I really don’t like buying dishwasher detergent, and I don’t like using it either! For one, it is expensive, and two, it leaves my dishes with a chemical scent and/or taste, which is so gross.
Since finding out about soap nuts, I’ve been on a quest to incorporate them into all my household cleaning. I use them for most tasks, but especially in the laundry room, with my own liquid laundry detergent. Now, I’ve finally figured out a DIY dishwasher detergent tab recipe that ACTUALLY works, and uses my beloved soap nuts concentrate. Believe me, I’ve tried my share of homemade dishwasher detergent recipes, and most left my dishes with a cloudy film on them. Who wants to hand wash the dishes after they’ve been through the dishwasher? Not me.
So, I’m sharing my recipe for DIY Soap Nuts Dishwasher Detergent Tabs. Aren’t you so excited? I love the use of the tabs and not just loose powder, for the sheer convenience. All I need to do is add one tab to the detergent compartment, and it’s ready to go! No measuring, no mess, no fuss! They really work and they cost just pennies to make!
This will make 12 detergent tabs. Here’s what you need:
- 2 Tbsp soap nuts concentrate (how to make it here)
- 1/4 cup washing soda (get it on Amazon)
- 1/8 cup baking soda
- 1/8 cup citric acid (or the equivalent in unsweetened lemon Kool-Aid powder)
- 1 Tbsp salt
- lemon essential oil (We use Young Living oils. For more info, click here.)
- silicone ice cube tray (like this)
- vinegar or lemon juice
- reusable container for storage
1. In a large bowl, mix together the washing soda, baking soda, citric acid and salt.
2. Add the soap nuts concentrate and stir with a wooden or plastic spoon. It will fizz dramatically, but keep stirring until the mixture looks like wet sand. If it fizzes too much, let it sit for a minute or two.
3. When it has stopped fizzing, scoop it into the ice cube tray. Press the mixture firmly into each cube.
4. Add one drop of lemon essential oil to each cube. Lemon oil is a disinfectant, and is awesome to use in the kitchen!
5. Let dry in a warm place for at least 24 hours. The top of the fridge is a great spot.
6. When they are dried, gently pop them out of the tray and store in an air tight container. The silicone ice cube trays make it easy to remove each tab, but regular ice cube trays work too.
Add one dishwasher tab to the detergent compartment of your dishwasher. On the top rack of the dishwasher, turn a dish right side up and add about 1/3 cup vinegar or lemon juice to it. This is essential, and will cut through the cloudy film that can be left on your dishes. This is especially beneficial if you have hard water.
I’ve even included a before & after pic of my dishes using this detergent. I love my sparkly dishes!