My least favorite chore has always been doing dishes. Always. So you can imagine that my most favorite appliance is our dishwasher. Yes, sweet relief! This recipe for Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Tabs takes this miserable household task and actually makes it a joy.
Replace the toxic chemicals that you might currently use in your dishwasher (like I did until very recently) and replace them with natural ingredients. And, the basic ingredients are so easy to find! Most of us can find the main ingredient in the detergent aisle of our grocery store.
To make this even better, we add citrus fresh essential oil blend to create a clean and refreshing aromatherapy session. Get your dishes clean while adding the uplifting burst of citrus fresh essential oil in your kitchen. That’s enough to brighten anyone’s day!
You might be thinking (as I did) that natural cleaners can’t work as well as chemicals. That’s just not true in this case. My dishwasher routine gets dishes clean and glasses clear every time.
I started using a powdered homemade dishwasher detergent for a few months and the results were wonderful. I used a recipe without Borax because I wanted to avoid any possible concerns with that product. The only part I didn’t love about the powder detergent was the daily measuring to put the detergent in the dispenser.
I guess I’m a little messy, too, because I spilled a few sprinkles more than once when I was loading the dishwasher detergent. This made me really miss my store bought dishwasher tabs for their convenience.
That’s when it hit me to try and transform the dry mix into tabs. Boom! It works. It takes a little patience (while you wait for the mixture to dry) but it saves money in the long-run. We love this natural dishwasher detergent tab recipe in our house.
The key to this recipe’s success is the square silicone pan. The dishwasher tabs get formed into the perfect size for the detergent compartment on my dishwasher and they pop out of the mold in a snap!New to essential oils? Learn more about how we use them and why you should use them as well.
Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Tabs
- 1 1/4 cups Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
- 3 tablespoons salt
- 45 drops citrus fresh essential oil
- 1/2 cup water
- Combine all ingredients in a glass bowl. Stir with a stainless steel spoon.
- Add mixture to the square silicone mold. Allow to dry completely. I set mine out in the warm garage for 48 hours to make sure it’s completely dry.
- Store in airtight container away from direct sunlight.
- Makes 16 dishwasher tabs.
Do these really work?
Our awesome reader, Shannon says:
What’s the Secret?
Now here’s the two-step secret to really clean dishes and clear glasses every time. (I am so impressed by how well this works):
- Place 1 detergent tab in your machine’s detergent dispenser.
- Add 1/2 cup vinegar into the rinsing agent area before starting. This will help with the final rinse to keep residue from building up on your glasses. You probably won’t have to fill this every time. I check to make sure my rinsing agent compartment is full about once a week.
- I’ve seen some people say that they place a cup of vinegar in the top rack of the dishwasher instead. If that works for you, then great! I place vinegar in the rinse dispenser because it releases it at just the right time in the cycle to work its magic.
- Some people find that adding another tablespoon of salt into the bottom of their dishwasher really helps with the pre-rinse process. Your water might be harder or softer than mine and this can help with hard water tremendously.
- If you have residue on your dishes, you might try adding a teaspoon of citric acid into the detergent compartment with each load. I don’t think I’d advise adding it to the tab recipe because it will be very messy when it reacts with the water.
- I store these homemade dishwasher detergent tabs in a container in my washroom away from direct sunlight. Direct light can deteriorate the essential oils over time. Choose a dark location or a dark container for storage.
Our awesome reader, Molly, says:
Tried them and I’m sold! I used Tangerine EO because I was out of Citrus Fresh. I can’t say it did an “amazing” job, but it certainly did as good a job if not slightly better than the name brands we have been using. We have really hard water and have had a big challenge with the dishwasher. I did add extra salt to the bottom of the dishwasher as you suggested to someone else above.
This recipe for Dishwasher Detergent Tabs goes perfectly with our Make & Take Printable Packs Set #2: Kitchen & Laundry Cleaning!
The Kitchen & Laundry Cleaning pack features only essential oils from the Premium Starter Kit, making it easy for your friends and family to get going with their new oils!
- Dishwasher Powder Detergent
- Liquid Dish Soap
- Foaming Hand Soap
- Liquid Laundry Detergent