Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Tabs {with essential oil}

We all want sparkling and shiny dishes and glasses — the FIRST time they go through the dishwasher.

I hate when I open up my dishwasher expecting to find clean dishes and instead find caked on food on the plates and water spots on the silverware and glasses.

Dirty dishes AFTER they’ve already been washed.

That’s not fun!

 

We know store-bought solutions exist for this.

But is there a natural, non-toxic dishwasher detergent we can make at home that really works?  And can I use essential oils?

Yes!  Yes, there is.

 

Inspired by my DIY essential oil dish soap that I LOVE for hand washing dishes, I’ve experimented and tried lots of variations of homemade dishwasher detergent concoctions with essential oils and different ingredients to discover what will work as an all-natural dishwasher detergent.

And I found it!

I’ve found a recipe that gets my dishes clean and smelling fresh, and without leaving spots behind.

Yes!

 

📌 click here to pin for later

easy-to-make homemade natural dishwasher detergent tabs and they REALLY WORK! Cleans stuck-on food, gets silverware shiny, & glasses sparkling! DIY essential oil recipe for dishwasher detergent tabs

 

Why I LOVE this homemade dishwasher detergent

  • all-natural
  • cuts through grease and stuck-on food to clean dishes
  • gets my silverware shiny and my glasses sparkling
  • no spots!
  • 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

 

easy-to-make homemade natural dishwasher detergent tabs and they REALLY WORK! Cleans stuck-on food, gets silverware shiny, & glasses sparkling! DIY essential oil recipe for dishwasher detergent tabs

 

📌 click here to pin for later

 

What’s in my homemade dishwasher detergent tabs?

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, and assists in smooth rinsing at the end of the cycle

citrus essential oil dual benefit of cutting through grease to get plates clean, and makes the clean dishwasher load smell great

 

easy-to-make homemade natural dishwasher detergent tabs and they REALLY WORK! Cleans stuck-on food, gets silverware shiny, & glasses sparkling! DIY essential oil recipe for dishwasher detergent tabs

 

📌 click here to pin for later

 

How to make homemade natural dishwasher detergent tabs?

step 1:   add 1 cup of super washing soda (like this) to a glass bowl

easy-to-make homemade natural dishwasher detergent tabs and they REALLY WORK! Cleans stuck-on food, gets silverware shiny, & glasses sparkling! DIY essential oil recipe for dishwasher detergent tabs

 

step 2:  add 1/4 cup of salt

note:  there’s no need for fancy, expensive salt, look for salt like this

easy-to-make homemade natural dishwasher detergent tabs and they REALLY WORK! Cleans stuck-on food, gets silverware shiny, & glasses sparkling! DIY essential oil recipe for dishwasher detergent tabs

 

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

easy-to-make homemade natural dishwasher detergent tabs and they REALLY WORK! Cleans stuck-on food, gets silverware shiny, & glasses sparkling! DIY essential oil recipe for dishwasher detergent tabs

 

step 4:  add 40 drops of citrus essential oil, then mix and use back of wooden spoon to break up any clumps

citrus essential oils (use 40 drops of one or use 40 drops total of a combination of oils):

orange essential oil

tangerine essential oil

lemon essential oil

grapefruit essential oil

lime essential oil

bergamot essential oil

easy-to-make homemade natural dishwasher detergent tabs and they REALLY WORK! Cleans stuck-on food, gets silverware shiny, & glasses sparkling! DIY essential oil recipe for dishwasher detergent tabs

easy-to-make homemade natural dishwasher detergent tabs and they REALLY WORK! Cleans stuck-on food, gets silverware shiny, & glasses sparkling! DIY essential oil recipe for dishwasher detergent tabs easy-to-make homemade natural dishwasher detergent tabs and they REALLY WORK! Cleans stuck-on food, gets silverware shiny, & glasses sparkling! DIY essential oil recipe for dishwasher detergent tabs

 

step 5:  spray 2-3 tablespoons water into mixture, stirring as you add the water

tip: don’t add the water too quickly or the washing soda and citric acid will fizz and react too much.  Slower is better.

easy-to-make homemade natural dishwasher detergent tabs and they REALLY WORK! Cleans stuck-on food, gets silverware shiny, & glasses sparkling! DIY essential oil recipe for dishwasher detergent tabs

 

step 6:  once the mixture is the consistency of slightly damp sand, stop adding water.  the mixture should clump together when you squeeze it, but fall apart if you drop the clump into the bowl.

