Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Make Your Own Dishwasher Detergent Tabs

dishwasher tabs

 

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.

 

dishwasher tabs

 

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Tabs

 

Ingredients:

  • 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!)

Directions:

Mix all the ingredients together with a spoon. (The addition of the vinegar will cause a little fizzing, but not much.)

 

dishwasher tabs

Once all the ingredients are well combined you will notice it actually will start clumping all by itself.

 

dishwasher tabs

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.

 

dishwasher tabs

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.

 

dishwasher tabs 13

When they are good and hard and DRY, unmold them from the trays and store in a container with a tight-fitting lid.

 

dishwasher tabs

To Use:

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.

dishwasher tabs

 It doesn’t get much better than that!

 

 


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236 thoughts on “Make Your Own Dishwasher Detergent Tabs

  1. Terri S

    i’m not sure whether the coarse salt i have in the kitchen is kosher or sea salt (i poured it from the original box into a jar)–does it matter?
    thanks.

    Reply
    1. Michelle

      I figured it out and if you substitute 1/2 cup of Dawn for the vinegar then for 2 ice trays that make 32 tablets, it would be 3/4 teaspon of Dawn for each. That is much more than the three drops of Dawn recommended. I would think that 1/4 teaspoon for each tablet is what you would want to use, so I would use 8 teaspoons and water to equal the 1/2 of vinegar. I like the idea of using Dawn/water instead because from what I have read vinegar and baking/washing soda neutralize each other.

      Reply
    2. THE MOM

      YOU CAN’T PUT THE DISH SOAP IN WITH THE OTHER INGREDIENTS BECAUSE THE RECIPE DOESN’T CALL FOR MANY LIQUIDS THERE FOR PUTTING THE SOAP IN WITH THE REST WOULD LEAD YOU A VERY DIFFERENT CUBE. I WISH YOU COULD THOUGH IT WOULD SAVE A LOT OF TIME!

      Reply
      1. Eriykah

        Just add the 3 drops to each ice cube before you sit in outside to dry. (I haven’t tried that, but it was the first thought to come to me). :)

        Reply
      2. JP

        mom read the article again please she said and i quate: 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.)

        Reply
  2. MOLyn

    Why do you need the three drops of dishwashing liquid? It seems like that would be adding chemicals and dyes to a basically natural product. Just curious!

    Reply
    1. Amanda Harding

      Everything, including ANYTHING natural, is a chemical. Every ingredient in this recipe is a chemical! Baking soda + vinegar fizzes because there’s a chemical reaction taking place! Water is a chemical! And p.s., arsenic is a naturally occurring element. Rat poison. Natural. Found in some soil. Not all chemicals are bad, and not all natural ingredients are good. I know this is a product of ignorant advertising personnel, and companies that use any tactic to sell their product, but it’s nevertheless wrong. Just putting this out there in the hopes of changing this stereotype one person at a time…

      Reply
      1. Meadow

        Said perfectly. Thank you very much. It is very frustrating to try to talk to people who are so convinced that natural is the only good way and chemicals are evil. Many things are good and bad on both sides.

        Reply
  3. Marcia

    Your recipe sounds like it would work great. I have one question though. Does the vinegar do enough to get through hard water deposits? What would happen if you added citric acid to the batch? Would that help or be too much?

    Reply
    1. Lisa

      I’ve been looking for homemade dishwasher detergent recipes and, before finding this one, had decided to try a different recipe that is exactly the same as this but calls for citric acid. I was just hesitating because the citric acid is rather expensive (could only find a big bulk size) and was afraid I wouldn’t like the recipe and then be stuck. I may give this a go and then decide if the citric acid is necessary. Below is the link to the recipe with citric acid.

      http://www.diynatural.com/homemade-dishwasher-detergent-soap/

      Reply
        1. Melissa

          How much Lemi Shine or Citric Acid? I have both from making other cleaners. For the Lemi Shine I usually use a tsp. per load, which would equal 32 tsp or 10.6 T. ? Seems like a lot. Thanks.

          Reply
        2. Lynne Hurd Bryant

          I also use Lemishine. We have VERY hard water here and no matter what one uses, the glasses are foggy and icky. I got some Lemishine and used 1tsp a load. By the 5th load, the glasses were back to nice and shiny. Continued use keeps them so. I’m going to try adding it to this mix. It is an acid but as there is vinegar too, it won’t neutralize the Lemishine.

