Frugal Friday: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Since I started making my own laundry detergent, I’ve had boxes of borax and washing soda sitting around. When we ran out of dishwasher detergent, I presumed that a homemade version could be made with what I had on hand. It definitely saved our budget, and the dishes have been clean ever since.

I made a batch based on this recipe.
Herbal Dishwasher Detergent
1 cup Washing Soda
1 cup Borax
1 cup Salt (optional)
2 drops essential Tea Tree Oil
2 drops essential Lavender Oil
(I have also heard that some people are adding citric acid powder, but I haven’t tried it.)
Mix all ingredients in a tightly lidded container, stirring well to combine the oils into the powder. I use 1 Tbl. in each dispenser cup in my dishwasher (a total of 2 Tbls).
For another frugal step, I fill my rinse aid dispenser with white vinegar, which seems to do the job just as well as commercial “rinse aid” products. (I can definitely tell a difference when the vinegar gets low!)
*UPDATE*: When I posted this recipe, I did not make any claims of being “natural;” it was merely an affordable choice during a financially-challenging season. Since then, we have moved, and no longer have a dishwasher, so I am unable to test further options. If you have suggestions for other readers, feel to leave them in the comments! :)

For more Frugal Friday ideas, visit Biblical Womanhood.
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1 comment to Frugal Friday: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

  • Satsuki Rebel

    I've also been one of the few who can't find washing soda at any local stores. I haven't tried yet but you might be able to get your store to special order it, especially if you shop at a co-op or other smallish store. I did manage to find it awhile ago online at I'm not sure the price was good but if you absolutely can't find it elsewhere it might be worth it.


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