Naturally Simple Solutions: Homemade Dishwasher Soap

A few weeks ago, I began my venture into homemade dishwasher soap.  This was not really anything I ever considered an option, having heard so many negative comments on how natural dishwasher soaps simply do not work.  However, I was motivated by three main sources to give this a try. The first was reading a parenting magazine about caring for baby dishes and it just had as an aside “Do not place baby’s dishes in your dishwasher as dishwasher detergent is toxic.” My immediate thought was, “Wait, what? Then why are any of us using it?!”  The second motivation came while dumping my detergent into my washer and pausing to read the advertisment on the side “Now with bleach!” Knowing how harmful this pesticide is, why are we using bleach to clean the surfaces we will be eating off of? The third and final motivation was listening to Chris Fabry Live!’s Toxic Talk Tuesday on a naturally clean kitchen.  Andrea gave her recipe, and I decided, hey, if it works for them, I might as well try my hand at it!

There are two ways to make your own dishwashing soap: liquid and powder.  I decided to try each and choose which I preferred.  I tried the liquid numerous times and kept coming up with a very persistent residue on my top rack dishes.  But with some trial and error, I have perfected the powder for our machine and LOVE IT!

I found this recipe on Andrea Fabry’s website, Moms AWARE.

Automatic Dishwashing Powder: (all ingredients can be found at Wal-Mart in the laundry detergent aisle!)

  • 1 c. washing soda
  • 1/2 c. borax
  • 1/2 c. baking soda

Combine ingredients and store in mason jar under the sink. Use 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons for each dishwasher load, depending on mineral content of water. Use 1/2 cup white vinegar as a rinsing agent.

We have a half size dishwasher, and I found that I needed to use only 1/2 Tbs of the powder and dump about 1/4- 1/2 cup of vinegar in the bottom of our washer.  This took less than two minutes to mix up and cost pennies.  The result is sparkling, clean dishes and the knowledge that they are safe to eat off of!


6 responses to this post.

  1. Tell me when you find a good hand washing dish soap…Thanks for your work in this and posting. I have been using a baking soda, vinegar, dish soap in place of soft scrubs for my tub I have tried. Zach works a very dirty and greasy job. I like the results, but I wonder if I had a better natural dish soap then it would be even better.


    • Posted by ashleynicolewillcox on October 28, 2011 at 6:06 pm

      Jamie, check out Andrea Fabry’s website Moms AWARE. She has a good recipe that I am eager to try! Dishwashing Liquid:

      2-3 c. diluted Castile soap
      10 drops tea tree oil
      10 drops lemon oil
      10 drops grapefruit seed extract (optional)
      Combine liquid Castile soap with water in whatever ratio you prefer (60-75% soap works well, depending on the mineral content of the water). Add tea tree oil and lemon oil. If desired, add grapefruit seed extract for increased disinfecting properties.


  2. I might try this one!


  3. I’ve been looking for a dishwashing detergent recipe for a while—Next time I’m at the store, I’ll pick up these ingredients!


  4. […] = ''; } Green Natural Weed KillerLearn How to Make Eco-friendly Weed KillerNaturally Simple Solutions: Homemade Dishwasher Soap var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-11682597-2']); _gaq.push(['_setDomainName', […]


  5. Posted by Amy on August 18, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    Thank you for this recipe! I just tried it and my dishes turned out great! Thank you for your research and sharing what you find with us.


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