I’ve been battling with my dishwasher for almost two years. It was simply not getting my dishes clean anymore.
I tried all the commercially available detergents (both powder and liquid, healthy and non-healthy), the rinse aids like Jet Dry (rates an “F” at ewg.org for unhealthy ingredients) and Wavejet (rates a “C” at ewg.org). My glasses had a film on them, my plates weren’t clean, and the filter at the bottom of my dishwasher was filled with a gray film.
After I cleaned the inside of my dishwasher, I set about to find a recipe to make my own dishwasher detergent. One that would work with the hard water that we find ourselves with here in California, thank you very much.
I prefer to use the liquid kind of dishwasher detergent over powder because most of the powder recipes clump up and leave a residue, not to mention they use Borax as an ingredient.
After much testing, here’s what I found that leaves my dishes sparkling and my dishwasher free of residue!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 cup liquid castile soap, unscented (I get my castile soap from Thrive Market.)
- 1 cup washing soda (I get my washing soda from here.)
- **20-30 drops essential oil
- 2 large Glass jars with lids (or half this recipe to fit into 1 large Glass jar)
**Some great choices are lemon, wild orange, or lime essential oils.
Note: I used sea salt in a previous version of this recipe, but found that the sea salt caused the detergent to lump up, so I omitted it and am very pleased with the results.
I get my Certified Organic essential oils from here. Each batch is independently tested for quality and purity.
- In a small saucepan, bring water to boiling and then reduce to low heat.
- Add the washing soda using a whisk.
- Remove from the heat once the soda is dissolved.
- After about 3 minutes, add the essential oils and the castile soap.
- When completely cooled, it may separate into two layers. Shake it really well before each use. If it gets too hard to shake, blend it in a blender so that it is frothy and stays mixed.
- Fill the detergent compartment with this solution. I use a spoon because it’s kinda gelatinous, kinda liquid.
- Add white vinegar to your rinse aid compartment in place of commercial rinse aids or use my homemade Rinse Aid recipe. Don’t skip this step!
Load your dishwasher with the confidence that your dishes will be clean and sparkling and no toxic residue.
Note: Some recipes I researched called for adding vinegar to the detergent mixture, but I found that Dr. Bronner’s, maker of castile soap, suggests that the vinegar will counteract their soap (as will lemon juice, but not lemon essential oil). So use the vinegar only as a rinse aid.
If you have hard water, you may find that you still get water spots or even a grayish film on your dishes. You might need the extra boost of a product like Lemi Shine (I had never heard of this product before), so here’s my 2 ingredient recipe for Homemade Lemi Shine.
Here’s your simple change for the day: Make your own healthy liquid dishwasher detergent.
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Simple Changes Healthy Results is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Simple Changes Healthy Results is also an affiliate for Thrive Market receiving a small commission for new memberships.