DIY Dishwasher Detergent
How to Make Your Own Dishwasher Detergent
This simple DIY dishwasher detergent recipe is another you can add to your list of DIY projects to make yourself more self-sufficient and therefore less reliable on outside goods in case of a TEOTWAWKI situation. Granted, you may not need/use your dishwasher if there is an end of the world situation. However, the way I see it, there could be minor situations leading to towns shutting down for days due to weather, fires and other natural disasters. When you don’t have access to things that you need because goods can’t be delivered to you, it doesn’t hurt to be able to make do with what you have or make it yourself. Plus, I’ve gotten a lot of satisfaction in making our own stuff and becoming less reliant on purchasing goods from the store. In general, it’s just a lot of fun to keep learning and growing. You can read my article on how to make your own laundry detergent too if you’d like to join me on my DIY journey!
Ingredients and supplies are as follows:
- 1 one quart mason jar or other to store the detergent
- Washing soda
- Citric acid
- Kosher salt
- White vinegar
All of the above items can be found in your local grocery store and/or Wal-Mart. We found the majority of them at Wal-Mart, but did have to order the citric acid on Amazon as that was the best deal on it that we could find. In regard to the salt—it’s not a necessary ingredient, but it does make the water softer, which then helps solve a potential cloudiness problem (see below). It doesn’t necessarily need to be kosher salt, but any rocky salt will work better than iodized salt. We used sea salt and it seems to be working just fine.
Instructions on how to make:
- Combine 1 cup borax, 1 cup washing soda, ½ cup citric acid and ½ cup kosher salt into the mason jar. Put a lid on it and shake it up (it’s really that simple!)
- Use 1 tablespoon of your mixture per load
- Fill your rinse aid compartment with vinegar (saves so much money as those pesky rinse aids are expensive!)
And that’s it! There’s not much more to it, other than the citric acid will make the mixture clumpy and hard. So far, we’ve just been shaking it up a bit every day and that seems to make it clump less. I’ve read that you can also add some rice to it as that will absorb the moisture which makes it clumpy, or you can add the citric acid in small amounts with each load instead of mixing it in right away. You’ll probably only need to add about a half teaspoon of it to each load if you’re going to keep it separate.
We’ve used it twice so far and it works just as well as any other dishwashing detergent we’ve ever purchased. I’ve also read that, depending on the hardness of the water, the dishes can turn out a little cloudy with this DIY dishwasher detergent. We haven’t had this issue occur, but it sounds like the more acidic components you add to the mixture, the less cloudy they’ll be. So if you’re dishes are coming out cloudy, add more citric acid until you find the correct amount needed for your dishes. Adding the vinegar to the rinse agent helps with this quite a bit too.
If you have any more tips, questions or concerns about making your own dishwasher detergent, let me know in the comments. I’ll research the answers or concerns if I don’t have them for you from my own experience with it and I and other readers will be happy to read any tips you have. I have found a recipe on making liquid dishwasher detergent that I hope to try soon, but I didn’t want to post the recipe until I tried it myself. If you have a recipe for it that you’ve had good luck with, let me know in the comments section. Thanks for reading!