Cheri Peoples

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

by CHERI on April 30, 2012

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I don’t know if any of you run into this question

“Is everything in the dishwasher CLEAN OR DIRTY?”

We do.

With four kids –that are home all day long –because we home school, we run the dishwasher a lot.

We rinse everything before we put it in the dishwasher so sometimes it is hard to tell…

  • Is it half full because we loaded and didn’t have a full load to run it?
  • or did someone pull out some things from the clean dishwasher load without completely unloading???
  • or is it full and clean and needs unloaded?
  • or is it full and dirty and someone forgot to start it?

I had picked up some little magnetic photo pockets at one of the dollar stores and thought it would be the perfect place to store a dirty/ clean tag.

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I just used a black chalkboard tag and a white tag from Canvas Corp and wrote on them



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It is so easy to slide one in front of the other.

You know just in case we don’t have time to unload the dishwasher right away

(like when we are in the middle of home school or ummm in the middle of projects)

uh huh –I do a few of those.

Check out what Pleasure In simple Things made from advertising magnets.

We LOVE the smell of our clothes with my Homemade Laundry Soap so I decided I would make some

Homemade Dish Washer Detergent.

It is really easy to make.

I really like the idea of going off the grid and living



BEFORE I go any further let me tell you FILL your rinse agent reservoir with


The distilled white vinegar is a great all natural rinsing agent and will aid in leaving your dishes super clean.


Cuts through the grease.


It can be used on vintage pieces as well.


It SAVES you money and lots of it.

and just like my Laundry Soap there are not a lot of ingredients –anyone can make it.

What you need to know about Homemade Dish Washer Detergent:


  • Washing Soda—(also known as sodium carbonate)

 It is a natural substance (made from salt and limestone).

It cuts grease–Eliminates Odors–helps with Stains

It can be used for cleaning many things in your home.

Look for it in the Laundry Soap section .  It is made by Arm and Hammer.

I recommend that you keep all items out of children’s reach.

about $3 for 55 oz.

  • Borax—(also known as sodium borate decahydrate; sodium pyroborate; birax; sodium tetraborate decahydrate; sodium biborate)

Borax is a natural mineral compound.

It cleans–It disinfects–It maintains the PH balance

Look for it in the Laundry Soap section .  Look for 20 Muleteam.

I recommend that you keep all items out of children’s reach.  High doses can be lethal–this item should not be stored with food.

Cost around $3 for 76 oz.

  • Epsom Salt  (also called magnesium sulphate because it is a mineral compound of sulphate and magnesium.)

It is a natural scouring powder.

about $3 for 4 lbs.

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Homemade Dish Washer Detergent:

  • 6 C Washing Soda
  • 6 C Borax
  • 3 C Epsom Salt

If you want a citrus fresh clean add 1 and 1/2 Cups of Fruit fresh (found in the canning section of your grocery store).

Mix it all together and store in an air tight glass container–just so it looks pretty — you know.

Add a pretty tag so you know what is in your container.

Because there is not any fillers in this Dishwasher Detergent you only need 1 Tbsp per load. 

Get rid of all the chemicals in store bought brands plus saves lots of money.

GO GREEN and put more GREEN in your pockets.

STAY TUNED–as soon as I receive my Dr. Bronner’s Soap I plan on making a LIQUID DISH WASHER DETERGENT.

Hmmm what should I make next Toothpaste?

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 -KAT- April 30, 2012 at 9:59 am

WONDERFUL post … you know I love being green !
check out my post from today and see my re useable shopping bag design
– KAT –

2 Johnnie April 30, 2012 at 3:01 pm

I love it, Cheri! I have never made my own cleaning supplies. Fantastic idea, as always.
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3 Caryn April 30, 2012 at 7:06 pm

I will definitely use the dishwasher detergent idea. I LOVE the clean/dirty magnets, but apparently the front of my dishwasher is aluminum so magnets don’t stick to it. I’ll have to think of something else.

4 Sheila Dunn May 1, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Love your site Cheri. I really want to make this but am wondering if it is safe for the new high efficiency washers??? I can’t imagine why not – my dishwasher has a steam button which I generally use. Thanx for any info you have on this.

5 katie May 1, 2012 at 4:20 pm

this DIY dishwasher detergent looks easy! Must give it a try soon!
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6 Heather :) :) :) May 2, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Oh, this looks fabulous. I definitely want to give this try. I’m working through a bottle of Seventh Generation liquid dishwasher soap…and when it runs out, I’m going to need to start making my own to save money. Do you know if you live in an area with hard water? Do you find that your dishes come out clean or spotty? No matter, I think this is a great DIY recipe.

Oh, I can hardly wait for your liquid dishwasher soap version. I have a nice bottle of Dr. Bronner’s citrus castile soap that I could use for this, too 🙂 🙂

Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather 🙂 🙂 🙂
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7 Susan May 2, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Thanks for the recipe. I have made my own laundry soap,and am loving it.

Did you know you can make your own liquid soap? It’s fantastic.

8 Lindsey May 4, 2012 at 12:33 pm

This is an awesome idea. My mom and I have made homemade laundry detergent and it works GREAT (our recipe also calls for borax and washing soda). Will definitely give this a try!
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9 Bunny June 14, 2012 at 12:22 am

I would like to know if anyone has made and what they thought.

10 carol August 23, 2012 at 11:26 pm

I have been making laundry soap will try the dishwasher recipe tomorrow. thanks

11 carol August 23, 2012 at 11:28 pm

will make the dishwasher soap tomorrow been making laundry soap for years thanks

12 Caiti October 30, 2012 at 1:34 pm

Help! I made this and I was so excited to use it and my dishes and dishwasher all have this film that I cannot get off! I really want to use this but didn’t know if anybody else has had this problem and have found a solution!!!

13 CHERI January 1, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Hmmm– I am baffled–

14 Amy February 19, 2013 at 7:54 pm

I had a really bad film too 🙁

15 CHERI February 22, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Then I would not use it for sure– it must have something to do with water from different areas.

16 Evelyn August 1, 2013 at 7:07 pm

I have hard water and I get the film too. It is better when I not only fill the rinse aid spot with vinegar, but also pour a bunch of vinegar into the bottom of the dishwasher. Adding citric acid to the mix can help as well, but it doesn’t completely eliminate the film!
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