Homemade dishwasher detergent is made by mixing one cup of washing soda, one cup of borax, one-half cup of kosher salt and one-half cup of citric acid. One tablespoon of the mixture should be used in each load of dishes, making sure to store the rest in a tightly closed container between uses. Distilled white vinegar can also be used in the rinse dispenser to improve cleaning.
Homemade dishwasher detergent is friendly on the environment and costs as little as a penny a load to make. It also removes grease well and leaves dishes shiny when used with vinegar. It is even safe for delicate or vintage dishes.
Washing soda, also known as sodium carbonate, is a natural substance made from salt and limestone. Because of its usefulness at cutting grease, it can be used for other cleaning projects around the home. Arm and Hammer is one major producer of washing soda in the United States. Borax also occurs naturally and can be mined or produced in a lab. It can be found near laundry detergent in stores. In concentrated amounts, it can be toxic and should kept where children cannot reach it. The final ingredients, kosher salt and citric acid, are also natural. Citric acid can be obtained by using unsweetened lemonade packets or by using food grade citric acid, such as Fruit Fresh.