You want to make your own dishwasher detergent that is completely natural? I love sharing how to frugally care for your family, so here it goes! This recipe is frugal and works beautifully. I have found that is washes away all film much better than my previous recipe that contained borax. It may be because this is a liquid detergent and dissolves more easily in the dishwasher.
1/2 cup Dr Bronner’s Sal Suds (a balanced biodegradable formulation of natural derived surfactants with natural fir pine needle oil)
1/2 cup water
1 tsp lemon juice
3 drops tea tree oil
1/2 cup white vinegar
Combine all ingredients and store in a covered container. A glass quart jar with lid works perfectly. Use approximately 1 Tbsp per load. Try experimenting with the quantities of soap depending upon the hardness of your water. In the NW, the water is very hard, so the 1/2 cup Sal Suds works for me.
UPDATE: I originally tried this recipe with Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds and found it more concentrated and has a far more effective cleansing power than standard castile soap (and far cheaper as well – two 32 oz bottles for $16). Sal Suds works effectively for all household cleaning as well (including in homemade laundry detergent). It does contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), but they give full disclosure of their ingredient as follows:
SLS -This surfactant cuts grease and dirt, generates copious suds, and biodegrades quickly and completely. SLS is made by combining a sulfate group with lauryl alcohol from coconut oil, then attaching sodium. If improperly formulated, SLS can irritate skin, but our superb formula uses coconut oil betaine and lauryl glucoside to counter this.
This recipe makes enough detergent for approximately 12-15 loads, costing $0.05-0.06 per load.
You can also use this recipe for dishwashing soap as well – simply dilute it with additional water. 3-4 cups of additional water should be about right. I add enough water to fill up a large 32 oz spray bottle and use that to spray down my dishes. You conserve a lot more soap by using a spray bottle!
Enjoy your clean dishes!
That’s my frugal tip for the day!