Monday, February 14, 2011

homemade dishwashing soap

Two weeks ago, in the midst of cleaning for a party, I needed to run the dishwasher. I knew that I was almost out of dishwasher soap but I didn't know I was completely out. Luckily I had all the ingredients to make my own dishwasher soap (I had been wanting to make this recipe for a few months). The recipe that I used was from the Nov. 19th, 2010 All You magazine. Each batch makes 20 oz. of dishwashing detergent.

1 cup of Borax
1 cup of Baking Soda
1/2 cup of Kosher Salt

Pour borax, baking soda and salt into a plastic container, secure lid and shake to mix.

This recipe was super easy. It took me about 20 minutes to make, including finding all the ingredients and putting them away. I also doubled the recipe because I knew we would go though a single batch very quickly.

Finished product! (with my little helper in the background)

I have used it three times and I would say that it works almost as well as other products I have used. We do not clean off our plates before we put them in the dishwasher, meaning that I don't rinse stuff off and things get caked on. Most detergents get them clean. Rarely do I have to hand wash a dish or cup after I run it through the dishwasher. Out of the three times that I have used this, twice I had a plate or cup that needed a little extra cleaning. So it doesn't work as well, though it may depend on what detergent you normally use, in my opinion. It probably works better if you clean off the dishes first also.

P.S. Happy Valentine's Day!


  1. Are you using this regularly? I used a similar recipe (with the addition of citric acid and essential oil) for a couple of years. I liked it at first, but as time it went on my dishes just wouldn't get clear (everything had a foggy film on it) and then my dishwasher started spewing this brown sticky gunk on my dishes! It was so gross! It might be partially because my dishwasher isn't the greatest, or maybe my recipe proportions weren't quite right for my water type...I don't know, but I'd love to hear how it's working for you if you're still using it since we are in a similar area (that would clear up my water type question).

  2. Amy, I am and I just made another batch. I do not think it is as good as store bought detergent but it is definitely cheaper and when I run out I can easily whip up a batch. My cups are a little cloudy and I also seem to have a little film on the dishes. Also, some of the dishes don't seem to get as clean and I usually end up washing those by hand. No one has gotten sick so I am sure it is safe and the inconveniences don't bother me that much. Even with store bought detergent, I still had to usually wash out some cups and occasionally plates. Our dishwasher is older also and not the best.