DIY All-Natural Dishwasher Soap

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Hey, friends! What a weekend! It has just been go-go-go-go. I spent some serious head-down time working on our wedding details (48 days), bloggin’ away, writing some fun content for my friends at Wax Buffalo, and attending a reunion for an old job. It was good to catch up with some old friends and also check off a lot of things that have been hanging out on my to-do list.

Earlier this week, I took some time to get some more yucky chemicals out of my house - this time in the kitchen. You may remember that I’ve been slowly working on my getting plastic and chemicals out of my bathroom, like when I made this DIY blush, stopped using bodywash, got a safety razor, and several other projects. I decided it was time to expand that radius and move into another room because I was doing some research on products I was using to clean, and I found out that the Target dishwasher soap I was using was only rated a C on the EWG Healthy Cleaning Guide. I knew I could do better, so I decided to make some DIY all-natural dishwasher soap.

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I found several recipes I knew would be more healthy alternatives, and here’s what I ended up with:


  • 2 cups of washing soda (A rating on the EWG database)
  • 1 cup of citric acid powder (food grade)
  • ½ cup of salt (yep, the same stuff you put on your food)
  • 60 drops of an essential oil good for cleaning (I used orange, but lemon and grapefruit would be good choices, too.)

It’s as easy as mixing all of these ingredients together and putting them into an air-tight container. All-in-all, this whole process took me about five minutes.

I used a jar I just had sitting around, but these are really pretty (and affordable), and I would be tempted to buy them if I didn’t already have something that worked.

What’s interesting was that I thought that my DIY all-natural dishwasher soap probably wouldn’t work as well as my old stuff, but I actually found the opposite to be true. I’ve had a lot of dishwasher issues in the past few years. The last time it needed to be repaired, the technician told me that I should only use a powder because the gel or the packets tend to clog up the piping. I found that regardless of what powder I tried, I was getting a chalky residue on some of my dishes at times. Doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence that they’re ultra-clean, right?

I haven’t found that at all with my new recipe. My dishes are coming out clean, spot-free, and dare I say, a little bit shiny. Nothing makes me happier than when my healthier products also work better!

with-the-specs | sustainable-living-blog | all-natural-dishwasher-soap

One word of caution if you’re tempted to go search for some recipes of your own: a lot of the recipes I was finding called for Borax. Borax (sodium borate), yes, is all-natural. But so is cyanide. Just because it’s from the ground doesn’t make it safe, and the EWG rates it as an “F”. So, like, worse than my Target dishwasher soap. In fact, a lot of “all-natural” cleaning recipes you’ll find online call for its use. Just be careful to research all ingredients that you’re using because not all that glitters is gold on the internet, right?

So what do you think? Do you think that you may try some DIY all-natural dishwasher soap? Do you want to see more posts with tips like this? What do you want to see next? I’m thinking we’ll switch back to fashion for a bit, but I’m game for anything! Let me know in the comments, or shoot me a note! I love hearing from you!

Until next time!