If it’s too wet, don’t worry, you can add more washing soda to dry it out.

If it’s not wet enough, spritz it with a little more water.

easy-to-make homemade natural dishwasher detergent tabs and they REALLY WORK! Cleans stuck-on food, gets silverware shiny, & glasses sparkling! DIY essential oil recipe for dishwasher detergent tabs

 

step 7:  scoop the mixture into a silicone mold (like this)

It’s the perfect size for both (1) the right amount of detergent and (2) fit perfectly into the dishwasher detergent tray.

Use the back of a wooden spoon and your fingers to firmly press the mixture into the silicone mold.

easy-to-make homemade natural dishwasher detergent tabs and they REALLY WORK! Cleans stuck-on food, gets silverware shiny, & glasses sparkling! DIY essential oil recipe for dishwasher detergent tabs

easy-to-make homemade natural dishwasher detergent tabs and they REALLY WORK! Cleans stuck-on food, gets silverware shiny, & glasses sparkling! DIY essential oil recipe for dishwasher detergent tabs

 

step 8:  let them dry and harden overnight

Then when they’re completely dry, pop them out of the silicone mold and put them into an airtight container.

easy-to-make homemade natural dishwasher detergent tabs and they REALLY WORK! Cleans stuck-on food, gets silverware shiny, & glasses sparkling! DIY essential oil recipe for dishwasher detergent tabs

easy-to-make homemade natural dishwasher detergent tabs and they REALLY WORK! Cleans stuck-on food, gets silverware shiny, & glasses sparkling! DIY essential oil recipe for dishwasher detergent tabs

easy-to-make homemade natural dishwasher detergent tabs and they REALLY WORK! Cleans stuck-on food, gets silverware shiny, & glasses sparkling! DIY essential oil recipe for dishwasher detergent tabs

 

step 9:  add a label (get a free printable of the recipe and this label here)

easy-to-make homemade natural dishwasher detergent tabs and they REALLY WORK! Cleans stuck-on food, gets silverware shiny, & glasses sparkling! DIY essential oil recipe for dishwasher detergent tabs


 

📌 click here to pin for later

 

Here’s the homemade natural dishwasher detergent tabs recipe one more time

1 cup of super washing soda (like this)

1/4 cup of salt  (note:  there’s no need for fancy, expensive salt, look for salt like this)

1/2 cup citric acid powder (like this)

add 40 drops of citrus essential oil, then mix and use back of wooden spoon to break up any clumps

spray 2-3 tablespoons water into mixture, stirring as you add the water

tip: don’t add the water too quickly or the washing soda and citric acid will fizz and react too much.  Slower is better.

scoop the mixture into a silicone mold (like this).   Use the back of a wooden spoon and your fingers to firmly press the mixture into the silicone mold.

let them dry and harden overnight, then when completely dry, pop out of mold and store in airtight container

add a label (get a free printable of the recipe and this label here)

 

easy-to-make homemade natural dishwasher detergent tabs and they REALLY WORK! Cleans stuck-on food, gets silverware shiny, & glasses sparkling! DIY essential oil recipe for dishwasher detergent tabs

 

How to use natural dishwasher detergent tabs

  • Put one detergent tab into your dishwasher’s detergent dispenser.
  • Add a little vinegar to the rinse aid compartment.
  • Let the dishwasher take it from there; use your usual wash settings.

caution: check your dishwasher’s instruction manual to make sure these detergent tabs are safe for use in your dishwasher.

Do not use in dishwashers with stainless steel interiors.

easy-to-make homemade natural dishwasher detergent tabs and they REALLY WORK! Cleans stuck-on food, gets silverware shiny, & glasses sparkling! DIY essential oil recipe for dishwasher detergent tabs

 

📌 click here to pin for later

 

here are a few other essential oil posts that I think you’ll like:

Homemade Dish Soap

the Best Streak-Free Window & Glass Cleaner

8 Essential Oil Cleaning Recipes 

Stinky Shoe Spray

Homemade Poo-pourri “Before You Go” Toilet Spray

 

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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.  Thank you for supporting me in this way.

