I finally gathered all the ingredients to make my own dishwasher detergent.
Homemade Dishwasher Detergent
Makes enough for 48 Loads
1 cup Washing Soda
1 cup Borax
1/2 cup Kosher Salt
1/2 cup Citric Acid OR 15 packets of Lemonade flavored Kool-Aid
Mix all ingredients together and keep them tightly sealed in a plastic or glass container.
Use 1 Tablespoon of the mix per load of dishes in your dishwasher. Important: In order to get your plastics and glass to be spot-free and sparkly, add vinegar to your rinse aid compartment.
Here’s where I got the supplies and how much I paid for them:
- Borax – Wal-Mart – $2.98
- Washing Soda – Schnucks – $2.79
- Kosher Salt – Wal-Mart – $1.98
- Wyler’s Lemonade Mix – Dollar General – $0.10 each, so $1.50
So after all the tedious math and weight conversions (I’ll spare you the details), I calculated that the total batch costs $2.40. That means each load is $0.05. I priced out Cascade Powder on Amazon.com, and it comes in at $0.06 per load (if you sign up for the Subscribe & Save option), so my homemade detergent is still cheaper!
I have enough ingredients leftover to make another 5 batches. There are great tips on the Borax and Washing Soda packages for other uses as well – score!
This detergent is also phosphate-free and is environmentally safe.
I ran a test batch with some pretty nasty dishes, and I’m very happy to report that they look beautifully clean.
Money-Saving Dishwasher Tips:
- Scrape, DON’T rinse your dishes – you can save up to 20 gallons of water by scraping.
- Clean your dishwasher’s trap (ours gets pretty icky) after every cycle for optimum performance.
- Turn off the Heat Dry option and let the dishes air dry to save electricity.
- Periodically, pour 1 cup of vinegar in your empty dishwasher and run an empty cycle for a deep cleaning treatment.
- Only run your dishwasher if there is a full load.
- There is a correct way to load your dishwasher – Check out this very helpful video to save yourself time and money!