          I don’t always find Lemishine, but there is a brand name one too in a bright pink plastic can that I have substituted. It is a bit more expensive, but works about the same if not a tad better.

          Reply
      1. Christine

        The citric acid definitely works! I broke down and bought the bulk size and must say it was well worth the investment. It takes very little and will last a long time! It has transformed the cleaning power of the dish detergent with no film or build up. We have well water so I have extremely hard water. Another thing I played around with and figured out is now instead of mixing the citric acid in with the detergent as some dry versions call for, (since it can offset the cleaning power of the washing soda), is to mix 2 oz of water and 3 TBS of the citric acid, mix well and let it totally dissolve. I then pour this into my rinse aid dispenser. Wa la it only gets dispensed in the rinse cycle, the dishes are clean and sparkling! Another great thing about the citric acid is it can be used for many items. I used a spoonful in my carpet cleaner to rinse the carpet and wow the difference that made to rinsing all the grime out of my carpet! I use a spoonful and put it in my toilet at night before I go to bed, when I get up the next morning the toilet bowl is clean and free of the hard water deposits / scum. I have done this once per week and it is amazing!

        Reply
      2. Jennifer M

        Instead of citric acid I used 2 packets of koolaid lemonade. Just make sure its unsweetened. Total was .40 for the two per batch of tabs. I plan on stocking up during the summer when they go on sale for only .10 each. I might still add a few drops of the lemon essential oil for extra kick.

        Reply
      3. Tracey

        YOU CAN USE KOOLAID BRAND LEMONADE packets!!!!!
        ALREADY HAS THE CITRIC ACID, AND SMELLS GREAT WHEN D/W IS RUNNING.
        AND DISHES ARE NOT STICKY AT ALL

        Reply
  4. Marybeth

    I have tried this before and was dismayed to find it took the designs off glasses and plates. :-( You might want to try it on a plate or glass you don’t care too much about before putting it in to your usual routine.

    Reply
  5. Julie

    Love this! Can I put the drops of dishwashing liquid on top of the tablets in the trays when I set them out to dry? Or will this prevent them from setting up properly? Love your ideas and posts and can’t wait to try this:)

    Reply
    1. Jill

      I made a very similar recipe yesterday (mine called for lemon juice, rather than vinegar) before I saw this post. I mixed Dawn right into the other ingredients and they set up just fine. I haven’t tested their effectiveness yet, but the consistency of the mixture was not an issue. Hope this helps

      Reply
  6. Dee

    I am definitely doing this! One question: where do you get your essential oils?? I can never seem to find them – unless I’m not looking in the right places. Thanks!

    Reply
      1. Kat

        There is no regulatory body responsible for sorting essential oils and assigning them grades. “Therapeutic grade oils” is a claim based on a standard that doesn’t exist and can’t be proven. In plain English: it’s plain and simple marketing BS.

        Reply
    1. Beth

      I tried this recipe and my dishes and utensils had a cloudy powdery feel when they were done. I followed the recipe except I used lemonade Crystal Light which I had in my pantry. I added the vinegar also. The detergent hardened and smells great. Do you have any suggestions? I have tried your laundry detergent with great success!

      Reply
      1. jess

        Crystal Light has sweetener in it, which is why everything ended up cloudy. it is not just citric acid (like the little Koolaid packets are–you have to add sugar to those.)

        Reply
    2. Kristin

      I get my essential oils at bulk apothecary onilne, good quality and priced very well. You can also get them at many health food stores, just not as large a selection.

      Reply
  7. Michelle

    Have you heard anything about not using vinegar in dishwashers & front loading washing machines? I have heard it wears away the gaskets??? I LOVE vinegar but have been too afraid to use it in those machines because I didn’t want to harm the machines.

    Reply
    1. Karen

      I’ve been using vinegar as my rinse aid for years and my dishwasher is still running (now 12 years old). I have read that it shouldn’t be used with a stainless steel interior, mine is all plastic. Perhaps someone with that interior could comment on that.

      Reply
      1. Anna

        I have had my stainless steel interior dishwasher for over a year now, and have always used vinegar as my rinse-aid. I have not noticed any change in its appearance, but it hasn’t been that long. Just thought I would add this to your comment!

