I’ve been making my own laundry soap for YEARS, but for some reason I kept on buying dishwasher tabs in the store. They were just so easy – grab one, pop it in the dishwasher, press start. I had seen recipes for DIY dishwasher soap in powder form, but I didn’t want to deal with measuring out a powder (and probably spilling it all over my kitchen, because I’m clumsy like that).
So, after a little trial-and-error, I mixed up several online recipes and came up with my own dishwasher soap recipe – in tablet form. I’ve been using it for a week now (which, in our house, means about 12 loads of dishes). It works just like the store-bought kind I had been using before! Silverware comes out clean, glassware is shiny, and plasticware is not filmy. Score!
Here’s the recipe!
- 1 lemon
- 1 cup of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
- 1 cup of 20 Mule Team Borax
- 1/2 cup of Epsom Salt
I did look online to price check these ingredients, but my local Walmart ended up being the cheapest place to find them. The washing soda and borax are in the laundry soap aisle, and you can find epsom salt by the pharmacy (look near the foot baths).
- Put the lemon in the blender (the whole thing, peel and all). Add a little water, but not too much — you want it to look thick and gloppy.
- Stir in the other 3 ingredients. It will be really thick now, and a little hard to stir.
- Use a small (1 tbsp) cookie scoop (or a spoon that size if you don’t have a scoop) to drop spoonfuls on a cookie sheet. Make sure that the size/shape of the drops will fit in your dishwasher soap spot in your dishwasher.
- Wait 1-2 hours, and it should harden completely. Pop them off the cookie sheet, and store them in an airtight container.
That’s it! Easy right? I can’t believe I didn’t do this sooner. It smells great too: lemony-fresh!
Here’s my price comparison breakdown:
At Walmart, I was paying $9.97 for 85 tabs of the cheap Great Value brand dishwasher soap. That’s 12¢ a load.
For this recipe, my ingredients cost about $1.83 for 42 tabs. That’s 4¢ a load! And it took me less than 10 minutes to make it!
I’d love to hear your thoughts! Have you ever made homemade dishwasher detergent? If not, why not?