I have for a long time it seems been trying to figure out a great recipe for a homemade dishwasher detergent! I hate spending tons of money on quality dishwasher detergents and it not any better when I spend less and buy a dishwasher detergent that clumps or clogs my dishwasher, leaves white residue, or simply does not get my dishes clean!
I’ve tried all kinds of combinations of baking sodas, salts, and different citrus components. The only thing I do not add to my dishwasher detergent and never experimented with is using borax. I use borax in my homemade laundry detergent but never in my dishwasher detergent. Why? There is a lot of discussion surrounding just how safe borax is to use in household cleaners. One side of the argument is that it is a completely safe ingredient the other is that it is a highly toxic and dangerous ingredient.
Here are the facts about borax:
When you google the question: Is borax safe?
Answer: Studies have not been done in humans regarding this; however, potential reproductive issues in mice are suspected from high levels of (ingested) borax. Borax is acutely toxic in the same manner that salt is (in rats, it’s 4500-5000 mg/kg of body weight, which is A LOT).
Just to be safe I choose not to use borax in my dishwasher detergent because we eat off those plates, bowls, cups, and silverware. I do however use borax in my laundry detergent because borax is a very good water softener which aids in both the cleaning of the clothes and the removal of stains.
Now lets make some dishwasher detergent!
1 Cup Baking Soda
1 Cup Super Washing Soda
1 Cup Kosher Salt
1/3 Cup Lemi Shine ( or you could use citric acid )
10-20 drips lemon essential oil
Mix all the ingredients together in an airtight container. When you are ready to run your dishwasher use 1 TBSP of dishwasher detergent per load. I always have a very full dishwasher every day with my family of 5 and 1 TBSP get everything nice and clean. I also run my dishwasher with a “high water heat” setting to make sure everything is sterilized.
You can also add a cup of white vinegar to either your rinse dispenser, the bottom of your dishwasher, or in a bowl in the top rack of your dishwasher. This will work as a fantastically affordable and safe rinse aid in cleaning your dishes!