Perfectly Practical #116 - Homemade Dishwashing Detergent

Everyone wants to know 3 things about any of my homemade cleaners: 

1.  Is it cheaper? 
2.  How long does it take to make? 
3.  Does it work?

Because Engineer is included in that generic everyone, I do have to justify homemade vs. store bought. 

For some things I do actually buy and prefer store bought cleaners.  For the most part, we go all natural frugal homemade recipes for cleaners.

I like natural and I like inexpensive but I do NOT like black grout so I buy some nasty stuff to take care of the situation and we evacuate the building.  I am not ashamed...mainly because I do not have black grout.

White grout = happy 
Black smelly grout with fur = sad 

That being said, here is a detergent that is cheaper, super quick to make, and works well for us - homemade dishwasher detergent.  You may find that you need to tweak the ratio of the ingredients due to the hardness of your water.  Oh, and don't forget to add vinegar as your rinse aid.

*Warning*  Do not use this detergent when washing sterling in the dishwasher or any metallic rimmed dishes or glasses.  The citric acid will discolor them. 

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

2c. Borax
2c. Washing Soda
2 Packets Unsweetened Lemonade Kool-Aid*
1/2c. Salt

Mix everything together and put in a jar.  Shake before each use.  If it begins to clump together, just use a spoon to break it up.

To use put 1 Tbs. of mixture in the detergent holder, receptacle, pocket, storage facility, holding bay, what do you call that thing?

*I have also used 2 Tbs. citric acid instead of the Kool-Aid and that works as well.

And to answer your questions:
  1. Is it cheaper?  Yes.
  2. How long does it take to make?  About 1 minute, 3 if you don't have everything handy.
  3. Does it work?  It works for us.  :)

This is part of Works for Me Wednesday.


  1. I'm with you on the black grout :)! This isn't a homemade cleaner I've seen before, and I'm excited to give it a go. I really like your canning jar storage, too!

    1. Oh Ms. Kristen, EVERYTHING is stored in a canning jar around here for safekeeping and preserving...if only the kid fit in one...

  2. As a working mother of 5 children, I try give Pary Moppins a lovingly hard time about making nearly everything from scratch. Just the other night I was complaining about the cost of soy yogurt, when I jokingly said, "don't tell me I can make that at home too". To which she replied yes you can. So that is next....I just made the dishwashing detergent and yes it is truly simple. I added a small bit of food coloring to the vinegar for the rinse aid, so that I can tell when it is getting low. Hopefully my dishes wont come out green.:)

    Thank you for the encouragement to try making it at home!!

    1. You are so welcome Ms. Misty! Absolutely anytime. :)


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