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Homemade Dishwasher Soap (Not Detergent)

DIY Dishwasher Detergent

In my seemingly never-ending pursuit of an acceptable HOMEMADE version of something to clean dishes in the dishwasher…I think I may have finally hit on something GOOD! I’m personally pretty excited…but I’m kinda weird that way. lol.

Yesterday I decided to do a little more research on this subject because I’ve had several people ask recently about a LIQUID dishwasher detergent option. After reading THOUSANDS of websites/blogs and MILLIONS of comments (well it SEEMED like it!)…I still have not found an acceptable homemade liquid version. Yet.

BUT….while I was reading the MILLIONS of comments I came across a “dishwasher recipe” by someone named Babsy that intrigued me enough to give it a try. (thenewhomemaker.com)

It’s not a RECIPE per se (because you don’t need to mix it up beforehand)…but a combination of liquid soap and oxygen bleach, with a vinegar chaser as a rinse aid. Babsy said she used liquid castile soap as the soap part of this recipe…but I tried that and while the dishes/glasses LOOKED pretty clean…there was still a powdery film on them.

I almost gave up at that point….but decided to try the method one more time, this time using Dawn Dish Soap. I was actually a little afraid to open the dishwasher when it was finished because I didn’t think my heart could take another disappointment, but this time I was TICKLED PINK with what I found! All the dishes appeared to be CLEAN, CLEAR and FILM FREE!

Here are some pictures I took to TRY and show the sparkly-ness of the glasses:

DIY Dishwasher Detergent

DIY Dishwasher Detergent

Here is the “recipe” I used:

  • 1 teaspoon oxygen bleach (I bought a 5 lb bucket of SUN brand at the Dollar store for about $3, but you can make your own oxygen bleach as well)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dawn dish soap
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar (poured into a bowl or cup on the top rack of the machine)

DIY Dishwasher Detergent

DIY Dishwasher Detergent

DIY Dishwasher Detergent

The nice thing about this is there is no need to mix up a big batch…so there are no clumping/hardening issues to deal with. All you need is a teaspoon to add the oxygen bleach to the dispenser and then you can add the Dawn directly from the squeeze bottle (just eyeball it).

Finally, find a small container that can sit upright in the top basket and fill it with 1/2 cup vinegar. I have been using vinegar as a rinse aid for a long time…but I usually just pour it into the bottom of the dishwasher when I start it up. By putting the vinegar in a bowl or cup, it will overfill as the cycles goes on, and the diluted vinegar will be evenly dispersed throughout the dishwasher.

I know that MANY people put vinegar in the rinse aid dispenser…but I’ve tried that and it hasn’t worked for me.

A word of caution: Don’t use MORE than 1/2 teaspoon of the Dawn dish soap or you could have a sudsy overflow on your hands. That being said, if you peek in the dishwasher during the wash cycle…you WILL see a fair amount of suds. Don’t be alarmed. It’s just “washing” your dishes! It will be gone when the cycle ends.

In conclusion….I realize that this homemade dishwasher cleaning stuff is tricky business! What worked for me may not work for you! But hey…it MIGHT….and if you’re interested….now you know how. :-)

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Homekeeping Tips

  • I fill 1/3 of the main dishwasher cup with citric acid powder, and the other 2/3 (but not quite full) with Oxygen bleach. Add 5-6 drops dawn; close the cup. Been doing this for years and years. In a pinch baking soda and few drops dawn can give excellent results until I restock. Food grade citric acid powder is cheap, as is oxygen bleach. Use as-is, no need to also put a bowl of vinegar.

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  • […] 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). […]

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  • Killer u are a lifesaver. I ran out of those expensive tablets with the dishwasher full. I measured carefully, just as you recommended, and it worked perfectly! D ishwasher detergent tablets are up over $7 a bag now here in Anchorage, this is an excellent alternative for me, thanks for sharing and saving me some $$!

  • For the ones that like the powered dishwasher stuff … When it gets hard because of moister. So take a cheese clothe found at walmart in sewing stuff.. Put rice in cheese clothe and close it and put it in there you should be good to go… same as with the powered laundry ….. Good Luck god bless

  • Ran out of dishsoap, trying this right now. If it works I’ll never buy the expensive stuff again. Thanks Jillee, I shared this page on my fb.


  • Nobody likes the look of ugly yellow stain teeth everyone loves the looks of a nicee brighter whiter smile that lights uup the room.
    However, rememner to eat them in their whole form rather than cutting them up or crusshing
    them up foor juices. Share the information that you havee lesarned
    with your frriends andd family.

  • I’ve been using Polmolive dish detergent in my dishwasher for years. I also use bleach or vinegar in the rinse-agent tank, and dial it down to about 1/4 the normal dose per load. The key is to use only 1/2 tsp. of detergent. (Some larger units can use 3/4 tsp.) We use a small glass jar for the detergent, and a single 1/2 tsp. just for the dishes; drop the tsp. measurer into the wash when done measuring.

    Crack the door and check mid-wash when switching over just to be sure sudsing isn’t excessive. The dishes absolutely SPARKLE and dry quickly; they are also very, very clean. A small $1.00 bottle of detergent lasts for years. Highly recommended.

  • Thanks Jill ! I found myself out of dishwasher soap and no time to deal with running to the store. I have already been making the homemade laundry soap from your recipe; which my family loves and prefer now. I have left over of those items and now I used for this . TIme and money saver!

    Thank you Thank you Thank you

  • […] I just use a simple plain white vinegar in the dishwasher. And, buy the mega-huge jug of it, it saves money in the bigger size! Save the fancy lemon-vinegar for times when you’ll smell it after pouring it. This idea came to me from One Good Thing by Jillie. […]

  • Thanks for the vinegar in the bowl idea! I plan to try it today. I do not have a rinse dispenser so I was just putting some in near the final rinse. This way I can put it in at the beginning and forget about it. Great Idea.

    I like many others have been using Dawn in the DW for several months and love how sparkling it gets the dishes. I had always used the store bought powdered DW detergent then changed to home made powder plus a few drops of Dawn. That left a residue on the dishes so I then started experimenting with Dawn alone. It took a few tries to find out the correct amount to use. Too much and the wash wasn’t effective because all the suds kept the water from really washing the things in the top drawer of the DW. Too little and dishes didn’t get clean. That being said, even when I had tons of suds and had to run the DW through a second time to get rid of them all, I never experienced a leaking problem like I read about today. I guess the amount of suds you have depends on what type of dishwasher you have and the hardness of your water.

    My husband recently turned up the temp on our hot water heater because he wanted the water to be hotter for his showers. I totally believe it is too hot, however, as an added bonus, the dishes are cleaner and more sparkly than ever!!

  • Please, PLEASE nobody use this recipe. One should NEVER mix bleach and vinegar. These combine to create chlorine gas, which can kill you. Google it for yourself if you don’t believe me.

  • I used this method with the 1/2 cup of vinegar on the top rack and I am amazed at the results. I have actually been rinsing dishes after washing them. We have very soft water so I used half of the suggested oxygen bleach and Dawn soap and there were NO SPOTS on the glasses. Took two coffee cups into my husband and asked him if he could tell a difference in feel and sight and he said “this one is clean” .. today’s cup and I had rinsed and dried the other washed cup a few of days ago. HUGE difference. Thank you Jillee. No more store bought rinse cycle stuff.

