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You should see how sparkly this DIY dishwasher detergent gets my wine glasses.

I have tried several different recipes; powder ones, hard cube like concoctions and even a liquid or two but this one, this one’s a keeper.  There are only five non-toxic ingredients and they are easy to find and affordable.  This recipe works out to about .09 cents per load.

Cheap and easy.

The way I like it.

DIY Dishwasher Detergent


1 cup Baking Soda
1 cup Washing soda
1 cup Citric Acid
1/2 cup Table Salt
TBSP of Rice or an unopened Silica packet

*Distilled White Vinegar

The rice or silica packet will keep the citric acid from turning your detergent into a hard rock. You could also pour a couple of tbsp. of rice into the toe of a pantyhose, tie it off and cut it before adding it to the detergent.  I like the concept but pantyhose sceeve me out and feet sceeve me out.  To think of making a rice ‘baggie’ out of the part of the pantyhose where your feet would be, totally puts me over the edge.  So I omit that part and just pour the rice in my detergent.


1. Put the baking soda, washing soda, citric acid, table salt and your rice/silica bag in a large mixing bowl.

2. Mix to distribute ingredients evenly.

3. Put in an airtight container.

Use 1 tbsp. per load of dishes.

*The distilled white vinegar is used in the rinse aid compartment.  The vinegar will ensure that your glassware does not come out cloudy. Remember the wine glasses?

Bonus tip:  Pour a shot of vinegar at the bottom of your dishwasher to clean it during the wash cycle.

If you have hard water, then cloudy glassware may be a problem with this recipe.  One solution is to double the amount of citric acid.  Another option is to turn the water onto the highest heat setting on your dishwasher.

So, this DIY dishwashing detergent is easy to make. Check.

Budget friendly. Check.

Most importantly, non-toxic. Check.

Most commercial dishwashing detergents contain similar toxic ingredients such as:

1. Synthetic Fragrances – there are over 3,000 chemicals that can hide behind the word “fragrance.” Phthalates are the most common chemical fragrance.  Phthalates are known for endocrine disruption (hormone disruptors linked to reproductive system issues).  The EWG (Environmental working group) considers the toxicity of phthalates as one of their key issues and here you will find pages of articles discussing it.

2. Dyes – Color is added to make detergents pretty blue or green colors. Those dyes are the same as food coloring and have been linked to behavioral issues in children.

3. Triclosan – Disrupts both the thyroid and the endocrine system and bioaccumulates in the body. Overall bad for our hormone systems.  Companies will label this ingredient as an “antibacterial agent.”

4. Sulfates – SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate)/SLES (sodium laureth sulfate). These foaming agents are inexpensive and effective grease cutters. Sulfates absorb easily through the skin and are often contaminated by 1, 4 Dioxane.  1, 4 Dioxane is considered a probable carcinogen to humans by the EPA.

If making your own Dishwashing detergent isn’t for you, here is a list of effective, non-toxic cleaners on the market.

1. Seventh Generation Automatic Dishwasher Gel
2. Method Smarty Dish Dishwasher Tablets, Free & Clear
3. Earth Friendly Wave Auto Dishwasher Gel

You are going to pay a little more for non-toxic versions of conventional cleaners but your health is valuable and always worth it.

Consider it an investment. 🙂