DIY Delight: Your Easy Guide to Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

by | Last updated Oct 23, 2023

Hey there, fellow cleaning enthusiast! Have you ever stared at your dishwasher and thought, ‘Hmm, could I whip up my own detergent?’ Well, guess what? You absolutely can! Welcome to your easy guide to homemade dishwasher detergent – your ultimate roadmap to turning ordinary kitchen ingredients into dish-cleaning powerhouses.

Here’s a little secret: making your own dishwasher detergent isn’t just about the thrill of DIY (though that’s super fun too). It’s about taking control of what goes on your dishes – the very same dishes you eat from. Plus, there’s a bonus – you’ll do a favor to your wallet and Mother Earth. Pretty neat, right?

By the end of this guide, you’ll be ready to trade those store-bought detergents for a delightful homemade concoction. So, if you’re curious about how a pinch of this and a dash of that can lead to squeaky clean plates and glasses, keep reading! We promise this journey is one you won’t regret. Let’s dive in and make some eco-friendly magic together!

What You’ll Need

Images of all the ingredients required for making homemade dishwasher detergent.

Making homemade dishwasher detergent is straightforward. However, you need to gather a few specific ingredients and materials before you get started.


To get started, you’ll need:

  • 1. 1 cup of washing soda (This natural ingredient aids in removing stains)
  • 2. 1 cup of baking soda (It works as a deodorizer and scrubbing agent)
  • 3. 1/4 cup of citric acid (This helps to remove hard water minerals)
  • 4. 1/4 cup of coarse salt (Acts as a water softener)

Equipment / Tools

  • 1. A large mixing bowl
  • 2. A stirring spoon
  • 3. An airtight storage container

Make sure you have these ingredients and materials handy before beginning.

Gather Ingredients

Begin by procuring all your ingredients. Washing soda and baking soda are often available in the laundry section of your grocery store. At the same time, citric acid can usually be found in the canning area. Coarse salt is typically available in the spice section. Make sure to purchase high-quality ingredients to ensure the best results for your homemade dishwasher detergent.

Gather Materials

To prepare the dish, ensure you have all the necessary ingredients and bring a few other items—a large mixing bowl for combining the ingredients, a spoon for stirring, and an airtight storage container. Ensuring your container is airtight is key to maintaining the potency of your homemade detergent and preventing it from clumping or hardening.

The Power of Natural Ingredients

Guess what? Studies show that citric acid, a key ingredient in our DIY mix, can remove tough stains just as effectively as many commercial cleaners. Nature knows best!  

The Step-by-Step Process

Step 1: Mixing the Bases

Combine the washing and baking soda in a mixing bowl. Ensure both are free of lumps for a smoother blend. Stir these two ingredients together until they achieve a uniform consistency, resembling fine powder. This mixture serves as the foundation for your cleaning solution.

Step 2: Introducing the Cleaning Agent

Pour in the citric acid, ensuring even distribution. Citric acid acts not only as a powerful cleaner but also aids in dissolving tough residues. It enhances the overall cleaning action, making sure your dishes come out sparkling and free from stubborn spots. The addition of citric acid also helps in maintaining the freshness inside your dishwasher.

Step 3: Incorporating Water Softener

Pour in the coarse salt, blending it evenly with the other ingredients. This salt not only acts as a water softener but also ensures that your dishes don’t get those pesky white streaks. It maintains the shine and clarity of your glassware and cutlery by preventing mineral buildup.

Step 4: Blend for Uniformity

Keep stirring for a few minutes, ensuring no lumps or uneven spots. Remember, a consistent blend means consistent cleaning results every time you use it. So, take a moment to ensure everything’s well-mixed, guaranteeing optimal performance for each wash.

Step 5: Storing the Detergent

Transfer your new homemade dishwasher detergent into an airtight container. Ensure the container is thoroughly dry before you do this to prevent any premature reaction from the citric acid. After transferring, tightly seal the container to keep moisture out. Storing it in a cool, dry place will further extend the detergent’s shelf life and maintain its potency. Always use clean hands or a scoop to keep the mixture fresh.

And there you have it! Your very own homemade dishwasher detergent. Simply use one tablespoon per load and watch your dishes come sparkling clean.

Practical Tips and Advice

Should your mixture harden over time (as homemade blends are wont to do), don’t worry! You can break it up using a spoon or other utensils.

Using homemade detergent requires a rinse aid for optimal results. White vinegar serves as a tremendous natural rinse aid. You can fill your dishwasher’s rinse aid compartment with it.

Savings in Abundance

Here’s a fun fact! Making your own dishwasher detergent can save you up to 70% compared to store-bought versions.  

