Avoid Chemicals in Commercial Brands: DIY Natural Dishwasher Detergent

September 20, 2014 Updated: September 20, 2014

You can make your own dishwasher detergent easily and inexpensively AND it works!

Why would you want to make your own dishwasher detergent?

Commercial brands contain a cocktail of questionable ingredients such as Sodium Laureth Sulfate (surfactant), Methylchloroisothiazolinone (preservative), and Methylpropional(fragrance) just to name a few. There are many more.

I don’t know about you but I sure don’t want residue of a chemical that causes “sperm damage and central nervous system effects like drowsiness or trouble breathing when tested on animals” on the dishes I use to feed my family. I just find that terrifying.

The few ingredients in this recipe are non-toxic although there is some debate about Borax. I think the big confusion is between Boric Acid and Borax which are not exactly the same. Click here to see what Crunchy Betty has to say about the subject. I believe Borax to be safe but that choice is up to you. You can make this recipe without the Borax if you prefer but I like the added cleaning boost it adds.

This detergent is just about as effective as store-bought but without all the chemicals! I say “just about” because occasionally you’ll have a dish or two that doesn’t come clean. You should rinse the really dirty ones before putting them in the dishwasher.

Here’s my recipe for:

Natural Dishwasher Detergent


1 Cup Borax
1 Cup Washing Soda*
1/4 Cup Citric Acid
1/4 Cup Sea Salt (Or any coarse salt)

+White Vinegar


Combine all ingredients in a jar or container with a tight fitting lid. Use 1 tsp per normal load, 2-3 tsp for dirtier dishes.

The vinegar is to put in the hole where you would normally put Jet Dry or similar rinse agent. It helps to keep your dishes free of spots.

*To make your own washing soda spread regular baking soda on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 45-90 mins. (Click here for more detailed instructions.)

Republished with permission from LittleBoozyHomemakers.com. Read the originalTracy and Joc are sisters, wives, and mothers, and they love to make things with their own two hands. Read more of their great homemaking tips on their blog Little Boozy Homemakers.


Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.