Going Chewie: Making your own Dishwashing Detergent

For this installment of Going Chewie, I am going to talk about my experience making my own dishwasher detergent!

It all started on one fateful day (the day before yesterday) when I was pouring the last of my Seventh Generation Dishwashing Detergent into the little cup thingy that the soap goes in… yes I know, I’m full of technical terms right now.

When everybody else does their crunchy look what I did posts, they come complete with pictures and what not. I am not that fancy, simply because it is too much work, and I’m currently writing during naptime. Most of my posts are more of an “oh hey, I did this.. I should blog about it” rather then a well thought out preconceived plan to teach others of the greatness of making their own things. I should probably work on this… (the exception to this rule is my new blogging series My Female Gaming Role Models)

Anyway, instead of wanting to rush out and buy some more.. I decided to try and make my own. It cant be that hard right? I mean I made my own citrus vinegar! (its really easy, take peels from citrus fruit, add vinegar, let sit for a while)….

So I did what any self respecting new crunchy mama would do.. consult the internets!

I’m lazy, so I picked the first link I came across on making your own dishwashing detergent.  These people are great. They have written instructions, pictures, cost break down.. the works…

So I headed off to Walmart to acquire my quest items..


Washing Soda

Citric Acid

Kosher Salt

These items are used in a magnitude of do it yourself home cleaners and even dry laundry soap! In the end, I should have these things on hand anyway. (Since become a mostly stay at home mom, I find myself looking to save on cost. Making things yourself is an amazing way to save.)

I was so excited to try this out I already had a dishwasher full of dirty dishes to try this out on…

Here is the recipe:

1 cup Borax

1 cup Washing Soda

1/2 cup Citric Acid

1/2 cup Kosher Salt

I put the items in a giant bowl and whisked them together. The mixing of the powder stung my nose a little more than I expected, i’m assuming because of the Citric Acid, but who knows.

I had read that the detergent has a tendency to clump together due to the citric acid, and that adding a marshmallow to the container would combat that.. I used rice. I just poured a layer of rice into my glass jar first, and then added the whisked mixture on top. I will update on clumpiness, after a couple days.

The recipe says you only need 1 tbsp, perhaps a little more if you have hard water, which I do. I was a little skeptical, but I went with it.. (YOLO or something right?)

I. was. so. excited. My dishes were super clean! No weird smell! No weird spots! I will honestly never go back to buying detergent (or anything for that matter if i can help it)

side note: I sometimes “prewash” my dishes before I put them in the dishwasher, like anything crusty or sticky, so I can’t tell you how well this stuff scrubs dishes. Its a thing my mom used to do.. and I made fun of her for.. a lot.. I’m sorry mom.. I love you.

side side note: I use white vinegar in my jet dry hole thing as a rinse. This also works awesome!

Have you ever made your own dish washing detergent? What did you think?


*Update* The second batch I made, this time I left it on the counter open, and stirred it a couple times a day. Nothing to routine, just whenever I thought about it, and NO CLUMPING! 

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