Homemade Dishwasher Soap

July 12, 2011

I found this super simple dishwasher soap recipe when I was blog browsing a week ago.  I knew I wanted to try it immediately.  What can I say, I am a sucker for homemade, and I love this homemade Laundry detergent, so I thought I would love this, too.

Plus, I had most of the ingredients on hand and a big bonus is that it saves money!  Borax, washing soda and sea salt.  I always have on these things on hand, so in a pinch if I run out of dishwasher soap, I can always throw this together.  Another selling point is it saves money too, about

The best part that it saves money too!  About 8 cents a load compared with Cascade at 22 cents a load.

1 cup borax, 1 cup washing soda, 1/4 cup kosher sea salt, two packets of unsweetened lemonade flavor Kool-Aid

Make sure to use unsweetened lemonade Kool-Aid, other flavors will dye your dishwasher.

And Good ole borax is sporting a new look.

Pick out a lidded container to keep the soap in and add your ingredients.  I tripled the recipe and used an old cascade container.

Mix well.

Now a true test with a rinse full of dirty dishes.

I purposefully didn’t rinse these off.  Dried on food, is the best test!

Add about a tablespoon to each cup of your dishwasher, and use vinegar as your rinse aid.  Set your dishwasher to clean as usual.

The results were perfectly clean dishes.

and look Ma, no spots!

Print This RecipeDishwasher Soap Recipe

A plastic container with a firmly fitting lid.

(I tripled the recipe and used a empty cascade container.)

Mix:

1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda
1/4 cup kosher sea salt
Two packets of Unsweetened Lemonade-Flavored Kool-Aid

****Only lemon, other flavors will dye your dishwasher!****

Put all of it in the container and shake it up.

(It tends to get clumpy after sitting but a good shake will loosen it up).

Per load you only need tablespoon or so into each cup of your dishwasher.

Can cause a film on dishes use hot cycle and vinegar as a rinse aid or in the bottom of the dishwasher.


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Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner
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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Merri Ann July 12, 2011 at 7:30 am

I am definitely going to try this. Can you tell me how to use the vinegar? Do I just add it to the bottom of the unit?

Thanks for the recipe to do this….

[Reply]

Sweet Pea Reply:

@Merri Ann, Great question, Does your dishwasher have a rinse aid compartment? If not I guess you could add a splash to the bottom of your dishwasher.

I just fill my rinse aid compartment full and it slowly uses a little every load.

[Reply]

Candi @ Family Stamping and FOOD! July 12, 2011 at 8:24 am

Great idea!!! I can’t wait to try this one day. Right now I’m working down my Electrasol stockpile from the Kroger sale last year. 2 boxes to go! I didn’t even think to use vinegar as the rinsing aid. I’m gonna do that right now! Thanks!

[Reply]

Helene July 12, 2011 at 9:34 am

Seriously? Homemade dishwash soap??? I’m so trying this!!! Now I just have to figure out where to get the washing soda and Borax!!

[Reply]

Sweet Pea Reply:

@Helene, You should be able to find it down your cleaning isles at Walmart usually they are right by each other, or even our local farmer’s coop has them.

[Reply]

laura July 12, 2011 at 9:41 am

I have been looking at recipes for this lately, and THIS is the one i am going to try! THANK YOU! :)

[Reply]

Holly July 12, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Grat idea – thanks for this recipe! I am always disappointed with dishwashwer soaps so I can’t wait to try this!

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angie July 12, 2011 at 6:37 pm

great tip thanks for sharing

[Reply]

Linda July 13, 2011 at 9:03 am

I can’t wait to try this one! I have been making my own dry laundry detergent for some time and love it. I was wondering, though, if the store bought rinse aid will work. I have a couple of bottles of that for such a low price with coupons and don’t want to waste it. Can start using vinegar after I run out of the rinse aid.

[Reply]

Sweet Pea Reply:

@Linda, Sure use that, and see how it works, if you need more then just add a little vinegar to the bottom of your dishwasher with each load.

[Reply]

Amy July 13, 2011 at 9:52 am

I have been using vinegar for a long time, for a rinse aid. I started bcz we had hard water at the time and it helped with the spots. ACV does NOT work though. What is the reason for the Kool-Aid?? Is it for the lemon? If so, I can just put a few drops of my lemon EO in each time.

