Dishwasher Detergent

Continuing along with the theme of cleaning up our homes and keeping them free of toxic chemicals, the next recipe I will post will be for dishwasher detergent.

So many conventional detergents, from powders to liquid to pods, contain several ingredients that can be toxic to our health: things like hormone disruptors, carcinogens (cancer forming), and respiratory irritants. As we put these in our dishwasher, not only to we breathe in the scent from them as the particles whiff through the air, but traces of them can be found on our dishes: the place where we put our food and the food for our children.

So, finding a non-toxic alternative is important to our overall health and well-being. And remember, as discussed earlier, it is never just “one thing”. Cleaning up our home involves looking at every chemical product that we bring in to it, because all together, from our toilet bowl cleaner to our laundry detergent to what we use in our kitchen, they all add up together to create a chemical storm within our homes.

The original recipe is by Katie at Wellness Mama.


Dishwasher Detergent

2 parts borax

2 parts washing soda

1 part citric acid

1 part sea salt

Essential oils for scent (opt.)


Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container. Add 1 Tbs. per dishwasher load.


Here’s the ratios I used:

1 cup borax

1 cup washing soda

½ cup citric acid

½ cup sea salt

5-10 drops of Thieves essential oil (good for additional antibacterial action)


I combined all of the ingredients in a quart Mason jar with a tight lid and then shook to mix it thoroughly.

You may use white vinegar as a rinse agent, but it is not necessary.



~ Alicia


2 Replies to “Dishwasher Detergent”

    1. You can buy super washing soda from the store (Arm and Hammer carries it; I found it in the laundry section). Or you could make your own. A recipe that I use for homemade washing soda is:

      Take a 9×13 baking pan. Spread a thin layer of baking soda in the pan.
      Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake baking soda for an hour. Stir to mix, and then bake for another hour or so (until the color is dull and yellowish).

      If you use a glass pan, it takes about 2 hours. A stone or metal pan takes less time.

      Washing soda is caustic and NOT edible. Make sure you label your baking soda separately to avoid using washing soda in place of baking soda 🙂


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