If you enjoy the convenience of dishwasher detergent tabs but like to know the ingredients in your household cleaning products, or you enjoy making your own cleaning products, this recipe is for you. Low cost is an added bonus that makes homemade dishwasher detergent tabs a good choice for your budget too.
Supplies Needed For This Post
This Post Contains
- Struggling With Homemade Dish Detergent
- About The Ingredients
- Making Dishwasher Detergent Tabs
- Using Your Detergent Tabs
- Simple And Effective
- Printable Label
- Supplies Used In This Post
Struggling With Homemade Dish Detergent
I spent two years trying to make a homemade dish detergent that would keep my glasses sparkling and my cutlery shiny, while effectively washing dishes, pots and pans.
Each time I thought I was close, my glasses would turn hazy, the cutlery would get a film, or it would seem to be totally ineffective and I’d have to start over.
I had just finished a batch of 3-Ingredient Toilet Bombs, out of humor and frustration I tossed one into the bottom of the loaded dishwasher, closed the door, and started it without expecting much.
When I started putting the dishes away the next day I wasn’t really paying attention. But when I put away one of my drinking glasses I had to do a double-take. What the heck? No haze? No spots? Wine glasses sparkly clean too?
I grabbed the cutlery rack out of the dishwasher and took a close look. Forks, knives, spoons all shiny with no film. Dishes, pots, pans, all clean!
With some minor changes to the 3-Ingredient Toilet Bombs recipe, I had dishwasher detergent tabs that worked amazingly well.
If detergent tabs aren’t your thing, try my quick, simple dishwasher detergent recipe for clean and sparkly dishes every time.
About The Ingredients
This recipe uses only four ingredients, baking soda, borax, citric acid, and lemon essential oil.
Baking soda is used in everyday baking, safe enough to use as toothpaste, can relieve heartburn and the sting of a sunburn, along with many other uses.
[Citric acid] occurs naturally in abundance in citrus fruits but is now commercially produced. Although there are some who are voicing concern over its extensive use as an additive in processed foods, for the purposes of cleaning there is no known safety concern.
Borax, also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate, is a naturally occurring mineral. There has been much debate as to the safety of Borax. However, all concerns that can be substantiated are in regards to high levels of ingested Borax. For use in the dishwasher, this shouldn’t be a concern.
[Lemon essential oil] is a degreaser, eliminates hardwater spotting, sanitizes, and removes tarnish from cutlery and metal cookware.
Making Dishwasher Detergent Tabs
- Medium size mixing bowl
- Pastry blender or whisk
- Spray bottle with water
- Silicone mold (optional)
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1 cup borax
- ½ cup citric acid
- 30 drops lemon essential oil
You’ll also need an airtight container for the detergent tabs. A zip seal baggy or mason jar work great.
Good To Know Borax is generally found in the cleaning and laundry supplies section of most supermarkets and grocery stores. Citric acid can be found where canning supplies are sold. It’s also easily ordered online.
Step 1 Add all dry ingredients to the mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly with pastry blender or whisk.
Step 2 Add essential oil, one drop at a time, while blending.
Step 3 Spritz with water from spray bottle. Stir thoroughly after every spray.
Be careful to moisten just until mixture barely holds together. This may take around 10 sprays but shouldn’t need much more.
Caution Too much moisture activates the citric acid and baking soda, causing expansion.
Step 4 Firmly pack mixture into molds. I use 2 loose Tbsps of mixture per mold. This makes about 25 detergent tabs.
Step 5 Allow to dry overnight.
Step 6 Carefully remove tabs from mold.
Step 7 Place tabs in an airtight container.
You can use just about anything to mold these. If you’re stumped for what to use as a mold here are a few ideas… plastic Easter eggs, melon baller, ice cream scoop, measuring spoon, ice cube tray, silicone mold.
If you use something to mold your bombs one at a time, for example a measuring spoon, place wax paper, parchment paper, or plastic food wrap over a baking sheet.
Carefully lay your bombs out on the sheet and set aside to dry overnight before moving to an airtight container.
Using Your Detergent Tabs
You don’t need to worry about these tabs fitting into your dishwasher’s detergent tray. To clean your dishes simply drop a tab or two into the bottom of your dishwasher and start. The dishwasher tab will dissolve during the washing cycle, leaving your dishes clean and sparkling.
Depending on the size of your tabs, your water quality, and the soil level of your dishes, you may need more than one dishwasher detergent tab per load. It may take some experimentation to find the right number of tabs for consistently clean and sparkling dishes. Cloudy glasses or hazy silverware means you need additional detergent. Spotty glasses and silverware indicates the need for a rinse aid.
If your glasses and cutlery don’t come out as crystal clean as you’d like, try making your own Dishwasher Rinse Aid!
I finally discovered a homemade rinse aid that works as well as commercial rinse aids without all the chemicals!
Simple And Effective
Homemade dishwasher detergent tabs are quick and easy to make, save money, and give you clean dishes with simple ingredients.
Hint: you don’t need special label paper, just run a glue stick along the edges and smooth onto your container.
↓ Click printer to print.