  • Okay…I’ve used this DIY recipe for a couple of months now, trying to make adjustments and refinements based on my particular area’s water hardness (which isn’t very hard) and my dishwasher’s unique quirks. MY DISHWASHER DOESN’T DRAIN COMPLETELY when I use this recipe. And 90% of the time my dishes still aren’t completely clean. Any ideas? I’m fairly new to all this and would really appreciate some input. Thanks!

  • Hi y’all! I just used 1/2 tsp. oxyclean, 3 drops of dawn, 1/2 tsp super washing soda and 1/2 c. vinegar in the bottom. Worked great! Thanks Jillee!

  • I am wondering if I should use ORIGINAL non-concentrated DAWN? I am worried about the newer dawn since it says SUDS action….we all know suds are not what cleans the dishes. I am excited for this recipe. Thank you!

  • Alleluia!!! Just wanted you to know that FINALLY the dishwasher gods smiled down on me! This is the ONLY concoction that has worked for me after several duds. I tried it with a “chemical” liquid soap like Dawn and I tried it with a “natural” dish soap. I was happy to find the natural one worked just as well. I tried using your OxyClean recipe in place of the store bought, but the results weren’t as clear. Now I need to know what I can do with the dry dishwasher recipe I have mixed up. Can I use it in the washer? It has washing soda, baking soda, citric acid, and kosher salt. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

  • The BEST Homemade Dishwasher Detergent {In My Humble Opinion} - Authentic Simplicity says:

    […] was originally inspired by Jillee of One Good Thing’s “Dishwasher Triple Threat”. The simplicity of her system and the fact that there was no mixing, stirring, clumping, or any […]

  • If you add a half teaspoon of table salt (Sodium Chloride) to the recipe it will cut the suds.

    I have seen recipes calling for unscented soap (Cold process soap bar with no additives), washing soda, and table salt followed by a vinegar rinse. The soap bar cleans the dishes, the washing soda softens the water, and the salt cuts down on sudsing while the vinegar prevents spotting and helps rinse everything away.

  • Great idea, but I haven’t had any problems with my homemade detergent getting hard because I put in silica packets into the container. It’s been months, and it’s still powder. Hope this helps someone :)

  • i love this i been have trouple w my dishwasher gettting my dishes clean, and this works!!! thanks

  • dishwasher is running now..CANNOT wait to see the result. I ABHORRED the homemade dw detergents I have made. glasses come out cloudy even using citric acid and vinegar in jetdry dispenser. When I bake bacon, I always spray my pans down w Dawn foam (yes, I used dawn and added water in an old Dawn foam bottle) and I do not rinse the Dawn off before putting them in the dw. so we will 1. see the results; 2. see if the suds are too much, which I know in future I can reduce the amt of Dawn. thank you Jilly for taking the time to experiment and come up with such great tips and ideas.

    • so I used this today and it WORKED MUCH BETTER THAN ANY OF THE OTHER DIY DW DETERGENTS. I was so impressed, that I already put oxyclean in its own cute jar w the recipe; bought a new salad dressing/oil bottle w pourer for the vinegar. I am hooked…I had no issues with suds.

  • Love this recipe, yes I over did it with the dawn but killed 2 birds with one stone. Floor & dishes clean. The recipe works well and is a huge cost saver for me. Thank You!

  • I am very pleased with how this combination cleans my dishes and how much I will save by not having to buy name brand dishwasher detergent. I only put about 3 drops of Dawn and have not been having a suds issue. LOVE this site! Thanks.

  • Thanks for the great tip, Jillee. This worked great for me. Just have to add that I’m glad you don’t let the rude negative comments stop you from posting your tips. I love the earth as much as the next person but some people take it to an obsessive level. We need to be frugal in our home so we use what works best for us on a budget. If it happens to be good for the environment then that’s just a bonus, not the objective. Anyway, thanks again! I’ve used a lot of your homemade recipes and tips & have been very pleased! :)

  • […] Detergent: I’ve been using these directions, for umm it must be six months at least, with good results. I think it has less chemicals in it […]

  • I have been using actual clorox bleach mixed with dish soap (whatever is on sale) for quite some time and it has worked great, but my husband usually does the dishes (and uses way too much) since I do the laundry in exchange. I went out and bought the stupid borax/super washing powder/epson salt/lemonade mix today to try to save even more money and my dishes have never looked so gross. I’ve tried adding things, subtracting things, using entirely different formulas– and I made SO MUCH of it because EVERYONE on these blogs were swearing by it. Joke is on me. What a waste. I will try this combination because it is very similar to what I do already. So thank you. :)

    Also, I would like to add– my husband gets pretty generous with the dish soap in our dishwasher, and sometimes (okay, A LOT, it overflows A LOT) but I don’t know what everyone is complaining about. I get my mop out and mop the whole house with those bubbles (we have hardwood and tile) and my floors never look better. It’s just bubbles. Not water. It shouldn’t ruin anything. You should be thrilled for having a reason to mop. My floors are usually the only clean thing in my house thanks to my dishwasher overflowing.

    • I used the exact amount as stated and the 1/2 tsp of Dawn is way to much. It may only be bubbles but bubbles are wet. I have a brand new home and it ran under the dishwasher and wet the wall and cabinet. By the way, you can’t get to it with a mop. So for 2 days now I have had a fan on it, trying to dry it out and praying no mold starts to grow. So please don’t minimize the bubble mess as being nothing. Unbolt your dishwasher and pull it out and see what mess you may have. On a good note, other than the mess and the hour spent cleaning it up and rerunning my dishwasher to get all the bubbles out, I loved how clean and sparkling my dishes were. Can’t say I will try it again, because I’m still upset about my wall being wet, as well as my husband. We live on the gulf coast and mold is rampant with our damp climate.

  • love this it works wonderfully although i just use the scoop that comes with the oxy clean since im too lazy to find something else to measure it with :)

  • I tried this and unfortunately this did not work for me. Used it thru several different cycles and the dishes all had streaks on them. Oh well, I can’t say I didn’t try!!

  • I tried your dishwasher detergent and I had suds coming out of the bottom of my dishwasher. I only used
    1/2 tsp of dawn. I love the fact that I can clean my dishes with only this little bit and the money we will save. How can I do this without having a bubble overflow again?


    • Hi Chari,
      I would cut back on the dawn even more. I use literally 2 drops. it’s perfect. Any more than that I get leaks. I love this! Sometimes I use the oxygen bleach with dawn and sometimes I just use the dawn. both have worked great. I have tried making other recipes. One of them with borax and washing soda and citric acid worked for awhile but then I started getting really bad white film. I had to rewash everything by hand. Kind of defeats the purpose of a dishwasher!

  • I am throwing my dishwasher powder away. I have tried this and its great. I have been having so much trouble with white powder on my dishes and it was getting thicker on the blue glasses. Now I don’t have to rewash them. Thanks again.

