please let me know if you try it. 🙂


  3. Heather says:

    This is exactly the recipe I’ve been using for a while now — works great!

    I have also heard that lemon Kool-Aid will replace the citric acid but not to use another flavor because of the coloring.


    Mrs Money Reply:

    Heather- Awesome! That’s good to know- on both counts! 🙂


  4. Missy says:

    I have used the following recipe in my dishwasher since January 2010.
    It works fabulously and costs me only pennies a week.

    1/3 cup Borax
    1/3 cup Washing Soda (not baking soda)
    1/3 cup salt
    4 envelopes lemon kool-aid, unsweetened (citric acid)–each envelope only costs 8 cents

    Using a funnel, add the above ingredients to a 32 oz plastic bottle with a lid (I use an old white vinegar bottle). Add just enough warm water to cover ingredients, cap and shake well. Mixture will foam–release lid to let Co2 escape. Add more water, shake. Continue until bottle is full. Mixture will smell like a lemon drop. Fill dispenser with the mix; shake before each use. I use white vinegar in my rinse aid dispenser.

    Sparkling clean dishes for pennies a week!


    Mrs Money Reply:

    Thanks SO much for sharing your dishwashing detergent recipe! I really appreciate it. I’ll have to try yours next time- I like that I can use the lemon Kool aid!



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    Welcome! I'm Mrs. Money and I lead a frugal, simple, and debt free life on a modest income. I make money online to help support our family. I believe in saving money, living green, and enjoying life!

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