Homemade Natural Dishwasher Detergent

We have been looking for quite some time for a good homemade natural dishwasher detergent. I have made recipes that came very close, but either they wouldn’t clean our dishes very well or leave a cloudy residue on our dishes no matter what rinse agent we tried.

Well, we finally found the perfect recipe!

Today, I’ll show you how to make your very own homemade natural dishwasher liquid, for pennies a load! (see the cost breakdown below)

Here is what you will need:



  • 3 Cups of Water (Tap worker works fine!)
  • 1 1/4 Cups of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (Not Baking Soda!)
  • 3 Tbs Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap (We use Peppermint and it smells amazing!) Do not substitute with other castille soaps- they are not the same
  • Regular Quart Mason Jar with a Lid

This will yield about 825 ml, approximately 56 loads.


Add the water to the mason jar and add the Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap.

Slowly add the Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (lump free), a little at a time while stirring to give it a chance to dissolve or it might overflow.

When all of the washing soda has been added, I use a hand held blender to blend all the ingredients well or if you don’t have a hand held blender, put the lid on the jar  and screw the band on tightly. Shake vigorously to blend all of the ingredients well.  We bought our hand held blender at Value Village for $4.99 and use it specifially for homemade soaps and detergents.


Invert the jar.  Do not skip this step or leave overnight or you may end up with a solid block at the bottom of your jar that you can’t get out!


Leave it upside down for at least an hour, then use your hand held blender or shake vigorously again. Put it back on the counter, still inverted (same reasons as above.)

After another hours or so, open the jar and it should be gelled, like so:


Tap the jar lightly on the counter to get the gelled detergent down to the bottom of the jar. Use the hand held blender and whip for a minute or so until all the ingredients are well blended and smooth and creamy. It will look like this:


I used a funnel to put my detergent into a recycled squeeze bottle and added a label that you download here: Canning/Jar Labels.


Rinse Agent: Use a rinse aid such as Jet Dry –  I have tried to use vinegar, and a combination of vinegar and lemon juice with no success.  I am still on the lookout for the perfect homemade natural rinse aid  (leave a comment if you have a good recipe to share!)

For those with Normal Water: Use 1 Tablespoon per load of dishes.  

For those with Soft Water: Use 2 teaspoons per Load.


Cost Breakdown

Arm & Hammer Washing Soda: 3KG box = 15 cups – $6.99 box = 0.47 per cup= $0.58 for 1 1/4 cups

Dr Bronner’s Peppermint Soap:  44ml = 3TBS – $16.99 for 944ml = $0.18/ml = $0.79 for 3 Tbs.

Total Cost: $1.26 per 56 Loads = About .02¢ per load

Stay tuned for my post on making Homemade Natural Laundry Soap once my supply runs out in a few weeks time.


5 thoughts on “Homemade Natural Dishwasher Detergent

  1. I want to try this recipe but unfortunately my hand blender won’t fit into the regular jar 😦 I hope it will still work if I’ll make it in the wide mouth jar.

  2. Hi Weronika,

    I’ve seen similar recipes that ask that screw on the lid and band tightly and shake the contents in the jar thoroughly until it’s completely dissolved /mixed. You will probably end up with a more gritty detergent, but it’s washing power should be the same.

    Good luck!


  3. I made this last night and am anxious to try it. I had used Washing soda in a previous dry recipe and it left my dishes very filmy so I’m hoping this is different. I have two separate trays in my dishwasher – would you split the liquid between both trays or just fill one? Also, I am on a harder, well water – so no chlorine. Do you think that will make a difference?

    • Hi Melissa,

      My previous attempts had the same results – white filmy residue. This recipe doesn’t do that unless you put too much soap. My son was very liberal with the with the squeeze bottle soap (adding about 2 Tbs) in one load and our dishes did end up a bit cloudy. We fixed that quickly by adding a drop of Dawn to our soap in the next few loads.

      I put my detergent only in the wash tray and nothing in the pre-wash tray.

      With your hard water, would suggest that you start with the 1 Tbs, making sure you have a good rinse aid (Jet Dry works well for us) and see how that works for you. If it doesn’t give you the results you want, you may need to add some Kosher salt to your recipe. I would start with adding 1/4 cup of powdered Kosher salt (pulse it in the blender).

      Let me know how it worked out for you!

      • Thanks! I will do that! I have been using white vinegar as a rinse with my current eco friendly dish liquid and it works much better than Jet Dry, so I’m hopeful that this will do the trick. I’ll let you know what happens. 🙂

        Also, I honestly don’t know how you got all this in the size jar you showed above! I used a much larger pickle jar I had on hand and it still got foamy and crazy while I was mixing it!

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