Thursday, January 5, 2012

Homemade Dish Washing Detergent

So in an effort to save money this year I thought I would make my own dish washing detergent. I was a hardcore couponer, when we lived in Atlanta so cleaning items were often free or almost free, I built enough of a stock pile that I only had to buy dish washing detergent once  during 2011. I bought the super cheap stuff because I was shocked at the regular price of the kind I liked. 12 washes for $7! Unfortunately the super cheapo kind also didn't clean very well- my dishes weren't sparkly, and they always smelled like bleach- which I guess I should had found comforting.
So since I am not as avid a couponer as I used to be-- mostly because the coupon values are so much lower in this state's paper than the AJC, but I have to pay the same for a Sunday paper- I am going to try making my own cleaning supplies to save money. 
Dish washing detergent is first. I researched a lot of different recipes, and this one sounded like one of the most common combinations. 
You will need: Baking Soda, Borax, Epson or Sea Salt, and a container.
 combine 2 cups of baking soda
 2 cups of borax
 and 1/2 a cup of epson salt in a bowl and stir. 
 then pour the contents in your container.
Use 1/2 tablespoon in the closed part and 1/2 Tbs in the open part. Add 1 teaspoon - 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to the rinse aid place, or the bottom of your dishwasher to help your glasses look shiny. 
***** many recipes I read called for lemon koolaide or citric acid, but I chose to leave this ingredient out because: did you know that citrus (lemon or orange) in your dish detergent is what etches glass and flatware over time. Most people assume this cloudiness or dull is caused from old age, but it can be completely avoided by not using lemon dish detergent. It has been banned in my parent's house my whole life- and is not allowed in my house either. 
so how did it work? I was impressed, all my dishes came out clean, and 2 clear plastic cups went from being translucent to transparent and looked brand new. so I am impressed. I am going to try using less, I will let you know how that works out. 

So will it actually save us money?
baking soda: 4lbs - $2.12
Borax: 4lbs - $3.38
Epson Salt- I already had it for aches and pains. 
Total cost $5.50 will make 8lbs of dish detergent. Which should make about 256 washes if I use 1 tbs per washing.
White Vinegar: $2.38 - 1 gallon = 256 tablespoons, which works out well. 
So for $7.88 I will have enough dish detergent to wash for 1 year: if we wash dishes 4-5 days per week, which works out well for our little 2 person family.


  1. Please bring me a sample. I'd like to try your Bramsey brand. <3

  2. What is the white vinegar for?

    1. You add it as a rinse aid, to keep your glasses from being spotty or cloudy. It is totally optional though.

  3. I've used a variation of this but minus Epson salts, and plus 1/2cup of vinegar. Glasses are still a bit cloudy. I am eager to try this recipe. Thanks

  4. As for rinse aid.....I have hard water, so vinegar alone don't work we'll. so had to use lemi shine.

  5. i've always used a liquid dishwasher detergent. Can I use this?, and does this go in the liquid area? It makes me nervous.

    1. Yes it goes in the little compartment where you put the liquid and close the door. Some old dish washers had a space for some dry powder outside, and some inside. If your dishwasher is older you can try halfing the amount between each compartment and see if you get a better/worse/different clean (Mine only has the one closed door part, so I'm not sure how that open part works- prewash maybe?). These ingredients dissolve in hot water, so it will become liquid during the wash cycle. Don't be scared!
      If you don't like it, Borax and baking soda are great for cleaning bathrooms and grimy shoes, and toys- so you can use it as a sub for abrasive cleaner- no waste :)


Thank you for stopping by! Please leave a comment, it'll make my day! I will try my best to respond promptly if you have a question.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...