[Reply]

Sweet Pea Reply:

@Amy, I am not sure the exact reason for the lemonade, but I did see another recipe that called for citric acid, so that must be the reason. Not sure what Lemon EO is, is that lemon oil used for fragrance, etc?

[Reply]

Amy Reply:

@Sweet Pea, Lemon essential oil. Used for lots of stuff. I put it in my water mostly. I’m wondering what the citric acid does… Most recipes I’ve seen have just been equal parts of borax/washing soda.

[Reply]

Laura July 14, 2011 at 10:17 am

I am so sorry to say I had an AWFUL experience with this. Nothing good to report. Half of it stuck in the detergent tray. I had to soak and scrub all of my dishes after – they all had a horrible chalky film covering them and gritty spots, and even after rerinsing them, I had to scrub and even soak sone in Jetdry just to recover them. I don’t know what happened, but there was nothing positive about my experience. Sigh. I’m glad it’s working for you – I’ll be sticking to store-bought.

[Reply]

Sweet Pea Reply:

@Laura, How strange?? I can’t think why that would happen to you, sounds like your dishwasher didn’t do a final rinse? Did you use vinegar and a hot cycle? I’ve been using this every night for over 2 weeks and haven’t had any film issues at all. Sorry this happened.

[Reply]

laura Reply:

@Sweet Pea, I didn’t add vinegar because I still had Jet Dry in there. I don’t know WHAT happened!!!! Thanks for your suggestions though! I am so glad it’s working for you! We have REALLY hard water here, I don’t know if that was part of the problem or not!

[Reply]

wende Reply:

@laura, i used jet dry for the first time in my new dishwasher a couple of months ago (while using the same dishwasher liquid i’ve been using for years) and i started getting a film all over my stuff that won’t come off! i SWEAR it was the jet dry! once it finally emptied out of the little thingy, no more film. i’m gonna try the vinegar, but really want to try this soap too! i’ve never used jet dry again! it ruined my new paula deen pots! the film doesn’t come off even with scrubbing!

Sweet Pea Reply:

maybe try lemi-shine, it really helps any film deposits left on dishes or the dishwasher and I think it really helps this homemade soap work better too. Hope this helps. I just put a little in the pre rinse cycle container. I do recommend vinegar in the rinse cycle spot.

Nicole Feliciano July 15, 2011 at 7:43 pm

Thank you so much for sharing on Momtrends. I love checking out all the Friday Food submissions. Clever and thrifty (plus I love the octopus kiddo’s plate). Have a great weekend!

[Reply]

Heather at Willow Cottage July 16, 2011 at 6:51 am

I have been researching dishwasher soap recipes. I think yours is going to be the winner. Thanks for posting this. I am thrilled to have found this.

[Reply]

Miz Helen July 17, 2011 at 9:15 am

Hi Sweet Pea,
This is awesome! I have already mixed it up and am using it and it is working great. This is a great savings that we are all looking for today. I am so excited about this find. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope to see you next week. Hope you are having a great week end.
Miz Helen

[Reply]

Missy August 9, 2011 at 7:50 am

Does this work in both soft and hard water? I’m not sure which we have. I already use vinegar in the rinse, but I am getting tired of paying too much for store bought detergent.

Thanks,
Missy

[Reply]

Sweet Pea Reply:

Good question, I think our water tends to be on the hard side, and I haven’t had any problems, though I do highly recommend using the vinegar there have been bad reports when not using it. I’ve personally had nothing but success (I always use vinegar), hope it goes well for you.

[Reply]

Shelly September 14, 2011 at 1:30 pm

I have looked for these at my walmart can not find them. Next question vinegar as a rinse aid do you put that in the dispencer or what and dose it make your dishes stink?

[Reply]

Sweet Pea Reply:

@Shelly, Hi Shelly, what couldn’t you find? Borax and Washing Soda? It should be down your cleaning isle at Walmart, you might have to ask, sometimes they are in weird places. As far as the vinegar, yes I put it in my rinse aid dispenser, and it doesn’t make your dishes stink as it’s is washed off.

