It’s been a long time since I have addressed the subject of Homemade Dishwasher Detergent. I guess I felt like I’d said all there was to say on the subject. I have posted about my original Homemade Dishwasher Detergent, and my Revised Homemade Dishwasher Detergent, and my Homemade Dishwasher Soap (Not Detergent).
But yesterday I got a comment from a reader named Heather on Facebook who had made my Homemade Dishwasher Detergent and while she loved the way it worked, her user experience was less than ideal.
This is how she (hilariously!) described it….
Jillee!!! Simply awesome! My dishes were DIRTY and CAKED with food. This homemade detergent is fantastic! Everything looks gorgeous! One thing… The mixture in my container is already semi-solid. I had to knife it “psycho” style to be able to get my tablespoon filled. Still works great, but I was surprised by how easily it bonded!
Thank you! Thank you for the work you do!!!!
You are SO welcome Heather! :-) And I owe you a Thank You right back because your comment inspired me to try something new that I’m pretty jazzed about! Homemade Dishwasher Tablets!
It occurred to me as I read your description of having to hack away at your homemade detergent with a knife “psycho style” to get it out of its container…then surely it should lend itself to being formed into a solid state without too much difficulty! I was ready to take a “stab” at it! ;-)
I started with my Homemade Dishwasher Detergent recipe and made a couple of adjustments.
Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Tabs
- 2 cups Washing soda or Baking soda (cuts grease, great all-purpose cleaner)
- 2 cups Borax (natural cleaner and disinfectant)
- 1/2 cup Kosher salt or Epsom salt (reduces the effects of hard water)
- 1/2 cup vinegar (added cleaning power, liquid to help bind the ingredients)
- 15-20 drops of Lemon essential oil (added cleaning power, antibacterial properties, smells great!)
Mix all the ingredients together with a spoon. (The addition of the vinegar will cause a little fizzing, but not much.)
Once all the ingredients are well combined you will notice it actually will start clumping all by itself.
Transfer the mixture into two ice cube trays and press down until each ice cube compartment is hard packed with detergent. If you packed them all down really well, you should use all of the mixture in those two trays.
Now the hardest part for me….waiting. These babies need to DRY good and hard before you use them. Put them in a dry, sunny spot (preferably one you won’t see so you won’t be tempted to touch them before they’re good and dry) and let them sit for at least 24 hours.
When they are good and hard and DRY, unmold them from the trays and store in a container with a tight-fitting lid.
Add 1 tablet to your dishwasher detergent compartment along with 3 drops of dishwashing liquid. (This is optional…I just think it gives my homemade stuff a little extra cleaning/grease-cutting kick.) Do not use more than three drops. The dishwasher will overflow if you use too much dish soap! (It doesn’t have to be Dawn…that’s just what I had.)
Then splash 1/2 to 1 cup of white vinegar into the bottom of the dishwasher (or put it in a cup on the top rack of the machine) and start the machine. NOTE: IF YOU HAVE HARD WATER (like I do) A VINEGAR RINSE AGENT IS CRUCIAL TO AVOID CLOUDY GLASSES AND DISHES.
Since I have been using a variation of this recipe for a long time, I wasn’t really worried that it wouldn’t work, but here is a picture of my dishes after using one of the tablets yesterday.
It doesn’t get much better than that!