        Reply
    1. Deborah

      Darcy, I had the same thing happen. We moved, so after much research, we bought a Kitchen Aid. It is wonderfully quiet, though I swear it doesn’t clean dishes as well as my old Kenmore. (We will no longer buy anything from Sears due to craftsmanship and poor customer service. The front panel of the Kenmore peeled off and we had to fight to get a new one – the peeling started almost immediately. The new one peeled as well and we had to use packing tape to keep it on!)

      Reply
    2. Connie

      Hi Darcy….was curious as to what model dishwasher you bought….I like Deborah would not buy anything anymore made by Kenmore because of Sears’ financial situation. You know they are cutting corners everywhere to try to survive. If they end up going out of business as predicted you won’t be able to get replacement parts and servicing very easily in the future anyway. It is too bad though because Kenmore used to be some of the best in the business!!

      Reply
        1. kerri

          Also, there are places on the internet to buy parts for appliances. I just replaced 2 broken plastic parts inside my LG fridge this way. So, I think you will be fine in the future to find parts as these places carry parts for all different brands.

          Reply
        2. Audrey

          I just learned this recently myself when our refrigerator quit and I was talking to the repairman about his view of different brands. When I asked about Kenmore, he told me they are made by several companies.

          Reply
  8. Tonya

    I’ve had problems with residue left on plastic items in the dishwasher after using homemade dw soap. I haven’t tried your recipe yet though. I’m a bit “gun-shy” from previous experience. What is your experience with plastics and this recipe?

    Reply
    1. Sharon

      I’ve been using Jillee’s DIY dishwasher detergent since January 1. My dishwasher runs at least 1x daily and the top rack is usually at least 1/2 full of plastics. I have not experienced any problems with plastic.

      Reply
  9. Nicholle C.

    Will definitely be giving this recipe a try soon, although going by looks if these are the size of a regular ice cube they would not fit in my dishwasher’s detergent compartment. The store-bought tablets fit in there, but they are pretty flat compared to an ice cube. I’m wondering if maybe I should fill each ice cube hole only half-way? I’ll have to figure it out as I go….

    Reply
  10. Tessa

    I have been using your homemade dishwasher soap that this one is based off of and all my dishes come out cloudy and feel like there is a residue left on them. I know we have horrible water where we live so I don’t know if that is why we’ve had less than stellar results. I wish my glasses came out looking the way yours do! I’m happy for all those it does work for though.

    Reply
    1. Melinda

      Tessa, you and I have the same problem. I just went back to my normal dishwasher soap as I hated rinsing/wiping the dishes out of the dishwasher. Oh, well. The money I save on homemade cleaners, homemade laundry soap, fabric softener, etc., allows me to ‘splurge’ on the green goop for the dishes. Ha, ha, ha!

      Reply
    2. Arlene

      Your water might be the culprit. If we forget to put salt in our water softener, all the dishes come out of the dishwasher with a cloudy film that has to be scrubbed off by hand. But when the softener is working, they are sparkling.

      Reply
    3. Barbara

      I have the same problem. I have tried several Homemade dishwasher soaps and Jillees and always get cloudy everything! we don’t have hard water, but it does come out of Limerock

      Reply
    4. amy

      tessa,
      it may work if you add some citric acid. i use a product called lemi-shine & add it to my homemade powder. our water is awful & i’ve had good results.
      amy

      Reply
    5. Jen

      I have the same problem. I made these tabs and was so excited to use them but when I did, all my dishes and silverware had a residue on them. My water isn’t terrible, no softener system or anything, so I am thinking it’s just the soap. I am still looking for a homemade recipe that works, but will have to go back to the store bought until then. :-(

      Reply
  11. mary

    Question:
    The original recipe called for using 1T of the mixture.
    Today you mention filling the ice cube tray with the mixture. Seems to me that each cube would end up being a larger amount than 1T. Did you measure 1T amount into the ice cube tray?
    Thanks!!

    Reply
  12. KL

    I LOVE, LOVE, Love this idea and can hardly wait to try it! I’ve made a recent discovery and wanted to share it with you. In the past i’d print out these little tips and have them on pieces of paper all over my kitchen. I just discovered that I can save the tips I like as a pdf and send it to my kindle. Now I have a Jillee file in my kindle of my favorite Jillee Tips!

