Homemade Natural Dishwasher Detergent

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Simple, non-toxic ingredients for a homemade natural dishwasher detergent (Borax Free) that will keep your dishes clean!

It has been my goal to make my home as toxin free as possible for years, far before it was popular. As a young mom I have always been fascinated with making my own version of things and making my home as healthy as possible for my family.

My grandma lived outside the city and was very close with a Hutterite colony close to her home. Over the years she became great friends with them and that friendship extended to the rest of our family as well.

Every time I visit the colony I am inspired by the simple and cost efficient way that they make many of their own products. In fact, it was their homemade soap that motivated me to try making my own version!

Throughout the years I have grown to love the process and the benefits of a toxin free home.

The Dangers of Commercial Ingredients

Years ago I had read an article on the dangers of some of the chemicals found in commercial products. The thing was, I knew there were cancer causing ingredients as well as ingredients that were dangerous from a respiratory perspective in commercial products.

Fast forward a few years and life got real busy with 2 more little ones in the picture. I fell into buying the bulk dishwasher detergent pods at Costco because it was easy and convenient.

Do you want to know what bothered me the most? Every time I emptied the dishwasher my kids sippy cups smelt like chemicals. I KNEW I needed to find a healthier solution.

Because life was busy and for the sake of saving time, I found myself buying natural products at a premium in the grocery store.  For some reason buying natural products with less chemicals and ingredients costs almost double the price of the toxic ingredient items!

I knew it was time to start making Homemade Natural Dishwasher Detergent myself!

New Goal: Create my own Natural Homemade Detergent

Requirements for natural homemade detergent:

  1. Provide a comparable level of cleaning power without added dangerous chemicals and additives.
  2. Be cost effective and use ingredients that were easy to find or I already had at home.
  3. Easy to use and store.

Borax Free

Many DIY recipes I found online for homemade detergent contained borax and I wanted to avoid using this ingredient in my dishwasher detergent.

What is Borax?

Borax is a white, powdery substance often used in “green” cleaning products. It also goes by the names boric acid, sodium borate, sodium tetraborate or disodium tetraborate and it can be toxic.

Why would I want to avoid Borax?

Simply put, borax is a known hormone disruptor and can cause irritation to eyes and skin. In fact, it’s sometimes used to kill pests such as ants.

It is especially harmful to children and prolonged exposure can even harm the male reproductive system. Definitely not an ingredient I want to use to clean my dishes!

Homemade Natural Dishwasher Detergent Recipe

1 cup Simply Clean Washing Soda

1 cup Citric Acid

1 cup Baking Soda

1/2 cup Table Salt

Optional: 5-7 drops Lemon, Orange, or Thieves Oil (highly recommend)

Special Note: All of the above ingredients score an “A” on the EWG website!


  1. Mix all ingredients and store in an airtight container. I use a large glass mason jar like this.
  2. Use 1-2 Tablespoons per load in dishwasher compartment.
  3. If your dishes are extra dirty, place the detergent in the bottom of the dishwasher and add 2-3 drops of natural dishsoap in detergent dispenser.


It is necessary to use a rinse agent with this natural dishwasher detergent recipe and the best option is to put a small dish on the top rack right side up and add 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar.

**You may need to adjust the amount of detergent depending on what dishwasher you have or if your water is hard or soft.

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  1. Elise Smith
    January 11, 2019 / 4:51 pm

    What about a home made shampoo or shower/bath soap? Do you have a recipe?

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