  • Although I have not tried this, I have used other similar products in the dishwasher as a test. Anything that contains SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) or SLES (sodium laureth sulfate) (and all varieties of Dawn do), and you add that to HOT vinegar you will have a sudzing problem. HOT vinegar gives the detergent a big zing. See jillee’s post on the bathroom cleaner and test it out to see the proof. Almost every commercial hand washing dish soap contains one or both of SLS & SLES. It is also found in shampoo, toothpaste, laundry detergent. It is excellent at cutting grease and it does NOT cause cancer, there is no scientific proof of that.
    It would be better to put the diluted vinegar in after the machine has rinsed the suds away. Regardless, I also wanted to mention that suds will eventually kill your machine, that’s why dishwasher soaps are low to no sudsing. Also, home made detergents do not contain silicates or other chemicals to prevent damage to washing machine parts. My thought is, will all the money you save on dishwashing detergent get spent on a new dishwasher? Just a thought, I’m not trying to discourage home recipes, I use many of them myself, again check out the bathroom cleaner, works like magic!!! I should also add just for help, mixing baking soda & vinegar creates a reaction (foaming) that neutralises each other. So when it stops foaming, it’s DEAD, no longer useful, done! It’s great to dump in a drain while it foams, but mixing it in a spray bottle and expecting it to clean after it stops foaming is unrealistic. Basic chemistry should be followed for the most effective formulas, that’s why P&G gets so much of out money, they employ chemists.

  • Jillie I tried this recipe in my dishwasher this past weekend. I have to admit, at first was skeptical about putting Dawn in there. But I decided to try it and it worked just beautifully!! This is how I will clean my dishes from now on. But its like you said you HAVE to stick to the 1/2 teaspoon of Dawn or you will suds all over. Thanks for all you great tips, love everyone of them. Oh, and my pocket book thanks you too! :-)

  • I have used this recipe on several loads so far, and have had no issues (we don’t pre-rinse either) and the glasses are really sparkly and clean. I think the quality of your dishwasher helps a lot with whether you need to pre-rinse or not. To make it easier for the rest of the family to use, I pre-mixed a batch of this using 1 Cup of Oxy-Clean and 1/2 Cup of Dawn, mixing it into a paste. I am storing it in an airtight plastic container, with a plastic measuring spoon attached. Hoping it stores well as it will be easier to use and will be 48 loads worth! I am also leaving 3/4 cup measuring cup in my top rack to pour the vinegar into. This should make it a no-brainer for everyone, with any luck…

  • even if you don’t think Dawn is toxic, it is made by Proctor and Gamble and they are infamous for performing horrific and grotesques on animals for their products. I’ll never go near the stuff.

  • I had been making my own but not completely happy with the results. I’ve used this combination now a couple of time and LOVE IT!!! I didn’t rinse any of the dishes first and they came out great!!

  • I love this, it worked for me. I have a white, middle of the road Whirlpool dishwasher. I used Oxi Clean, white vinegar and my fave fresh current method dish soap. Worked like a charm. I keep a cheap teaspoon tethered to my detergent bottle. It helps to measure to prevent putting to much in.

  • i read the last time i ran my dishwasher, about something that also used hydrogen peroxide. i will confess i had also gotten a homemade carpet cleaner recipe and i may be confusing the two. (silly me who should have written them down…..). i remember using short of 1/2tsp of dawn and some washing soda (can’t remember how much) and the 1/2c of white vinegar in a small container on the top shelf. could someone tell me that i have now confused the two solutions?

  • is there other alternative to the oxygen bleach and this blog is awesome am Nigerian and i was wondering if i could use any other type of bleach ? help anyone

  • Gave this a try, went light on the Dawn just in case of trouble. Still had trouble. Dishwasher leaked out and had to run 3 or 4 rinse only cycles just to get the bubbles out of the machine.

  • So grateful for this recipe, gave me the stepping stone of what I do now!!! I’m allergic to perfume…sets off my asthma really bad. I was having problems finding a dishwasher detergent that I could use and still be in the kitchen. We have extremely hard (limescale)/rusty water here. I tried so many different recipes. Unfortunately the vinegar still left me with spotty/filmy dishes. As does any rinse aid I’ve tried. I tried the vinegar in the rinse aid compartment, in the bottom of the dishwasher, and in a glass in the top rack. I was also having to use a lot of TSP with my store bought detergent to cut down on the film on the dishes, but it didn’t get rid of it altogether.

    What works for me is to use LemiShine in the washing compartment. [I’ve tried tang,ascorbic acid…but not the kookaid, didn’t have any just plain lemonaid! And the LemiShine rinse agent didn’t help either. We don’t have a water softener.]

    In the prewash compartment I put in:
    1 teaspoon of oxygen bleach
    1 teaspoon of borax
    2 teaspoons of washing soda

    I then measure almost 3/4 teaspoon Dawn dish soap and just stick the measuring spoon into the silverware rack, and it drains out into the bottom of the dishwasher. (I started with 1/4 tsp and used little more at a time until I got to where the dishes were clean, I was worried about suds coming out of the dishwasher…but never had a problem)

    If I use less of any of these we end up with dirty dishes. I don’t prerinse dishes, unless they’ve sat overnight and gotten dry. And then I’ll usually just do a rinse in the dishwasher before I run a cycle. I have a large family and we usually do 2-3 loads of dishes a day, so dishes don’t usually dry up before getting washed.

    SO thank you for a way to wash dishes that is so much cheaper and I can still be in my kitchen!!

  • I have been using this in my dishwasher for a couple weeks now and I really love it. We have soft water, so I don’t know if that makes a difference with how it works since others seem to have problems with it.

    Do measure the dish soap. Half a teaspoon in not that much at all, and just eyeballing it will likely put you over the proper amount. Adding a bit too much of an ingredient might be fine for a normal recipe, but when it could potentially flood your kitchen with suds you really want to be sure you use the right amount.

    Like others have said, pre-rinsing is a must. It will not ‘scrub’ even the slightest amount of food particles off the dishes.

    And I’ve found that any dish soap (not hand soap) will do. I like to layer different colors of soap in my clear soap dispenser (’cause I’m a color geek like that, hehe) so I have a lot of dish soaps on hand. They all seem to work fine.

    Thanks for this, Jillee!

  • After several attempts to use this recipe, I have to tell you, that due to having a water softener, I am now down to 3 DROPS of Dawn. Seems to be working now. I spent several attempts, but had to put a dish pan under the door of the dishwasher to catch the suds. Almost gave up. 3 drops seems to work.

  • I tried this and couldn’t be happier! My glasses sparkled and my dishes were squeaky clean. They even had a different ‘feel’ – absolutely no haze or cloudyness.

  • I tried this and was soooo disappointed. The dishes were still dirty and dingy. Ironically, the very next day my niece posted a recipe that I tried and my dishes are shinier and more sparkly than before (and its all powder)……Equal parts borax, washing soda…put in the rinse section and in the pre-wash, put a packet of lemon kool-aid. Worked GREAT!

  • We have been using the Cascade packs for yeas, and this is basically the same thing. I have used it for a week with great results, and for a heck of a lot less money.