    Reply
      1. Sharda

        Use the tool on here to save as a pdf. Then connect you kindle to your computer. Go into your kindle files or SD card and manually put the file into your pdf reader program. Hope this helps.

        Reply
  13. Deborah

    Jillee – Are those metal measuring cups I see in the dishwasher? I never put mine in as I am afraid of the heat on them. It doesn’t damage the measuring cups?

    Reply
    1. Cheryl R

      We put our metal measuring cups in the dw all the time too. It shouldn’t hurt them unless they are those cheap aluminum ones. Then the vinegar and salt may actually have a bad effect on them. NO dishwasher should get so hot that it would damage metal cups (esp. on the top rack), even during the drying cycle. We save energy using the air dry option on our dishwasher. Have to dump water off/dry off a few things, but that’s no big deal.

      Hot enough water coming into the dw is actually essential to getting dishes clean. Check your mfgr’s instructions to see just how hot your water heater should be set for your dw.

      Also, if you run your scummy, spotted, otherwise CLEAN glassware thru a full normal dishwasher cycle with an upright glass cup of white vinegar sitting on the bottom rack, it should take the scum off your glassware. You can also soak them in vinegar water in your sink and then it should take little ‘scrubbing’ to get the scum off. If you have a lot of scum, use more vinegar and/or soak them longer. The recommendation I saw on this was to NOT put your metal flatware in with the vinegar as some can be damaged by it.

      Hope this helps.

      Reply
  14. Sara Jones

    Now wondering if you will give us a recipe for a drying agent like Jet Dry. While the homemade version of the dishwasher detergent may already have a drying agent in it, I use it for washing my outside windows. In fact let me share with you the recipe for that. I live on the water in NW FL and my outside windows get a salt film on them. It is a price I pay for being on the water … Here is the recipe.

    Outdoor Window Cleaner

    1/2 gallon warm water
    2-3 Tbsp laundry or dishwasher detergent (I use the dishwasher detergent)
    1 Tbsp liquid “Jet Dry” or other dishwasher wetting agent

    Mix ingredients. Brush or sponge on windows. Immediately hose off. Water will sheet off, NO DRYING NECESSARY.

    This really works and I have been using it for years. In between washings, I can just rinse off the windows and the pollen, dust, salt film, etc. just sheets off for many times in between washings.

    Reply
  15. Mary

    So jazzed to try this! Have been making my own laundry detergent per your recipe and have not purchased store bought for 6 months! So excited to make my own dishwasher tablets too! YOU ROCK JILLEE! Love, love, love you!!!

    Reply
  16. Pam

    i am eager to try this , i have 2 wells in my dishwasher for soap , do i make minis and put one in each ? or can i just throw the whole thing in the belly of the beast ? lol thanx , Pam

    Reply
  17. Angie

    I’m wondering if you could spread this mixture onto a baking sheet or two and let it dry it, stirring any clumps out as it dries (for those complaining the cubes are too big). Then you can just scoop a tablespoon into your dishwasher as needed. I would think the biggest concern is just making sure the container is airtight so it doesn’t start clumping.

    Reply
    1. Shari

      My first batch of dw soap I didnt put it in an air tight container and it became a brick by the next day. So I thought the problem must be the container and so I made more putting it in an air tight container. I didnt end up with a brick but almost. So I am going to try your idea of spreading it out to dry. My only other option that I can think of is making smaller cubes and in a way that would make sense too because those cubes have got to be more than a tablespoon. Thanks for your idea. We shall see!

      Reply
  18. Kelly

    I Love, Love, Love these! But since I already use vinegar in the dishwasher, when I made these I used lemon juice, in place of the vinegar, works and smells awesome with the additional Lemon essential oil!

    Reply
  19. Heather C.

    Oh- I am SO excited about this! I’d made your detergent before, but my husband (the dishwashing “king”) refused the homemade concoction due to the massive clumpage. But THIS is the answer :O) I can’t wait to make it!!

    Reply
  20. Lynda Coles

    Hi Jillee, I have a question about the vinegar in the bottom of the dishwasher…my dishwasher does a rinse cycle and then drains before refilling with water for the wash cycle, and I can’t turn this feature off…therefore the vinegar would just rinse away after a couple of minutes. Any suggestions other than standing by the dishwasher and waiting for the wash cycle to start?