[Reply]

Shelly Reply:

@Sweet Pea, That is great I will ask cause we live in a area that the water is so hard that nothing gets them clean my friend quit using her dishwasher altogether cause they would not clean I will forward your email to her Thank you again
Shelly

[Reply]

Sweet Pea Reply:

@Shelly, Hope your able to find it, and let me know how it works for you!

Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner September 14, 2011 at 2:50 pm

[…] are some of my other favorite homemade cleaners, Homemade Laundry soap, and dishwasher soap. Print This RecipeHomemade All-purpose […]

LonnieQ November 10, 2011 at 5:14 pm

I just bought the Borax and Washing Soda at WalMart today. I made
laundry detergent and am going to try this for the dishwasher. The Lemon Kool Aid is for the acid it posesses to remove the spots from the glasses. Ascorbic Acid will do the same thing. I have it….Most people have the
KoolAid. Works the same which makes me wonder why you would need the vinegar. I’ll throw in a little extra Ascorbic Acid. I’m think Laura must have a dishwasher issue. Maybe her covers don’t close completely on the dispencer which would let water seep in and make gum of the detergent
before it’s ready for it. Just a thought

[Reply]

karen rader January 4, 2012 at 12:26 pm

I have tried ones like this only diff is salt but i found they work great i hard very hard water with rust but i use vinegar,and homemade dishsoap they work better than store bought the reason u use lemon kool-aid is the citric acid use can use citric acid but its harder to find the lemon koodlaid has it in it,thanks for your recipe,

[Reply]

Homemade, Natural & DIY Household Cleaners | Kidlet January 9, 2012 at 1:45 pm

[…] 2 packets unsweetened Kool-Aid Lemonade Flavor Originally from Newly-Weds Blog […]

Judy S March 14, 2012 at 1:40 pm

Why the salt? We have a septic system and I don’t like the idea of adding extra salt to it.
Thanks.

[Reply]

Ivy E April 7, 2012 at 1:33 pm

I believe the salt would act as an abrasive property. I’m considering using lemon juice instead of kool-aid/citric acid. Basically because I don’t have any on hand. Will post how it turns out!

[Reply]

Christine April 18, 2012 at 4:27 pm

I’ve tried this recipe but my glasses have developed a foggy look, any idea what can help this?

[Reply]

Sweet Pea Reply:

Christine, did you try the vinegar in your rinse aid? I think that makes all the difference, also the use of lemonshine has worked for others as well. Also I found using the hottest settings helps also, and be sure not to add too much soap.

[Reply]

Crystal April 28, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Has anyone had any problems with their supply hardening in the container….??

[Reply]

Sweet Pea Reply:

Crystal, yes mine does this too, I just kinda shake it up and/or use my spoon to stir it around before scooping it out.

[Reply]

Crystal Reply:

@Sweet Pea, I haven’t actually tried this recipe yet….but have read that some of these recipes get REALLY hard…which is why I haven’t tried it yet….. Does this particular recipe get really hard or just tends to clump up. Clump up I can handle but some people are talking about taking a hammer to theirs!lol

[Reply]

Sweet Pea Reply:

@Crystal, Crystal, mine clumps up a bit, but nothing to hard that I can either shake or stir out, easy peasy.

meghan c April 29, 2012 at 4:34 pm

I have been using a similar recipe to this one with citric acid instead of the koolaid and my glasses are cloudy as can be! Plus my dishes are not coming clean every time. I tried increasing my citric acid (as recommended) and that has not helped.

[Reply]

Sweet Pea Reply:

things that have worked for me is using vinegar as the rinse aid, and limeshine works well too. Especially if you have hard water. Hope this helps.

[Reply]

shell February 10, 2013 at 7:37 am

is this white vinegar?? and do I really need the salt?

[Reply]

Sweet Pea Reply:

Yes it is just plain white vinegar as the rinse aid. As far as the salt, I am not sure what it does, but I think it is necessary.

[Reply]

Sara May 21, 2013 at 8:04 am

I have heard that the salt helps to soften the water which makes the soap work better.

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Dawn December 10, 2013 at 11:31 am

Going to make this now. I want to caution you thought about using the vinegar in the rinse aide compartment, it causes problems with the acid breaking down the plastic (I think google it you’ll find info) so it is recommended to put a small cup in your top rack instead.

[Reply]

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