  • This sounds and looks great… but I had a friend who used regular soap in her dishwasher and it ruined the seals. I am not sure how long before that happened but the repair man said that is why they would not cover it under there warranty????? So matter how desperate I am… I NEVER USE DAWN OR OTHER HAND WASH SOAPS IN MY DISHWASHER?????

    • I agree, Debralee, plus my dw’s directions state to only use the packets, and never a homemade or other liquid, or you will void the warranty and ruin the seals.

  • I tried this just today and worked perfect! My dishes aren’t dirty. For the longest time my dishes have been dirty after I washed them and this is a cheaper way to wash dishes in the dishwasher! I defiantly will be using this forever! Thank you so much! And I followed the directions completely and no suds on my floor.

  • Correction… all glasses, plates, utensils, etc were clean and sparkly, but anything plastic in my washer had dusty like layer of baking soda. For some reason that didn’t rinse. Sticking with the dishwasher tabs I had before, just simplier.

  • I have been using clorox and baking soda. I put the baking soda in the pre-wash and wash dispenser and just pour clorox in the bottom of dishwasher. My dishes have been coming out sparkling clean.

  • I read this but couldn’t remember exactly while loading the dishwasher so I put baking soda in the detergent dispenser a couple drops of dawn in the pretreat cup and vinegar in a container on the top rack. My dishes are clean and more sparkly than ever. So I guess I made my own ‘recipe’ by not remembering yours exactly, sticking this one with baking soda.

  • LISTEN TO JILLEE! One half teaspoon of Dawn measure he first time to see how small it it. That is all you need (but I do adjust if I have a messy or greasy load)
    For wine glasses. Try the Dawn in the bottom of the washer and 2 cups of the vinegar on the top shelf I usecoffee mugs .
    Even with store boughtdetergent tiger Vinegar is the answer. Don’t throw out your detergent use it with the vinegar then switch to the liquid soap 1/2 teaspoon!) AND VINEGAR.

  • I was wondering could I use the liquid Sun oxy. That is what the store carries, no power. I have tried dollar store and other stores around me. If so how much liquid? Love the site! Your site has made me clean more. Thanks

  • I was wondering if you can use any dish soap in this? I currently have palm-olive on hand. Thanks for all the awesome money saving ways to clean our homes!

  • Not sure if anyone mentioned this, but vinegar can really eat up the plastic parts in your dishwasher systems. That is why you want to use it in a dish instead so that the vinegar is immediately diluted.
    This thread reminds me of when I moved into my first apartment 30+ years ago. We did not have a dishwasher growing up so I was so excited when the apartment had one. I had no idea that there was special soap for dishwashers so I used dishwashing liquid. Of course being a guy, I used twice the recommended amount for dishes, so it was like Xmas in July with all the bubbles.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if the landlords descendents are not still cleaning up the suds. Thanks for the memory.

  • Tried this last night. Perfection!! Normally I buy up Finish tabs when they go on sale for $2.99. My coupon makes them $1.99 for a box of 20. I picked up 16 oz of oxygen bleach at The Dollar Tree for $1 (perfect size for under the sink), I buy Dawn when it’s on a 10/$10 sale & my coupons make it either free or 50 cent depending on the coupon offered at that time, & I buy gallon jugs of vinegar during the pickling season when they are on BOGO free sales. We run the dishwasher about every 4 days, so I’d say that this little concoction will allow me to do a year’s worth of dishes for around $5. Not bad, Jillee. Now I just have to use up my stash of Finish. LOL

  • For anyone who finds their dishwasher has turned into a bubble machine when using the Dawn here’s a solution. Pus some liquid laundry softener in the dishwasher… the suds disappear. I did this several years ago when the kids decided to use dish soap in the dishwasher…worked like a charm. I’m not sure how much I added but my guess is a cap full.

    • Hey Melanie….

      It’s been awhile but I notice that your question hasn’t been answered. All soap, real SOAP, is made with three basic ingredients: fat, water, and lye. Castile soap is made with olive oil as it’s fat, instead of other fats such as vegetable fat, coconut, etc. etc. The type of lye used determines whether or not it will be solid soap or liquid soap. During the process of making soap, the fat, water and lye are mixed together under the right conditions, and then “saponification” occurs. It is a chemical reaction that takes the three individual ingredients and turns them into ….soap. After the “curing” process…usually 3-4 weeks depending on the type of soap, there is no more “lye” in the soap. It has been turned into…..soap. Sodium and potassium hydroxide (lye) is highly caustic, but once it has undergone “saponification” with the other two items it then becomes a non-caustic product. Detergents are not SOAP, but are chemical cleaners. Hope this helps.

  • If the directions are followed, I don’t think that anyone should have leaking suds unless the dishwasher has an issue. My dishes came out clean and without a film for the first time in a LONG time! That being said, I did use my Ecos Dishwashing Liquid (not Dawn). Lina, I used OxiClean as my powder…I think that is probably the culprit for your tarnishing, etc., because I read on the container NOT to use in the dishwasher because that may occur! So next time I am going to use either Arm & Hammer washing soda or Borax instead of the oxy powder because I don’t want problems down the road! Hope this helps! Thanks for the recipe :)!

  • I’ve been using this for a few weeks and I’ve noticed that my silverwear is looking tarnished and the glaze on some of my plates and coffee mugs seems to be dulling. Could this be the oxy powder? I’m using vinegar in the dispenser instead of a cup, could that be it? What is the purpose of the oxy powder, anyway? Thanks for any thoughts.

  • Thanks Jillee! Everything comes out beautifully! I’ve passed on this great recipe to all my friends. I love snubbing the dishwasher soap aisle! ;) What a savings and so very convenient!

  • I think I am going to try this. My old recipe was working great for us, then we moved. I hate having to buy dishwasher detergent again after almost 2 years. I just put it on my shopping list for this weekend so maybe instead it will be oxygen bleach instead.

  • I finally got around to trying this yesterday. We live in a rental house in an area with extremely hard water and the dishwasher here must be the cheapest money can buy so I honestly wasn’t expecting much; but since my dishes were just getting grosser and grosser, I decided to give it a try.

    You were right, by the way, I peeked in during the cycle and all those suds about gave me heart failure – lol – but I just closed the door and walked away. Just remember, folks, DON’T USE TOO MUCH LIQUID SOAP!!

    This morning, I opened the dishwasher to unload, and………………..

    ♪ •♭•♩ •♬And then I saw my glass ♬ •♭♪ Now I’m a believer ♪ •♭•♩ •♬

    Thank so much, Jillee! You’re awesome!!!

  • Just tried this yesterday and loved it. No problems with using the Dawn (overflow suds, etc). Had some of the Sun oxygen cleaner because I made my laundry soap yesterday. Even if someone didn’t use this all the time it would be a great “in a pinch” kind of thing if you run out of your other homemade solution or, gasp, store bought one. We have very hard well water and everything came out just as clean if not better than Cascade Action Packs. Once I run out of the Cascade I will definitely be using this recipe exclusively.