    Reply
    1. Diane H.

      Lynda, put the vinegar into a dish (like a ramekin) and place it on the top shelf sitting like a bowl flat on the rack (you wouldn’t want to put it on it’s side or upside down like you were washing it). This will work for you :)

      Reply
  21. Susan

    I love your experiments Jillee.

    I am wondering why you add the drops of Dawn soap. (I saw a few other’s ask this too just no answers.)

    Also, for those with very hard water have residue problems, have you followed this recipe EXACTLY as posted or are you using variations?

    Lastly, there is a difference between Washing Soda and Baking Soda. Washing Soda has more Sodium Carbonate which is what helps soften hard water.

    Reply
  22. Christine

    I’v made multiple dishwasher detergents. They work for a while, but then…Bam!!! That pesky, cloudy film. I’ve even added citric acid….one made specifically for this issue. We don’t have hard water, either. I’ve tried it all……I never have added the couple drops of dawn….maybe this would help? I just don’t want my kitchen dishwasher turning into a bubble machine! Any suggestions?

    Reply
  23. Renée

    I have been making my own DW soap for ages. My recipe uses citric acid but no borax. Would be happy to share my recipe if anyone is interested.

    Jillee,
    You should try using your homemade citrus infused vinegar (lemon or orange or grapefruit) in your rinse agent compartment.

    I’ve also found that if you mix everything up in a large bowl. Leave it on the counter for two or three days and give it a good mix whenever you think about it. Then put it in a jar it will not clump nearly as bad.

    If I made this in ice cube trays then put a few drops of dawn on each cube, then dried. Would that work?

    Sorry so long. Love the blog Jillee!

    Reply
  24. cty

    I will be trying this & will post my results. Ever since they took the phosphates out of dish detergent I have had dirty & cloudy dishes coming out of the dishwasher. Personally, I believe it is all a fiendish plot by the big corps to put the little/generic guy out of business because the little guy can’t afford the R & D needed for a phosphate-free that works. If phosphates are so bad for the environment then why do commercial detergents still have phosphates? Also I am frustrated by the “tab” style detergent because of the outrageous price and that you can’t control how much you use (or can you?). I was in trial an error mode for a DIY recipe for several months last year and have abandoned DIY recipes (at least until today). 3 problems of the other DIYs 1. dishes came out dirty 2. glassware cloudy/filmy (even with vinegar) 3. the red writing on my measuring cup was etched off.
    If these “cubes” don’t work I’ll go back to what I do now and wait for Jillee’s next recipe.
    These days I use half an Electrosol tab (I cut/break them in half). I use Jet Dry in the dispenser and hang that Jet Dry basket (didn’t know they still made them) from the top rack. And this works– no rinsing the dishes before loading (scraping only), no cloudy film, no food stuck on dishes, no etching. Fingers crossed and prayers heavenward for this to work.

    Reply
    1. Susan

      Kristy – Yes it comes out cheaper to use these DIY products. You can buy Borax, Washing Soda, HUGE baking soda, and fels napath all for about $10. A gallon jug of vinegar cost me about $2.

      So you buy these products once and get several batches out of them versus one bottle of laundry detergent or two bottles of dishwashing tabs / detergent.

      I bought my initial product making of the above items and have used the ingredients repetitively for laundry detergent, dish soap, anti-bacterial cleansers, sprays, homemade stain removal, and more. I still have more than enough to try this project out.

      So price wise, you get more bang for your buck. You just have to experiment as to what works for you.

      Reply
    2. Renée

      Borax free DW siap recipe

      1/2 cup baking soda
      1/2 cup washing soda
      1/3 c. citric acid
      1/3 c. coarse salt (I use pickling salt cuz it’s what I have on hand)
      10-15 drops of citrus essential – optional

      I have been using this recipe for a year and have been very happy with it. I use homemade citrus vinegar Undiluted in the rinse agent compartment. Also I should note that I have a water softener.

      Use 1 tbsp per load.

      Reply
  25. Nancy

    Renee,
    would you share your recipe, too please. If this one doesn’t cut the flim then that will at least give us another one to try. Thanks so much!

    Reply
  26. Andrea

    Any alternatives to the Borax? Environmental working group re come ds not using borax due to its toxicity. Any idea f something else would work in its place?

