Homemade dishwasher soap?
Of course! This recipe is made from less caustic ingredients than many of the dishwasher detergents you’ll find on the supermarket shelf.
What’s wrong with store bought dishwasher soap?
Some name-brand dishwasher detergents contain some pretty nasty ingredients.
The Environmental Working Group rates skin care and home cleaning products, ranking each based on their combined ingredients. (You can check your favorite brand here.)
They take both environmental and human impacts into account. Just one example?
Cascade Complete Powder Dishwashing Detergent is of “highest concern” and given an “F” based on its ingredients.
With ingredients like methylisothiazolinone, surfactants, oxygen bleach, hydrozincite, and polyacrylates, some of these dishwasher detergents are an unpronounceable collection of toxins.
Making your own homemade dishwasher soap is an easy way to avoid some of those harsh ingredients.
Is borax safe?
That’s kind of the million dollar question when it comes to making homemade cleaning products like homemade laundry or homemade dishwasher soap.
This homemade dishwasher soap recipe does include borax.
Borax is a natural ingredient, also known as sodium tetraborate.
It’s mined from the earth.
Even natural ingredients can be dangerous, though. (Hello, poisonous mushrooms!)
Borax can be a skin irritant for some people and (obviously, I hope?) it shouldn’t be ingested.
It can cause eye irritation and respiratory issues if inhaled.
You should definitely use caution when working with borax to avoid exposure to airborne particles and prevent it from touching your skin.
I do use borax in my homemade cleaning products.
While there are some potential risks associated with using borax, I mitigate most of them by using caution.
Of course, as they say, your mileage may vary. Only you can decide if you’re comfortable using borax in your homemade dishwasher soap or other DIY cleaning supplies.
Homemade dishwasher soap ingredients
The remaining ingredients include washing soda, baking soda, salt (either Epsom or table salt), and essential oils.
You can use white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar, but take a moment to read these concerns about the vinegar you choose.
Homemade dishwasher soap tablets
- 1 cup washing soda (In the laundry aisle at the grocery store)
- 1 cup borax (In the laundry aisle at the grocery store)
- 1/3 cup baking soda
- 1/2 cup Epsom salt or table salt
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 15 drops of essential oil (citrus is good)
- Ice cube tray or silicone mold
- Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, making sure to break up any chunks.
- Add essential oil.
- Stir in vinegar. It will fizz a bit. That is just the vinegar reacting with the baking soda. (Remember those volcano experiments in school?!)
- Continue stirring until well-combined. The mixture should hold its shape when squeezed it in your hand.
- Press firmly into ice cube tray or mold.
- Allow to dry completely, then remove from molds. Store in an air tight container.
Note: These images show homemade dishwasher soap tablets made with a bit of food coloring for photography purposes.