  • I too tried the homemade power dishwasher soap and was very disappointed, also tried vinigar in tne rinse aid and didn’t like tbe film it left. I tried something last week and have not had any problems with film residue, I filled my rinse aid with windex, walmart brand that was .98 cents I think for 32 oz, we’re talkin cheap, My dishes, glassware and silverware have looked great, no film, I’m gonna try your dishwasher soap tonight when I run the disher, wonder if I still need to put the bowl of vinegar??

    • I’ve been concerned about using ANY chemical compound in the rinse cycle. What’s to say its not leaving some of the chemical on my dishes? ..afterall, it’s the rinse/final cycle.

  • DO NOT TRY THIS! I have just tried it and I have had a HUGE leak all over my very expensive laminate flooring costing me hundreds of pounds to put right! You’re NOT supposed to out dish washing liquid in a dishwasher you dunce! I should have known. Beware! The suds escape the machine and go everywhere!

    • thats because you used to much dish soap you idgit lol and one other thing if the detergent messed up your laminate flooring that you paid sooo much for you got robbed sparky lmfao@u

  • I have been using this recipe for about a week now and was initially blown away with how clean and sparkling my dishes were, especially clear acrylic plastics. I have found, however, that one can not simply load the dishwasher without pre-rinsing. If any food is on the dishes, dried-on or otherwise, it will not come off. But that rule only seems to apply to glass, bakeware and stoneware….food stuck on plastic items seems to come off easily. Must be something in the different materials. My pyrex mixing bowl and muffin tin did not come clean from this weeks blueberry muffins. However, my month old science experiments from leftovers stored in tupperware in the fridge did! So, rinse your bakeware, glass and stoneware dishes first and leave the plastic to the dishwasher. I am going to try putting a drop of dawn in the pre-wash dispenser and see if that makes a difference, though.

  • I NEVER post, but… WOW! I have tried many brands of store bought and they leave a film with my hard water. Read this last night, tried it before going to bed, and was pleasantly surprised to find… it works!! I have some empty bottles, would like to make a liquid version since my children usually start dishwasher, any ideas how to mix? I’m gonna try it!! Thanks! I tried this one other time with borax and other things didn’t work, so gave up… love this one!

    • I mix Dawn or Palmolive dish soap with oxygen bleach all the time. It will make a paste. Leave it in a large bowl to dry and you will have a powder, or you can scoop it like cookie dough into portion-sized balls and spread on a cookie sheet to dry. They should hold their form. Once it is dry, store it in an airtight container. Then you could at least have that part simplified for your children.

      I don’t know if the liquid vinegar would activate the oxyclean or not though.

  • I have been using this recipe and loved it. Then all of a sudden my glasses are all cloudy. It was all of a sudden. They were sparkly clean and now they aren’t. Do you think if I added a little kosher salt to it that would help? I’m just not sure. Anybody else experience this?

  • Putting Dawn soap in my dishwasher made it stop working. I had to call the repair man, he said that the dishwasher doesn’t like sudds and when it gets too many it will stop working.

  • I use Amway LOC as a multipurpose cleaner. It doesn’t suds, and is amazing on my hand dishes for cutting grease, including the yellow/brown baked on the cookie sheets. Should work just fine in place of dawn.

  • I’ve used this recipe and I LOVE the results. My husband told me that I should stop buying cascade since this works SO much better. My grimy, filmy acrylic cups have turned sparkly and clean. I’m wondering if you can mix the dawn and the oxyclean before hand and then just squeeze some in, instead of having two separate things to measure out? Or will mixing it ahead of time make it not as effective?

    • dawn can react with some of the oxy cleaners and create a pretty toxic smell (like if you mixed the soap with chlorine bleach). to me, that is an indication that there is something in it that is too chemical for my taste. i like the 7th generation.

      • It will create a suds volcano – not as immediate as vinegar and baking soda, but you will get a slow lava flow of thick bubbles coming from the container if you mix Dawn & oxygen bleach. It didn’t smell so bad at our house (no toxic smells), and our kitchen sink was very shiny afterwards, but it was pretty much useless for later cleaning.

      • I lied. It was hydrogen peroxide and oxyclean that made my volcano.
        I mix Dawn or Palmolive dish soap and oxyclean all the time. It makes a paste, but if you leave it in an open container or large bowl, it will turn back into a powder. Then store it in an airtight container.
        I did once mix Ajax dishsoap with oxyclean and it DID make a really ammonia-like smell.

  • FYI: Original Blue Dawn contains no phosphates and is what is used to degrease wildlife after an oil spill. I use only this brand for everything. I have tried the 7th Generation and other phosphate free dish detergents and they do not clean at all! A few drops of regular dawn with vinegar is all I use and it is amazing!

  • So glad you posted this, I had previously made the powdered detergent, which was in a huge clump this morning. I looked up online how to break it back down to powder, and one blog suggested putting it in the food processor….I’m pissed! I now have powdered dish detergent again, but a broken food processor, the blade broke off and shot straight through the side of the plastic bowl. So thank you for this, I’ll be using this next time!

  • Jillee, I’m confused about the rinse aid. You say to pour it into a cup instead of the rinse aid compartment. How would this work because the cup would only fill with water instead of coating the dishes?

    • Patty, putting the vinegar in a cup or bowl on the top rack actually works well for dispersing the vinegar. The spray from the dishwasher dilutes the vinegar and splashes it all around the inside of the dishwasher while it’s going. The cup DOES fill with water…but the vinegar will have still done it’s job.
      Hope this helps. :-)

  • I am using my last Cascade pack right now and still have another load to do (weekend jam making…huge mess but worth it lol). If it works, it’ll cost us about $2.50 a month to run the washer, a lot less than we are paying now.

  • So happy to read this recipe it was just a week before we moved in to our new home with a dishwasher. I went and made a batch right away so i would be ready. I love it!! Thank you it works wonderfully!

  • Hey there!

    I’m kind of confused, if you are buying pre-made soaps anyways in order to make your soap, then why don’t you just buy the pre-made soap? I stumbled upon this looking for a chemical free recipe so I will have to look elsewhere, but I was just curious what the need is for making something at home if you are not avoiding the toxic chemicals?

  • I’ve been using your homemade dishwasher detergent recipe for a few months now because I basically had all of the ingredients already from my homemade laundry detergent and I’m poor. I was going to switch to this recipe when I ran out which just happened today actually, and I drove up to the dollar store and they didn’t have the Sun brand of oxygen cleaner, and the only kind they did have was by the laundry stuff and said you should swallow it and I got a little paranoid about using it on my dishes so I left without buying it. Are there certain kinds of oxygen cleaners that are safe to use on dishes, or am I just being crazy? I’ll go up to Target to get the best brand if that’s what I need to do, I just don’t want to poison myself. I mean, technically it makes sense that if I use Borax in laundry stuff and dish stuff I can use oxyclean in both as well, but I’ve never heard of it before and like I said, I’m having a moment of paranoia.

    • I think oxygen cleaners probably all say this; even regular dish detergent is very dangerous if you were to ingest it. But you should be rinsing it off in the dishwasher though if you don’t use too much.