    Reply
  27. mdoe37

    I have an older dishwasher AND well water. I think the issue some have with dishwasher detergent recipes is their water. None worked well for me. I ended up using a 1/2 Tablespoon of Oxiclean and a 1/2 teaspoon of Dawn. My dishes have never, ever looked so good. (measurements are very approximate!!) I only use white vinegar in the rinse cup.

    I can’t imagine white vinegar would damage a gasket on either a dishwasher or washing machine. The amount used is very diluted with water. Its not like you are soaking the rubber in straight vinegar (and I would have no problem with that either myself.) I use a higher ratio (cider) vinegar/water on my hair with no problems…and use a whole lot less rinse water.

    Reply
  28. Stephanie

    Thanks SO much for posting this today! I had gotten a dishwasher det. recipe from a friend and did not have much luck with it getting my dishes clean. I was just getting ready to research and thought I would read my blogs first and saw this! Thanks! Very excited to try it out as I already have all the ingredients on hand!

    Reply
  29. Kate

    For those wondering about vinegar in the dishwasher, I have been adding it for years and never had an issue. I started when my brand new dishwasher was still producing cloudy glasses. We had very hard water and that seemed to be the only thing that worked. I would dump a cup or so in the bottom of the dishwasher and then run it and it worked fine.
    I have continued this in my current house which has a very old dishwasher and still no bad results. I haven’t had any markings come off glasses or my pyrex measuring cup.

    Reply
  30. Chele

    We bought a new dishwasher about 2 years ago when we moved. The salesman told us that dishwashers were not made ‘like they used to be’. I have always used the sterilize feature since I have issues with my immune system. First, he said that the energy efficient requirement caused the dishwasher to run much longer than before. We were shocked that it takes about 4 hours or more to complete. Second, we were limited to two models that had the heating coil at the bottom since those were being removed for energy efficiency. However, those that still had the heating coils would run much longer since it could only stay on for a certain period of time due to energy efficiency requirements (turning it on and off). He also informed us that the cleaning agent had been removed from the detergent. We found all of these things to cause our brand new dishwasher to leave our dishes dirty, cloudy, and take forever. After Jillee shared in a post that the cleaning agent that was removed was TSP, I went out and bought some and now put less than a teaspoon in each run. I have clean dishes and even use it in the laundry! But, I have a chemical. I am going to try this new homemade version and hopefully it will keep my dishes clean. TSP is what kept everything clean in our clothes and dishes and it is great to have them clean again, but I do wonder at what price???? For those of you who don’t mind the chemical you can pick it up at Lowes or Home Depot in the cleaning or paint cleaning area. A very large box is about $10 and has lasted me well over a year and still have ½ of it left.

    Reply
    1. Melissa

      What is tsp? Our dishwasher is not that old and we’ve tried a LOT of store bought and homemade cleaners. We have spring water that runs through two filters but still gross. Thanks.

      Reply
  31. Pingback: How to Make Your Own Best Dishwasher Detergent Tabs Recipe

  32. Catherine Plumlee

    Jillee!

    I filled my dishwasher yesterday only to remember I had given my last batch of dish detergent to my sister and I couldn’t remember the recipe. Then I opened your page to find the solution staring me in the face! Perfect timing. Thanks a bunch.

    Sincerely,
    Currently running her dishwasher

    Reply
  33. Claudia Martins

    Thanks Jillee. I’ve following your website and your fabulous advice ever since I started cleaning up the house for synthetic and industrial cleaning stuff last October. My biggest problems have been dish soap, with which I still cannot remove grease, and dishwasher detergent. This last one has been a headache really: one of the recipes I tried out involved salt and it simply ruined the detergent because I couldn’t get it out of the container after it dried! But I had the impression the salt I included was making it work better. In this post of yours I believe you gave me the solution. Hope it works for me. Fingers croseed

    Reply
    1. Linnea

      Me too..I just finished hand washing evertything and I still cannot get the cloud off now. It reminds me of when I used 7th Generation brand and it forever ruined my glasses….ugh…..

      Reply
    2. Dianne

      Did you by chance forget to add the drops of dish soap and the vinegar? I’m asking because that happened to me. After I went back and checked the instructions on how to use the dishwasher soap tablets and then added the dish soap and vinegar, my dishes have come out sparkling ever since.

      Reply

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