Homemade Dishwasher Soap – Very Inexpensive


I make my own dish washer detergent for pennies compared to the products that are offered for sale. It is an easy recipe and the ingredients are at your local store.  I make it once or twice a month so I have the recipe taped on the storage container.  In this case a recycled trail mix container.

There are plenty of recipe variation on the internet for this.  I was real happy with the one I tried so I didn’t look any further. I do have soft water so I didn’t need to adjust it.  For the rinse dispenser I use only white vinegar.

I was skeptic at first but I needed to find ways to stretch my grocery budget and this offered a way to save $10.  I had been using the cheapest liquid or powder soap I could find.  After a while I noticed a build up of soap deposits under the soap dispenser on the door.  This didn’t use to happen but a few years ago phosphates were finally removed from dishwasher soap. The new packets did a better job then the liquids or powders that lacked phosphates.  The new packets were double the price or more. I already had all the household products except the Lemon Shine and I found that at Walmart. There was really no reason not to give it a try.

The first time I used my home made powder it did not do a very good job.  I have a 2 cup dispenser.  One is for the first wash and the second dispenses later in the cycle for a second wash. So I put a commercial packet in the second one and used my home made soap in the first.  It worked fine then. I figured it would make the commercial packets more affordable because I was only using half as much.   What I didn’t realize was the build up in the dishwasher had to be cleaned out and that was ending up on the dishes. I did notice after a couple of weeks of using both that the build up of crusty soap deposits was dissolving away from under the dispenser.  I then went to using just the home made formula soap. One of the recipes I read suggested that a drop of Dawn would help it.  I was careful just to put a drop in each dispenser. Some times I forget but it seems to work just fine with out it. It is just an added insurance because it has a strong degreaser in it.

One of the things that this powder does is it absorbs moisture and hardens up.  Now some recipes will show you to use a silicone ice cube tray to make cubes of the soap. You need to let them air dry for a couple of day.  You make a paste using white vinegar to pat into the tray.  I don’t have the trays to mess with that and I can’t get the harden powder out of the container very easy.  My solution was measuring out the powder into little sheets of wax paper to fold up into little packets. The soap hardens up in the packets and all you do is unwrap them to place in the washer. Making the packets go quickly.

I have been making this soap now for a year and the saving do add up.


Recipe for dishwasher soap

1/2 cup of Borax

1/2 cup of Washing Soda

1/4 cup of Lemon Shine

1/4 cup of table salt with out iodine ( Large chunk salts will etch your dishes)


Mix well together.


This recipe makes about 22 packets. You will need to cut that many by taring off 11 sheets of wax paper and then cutting them in half.  I tare off about 6 inches and fold them in half to cut.  It makes them close to a square and easy to work with. Measure one tablespoon of power for each packet.


I just fold them into a packet making sure the powder stays in the middle.

This is very cheap to do and the boxes of borax and washing soda last for a long time because you are not using very much each time. I just make it when it when my container gets low.  You can double the recipe and make more at a time but I just make enough for my container.


10 Comments Add yours

  1. IS there a liquid version of this laundry soap ? We have a septic field and can not used any powder soaps as they deposit in the pipes plugging them. … which results in expensive repair bills. THANK YOU


    1. trkingmomoe says:

      You can do a search on the internet. I did not see any recipes for it. I had trouble with liquid commercial dishwasher detergent leaving deposits inside my dishwasher. This cleaned them up. This is all natural. It is not the same as powdered soap, which is made from fat and oil. It is all cleaning chemicals except for the lemon acid. I should of called it a detergent instead of soap.


  2. Artfully Sew says:

    This looks worth a try! I do have hard water, but I use Lemi Shine already for that. May just add a little more of it to my mix.


    1. trkingmomoe says:

      It does work nice in the machine. It sure saves money. I was shopping today and looked at the dishwasher detergent. It saves me about $15 a month. Not buy laundry soap it is another $10. A big family it would be more.


  3. lulu says:

    I am going to give this a try provided I can find the borax.


    1. trkingmomoe says:

      Look around sometimes the local hardware will have it.


  4. very interesting! never heard of this before


    1. trkingmomoe says:

      This is growing in popularity because it is so cheap and not hard to do. You can also do this in powdered form which is very easy to make. I have to make liquid because of my machine.

      Thanks for stopping in from your travels.


      1. trkingmomoe says:

        Oops I thought I was on the laundry soap one. I did this first and used it for a long time before I tried the laundry recipe. It really works fine.


  5. Homemade detergent are really cheaper. I use them, too. You could put essential oil or vinegar or lemon shine. It doesn`t matter. The most important thing is to use only natural ingredients if we want to live in healthy environment. Best regards!


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