    • In fact, many oxygen ‘oxiclean’ powder products contain synthetic fragrances, especially the ones in the laundry aisle. In a small city in Canada, I have not been able to find a cheap brand of powder oxiclean that is fragrance free. Most of the ones sold here in Canada are so highly fragranced I cannot imagine using them in the dishwasher. As someone said in another post here-if you can smell the ‘clean’ scent on your dishes, then you are probably ingesting some of it. EW! Nasty.

  • Its all in the water. I’ve got well water with a softener. Homemade laundry soap turns things dingy and homemade dishwasher detergent turned things, well, just weird. Added the citric acid and here come the clumps.

    I then found a recipe for powdered laundry detergent that called for oxiclean. Works sooooo much better. Vinegar in the rinse.

    So last night after starting a load in the dishwasher with the clumpy cleaner. (I had mixed the original batch and spread it out on a pan for a couple of days to dry it. Then I decided later to add a pack of koolaid to make it smell better — that’s when it went haywire.) I did some searching and found the dawn/oxibleach/vinegar recipe above.

    Can you see me smiling from here? I rewashed those dishes and am happy to report that the glasses AND plastic are spotless. And I’m not really one to get all squishy about my dishes, but honestly they haven’t look this good in a long time!

  • I know the Cascade pacs have Dawn in them so a little Dawn would be ok. Dawn is what they use to clean oil off animals after an oil spill so is it really that toxic?

    My main problem is that the little door doesn’t work like it should and the soap doesn’t get released at all. I put the dishwashing stuff in the bottom and it gets washed away in the first rinse. So I’ve been watching and waiting and putting the soap in at the right time. :p

    I’ve had to stop putting plastics in altogether because of the white film. I never thought of putting the vinegar on top like that though. I’ll definitely be trying that!

    I’ve tried the lemonade kool-aid packets and didn’t see that they did much other than smell like kool aid.

    But the oxy-clean is new to me. I will try this soon.

    • If dawn is toxic – I’m screwed!!! Dawn is the ONLY dish detergent I use, and I use it as a pre-treat for stains in clothing. I do know that they use it on animals — and it cuts oil like magic. (on old shirts that had to become “old” because I got grease spots on them (salad dressing, butter, etc) I put some dawn on them – scrubbed with an old toothbrush – and the “old” shirts are now perfect and back in the regular clothes rotation!!)
      I’ve used dawn for many, many, many years…… toxic? sigh. :(

  • I just tried 3 drops of dawn – 2 in the 1st washer thing (what are these called??) and 1 drop in the one that closes. Then I put like 1/4 cup distilled vinegar in the rinse aid and the dishes are sparkly clean!

  • This is amazing!! I’m new to the make your own world and so far I’m loving it! Thanks for all the great ideas! Thank you for all the simpler versions of things also! I’m lazy and love the no boil, no grate recipes!

  • This was working great for me for about a week then my dishwasher started leaking a lot of water at the rinse cycle. I switched back to the store bought and it stopped. I really want to use this method, can anyone help me with this?

  • Tried this with a more eco-friendly, phosphate-free detergent instead of Dawn last night and was pleasantly surprised by the results. Everything was clean and the glass was all very sparkly!

  • Found your site today through Pinterest (love, love, love that site) and had to try this TONIGHT! Well, all I have to say is WOW! I had tried the homemade version with washing soda et al, without much sucess (it left white film all over everything!). Then I switched back to cascade and IT left white powder all of everything, too! Tonight was the first time in weeks that I didn’t have to wipe the black plastic utensils off! Thank you so much!

  • I am thinking of trying this to save money not to save the earth. After checking many many sites, I think I like this one the best. Most of the products I have seen here are products we already use. Dawn is the only dish washing soap I use. It is the only one that gets my pots and pans clean without a greasy residue. After searching the internet I haven’t found one piece of evidence to prove Dawn is a danger to anything. Anyway I am rambling.
    I will give this a shot and if it doesn’t work I will go back to my little blue tablets. I do want to try this before I run out, so if it doesn’t work, I won’t have to run back to the store.

    • The intention is not to save the earth; it’s condition gets better as we work responsibly with toxic substances…the important thing is to save our health. Chemicals are always dangerous….and not needed. I don’t want to wait until I have been using them for years to find out that they are bad for me! :) And it’s wonderful to find that in saving my health by using real, natural, and non-toxic products…I save money too!

  • […] to make the glasses sparkly – but since we rarely use glass glasses it's not that big a deal to us. Homemade Dishwasher Soap (Not Detergent) | One Good Thing by Jillee Donna Lufkin, TX *Walmart, Target, Kmart, HEB, CVS, Wags, FD, […]

  • I don’t doubt that this works, but one of the reasons I chose to make my own products was to avoid soaps like dawn… But my recipe is half cup kosher salt, half cup citric acid, 1 cup borax 1 cup washing soda, vinegar in the rinse compartment. A brown sugar bear (a Terra cotta bear soaked in water) helps the stuff from becoming solid. I’ve also found that if you use too much detergent then there is more clouding.

  • Hey Jillie….Babsy here.

    Glad to see you tried the recipe in my post. However, the whole reason for using the natural castile soap tho, and the no-fragrance SUN oxygen cleaner is to remove toxic products from your house and your environment…especially around children. Dawn can be toxic to breathe, as well as for use on your skin, and contains SLS. Fragrances in both the Dawn and the other types of oxygen cleaners are hormone disruptors–most times it take years for problems to develop. Even tho it is natural, I do not use the vinegar in the dishwasher….never had a need for it. The few times I tried it many years back I found that IT was one of the ingredients that contributed to keeping my glassware from being sparkling and clear.

    Chemicals will ALWAYS perform better than natural ingredients…..that’s a given….but with a tremendous price to pay. We are being fooled into feeling we have to have chemically- altered-blinding-white undies or fake-rain-forest-scented laundry. It’s not healthy at all and can be downright deadly. We have to change our thinking…..otherwise we are just using the same old toxic ingredients but doing it on the cheap.

    Health is always easier to keep in good shape than to try to recapture it later when we’ve lost it. And always more expensive…..if we can recapture it at all, that is. Sadly, I see that being frugal too often seems to take a back seat to being healthy.

    Natural, fresh smelling, high-performance, inexpensive and easy to make — but MOST IMPORTANTLY…non toxic cleaning. You will find it’s really all you need and that you aren’t missing a thing.

    • I’d love to hear about what you mean when you say “hormone disrupters.” Do you have information you can forward me? Or a site to direct me to?

    • Just a question (and I am not being snarky, I really want to know). What about the lye that’s used in castille soap? That stuff is EXTREMELY caustic and very dangerous. Maybe the chemical reaction that makes the soap makes it not dangerous? The way that sodium and chlorine can combine to make table salt?

