Last Updated on June 26, 2023
Homemade Dishwasher Detergent (the EASY way!)
For years we didn’t have a dishwasher and then someone was remodeling their kitchen and asked us if we wanted one. Once I got the dishwasher installed, I realized I needed to figure out how to make my own dishwasher powder just like I had done with laundry detergent, stain remover, and home cleaning products.
After reading our KitchenAid dishwaher reviews over, I found that making your own dishwasher detergent is easy to do and only takes a few simple ingredients. As with any detergent, it is not a magical cleaner. You should still rinse your dishes and use the proper settings on your KitchenAid dishwasher for the best outcome. You should also adjust the salt level of the mixture based on the hardness of your tap water.
I had to go through a few recipes and several loads of dishes until I found the right mixture for my machine and water. I have tried different types of salt, both lab grade and food grade citric acid; as well as Kool-aid powder. I have found with my water and my dishwasher, kosher salt or another type of salt and either type of citric acid works better than regular salt and Kool-aid powder. Your dishwasher and water may be different so feel free to adjust the ingredients to get the best result. If this recipe doesn’t clean as well as you would like, just make some minor adjustments until it works just right.
Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Recipe
- 1 cup of borax
- 1 cup of baking soda
- 1/2 cup of salt (add a little more if you have hard water)
- 1/2 cup citric acid
- glass storage container with wide mouth and tight lid
- clean, unused painting stick for mixing
- measuring cup
You may want to mix all the ingredients and keep it in a Ziploc baggie and then put the baggie inside the container. The citric acid absorbs moisture, so if you don’t have the mixture sealed well it will clump up or form into one hard mass.
- Put the borax and baking soda together in the container and mix well using the painting stick
- Add the salt and mix well
- Add the citric acid and mix well
- Close the baggie or container well and shake the mixture vigorously for about a minute
- Use about 2 TBS of mixture per load and use vinegar in the rinse agent compartment
I recommend the first time you make this dishwasher powder you make 1/2 the recipe so that you can adjust it as needed in small quantities until you find what works best for you. The first time I used the powder my glassware was cloudy. I also had some powder residue on some of the dishes due to the clumping of the powder and citric acid. I have found that keeping the mixture in a Ziploc bag and then putting it in a glass jar with a tight lid has helped reduce the clumping dramatically and makes it rinse clean in the dishwasher as well.
As for cloudiness on glassware, I found it to be salt related. When I use kosher salt and add a little extra, my glassware is clean and clear. It can even clean my copper pans.