The Best All-Natural Dishwasher Detergent Recipe

March 28, 2014 Updated: March 28, 2014

Dishwasher detergent pods look cool and work pretty well for about 50 cents a load.  

That doesn’t sound too bad, but if you run your dishwasher every other day like I do, that’s almost $200 a year.  

With this recipe you can make a years supply of dishwasher detergent yourself for less than $10 and 10 minutes of your time.

I spent a year of trial and error developing the quickest, easiest, and least expensive laundry detergent ever.  You can find that recipe here: The Best All-Natural Laundry Detergent.

This dishwasher detergent is a spin-off of the laundry detergent developed in a moment of need.

I ran out of dishwasher detergent so I decided to try using the laundry detergent I had made.  It worked, but it left a soapy residue.  

Next, I mixed up a new batch without the soap.  Perfect!  Clean, grease free dishes and no soap residue.  

My dishes look like a commercial for about 2 cents a load.  

Don’t believe me?  Try it yourself and if you like it let me know! Use the button at the top to tweet me @phoeberyles.


20 Mule team Borax, 4.75 lb box  – $4

Arm and Hammer Washing Soda, 3.7 lb box  – $3.50

I found both the borax and the washing soda on the bottom shelf of the laundry aisle at my local Stop and Shop.


Big bowl

Wooden spoon

1 cup measuring cup


1.  Put 2 cups of Borax in the mixing bowl.

2.  Add 4 cups of Washing Soda

3. Use the Wooden spoon to mix together carefully.  Avoid leaning over the bowl as the dust will likely make you cough.  Squish any lumps as you go.  

Thats it!

For those of you who wonder why these recipes work so well, the short answer is because the combination of borax and washing soda is very basic, meaning it dissolves the oil on your dishes right quick! The scientist call it saponification, I call it awesome.

For those of you who looked at the photo and saw those wooden spoons in with all my gleaming dishes and wondered why I would ever put those in the dishwasher, you need to try this: How to Make Your Wood Cutting Board Last Forever.  Enjoy!