Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Tabs

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Lately though, I’ve been intrigued by the idea of making our own cleaning supplies. From what I’ve read, it seems like homemade cleaners are easy to make, save money and are eco-friendly. Those are all things I like! They are also mostly un-scented, which is good because I’m kinda weird about scents.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to be rendering fat for homemade soap or anything like that! And I will still keep a can of Lysol wipes in the house for the really germy stuff.
Here is the recipe I tried for homemade dishwasher tabs. It’s a combination of several recipes I found around the internet.

Recipe makes 15 cubes:

  • 1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
  • 1 cup Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vinegar for each wash cycle

I combined the borax and washing soda in a large bowl and then added the vinegar, which made a sand-like mixture. Then I packed the mixture into a silicone ice cube tray and set it on the kitchen counter to dry. Whenever I was nearby (pouring my coffee or putting dishes away) I gave each square an extra press to make sure it was well packed. After twenty four hours, the cubes were dried solid and popped out of the tray easily.

As it turns out, the cubes were too big for the detergent compartment in our dishwasher (doh!) I tried to saw one in half with a kitchen knife, but those suckers were dried solid! So I just put one into a compartment of the silverware holder, added about 1/2 a cup of vinegar into the bottom of the dishwasher and hoped for the best. After two rounds of clean dishes, I feel comfortable saying this worked pretty darn well.

So, what’s the cost break-down?
One wash requires about 8 cents worth of liquid vinegar plus the cube of detergent. My 4 lb. boxes of borax and washing soda were about 3.50 each, and this recipe barely made a dent in them. So, maybe 12 cents per wash? The last time I bought dishwasher packs they were about 20 cents each, so I think this is a win.  PLUS these are safer and less chemical-y.

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Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Tabs