Homemade Dishwasher Soap

By: The Cleancult Team

November 14, 2017

After trying out our homemade laundry detergent recipe, we just couldn’t stop ourselves from trying out a recipe for homemade dishwasher soap. As with everything else, the internet is filled with many different recipes for homemade dishwasher soap, with many different ingredients ranging from borax and baking soda to Kool Aid and vinegar. The key to a great homemade recipe is both that it has great results and that almost anyone could find the ingredients already in their kitchens or homes. Today we bring you two working recipes, with ingredients that are very common in households. Remember, these recipes are for dishwasher soap, these are not a recipes on how to make liquid dish soap. So get your measuring spoons primed and get ready to start cleaning some dishes.


This first recipe makes an entire jar full of soap and at a cost per load of roughly 2 cents, makes for a great substitute to regular dishwasher soap. The ingredients used are just 1 cup of borax, 1 cup of washing soda, ½ cup of salt and 5 packets of unsweetened lemonade mix.

  1. Mix all ingredients and store in a closed jar
  2. Use 2 tablespoons in your dishwasher’s “Normal Wash” or “Main Wash” compartment and close the lid.
  3. Close the dishwasher lid and set the cycle to “Normal Wash” or “Light Wash,” along with any other desired settings. Press “Start.”

The second recipe is even easier to create, and models the typical lineup of ingredients we already have in our kitchen. The ingredients used are just regular dish soap (there are many debates about which is the best dish soap, but, really, any of them will do fine), baking soda, and salt. Now I know, I know. You can’t use regular dish soap on your dishwasher… But bear with me. We find that, actually, you can...use a “little.” The purpose of mixing the soap with the baking soda is to keep them from filling the dishwasher, dishwasher door and kitchen floor with suds. Now to the recipe:

  1. Place dirty dishes in the dishwasher as usual (grime, goo, and all)
  2. Add about three drops of your regular liquid dish soap to your dishwasher’s detergent compartment
  3. Fill the compartment ⅔ of the way with baking soda.
  4. Add salt until the cup is nearly full
  5. Close the dishwasher lid and set the cycle to “Normal Wash” or “Light Wash,” along with any other desired settings. Press “Start.”

An important fact to note is that the effectiveness of these recipes on your individual homes may vary according to different factors, including which type of water runs in your specific area, either hard or soft water. Hard water refers to water that has high mineral content. Hard water is formed when water percolates through deposits of limestone and chalk which are largely made up of calcium and magnesium carbonates. In domestic settings, hard water is often indicated by a lack of foam formation whenever any kind of soap is agitated in water, and by the formation of limescale in kettles or water heaters. However, soft water is surface water that contains low concentrations of ions of calcium and magnesium. Soft water naturally occurs where rainfall and the drainage basin of rivers are formed of hard, impervious and calcium poor rocks.

So now that you know two recipes for homemade dishwasher detergent, what are you waiting for to try them out?! Who knows, maybe you are tired of regular green brands or want to stop buying regular powdered soap altogether. Maybe the best green dishwasher detergent is not yet available. ; )