How to Use Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

The Right Quantity

First, you should know that less is more when using your homemade dishwasher detergent. Despite its humble and natural origins, this detergent is powerful. For a standard load, only one tablespoon of detergent is necessary. This ensures the effectiveness of each wash and makes your homemade solution incredibly cost-effective.

The Order of Operation

Just like with commercial detergents, there’s an order to follow when using homemade dishwasher detergent. Begin by loading your dishwasher correctly. Avoid overcrowding and ensure enough space between items for the water and detergent to circulate. After loading, dispense one tablespoon of your homemade mix into the detergent compartment. Close the lid, and you’re all set.

Incorporating a Rinse Aid

While your homemade detergent is excellent for cleaning, it may lack the shine-boosting components of commercial detergents. That’s where a rinse aid comes in. A natural option is white vinegar. Simply fill your dishwasher’s rinse aid compartment with it, which’ll be dispensed during the cycle, leaving your dishes shiny.

Dealing with Hardened Detergent

Don’t panic if your homemade dishwasher detergent hardens over time. This is a common occurrence and doesn’t affect its cleaning power. You can quickly remedy this by breaking up the clumps with a spoon or similar utensil before use.

Learning to use homemade dishwasher detergent efficiently requires slightly adjusting your dishwashing routine. But with these tips, you’ll be sure to maximize the effectiveness of your DIY creation, leading to sparkling clean dishes every time.

Chemical Overload

Guess what? Some commercial detergents have over 25 different chemicals! Your DIY mix? Just four natural ingredients.  

Powdered Dishwasher Detergent Vs. Detergent Tablets

Two images side by side. One shows a detergent tablet and the other shows powdered detergent.

The Straightforward Choice of Powdered Detergent

Your homemade dishwasher detergent isn’t restricted to one form. Instead, you can use it as a clear powdered, practical, convenient detergent. As discussed, measure a tablespoon of your homemade mix and place it into the detergent dispenser. This form allows for a simple and quick application, reducing the time and effort required when loading your dishwasher. It also permits easy control over the amount of detergent used per cycle, ensuring no wastage.

The Convenience of Tablet Form Detergent

For those who prefer the ease of dishwasher tablets, your homemade mix can also be transformed into convenient detergent tablets. To create these tablets, add a small amount of water to your detergent mix to make a paste, and then press this paste into an ice cube tray. Allow the minimum to dry for at least 24 hours, and then you have homemade dishwasher tablets ready to use. These tablets are easy to handle and mess-free, eliminating the need for measuring the detergent each time.

Whether you choose to use your homemade dishwasher detergent as a powder or form it into tablets, the freedom to choose makes the DIY approach truly special. You can decide what is the most effective for your household, whether the simplicity of powder or the no-measure convenience of tablets. Ultimately, both methods harness the potent cleaning power of your homemade mix, ensuring sparkling dishes every time. So enjoy your clean and environmentally-friendly dishwashing experience!

Final Thoughts on Easy Guide to Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

We just navigated the thrilling world of DIY dishwasher detergents together! Homemade blends are super fun to make and gentle on our pockets and the environment. By creating your very own detergent, you’re taking a step towards safer cleaning and saving some dollars along the way. Isn’t that exciting? And guess what? Whether you like the quick sprinkle of powder or the grab-and-go of a tablet, you’ve got options. So, why not give it a whirl? Dive into the DIY delight and let your dishes shine like never before. Trust me, once you see those gleaming dishes, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner! Come on, grab those ingredients, and let’s make some eco-friendly magic together!

At WashDryDazzle, we’re devoted to furnishing you with crucial insights to optimize your dishwashing experience. Explore our extensive Dishwasher Accessories repository for detailed guidance.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a homemade cleaning agent?

It’s a cleaning mix that you can make at home using regular items like baking soda or vinegar, offering a natural way to tidy up.

Why should I make my own cleaning agent?

Because it’s often cheaper, safe for the environment, and you know exactly what’s in it, ensuring no hidden harmful chemicals!

Can homemade agents clean as well as store ones?

Absolutely! With the right ingredients, they can often outperform some commercial products while being eco-friendly.

What’s an organic dishwashing mixture?

It’s a mix made from natural ingredients, ensuring that no chemicals or synthetics are added, offering a green cleaning solution.

Why choose an organic mixture over regular soap?

Choosing organic means you’re opting for a solution that’s gentler on Earth, and often, these mixes are milder for both our dishes and skin.



Home Appliances Expert

A. Ditta, a highly regarded authority in home appliances, contributes his expertise to With 15 years of global experience, Ditta's writings stand out for their quality, accuracy, and user-centric approach. Recognized as a reliable source for washing and drying products, his in-depth knowledge and commitment to providing clear, accurate advice make him a trusted guide for readers worldwide. Ditta’s work is a testimony to his profound expertise in the industry.