Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I felt inspired by my homemade laundry detergent to find a cheap and effective homemade dishwasher detergent. There are several variations but the one with the highest reviews was the good ol' Kool-aid recipe. So, I thought I'd give it a shot, since I had all the other ingredients leftover from the laundry detergent recipe and I had two coupons for Kool-aid I needed to use. This recipe is for your dishwashing machine.

UPDATE: June 2012- I used this for quite some time and began noticing a film being left on my dishes. I started alternating this homemade version with a store-bought gel pac detergent every 2 or 3 loads and that has helped a lot. Also, you might notice that after a few days in the airtight container, your detergent might harden up a bit. I just used a fork to break it up and continued using it from there.

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

1 cup of Borax
1 cup of Super Washing Soda (Or baking soda)
1/2 cup Kosher salt
15 packets of unsweetened Lemonade flavored Kool-aid (or 1/2 cup citric acid)

It calls for Citric Acid in the original recipe, but someone figured out that the lemonade Kool-aid is mostly citric acid with lemon flavor which is handy in making it smell lemon fresh while it cleans. And it's clear so it won't stain your machine.

Mix the ingredients together in a dry container with a lid. Use 1 tablespoon for each load and they also recommend adding vinegar to your rinse agent dispenser for an even better cleaning. But, in all honesty, I didn't think I would like this. I use Cascade gel and I love it. My dishes always came out pretty clean and I didn't have much hope for this powdered detergent...BUT...my dishes have NEVER looked this good straight out of the washer. My jaw dropped, there was a huge difference in my crystal and silver. This stuff works and since you already have the ingredients from making your own laundry detergent, I say, give it a try!


Megan Robbins Vidrine said…
I made this, use it & love it!! I also now make all of my own cleaners : ) I'm a stay at home mom & have 2 babies under 2 so when they're napping, I'm cleaning & I don't want them to wake up to fumes & harsh clemicals that stick up our home. I found the recipes for the cleaners on beingfrugal.net.
Anonymous said…
I made a batch and it has all hardened and clumped up. Have you run across this problem?
Krystle said…
I switched over to this and LOVE it! The clumping problem isnt a huge deal since i just chop it up in my ball canning jar i keep it in with a butter knife or plop an old silicone dioxide packet in with it and its perfectly fine. Try to keep out of wet warm areas and the clumping wont happen as often either. I havent gone back to the store bought dishwasher detergent since i made my first batch. I kept using too much. I also found that if i put vinegar in the jetdry dispenser it keeps my dishes from getting spots. Easy peasy and i dont have to worry about harsh chemicals. Love your blog, follow it like it was my own and helped out many people with it to. I think this is the most referred blog i give to people. Keep up being awesome as usual! With love, your sister in Christ :)
Sandy Stephens said…
you can keep your dishwashing detergent from getting hard by putting some of those little packets of silica gel that you get in shoes, purses, etc. or anything that needs to have the moisture stay out of it. I also made my OWN silica gel packets! My cat will only use the MIMI cat litter, it is crystals and that is what the silica gel is: the crystals! SO I took a couple of coffee filters (or cheesecloth, something porous) made a "pouch" left an opening, and poured in some of the crystals, then sewed that puppy up! don't fill too full as you can't sew it properly. then I just dropped it into my container and let it soak up the moisture! I did still shake it somewhat to make sure it all broke up any lumps, but it's still lump free as we speak! A bag of the MIMI cat litter can be purchased at Walmart for about $ 4.52 a bag. will make several pouches of silica gel crystals!! LOVE your SITE!!

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