An all-natural homemade Dishwasher Detergent that costs pennies to make
In this post I want to share my recipe for an all-natural dishwasher detergent that is easy to throw together, non toxic, cost-efficient, and ACTUALLY WORKS.
Dishes are never ending, especially in a home filled with six people (ok, the baby doesn’t currently make dirty dishes, but hey). Some days I feel like I live in my kitchen. Especially because our washer and dryer are also in the kitchen. Ha. Joke’s on me. I DO live in my kitchen. (But thankfully I get bathroom breaks ;)).
I started making my own dishwasher detergent when I got good and freaked out about the toxic ingredients in most mainstream dishwasher detergents.
Even the simple ingredient of “fragrance” can be a neurotoxin, causing a myriad of health issues.
And there’s something about dishes. Like, I drink out of cups–my mouth touches that! And my kids DEFINITELY lick their plates some times.
And so does my brother in law.
If any remnants of the dishwasher detergent could be left, I don’t want that unhealthy stuff going in our bodies.
If you can’t lick your dishwasher detergent because it contains, essentially, poison, I’d recommend not using it on your dishes, near mouths.
This homemade dishwasher detergent is totally lickable (I still don’t recommend it for taste sake, though).
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase, but you will not be charged a penny extra! And mama, I never recommend products I don’t love or believe in. I so appreciate your support)
It contains only a few basic ingredients.
Baking Soda , Washing Soda, Citric Acid, and Sea Salt
This combo has been extremely effective for us, even with our white dishes and mason jar “cups.”
Let’s talk briefly about each ingredients purpose.
- Baking Soda is found in crystalline form in nature, making it environmentally friendly
- It’s a gentle exfoliator, which helps scrub those dirty, grimy dishes, soft-like
- It softens water to enhance the effectiveness of the detergent
- Washing Soda is essentially plant ash, called sodium carbonate or soda ash, making it safe for the environment
- It helps to remove grease and oil
- It is abrasive, which is a good thing when getting grime off of dishes
- Washing soda treats hard water, similarly to baking soda, aiding in effectiveness
- It almost goes without saying, but salt is a naturally derived mineral, making it a healthy option for the environment
- Salt works as a catalyst for other ingredients, boosting their cleaning and deodorizing effectiveness
- It is a scouring agent, giving some good scrubbing effectiveness to the detergent
- It also aids in keeping your dishwasher clean by helping eliminate mildew
- It is found organically in citrus fruits like lemons and oranges, making it biodegradable
- Citric acid is highly effective at killing mold, fungus, and bacteria, which is awesome around water and food
- It is also effective at removing hard water stains and scum (so those mason jars stay all squeaky clear)
Ok, so let’s break down the cost.
Ready for this?
Baking Soda: $7.57 for 24 cups, 1 cup needed: $0.32
Washing Soda: $3.97 for 7 cups, 1 cup needed: $0.57
Sea Salt (purchased in bulk): $1.26 for 6 cups, 1 cup needed: $0.21
Citric Acid: $7.49 for 2 cups, 2 T needed: $0.47
Total upfront cost of all ingredients: $20.29
Total cost per recipe: $1.57
Each recipe is enough for 50 loads, so that’s 3 cents per load.
Ready to make your own? Let’s get to this easy recipe!
- Dump all ingredients into a large container with an airtight lid
- Put that lid on tight and shake to combine ingredients
I have found that if I leave my mixture on my counter with the lid off and stir it a couple times a day for two days, it doesn’t clump on the bottom. It did clump before I started doing this trick.
Extra Tip: White Distilled Vinegar is an awesome rinse aid for those dishes and helps keep the dishwasher free from mold. Just add 1 cup of vinegar to the bottom of the dishwasher or rinse compartment at least once a week
Want more all natural cleaning products? Check out this easy homemade laundry detergent HERE