Amazingly Effective DIY Dishwasher Rinse Aid

Even the best dishwasher detergent may struggle to keep your glasses clear and your cutlery shiny due to minerals in the water. A dishwasher rinse aid eliminates spotting and film from accumulating on your dishes by creating a sheeting action that removes water from your dishes during the rinse cycle.

Commercial rinse aids contain numerous chemicals but you can do the job just as well, maybe even better, with four common ingredients. So, dirty dishes beware, these four common ingredients deliver extraordinary results.

Even the best dishwasher detergent alone may struggle to keep dishes sparkling clean but this homemade dishwasher rinse aid delivers extraordinary results.

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Why Use A Dishwasher Rinse Aid?

After the dishwasher’s rinse cycle, water droplets are left on your dishes. Those droplets contain minerals that remain on your dishes when the water evaporates. To avoid hard water spots or the cloudy haze that occurs from mineral buildup, you need as little water to remain on your dishes as possible prior to drying. That’s where a dishwasher rinse aid helps.

The ingredients in rinse aid help water to sheet off dishes, leaving as little water as possible during the drying cycle.

Commercial rinse aids contain citric acid and alcohol in addition to a variety of chemicals. For our homemade dishwasher rinse aid, we’ll use commonly available ingredients that eliminate spots and haze but without any unnecessary chemicals.

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Know Your Ingredients

Citric Acid
[Citric Acid]
[Citric acid] is a natural component of citrus fruit. It kill bacteria, mold, and mildew, making it great for general disinfecting and cleaning. It’s also effective at removing soap scum, hardwater stains, calcium deposits, lime, and rust. Citric acid also acts as a preservative in your cleaning solutions. Wow!

Vinegar, a mild acid, is made through the natural fermentation of various fruits, vegetables, and grains. Handle with care as it can cause irritation or evening burning when undiluted. Vinegar helps break up mineral deposits such as lime.

Lemon Essential Oil
[Lemon EO]
Isopropyl alcohol, also known as rubbing alcohol, is an organic solvent that helps dissolve other substances. It also evaporates quickly, helping to avoid water spots, streaks, and cloudy mineral deposits.

[Lemon essential oil] is a degreaser, eliminates hardwater spotting, sanitizes, and removes tarnish from cutlery and metal cookware.

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Make Your Own Dishwasher Rinse Aid


  • Container with lid for mixing and storage, a pint mason jar works great


Good To Know Good To Know Citric acid can be found where canning supplies are sold.

Step 1 Pour all ingredients into container. The citric acid should disolve easily. If the citric acid doesn’t disolve entirely, put lid on and shake gently to mix.

The food coloring is used to make the solution easier to see through the rinse aid compartment window. This isn’t necessary, just a convenience.

Step 2 Pour solution into rinse aid compartment of dishwasher until full.

Store remaining solution in a dark place out of reach of small children. Be sure to label clearly as even green cleaners can be toxic and harmful.

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Using Your Rinse Aid

A monthly refill of your rinse aid compartment should keep your dishes crystal clean. If you find that dishes still have spots or a film, check your compartment for a dial to adjust the amount of rinse aid released during the rinse cycle. Some newer dishwasher models have a programmable setting for rinse aid adjustment.

Make your own 4-Ingredient Homemade Dishwasher Detergent to go with your DIY Rinse Aid. Or to make dish time even easier, try these Easy Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Tabs.
Making your own dishwasher detergent allows you to control what your dishes are being cleaned with, save money, and is simple, useful, and effective. Enjoy the convenience of dishwasher detergent tabs and know the ingredients that go into them. Making your own cleaning products is easy and inexpensive.

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Printable Dishwasher Rinse Aid Label

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.

Even the best dishwasher detergent alone may struggle to keep dishes sparkling clean but this homemade dishwasher rinse aid delivers extraordinary results.

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Supplies Used In This Post

Citric Acid Lemon Essential Oil Isopropyl Alcohol Vinegar

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Do you have a favorite homemade dishwasher rinse aid? Share in the comments!

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