With just 5 ingredients, you can make DIY dishwasher tabs at home! Convenient and effective at removing grease and grime, these natural dish cleaning pods are easy to make and of course save more of your hard earned money.
Early on in our marriage, we made the switch from using conventional cleaning products and other toxic items to using simple, chemical-free cleaners that we could easily make at home. Now we primarily use natural ingredients like vinegar, herbs and essential oils to clean our floors, kitchen countertops and bathrooms.
My cleaning arsenal includes a stack of nontoxic housecleaning books and wooden box full of simple ingredients and apothecary supplies.
There is something so beautiful about a simple life that doesn’t require much. Especially when it pertains to homemaking.
Now when it comes to washing dishes, I will admit it is not my favorite chore to complete. I’m thankful to live in a day and age with technology and dishwashers.
Minimal hand washing dishes is preferred.
To make this homemaker dream come true, I need a steady supply of dishwasher pods. However, these little packs of soap can get pricey, particularly if you make a lot of from scratch meals and are running the dishwasher several times a day. To save a buck while still adhering to the non toxic home, a jar of DIY dishwasher tabs is the best way to go!
Do Homemade Dishwasher Tablets Work?
Performance wise, DIY dishwasher tablets work just as well as commercial dish tabs. I have tested them against name brand dishwasher pods as well as popular off brands from big box stores — they function equally well.
What are the Ingredients for Homemade Dishwasher Detergent?
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Washing Soda – is an excellence addition to homemade cleaning products and laundry detergent. It helps to remove stains and eliminate unpleasant odors. Washing soda or soda ash can be used in more than just DIY dishwasher pods, it can be mixed with other ingredients to clean sinks, tubs, floors and even polish silverware. The most common brand of washing soda is Arm & Hammer and can purchased on Amazon or in many grocery stores.
Baking Soda – is a common leavening agent in baked good recipes, however it also makes for a wonderful, inexpensive natural cleaning ingredient. Homemade dishwasher detergent with baking soda helps to soften water, remove odors and stains and pairs well with other natural cleaning supplies like citric acid and white vinegar.
Salt – works well in this dishwasher cleaner DIY to remove tough, stuck-on food from plates, pans and spatulas.
Citric Acid – is a must have natural cleaning ingredient! Homemade dishwasher pods with citric acid works beautifully to break apart grease and grime, leaving your plates and cups looking brand new. I like to purchase the powder from Milliard in bulk 1 pound bags.
Water – acts as a binding agent to help form the powder into DIY dishwasher tablets.
Lemon Essential Oil – not only does a citrus oil such as lemon oil add a nice scent to your dishwashing tablets, it also acts as a natural degreaser. I love to use lemon essential oil in most of my homemade cleaning products.
Tools to Make Homemade Dishwasher Pods
- Mixing bowl
- Ice cube tray or small silicone mold (I prefer silicone because it easily pops out of the container)
- Airtight storage container
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Is it Cheaper to Make Your Own Dishwasher Tablets?
As with most things, making it from scratch in your home is often cheaper. Conventional dishwasher pods are convenient but they are very expensive. At the time of writing this post, a box of name brand dishwasher tabs costs anywhere between $0.26 to $0.37 per soap pod. Homemade dishwasher pods can cost somewhere between $0.06 to $0.10, depending on where you purchase your supplies. That is quite a price difference! To save a buck, make your own DIY dishwasher tablets!
How to Make Homemade Dishwasher Tabs
Quick and easy to make, using just a handful of common ingredients, these DIY dishwasher pods with baking soda are incredibly effective at cleaning tough, greasy messes.
Makes: Approximately 50-60 tabs
1 cup washing soda
1 cup baking soda
1 cup coarse salt
2/3 cup citric acid powder
1 1/4 cup water
30 drops lemon essential oil (or another citrus essential oil such as orange or lime)
Mix the washing soda, baking soda, salt and citric acid powder in a large bowl. Stir in the lemon essential oil until little to no clumps remain.
Slowly add the water to the dry ingredients. Fizzing is normal. Carefully mix together then quickly fill a small silicone mold or ice cube tray with about 1 tablespoon of the mixture. Press down as you go to make sure each tablet is compact so that it stays together when removed from the mold. If the mixture becomes solid before you can fill all of your molds, don’t worry. Just break up into pieces and fill the molds tightly. Allow to harden for several hours.
Remove from molds and finish drying for approximately 24 hours. Store in a sealed, airtight jar.
How to Use Dishwasher Tabs
To use, add one tablet per load of dishes. Run your dishwashing machine according to the manufacturing instructions.
Can You Make Your Own Dishwasher Powder?
Yes! For an even simpler (and quicker) DIY natural dishwasher detergent, check out my recipe for homemade dishwasher powder in my FREE eBook. Within a matter of moments, you can make an entire jars worth of powdered cleaner to effectively remove food particles from your dirty dishes.
More Natural Homemaking Tutorials
- 1 cup washing soda
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1 cup coarse salt
- 2/3 cup citric acid powder
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 30 drops lemon essential oil (or another citrus essential oil such as orange or lime)
- Mix the washing soda, baking soda, salt and citric acid powder in a large bowl. Stir in the lemon essential oil until little to no clumps remain.
- Slowly add the water to the dry ingredients. Fizzing is normal. Carefully mix together then quickly fill a small silicone mold or ice cube tray with about 1 tablespoon of the mixture. Press down as you go to make sure each tablet is compact so that it stays together when removed from the mold. If the mixture becomes solid before you can fill all of your molds, don’t worry. Just break up into pieces and fill the molds tightly. Allow to harden for several hours.
- Remove from molds and finish drying for approximately 24 hours. Store in a sealed, airtight jar.
- To use, add one tablet per load of dishes. Run your dishwashing machine according to the manufacturing instructions.