DIY Powdered Dishwasher Detergent

DIY Powdered Dishwashing Detergent

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that you can make your own dishwashing detergent and if you are making your own liquid laundry detergent then you have almost all the ingredients on hand anyways.  Once again, killing the two birds with one stone.

Where I had really no definitive recipe towards the liquid laundry detergent I did use one almost exclusively for the dishwashing detergent.  You can find the recipe here at  I did make one extra adjustment, just to see if it changed anything. I had some Dr. Brommers Peppermint Pure Castile Soap from one of my Wegmans shopping trips so I added about a tablespoon to the powder and mixed it in thoroughly.  While the powder now smells nice and minty, it did not do anything to the finished product.  The dishes just smell clean but not minty.   Lesson learned.  It does not make any difference if I add scent to the powder.  It doesn't affect the finished product. (Finished product = Clean Dishes)
Now I must say, other than laundry detergent, dishwashing detergent is one of our other big expenses. Especially this time of year, when we're canning, preserving, drying, freezing and what not.
We tend to run our dishwasher at least 7 to 10 times a week during the summer so we go through a LOT of dishwashing detergent.  It most definitely does not help that we have a super small dishwasher in this military house!

So if you are interested here is the recipe.

DIY Homemade Dishwashing Detergent

1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda
1/2 cup citric acid
1/2 cup kosher salt

Now, one other note.  I used the citric acid I had on hand for canning, so this current batch probably cost a bit more.
In the future I will be going with Now Foods Citric Acid on

Now, like I did in the DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent.  Here's the Economics of this.

Borax (76oz box) $3.38 (Used 8oz or 1 cup.  This means we will get approximately 9.5 batches.  Equals .42¢ per batch)
Washing Soda(55 oz) $3.24 (Used 8oz or 1 cup. This means we will get approximately 6.87 batches. Equals .40¢ per batch)
Citric Acid (7.5 oz) 4.99 (Used 4 oz or 1/2 cup.  This means we will get almost two batches of this.  Equals approximately 2.49 per batch)
Kosher Salt (48 oz) 1.99 (Used 4 oz or 1/2 cup.   This means we will get approximately 12 batches from this.  Equals .16 per batch)
Castile Soap (added this time only, will never add again as it is a waste, so I'm not going to throw the number in here.  Lets keep this simple, shall we?)

Each batch will cost $3.47 to make.  We use approximately a tablespoon of detergent normally so this will last about 48 loads.
Total cost of each load will be .07

We used to use Seventh Generation Dishwasher Pacs.  Those cost us at the grocery store $4.80.  That was if we did not have a coupon which are pretty rare to find around here.
Total cost of each load was .22

.07 vs .22

Yet again, Wow!

I can see this cost savings adding up!  No more buying expensive dishwashing detergent for me!  Also, just a FYI, this really did not take up much time.  Maybe around 15 minutes total and that was spent measuring out each ingredient and then simply mixing them.  What probably added an extra 5 minutes was the time spent incorporating the castile soap fully into the dry powder.  Never again will I do that!

March 7th Update
Okay while I admit I still am totally in love with homemade laundry detergent we didn't stick with the homemade dishwasher detergent. Reason? 
The stuff sticks in the container and we got a horrible ashy grime like coating all over our dishes after continuing for about 2 or 3 months.  Yuck.  
I have heard some say to just use washing soda and salt.  Some say use use unsweetened lemonade to be used in place of the citric acid.  
I'll be trying out many different ways here soon to hopefully figure this one  .  
We go through dish washing detergent like crazy and honestly, I'm tired of seeing our money pouring down the dishwashers drain.  

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