      • Melanie, the process through which soap is made is called “saponification.” When this process takes place, the caustic substance (lye) mixes with fat and turns into something else (soap). There is no caustic substance left as a chemical reaction has taken place. :)


  • Although Im not sold on this idea, I needed to use it last night because I am getting sick of the film left behind on my dishes from the other DIY detergent, and I didn’t have time to run to the store to pick up store bought, so I thought…”What the heck. Ill give it a try” Well, it did work very well and did not suds up out my machine (which I was very nervous about). But one thing that compelled me to write to you is, we drink a lot of iced tea…I mean A LOT! We have an ice tea maker and all our plastic cups are stained to no end. Well, you guessed it…one run thru the dishwasher with this combo and BAM all my plastic cups and ice tea pitcher looked like brand spankin NEW! No stains! So, like I said, Im still not sold on this for an every day venture, but for stained plastic wear (oh yea and my husband’s coffee stained mugs looked amazing too!), I will use this til the end of time! Thanks a ton!

  • I’ve been using this since you posted it and I still have a film. I’ve tried playing around with how much dawn and sun and I can’t seem to get it to work. And the vinegar in the bowl didn’t help either. Any suggestions?

    • i really love the 7th generation dish soap. it is a little pricey, but it works for all the recipes i have tried. they use natural oils to scent them and they even have an unscented one too.

      • here a thought if you use scented cleaner for your dishes and after washing your dishes they still smell pretty then there is still cleaner on your supposed clean dishes

    • I LOVE 7th Generation liquid dish soap as well. I think it works as good as dawn and a substitute it for anything that calls for Dawn. 7th Generstion’s web site sometimes has coupons, and if you sign up for their mailing list they will email you coupons as well.

  • Yikes..I ended up with suds making their escape, too….I notice that my dawn is “dawn ultra”–was worried that was the problem, but it looks like in your picture, you’ve got “ultra” too….

    Suds Rebellion Averted:
    Once I saw the suds, I turned off the machine, advanced it to rinse just before rince, and let the machine run till it stopped pumping out the old water, turned it off again… LOTS of suds in there, so scooped out the bulk of the suds still left, then advanced the dial again to the very beginning. It was STILL pretty sudsy in there but no more suds gushing forth. Just advanced to rinse, so checked on a few items I know were a bit scummy, and they look OK!! Wondering how much we can decrease the Dawn and still have it be effective. Hmmmm.

  • Yikes..I ended up with suds making their escape, too….I notice that my dawn is “dawn ultra”–was worried that was the problem, but it looks like in your picture, you’ve got “ultra” too….

    Suds Rebellion Averted:
    Once I saw the suds, I turned off the machine, advanced it to rinse just before rince, and let the machine run till it stopped pumping out the old water, turned it off again… LOTS of suds in there, so scooped out the bulk of the suds still left, then advanced the dial again to the very beginning. It was STILL pretty sudsy in there but no more suds gushing forth. Just advanced to rinse, so checked on a few items I know where a bit scummy, and they look OK!! Wondering how much we can decrease the Dawn and still have it be effective. Hmmmm.

      • can you use biz? or is that stuff only for the laundry? i notice that some of the different oxy products make suds and some dont… do you know if the sun does that? i know that the biz will suds so i was wondering if there is something in it that i shouldnt be using on my dishes…

  • We are on vacation and really didn’t want to run to the market (a 20 minute drive down the hill) so thought we would try this out. Although we didn’t have any oxyclean so just used bleach… The dishes came out clean but suds did escape the dishwasher… guess we need to go to the store after all.

      • Jill I know your not that likely to read this since it’s been so long ago but do you think an 1/8 teaspoon would b more appropriate

    • listen up kids if you use to much dish soap of course your going to have a mess use 3 or 4 DROPS in each pre and wash tray as for the white film i think its from the soda and borax is bad i hear its not good for your innerds but you do what you wanna

  • Tried this using my home-made alternative to Oxy (equal parts baking soda & hydrogen peroxide) and it works great! A little bit of a starchy feel to a few things, but they’re still cleaner than with the commercial stuff. I’ve been using vinegar as a rinse aid for a couple months now because the store-bought wasn’t doing a thing.

  • I made a homemade dish. detergent before Christmas with Lemonade Koolaid (later I found out about straight citric acid). The recipe filled a large Tupperware cereal container (with the flip top) and so far I’ve only skimmed off the top inch or so. After I spent some time breaking up the hardened parts, the bottom half still remains solid. I even put in a couple silicone packets (that come out of new purses, jerky, etc.). Alas, I am determined to use this up before I make more (hoping it’ll take less than 5 yrs–lol!). I have been happy with the results…glasses are still shiny. I like it much better with a splash of vinegar in the bottom (along with the JetDry in the dispenser). My mom made hers with Lime Koolaid (store was out of Lemonade) and is having lots of trouble with filmy glasses. I’ll tell her about this; hopefully it will help.

  • I bought some of the Sun Oxygen Cleaner, so I can finally give this a try. I’m really excited about it! I’ll post an update and let you know how it goes. Thank!

  • i have tried just the borax and b soda as a powder in the diswhasher dispenser, then vinegar but that hasn't worked. the other day i tried ivory dishsoap and a mix of borax and b soda then vinegar. that worked great!!! all the dishes were sparkly. today i am gunna try the dawn but there is a different kind with olay in it. so i guess i will see if it works!!

  • I actually use your liquid laundry soap recipe for the dishwasher with a few tweeks I cut the recipe in 1/4 (3/4gallon) then changed the soap to Ivory rather than Felsnaptha and cut that down to 1/6 to 1/4 (just eyeballed) followed the instructions for the laundry soap and then added 5 packs of lemon Koolaid. If your water is harder add about 1/2 cup salt to this. I use vinegar in the rinse. YOU ONLY HAVE TO USE 1/2 TEASPOON OF THIS. This recipe is on the runny side so I usually fill up an old hand dish soap bottle to dispense from. I LOVE THIS

  • The recipe I use is I cut your liquid homemade laundry soap recipe in 1/4 which makes 3/4 gallon and then I cut down the soap to a 1/4 of a bar and use Ivory instead of felsnaptha then I added 5 packs of lemon koolaid if your water is hard add a little salt to this recipe use vinegar for your rinse and walla I end up with a couple of spots on my glasses but no build up no film and it's less spots than I get with hand washing. I have used this for a month now and love it! I ONLY USE A HALF A TEASPOON.

  • Do you have to use "blue" Dawn, or can you use any color/scent? I notice that usually any 'recipe' that calls for Dawn uses the original blue. Thanks!

    • The blue dawn works better for cutting grease for some strange reason.
      When I worked in restaurants, it is what we used on the floor in the kitchen to deep scrub.
      Squirt it straight onto the floor, add HOT water, and use a scrub brush on it.
      Squeegee the soapy water into the drain, mop the the entire floor with clean water, then dry mop, and you are done.

      • Many of the other Dawn soaps are listed as a “hand soap” whereas the blue is a “dishwashing liquid.” Lots have added conditioning ingredients to them. I don’t know what the effect might be on cleaning.

        However, Dawn repeatedly stunk up my dishcloths and my laundry when I used it in my homemade laundry detergent. I did some online research and others had complained about this in the last few years – it seems the problem was only with Dawn and only in areas with hard water. So I tried Palmolive & it has worked just great and everything smells wonderful.

        So I don’t really buy the “blue Dawn” hype anymore, as long as you make sure that you are not getting a “hand soap.”

