Homemade Dishwasher Detergent with just TWO Ingredients

homemade dishwasher detergent

As with many household problems, the best solution is often the easiest. I have been trying many different so-called “eco-friendly” commercial dishwasher detergents, but mostly they just don’t work.  It’s really annoying to have “clean” dishes come out the same way you put them in (see picture on left, above).

One day I was completely out of dishwasher detergent with a full load of dirty dishes to wash. Since there was no way I was going to take out the dishes and wash them all by hand, I scoured the cupboards for a suitable substitute.

What I came upon worked 10 times better than the expensive “eco” detergent I had been buying, and only costs pennies per load. With just TWO ingredients: baking soda and Lemi-Shine (an all-natural citric acid), my dishes were clean and shiny for the first time in weeks!

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent:

It’s so easy! Combine:

  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 1-2 tsp Lemi-Shine
  • 1 tsp water
It will start bubbling a little (kids love this part!):
Spoon the resulting paste into your dishwasher’s soap receptacle and wash as normal.
It’s quick, costs pennies per load, and is all-natural. Plus — it works! I was shocked by how shiny my dishes were after using this the first time.

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  1. Is the water really necessary? Couldn’t you just spoon the dry mixture into the compartment and let the dishwasher water activated it??

    • You definitely could. Our dishwasher’s detergent door is broken, so I like to make it a little gooey so it stays in there better. :)

      • I’m too lazy to mix – I just throw the powder in the dishwasher, squirt a 1 tsp dishwashing liquid detergent and vinegar in the second compartment that opens later. It gets rid of spots and dishes come out clean!


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