Oct 29, 2012

DIY Dish Detergent w/o Borax

I have been experimenting with DIY products for a few months now.

With each new product I try I learn something new.  Some of the most important lessons I have learned are:

1.  Make a small batch to begin with and try it a few times

2.  Store powder mixtures in airtight containers

3.  Once you open the ingredients used to make the products put the reminder in airtight containers

I made and tried a different DIY dishwasher detergent, but for my dishwasher it did not withstand the test of time.  It did a great job of cleaning my dishes to being with, but after about a week the mixture became hard.  So I broke it up and remixed it.  When I used it after that my glasses and plastic dishes came out with a film on them.  I do not think that the container I kept the detergent in was airtight and the mixture became hard when air got to it.

I decided to try a different approach to the whole DIY dishwasher detergent.  I have been using the following recipe for several months and it has continued to work well for me.

What you will need:

1 1/2 cups of Lemi Shine (found near the dishwasher detergents)

1 1/2 cups of washing soda (found near the laundry detergents)

1/2 cup of baking soda (found in the baking aisle)

1/2 cup of Epsom salt (found near the first aid products)

Mix all of these items together and store them in an airtight container.

I used 1 table spoon with each load.

I have also started using vinegar as a rinse agent rather than Jet dry.  When my dishwasher indicates that the rinse agent is low I simply pour some vinegar into the rinse agent slot. 

Cost Break Down:
Lemi Shine = $3.99 12 oz (12 oz used = $3.99)
Washing Soda = $3.29 for 55 oz (12 oz used = .72)
Baking Soda = $1.35 for 2 lbs (1/2 cup used = .17)
Epsom Salt = $4.87 for 6 lbs (1/2 cup used = .61)

1 batch costs $5.49 and washes 64 loads which costs .09 per load.

I used to use Finish Dish tabs.  A box of 60 costs $14.31.  That breaks down .24 to per load.

I'm saving .15 per load!

Check out my other DIY projects:

DIY Foam Soap

DIY Fabric Softener

DIY Baby Wipes

DIY Fabric Refresher

DIY Counter Top Spray

DIY Soap Scum Remover

DIY Glass Cleaner


  1. Thank you so much for the post...can't wait to try this!

    1. You are more than welcome!
      Let me know what you think after trying it :)

  2. Good for you! I need to come back and check out your other "recipes"

    1. Thanks!
      Yes, check them out! I am really liking them. Not only do I like that they save money, but I like that they are environmentally safe.

  3. That's a good amount of money to be saving by DIY!

    I've been using Method's dish detergent tabs and I really like them but I'm sure it's more expensive than if I made my own.

    1. I thought it was quite a bit of savings.
      I've never tried Method's dish tabs, but I like other products they make.

  4. That's awesome, Erin!

  5. DIY household products do save you a lot of money, don't they? I should start making these too :)

    1. I have been surprised about how much money they do save. Give 'em a try and see if they work for you. Let me know what you think. I would suggest starting out slowly. I've found that making too much at one time isn't always the best idea because they don't 'last'. It's like they are missing preservatives or something, if that makes sense.

  6. This sounds like it could save you so much money. I love that it has a lemon scent.

    1. For us they have saved quite a bit of money. I like the lemon scent too!

  7. Way to go, woman! That's awesome and inspiring!

    {And clean! So, so very clean! Love!}

    1. AWW, I inspired you?! Love that! I like things being clean too :)