It’s easy to make your own all-natural dishwasher detergent?

If you haven’t, give this easy recipe a try and you’ll not only save money, but your dishes will be squeaky clean.

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent using Borax

For years, I think about 8 or more, I didn’t have a dishwasher.  Then, almost two years ago I took the plunge and got one and I have never looked back.  

Even though I don’t mind washing dishes by hand having a dishwasher is a time saver.  I have found, though, that you need a good detergent to get your dishes clean.  Your dishwasher can only do so much, it needs a little help.

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent using Borax All - Natural

I had been hesitant to make my own dishwasher detergent but after doing a little research I found a recipe that not only works but works great and you only need some very basic ingredients.

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

1 cup 20 Mule Team® Borax
1 cup baking soda
1/4 cup salt or Epsom salt
1/4 cup vinegar
10 drops lemon essential oil *optional
Large container with lid for storage

You only need a few basic, all natural ingredients, to make your own dishwasher detergent that works just as well as store bought cleaners.

Measure 1 cup of Borax into a bowl.

You only need a few basic, all natural ingredients, to make your own dishwasher detergent that works just as well as store bought cleaners.

Add 1 cup of baking soda and 1/4 cup of salt to your bowl.

You only need a few basic, all natural ingredients, to make your own dishwasher detergent that works just as well as store bought cleaners.

Mix the Borax, salt, and baking soda together.

You only need a few basic, all natural ingredients, to make your own dishwasher detergent that works just as well as store bought cleaners.

Add 1/4 cup of vinegar,

You only need a few basic, all natural ingredients, to make your own dishwasher detergent that works just as well as store bought cleaners.

Have fun watching the bubbles,

You only need a few basic, all natural ingredients, to make your own dishwasher detergent that works just as well as store bought cleaners.

then mix together well.

You only need a few basic, all natural ingredients, to make your own dishwasher detergent that works just as well as store bought cleaners.

If you aren’t adding an essential oil you can stop here or you can the oils, approximately 10 drops, of any scent you prefer.  I used lemon because I like the aroma of lemons in the kitchen.

You only need a few basic, all natural ingredients, to make your own dishwasher detergent that works just as well as store bought cleaners.

Adding an essential oil isn’t necessary but if you decide to add one, stir one more time to mix everything well and then place in a storage container with a lid and measure out enough detergent to fill your dishwasher dispenser.  Measure out one heaping  tablespoon to each load and that’s it. Wash as usual.

If you do add essential oil, stir one more time to mix everything well and then place in a storage container with a lid and measure out enough detergent to fill your dishwasher dispenser.  I use a measuring spoon to add the detergent and that's it! Wash as usual.  

Above are my dishes after being washed with the Homemade Dishwasher Detergent recipe above.  Aren’t they sparkly? 

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent using Borax

Why Borax?

Here is why I started with Borax.  I’ve used it for years in the laundry room to help clean all of my family’s laundry; it’s a great laundry detergent booster and can be used for everything from delicates to jeans.  It’s all natural, another huge plus, AND I use it in my kitchen to help clean my sink, microwave, countertops, stainless steel, silverware, and more and now you know how to use it in your dishwasher. It’s versatile which makes it a smart choice in my opinion.

Borax can be foundin the laundry aisle/additive section at many stores but you can also find it on Amazon.  

If you’re worried about the safety of using Borax, I found a wonderful article on Wellness Mama, Is Borax Safe to Use for Natural Cleaning? This post answered a lot of my questions and I feel safe using Borax for home cleaning. 

Do you have a favorite use for Borax? I’d love to hear about it!

First published August 2017. Last updated January 2020. 

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent
Yield: Enough for 32 loads

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Prep Time: 1 minute
Active Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 6 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Homemade DISHWASHER DETERGENT that works and works well leaving your dishes clean and your glassware sparkling. No need to rewash. The How-To Home

Materials

  • 1 cup 20 Mule Team® Borax
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup salt or Epsom salt
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 10 drops lemon essential oil *optional
  • Large container with lid for storage

Tools

  • Fork and measuring spoon

Instructions

  1. Measure 1 cup of Borax into a bowl.
  2. Add 1 cup of baking soda and 1/4 cup of salt to your bowl.
  3. Mix the Borax, salt, and baking soda together.
  4. Add 1/4 cup of vinegar and have fun watching the bubbles, then mix together well.
  5. If you aren't adding an essential oil you can stop here or you can the oils, approximately 10 drops, of any scent you prefer.  I used lemon because I like the aroma of lemons in the kitchen.
  6. Adding an essential oil isn't necessary but if you decide to add one, stir one more time to mix everything well and then place in a storage container with a lid and measure out enough detergent to fill your dishwasher dispenser.  Measure out one heaping tablespoon to each load and that's it. Wash as usual.

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Did you try this?

Please leave a comment below or share a photo on Instagram and tag #thehowtohome to let me know!