  • Does this work better than your homemade dishwasher DETERGENT recipe then? Also, does the vinegar work better in a cup or bowl on the top rack than just putting it in the bottom?

    • I use water softening salt (the kind used in water treatment system). I put a handful in the dispenser as I usually use the tabs and it works great for hard water which we have.(on a well)

  • This sounds great! My dishwasher has 2 detergent spots…one for the pre-wash and one for the main wash. Should I just not worry about the pre-wash and put this in the main wash dispenser?

    Thanks for all the great ideas!

  • I am so in love with everything that I have seen so far in your blog. I wish that I could "like" some of the comments (FB spoiled). I will be teaching my daughter this method as she is the child designated to wash dishes. I'll play it off as a science experiment to see if that makes her like washing them a bit more (than not at all). Thank you!

  • I might give this one a go. I've been really down since the last recipe I tried left my dishes filmy and dirty. Now I have a huge batch that I don't know what to do with. Thanks for the "recipe".

    • The first time I tried the homemade dish washing powder I was not thrilled, but after some more research I found several corrections to make based upon your water and needs. SO here are a few things you could try to “Fix” you batch.
      1.I added salt; this was recommended from a site/commenter to increase the scrubbing power and helps to reduce the film.
      2.You must add lemon-shinee or citric acid (kool aide around 5-10 packets depending on how much you make) this also assist with cutting the film from the dishes and cutting the grease..
      3.Adjust the amount of borax if it was used in your batch, borax has to have very hot water to dissolve well. You can reduce it in your next batch. I reduced it by 1/3
      4.One thing I did…..I measured, I mean really measured the amount I put in the dishwasher I didn’t eye ball it. You will be surprised at how much less you use if you do this. Part 2 to this is you / your water may not need the 2Tbls (one in each compartment) may be you could try to cut it by half and see if it improves.
      5.Add a FEW!!! FEW drops of conventional liquid dish soap in with the homemade auto dish detergent. This was recommended form another site/commenter and I tried it and it worked very well.
      6.Also, for any dis washer to work at its best the hot water temp must be correct check you manufacturers recommendations and adjust your water heater if needed.
      7.Last but by all means not least YOU MUST KEEP IN AIR TIGHT CONTAINTER, otherwise it will get hard and not usable.

      I hope this helps. I will note, when adding liquid dish soap you can not add much or it will overflow, you have been warned!!!

      • Wow Betty! This looks great! Thank you for taking the time to share all of these great tips!

  • Interesting! I think I will try this one. I found that using lemi shine with my regular dishwashing packets has really made a difference in the sparkly effect, but your way seems much more cost effective! Thanks!

    • Yes! I’ve got uber hard water and the only time my dishes have been spotless (per se) has been with Lemishine. But it costs too much to use all the time. I’m trying this!

  • Looking foward to trying this. However, has anyone else noticed that using vinegar as a rinse agent seems to turn any aluminum based cookware/pans a darker color? I guess it's not a big deal in the grand scheme of things and it's really on an aesthetic kind of thing, but when i was using vinegar in my dishwashers dispenser, that was the first thing I noticed.

    • Washing aluminum in the dishwasher has always oxidized my pans. Try soaking them in a sink full of hot water and some dissolved cream of tartar, about 2 tablespoons. This should brighten them back up. If not, its the steel wool pad and elbow grease, and a lesson learned.

      • thanks! I have some aluminum items that made it in when they shouldn’t have… I’ll have to try the cream of tatar trick! (once I get some from the store, lol!!)

    • Beware of washing certain pans with vinegar. I actually rusted a muffin pan that way. Plus some of my newer skillets and cookie sheets recommended hand washing as the best option so I never have put them in the dishwasher.

  • I've been using just Dawn in my dishwasher for some time and Jet Dry for the rinse. Dawn works great & doesn't leave the film that the dishwasher stuff does. I'm going to try the Oxi add-in and see what happens. Thanks!

  • I'm like a crack head! I rush every morning to get my cup of coffee (while my laptop boots up) and get my homemaking assignment for the day! Your blog has helped me to enjoy my home again! Thank you, Jillee!

  • Anony…here is a link that explains the difference between soap and detergent. It's short and to the point. :-)

    Basically, soap is made from natural ingredients and detergent is made from synthetic (man-made) ingredients. However, even though it sounds like a no-brainer, soap can mix with the minerals in water and leave a film…that's why typically we wash our clothes with detergent…to keep them from from turning grayish. Hope this helps….a little. :-) I'm still learning…

  • Thank you for including a print friendly button. With all that is going on with Tide your solutions are the best. Thanks again for all your hard work to find the best formula for us to use.

  • Why do you specifically say soap (not detergent)? Is detergent supposed to have more scrubbing power? I rinse my dishes thoroughly before they go in.

  • I notice that most home solutions use Dawn – is there really a difference in their formula that makes it better than Ajax or Palmolive or any other brand? Love your blog!

    • No. Once upon a time, Dawn cut grease better. Now, not really a difference. I use Palmolive Pure + Clean because it has a nice light smell. Works just fine.

  • Perfect timing Jill! I was just about to use a hammer on the major clumps from my last batch of powdered homemade dishwasher detergent! I really look forward to using this Oh-So-Easy solution!!!

    Thanks again!!!

    • DO NOT TRY THIS! I have just tried it and I have had a HUGE leak all over my very expensive laminate flooring costing me hundreds of pounds to put right! You’re NOT supposed to out dish washing liquid in a dishwasher you dunce! I should have known. Beware! The suds escape the machine and go everywhere!

      • I agree with Leah. I live in an apartment and there are notices sent once a month about NOT using dishwashing liquid in the dishwasher. But if it works for you, good. But I will NEVER try it.

      • Actually you can use dish soap like Dawn in an automatic dishwasher. If you read the ingredients of some of them, such as the cascade packs, they have dawn dish soap in it.

      • They may have Dawn in the pack, but it will be a low or no suds formula, not the same stuff you get in the store.

      • Name calling, how mature. How old ARE you?
        She literally said, “In conclusion….I realize that this homemade dishwasher cleaning stuff is tricky business! What worked for me may not work for you! But hey…it MIGHT….and if you’re interested….now you know how. :-)”
        “A word of caution. Don’t use MORE than 1/2 teaspoon of the Dawn dish soap or you could have a sudsy overflowon your hands.”

        Some peoples children….smh.

      • I love how the author is the dunce because YOU tried her recipe and it ruined YOUR “expensive floor” before doing research yourself first even though you apparently knew that you’re not suppose to use dish dawn in a dish washer. Everyone has to blame someone other than themselves for their own mistakes.

      • I’ve been using Dawn in my dishwasher for over a year now (using Jillee’s older version of dishwasher soap). I’ve never had an issue of over flowing :)

      • First off that is not a nice name to call any one. Second you probably have put to much soap in. I have an apartment sized dishwasher (smaller then a normal one) and it worked fine for me.

      • That’s too bad leah I shortened this recipe to about one drop of dawn because it’s too sudsy! And my dishes were sparkling! However my local dollar store sells dawn and on the back of the bottle it says to not put into dishwasher!

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