How Do You Make a Homemade Dishwasher Cleaner?

Make homemade powdered dishwasher detergent by mixing natural, nontoxic ingredients such as borax, washing soda, citric acid and kosher salt. Add essential oils if you want fragrance in your cleaner.

  1. Begin with 1 cup of borax

    Scoop the borax into a glass jar. Borax is not toxic; however, if you are concerned about it, you can substitute an enzyme cleaner that does not contain borax.

  2. Add 1 cup of washing soda

    This is a detergent booster that is similar to baking soda, but it is not edible.

  3. Add 1/2 cup of citric acid

    Double the amount if you have hard water. This is an important ingredient for eliminating residue from dishes. The powdered detergent tends to clump because of the citric acid, so you can add a teaspoon of rice to the mixture to absorb moisture, and stir the powder daily to break up clumps. Another alternative is to add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of citric acid to each load instead of mixing it in with the detergent.

  4. Add 1/2 cup of kosher salt

    This ingredient helps with scrubbing action.

  5. Add essential oils

    This is an optional step, but if you'd like to add a fragrance to your detergent, add a few drops of your favorite essential oils.

  6. Shake to mix the ingredients

    Put the lid on the jar and shake until all of the ingredients are well mixed.

  7. Wash your dishes

    You only need to use 1 tablespoon of this detergent per load.

  8. Use a rinse agent

    Fill the rinse aid compartment of your dishwasher with white vinegar or lemon juice.