Dishwasher detergent, part 2

Brilliant. As in sparkling. As in “this glassware is so G.D. clean I can’t believe my eyes.”

Plus, when I opened the dishwasher my aura was cleansed by the refreshing scent of citrus (just kidding, but it did smell good). And it even got dried-on oatmeal off the kids’ bowls!

Madeline keeps asking to taste them, because she thinks they look like candy (and they really do smell lovely). Fortunately, though they will be locked under the sink, if she did happen to eat one it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Non-toxic dishwasher tabs for the win!

So if you want to be a crazy person like me, you should give it a try!

My recipe (makes approx. 24 tabs):

1 cup of washing soda

1/2 cup of citric acid powder

1/4 cup of salt

30-40 drops citrus essential oil

1 tsp dried orange zest (optional)

Water (in a spray bottle!)

Mix all the powders (and orange zest if you want) together, and add the citrus oil while stirring. Very, very slowly add the water ONE SPRAY AT A TIME. Make sure to stir well after each spray. There will be a little fizzing, but nothing too crazy. Keep going until it’s a “slightly wet sand” consistency. You want it to be able to hold its shape when you pack it in your mold. Put a rounded tablespoon of the mixture into each section of your mold (I used empty egg cartons, and it worked beautifully…popped out of both the cardboard and styrofoam cartons with no issues). Pack it in as evenly as you can. Really go to town on squishing them in there. Let them dry overnight and voila! For added sparkle, use white vinegar in your dishwasher’s rinse-aid compartment. All together, it’s 10-15 minutes of activity to make a month’s worth of detergent. How cool is that?

If you don’t want to leave your house, here are the Amazon links for the products I used.

(If you purchase any of these products after clicking on the following links I’ll earn a percentage of that sale at no additional charge to you.)




Or, if you don’t want to leave your couch, let me know and I’ll see what I can do about adding it to my store (coming soon)!

And now, I’m off to work on dinner. Chicken parmesan with homemade mozzarella, roasted brussels sprouts, and homemade deliciously crusty sourdough bread. It’s ok to be jealous.

[Edited 4/27/18]: For those of you keeping track at home, I’ve found that the overall cost amounts to around $0.10 per dishwasher tab. After using the homemade version for about a month now, I’m still pretty happy with the results. I’ve found that there are certain parts of my dishwasher that clean better than others (the corners are useless for anything that’s actually dirty), and when I have super dirty dishes or something really oily, I’ll add a small squirt of dish soap to up the de-greasing action. Results may vary depending on the hardness of your water. Now get out there and give it a try!

[Edited 7/26/18]: I’ve updated my recipe! Hard water was starting to leave a film on my dishes, but everything’s hunky dory again now! The price per dishwasher tab is a little higher, but not by much. Still cheaper than the store-bought stuff! Check out Part 3 to see the new recipe.

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