 

easy-to-make homemade natural dishwasher detergent tabs and they REALLY WORK! Cleans stuck-on food, gets silverware shiny, & glasses sparkling! DIY essential oil recipe for dishwasher detergent tabs

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By | 2017-11-12T15:39:44+00:00 September 27th, 2017|Essential Oils|15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Melanie Thompson September 28, 2017 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    How many tabs does this recipe make? I can see that your mold has at least 26 sections. Is that right or are there more sections? Thank you!

    • Sarah Lewis October 1, 2017 at 2:51 pm - Reply

      It makes 24 tabs.

  2. Valene October 6, 2017 at 9:46 am - Reply

    Could you use this as a powder instead of forming it into pods?

    • Sarah Lewis October 12, 2017 at 9:37 am - Reply

      Yes, I do that, too. Just don’t add the water.
      Use 1 tablespoon of the powder.

  3. Gayle October 6, 2017 at 11:38 am - Reply

    I’ve been looking for this! Thank you for sharing!

  4. Linda October 6, 2017 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    Sarah, what type of water works with this recipe. We have well water that’s really quite nice but just not city water and not Chlorinated, etc. I’m already using s battery detergent plus a Norwex Magnet Ball which reduces soap by half. TIA for your feedback. I love using my dōTERRA essential oils! They’re so uplifting and then some!

    • Sarah Lewis October 12, 2017 at 9:34 am - Reply

      Hi Linda,
      I’m not sure how well it works with well water. It will depend on how hard or soft yours is. Some well water is soft and some is hard, depending on how many minerals are in the ground and get into the water.
      I’ve found it works great with soft to slightly hard water. If the water is too hard, then it’s much harder to get dishes (and clothes) clean with any detergent.
      Sarah

  5. Sarah October 12, 2017 at 3:51 pm - Reply

    I can’t wait to try this, but how much is a little vinegar ?

    • Sarah Lewis October 13, 2017 at 10:16 am - Reply

      Just enough to fill the rinse agent compartment of your dishwasher. It’s probably about a tablespoon.

  6. Mary Ann Bosnos October 13, 2017 at 12:44 am - Reply

    We have a Miele dishwasher and I have used only Miele dishwasher tabs, which are safe for both the stainless interior of the dishwasher and for my sterling flatware. Are these homemade essential oil tabs safe for the stainless interior of the dishwasher and for sterling flatware?

    • Sarah Lewis October 13, 2017 at 10:07 am - Reply

      No, these have citric acid in them which could over time damage the stainless steel interior if it has any scratches or knicks in it. I’d keep using the Miele dish tabs. Better safe than sorry.

  7. Christie October 16, 2017 at 11:04 am - Reply

    Could u use this recipe as a laundry soap powder too? I love this recipe and I’ve been using it even tho my dishwasher is stainless steel inside. It’s a new dishwasher and there are no knicks or scratches and everything comes out sparkly clean 🙂

    • Sarah Lewis October 22, 2017 at 3:17 pm - Reply

      I wouldn’t use it for laundry. When I’ve tried similar ingredients for laundry they just don’t do a good job of getting the clothes clean and rinsing well. The clothes look clean, but they’re actually trapped with all kinds of dirt and grime.
      Instead I make a liquid laundry detergent that works great. No residue, washes well, and rinses clean. I hope to share that recipe in a few weeks. Keep an eye out for it.

  8. Nelly October 20, 2017 at 6:47 pm - Reply

    Im having difficulty finding Washing Soda let alone Super Washing Soda is there a substitute or a DIY washing soda?

    • Sarah Lewis October 22, 2017 at 1:55 pm - Reply

      Yes, you make washing soda yourself from baking soda.
      It’s a simple chemical change that happens from heat.
      Put a thick layer (about 1/2 inch) of baking soda on jelly roll pan or cookies sheet that has edges.
      bake at 400 degrees for about 1 hour — stir 1-2 times throughout the cooking process.
      You’ll know the baking soda has changed to washing soda when the color changes to not be shiny and the textures changes to be more grainy.

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