Saturday, January 14, 2012

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

***** UPDATE (1/31/12) FOUND HERE *****

I finally made the dishwasher detergent.  I have only ran one load so far and am satisfied.  I always rinse my dishes before putting them in the dishwasher (which I know many people think is ridiculous).  It really is better for your dishwasher.  All the food particles get trapped in the dishwasher, see my previous post about cleaning your dishwasher HERE.  I also use white vinegar as a rinse aid instead of the ultra expensive products like jet dry.  All my dishes came out clean and smelled lemony fresh.  Everything sparkled and there were not any spots on anything.  I will post another update in a month to let you know how I feel about the product after using it longer, but so far I am happy. 

You only need 4 ingredients to make your detergent and they all can be found at Walmart.  Borax and washing soda (found in the laundry isle), salt (I used regular table salt, but many say to use kosher), and LemiShine (found by the dish soap).  I found the recipe HERE and she also has a recipe for making these into little packets, which I will definitely try next time! 

The items you need to make your detergent

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent
1 Cup Borax
1 Cup Washing Soda
1/2 Cup Salt
1/2 Cup LemiShine (use 1 cup if you have hard water)

Just toss everything in a bowl and mix it well.  Then store it in a container.  The recipe will clump so I tossed in a silica gel packet (the things in the box when you buy shoes) to prevent it from clumping.  I was fortunate, I went shopping with a friend who just moved here and needed just about everything and one of the baskets she bought had one in there.  I snatched it up and she said she would save any she finds for me :)

I used a hairdryer to loosen the sticker from my old Cascade container, tossed the homemade dishwasher detergent and silica gel pack  in there, and then put a pretty label on it with the recipe and instructions.  Easy peasy! 

We know how to make the detergent and how to use it, but what about the price?  Let's look at the breakdown:

1 cup Borax - 37 cents
1 cup Washing Soda - 50 cents
1/2 cup LemiShine - $1.22
1/2 cup Salt - 13 cents

Total Cost: $2.22

Each load takes 1 TBS so when I added them to the container I counted out each one out and I had exactly 50.  That means each load is only $0.04!  That is an AMAZING savings!  To give you an example I checked today's prices on Amazon for subscribe and save on some of the most popular dishwasher detergents.  Here is what I found:

Cascade Action Pacs 85 count - $15.27 or $0.18/load
Cascade Powder Detergent - $4.91 or $0.14/load
Finish PowerBall Tabs 60 count - $10.12 or $0.17/load

And if you go one step further and add vinegar as the rinse aid instead of the popular ones on the market you will see really great savings.  One gallon (128 oz) of vinegar $2.38  or $0.02/oz and when I checked Amazon this is what I found:

Cascade Rinse Aid 30.5 oz: $11.62 or $0.38/oz
Finish Rinse Aid 16.9 oz: $4.51 or $0.27/oz
Jet Dry 16 oz: $8.23 or $0.51/oz

Those are some great savings!  I hope this detergent continues to work and I will post another update after I have used this more.  So far so good...hopefully this continues!  Don't forget to find My Road to Savings on facebook or twitter to stay updated on the tips, tricks, and deals that I find!


  1. wow! Thanks..we run our dishwasher 2x/day!! I use vinegar as a rinse for my laundry but never thought of the dishes, thanks!

    1. Glad I could help! I recently started using vinegar and it was one of those duh! moments for me. It just makes so much sense and I feel much better about what is being used to clean our dishes :)

  2. wow superb post
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    1. Thank you! I am a follower of your blog as well :)

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  4. What a great idea!! Thanks for sharing at my party!


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