DIY Natural Dishwasher Detergent

Want clean, sparkling dishes without using harsh, toxic chemicals?

Want it to be easy to make with just a few ingredients?

And you want it to be natural and safe to use?

Then this is the recipe for you.

 

Here are a few reasons why I LOVE this homemade essential oil dishwasher detergent:

  • all-natural
  • cuts through grease and stuck-on food to clean dishes
  • gets my silverware shiny and my glasses sparkling
  • no spots!
  • removes food and drink stains like from coffee and tea
  • has the fresh, bright, refreshing smell of essential oils
  • can be made using this easy DIY recipe that takes less than 5 minutes to make
  • saves money versus store-bought solutions
  • a fun, quick DIY project to do with essential oils!

 

Want other easy, natural ways to wash your dishes?  Try this recipe for homemade liquid dish soap (perfect for hand washing dishes) and this recipe for dishwasher detergent tabs (it’s similar to this recipe but made into convenient tabs that you can pop into your dishwasher without any measuring).

 

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I don’t get excited about the process of cleaning, but I sure do like the look of clean, sparkling glasses right out of the dishwasher.

I smile when I see the shine on freshly-cleaned silverware.

And as readers of this blog know, I enjoy discovering something I can make at home using essential oils.

So when I found a way to get sparkling glasses, shiny silverware, and plates free of caked-on food the first time through the dishwasher… with a homemade detergent using essential oils… you know I had to share it.

 

What’s in this natural dishwasher detergent?

This website contains affiliate links. This means that should you click on certain links, and then subsequently purchase a product, I will receive a small commission. The price is exactly the same for you as it would be without the affiliate link. 

washing soda – this powerful cleaner raises the cleaning pH to help break down food and grease, and softens the water to reduce spotting, leaving your glasses and silverware shiny and sparkly

salt– hard water deposits can leave spots behind on your clean dishes; adding salt softens the water and reduces pesky spots

citric acid – this versatile cleaner boosts dishwasher detergent to help get rid of stuck-on food, suspends hard water deposits to keep them off your dishes, helps remove food and drinks stains like coffee and tea

citrus essential oil–  antibacterial and antimicrobial, cuts through grease to get plates clean, and makes the clean dishwasher load smell great

 

How to make this essential oil dishwasher detergent?

click here to get free printable recipe and jar label

step 1:  add 1 cup washing soda (find it here) to glass bowl

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step 2:  add 1/4 cup salt

tip: no need for fancy, expensive salt.   I use this.

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step 3:  add 1/2 cup citric acid powder (like this)

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step 4:  add 40 drops citrus essential oil

Lemon essential oil is one of my favorites.  It makes my kitchen smell so fresh & clean every time I unload the dishwasher!

But I also like to change it up and use a variety of citrus essential oils.

You can use 40 drops of a single essential oil or use 40 drops total of a combination of citrus essential oils.

Here are some ideas of citrus essential oils to try:

tangerine essential oil

lemon essential oil

lime essential oil

orange essential oil

grapefruit essential oil

bergamot essential oil

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step 5:  stir well

break up any lumps with the back of a spoon or your fingers

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step 6:  pour into airtight container

add a label (get my free printable label here)

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Here’s my essential oil dishwasher detergent recipe one more time:

click here to get free printable recipe and jar label

1. Mix the following ingredient together:

1 cup washing soda (find it here)

1/4 cup salt (I use this)

1/2 cup citric acid powder (click here for where to buy)

40 drops citrus essential oil

2. stir well – break up any lumps with the back of a spoon or your fingers

3. pour into airtight container

4. add a label (get my free printable label here)

 

yield: 28 tablespoons, enough for 28 loads of dishes

That’s an entire month of dishes at my house!

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How to use

  • use 1 tablespoon per load of dishes
  • put it in your dishwasher detergent compartment (same place you put store-bought detergent)
  • (optional) I put vinegar in my rinse aid compartment.  Vinegar is a great natural rinse agent.

caution: check your dishwasher’s instruction manual to make sure homemade detergent is safe for use in your dishwasher.

Do not use in dishwashers with stainless steel interiors.

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Where to get supplies?

This website contains affiliate links. This means that should you click on certain links, and then subsequently purchase a product, I will receive a small commission. The price is exactly the same for you as it would be without the affiliate link. 

super washing soda (like this) – you can find it in the laundry detergent aisle in grocery stores, Walmart, Target, and online here

salt (like this)- baking aisle of the grocery store

powdered citric acid (like this)- you can get at grocery stores by canning supplies, at craft stores, or online here

click here to get free printable recipe and jar label

Easy-to-make natural dishwasher detergent recipe-- for clean, sparkling dishes without using harsh, toxic chemicals. {made with essential oils} DIY essential oil recipe for dishwasher detergent. #essentialoils #essentialoilrecipes #essentialoilcleaning #naturalDIY #naturalcleaning #homemadedishwasherdetergent #DIYcleaning #essentialoilDIY #essentialoilsforkitchen #easyDIY

 

here are some other essential oil recipes I think you’ll like:

Homemade Dish Soap

DIY Dishwasher Detergent Tabs

Homemade HE Laundry Detergent

the Best Streak-Free Window & Glass Cleaner

8 Essential Oil Cleaning Recipes 

Stinky Shoe Spray

Homemade Poo-pourri “Before You Go” Toilet Spray

DIY Soft Scrub

Calming Magnesium Body Butter (improves sleep, reduces stress, and soothes aches)

Best deals for essential oil supplies– diffusers cases, spray bottles, carrier oils, essential oil tools

20 Favorite Roller Bottle Blend Recipes and Free Printable Labels

12 Best Essential Oil Diffuser Blends for Sleep

DIY Sore Muscle Rub with essential oils

Homemade Vapor Rub with essential oils

How to make essential oil inhalers + 24 favorite inhaler recipes

Clever & Creative Ways to Use Empty Essential Oil Bottles

25+ Easy DIY Gifts Made with Essential Oils

Homemade Essential Oil Healing Salve

 

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Please note: Products mentioned in this article have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products and information on this page are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This website is not a substitute for professional care.  Always consult your medical doctor regarding your medical care. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Disclaimer: Please know that this website contains affiliate links. This means that should you click on certain links, and then subsequently purchase a product, I will receive a small commission. The price is exactly the same for you as it would be without the affiliate link. 

 

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Blog Comments

Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! In my attempts at frugal living I purchased a cheaper dishwasher detergent last week, and after the first use, I decided it wasn’t worth it since I had to re-wash half the dishes anyway. I have all these ingerdients on hand and I am excited to try it!

I noticed on your DIY detergent tabs recipe you recommend not using them on a dishwasher with a stainless steel interior because of the citric acid. Is the same true for the powder recipe? I wasn’t sure if it had something to do with the consistency (powder vs solid) or if it is citric acid in general to stay away from. Is there a recipe you can recommend without the citric acid? Thank you!

Thanks for catching that, Anne! The same thing is true with this powdered version. I’ve now added those notes to this version of the recipe, too.

I have been using a homemade detergent similar to this one in my dishwasher with a stainless interior. I have not had any problems over the last 6 months. What problems do you know of that I should be looking for?

I also would like to know of any problems using citric acid in a stainless steel dishwasher could cause. Thank you

If the outside of dishwasher is stainless steel, but the inside is plastic, then it won’t cause any issues. That’s what we have for our current dishwasher, and it’s completely fine.

However, if the inside of your dishwasher is stainless steel, then it’s my understanding that if the stainless steel has any cracks or nicks, the citric acid can get underneath the protective coating and might cause corrosion or pitting.

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