16 Thrifty Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Recipes

[New! Updated with recipes shared by readers] Have you run out of dishwashing detergent and you’re in a pinch to run a load until you can get to the store and buy some more? Or are you looking to whip up a few batches to save yourself a bit money? This is the page you’re looking for!

SprayI have a few DIY/homemade mixes you can try (for both powder and liquid versions), as well as some rinse agent suggestions to help get dishes sparkling clean.

I’ve also updated the page with plenty of tips, recipes and advice shared by readers.

This article is over 12 years old and still going strong with feedback from those who have tried these out, made some tweaks and did some troubleshooting…lots of good information here for you to browse through, have fun!

C. = cup; TBS = Tablespoon; tsp = teaspoon

Powder Versions


1 C. Washing Soda
1 C. Borax


1 C. Baking Soda
1 C. Borax

For the above two mixes:

  • Blend thoroughly and store in a plastic container, use approximately 2 TBS per load.
  • Use vinegar in the rinse compartment as an agent to help prevent residue.
  • Try adding 2-3 drops essential oil.


1/4 C. Washing Soda
1 TBS Liquid Dish Soap

Use the above for each load you run.


1 part baking soda
1 part borax
1 part water
1 drop lemon or orange essential oil per cup of detergent

  • Mix the ingredients thoroughly and store in a sealable jug.
  • Use 2 to 3 TBS per load.

Dealing With Residue

If you’re having a cloudy residue problem::

  • Try adding a few drops of liquid dishsoap to the detegent compartment when you add the powder (just 2 or 3 drops will do).
  • You could also try cutting back on the amount used (ie. if you’re using 2 TBS, try cutting it back to 1 – 1 1/2 TBS).
  • Make sure to use vinegar in the rinse cycle.

Updates & Troubleshooting Tips

Update #1: There are several comments from readers reporting both success and problems (namely complaining about cloudy residue issues). I don’t know why there’s a discrepancy, but it may have something to do with water temperature (not hot enough) or water quality (too hard, etc.). My dishwasher is still going strong with no problems, items are consistently clean with no trace left behind and it’s about 20 years old–good old Maytag!

Because these recipes are at least 20 years old (I’m going from memory here), the problem might be isolated to newer appliances? How much water is used rinsing/washing the items? I’m not sure. I would suggest you watch carefully when first trying them to see if they leave a powdery trace (there are tips below that might help with that).

Update #2: Lots of readers have offered their tried-and-true recipes and shared tips in the comments area, here are several that stand out:

MK Whittenburg advises that the etching/cloudiness problem is solved by adding citric acid, she recommends this recipe:

1 (55 oz) box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
1 (76 oz) box of 20 Mule Team Borax
1 (48 oz) boxes of coarse Kosher Salt
1 (2 oz) container of food-grade Citric Acid (or substitute with 10 to 15 envelopes of Unsweetened Lemon Kool-Aid)

  • Liv uses the Powdered Version #2 above (baking soda and borax) but added 2 packets of unsweetened lemon Kool-Aid and this did the trick to eliminate the slight film her first attempts gave.
  • TL shares this recipe: 1 TBS grated Zote soap, 1 TBS borax and 1 TBS washing soda.
  • Gina says she has good success with using just 1 to 2 TBS of Borax in the dispenser then white vinegar as a rinse agent.
  • Susan says she uses 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt and a wee pinch of dish soap (non-bleach) per load.
  • Sue says she just tosses in 1/2 C. of baking soda and 1/2 C. of vinegar, shuts the door, turns the machine on and this works fine for her.
  • Wendy uses 2 parts baking soda, 1 part castille soap and fills the rinse compartment with white distilled vinegar and no longer has a problem with film. The baking soda cuts the castille from becoming too bubbly/foaming.
  • Jacklen uses 1/2 C. washing soda, 1/2 C. borax, 1/4 C. Kosher salt, 1/4 C. citric acid…just 1 tablespoon a load will do the trick and make sure to fill the rinse aid reservoir with vinegar.
  • Gloria grates a bar of Zote soap and mixes it with water to melt, puts it in an old squeeze bottle and shakes each time she uses it. She also runs a load with 1/4 cup bleach at the bottom of the dishwasher.
  • Shelby claims great success with 2 to 3 drops of Sunlight (divided into each compartment) and 2 tablespoons of baking soda (one in each compartment). Vinegar for the rinse agent.
  • Megan shares her tried & true: 76 oz Borax, 55 oz Washing Soda, 1 1/3 C. TSP, 4 oz Citric Acid, 2 C. Vaseline IC moisturizing beads and 4 pounds Canning Salt. Use 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons per load.
  • Rick uses 1 C. each of washing soda and borax, 1/2 C. each of citric acid and SLS powder. Mix well and use 1 tablespoon in the main compartment and 1/2 tablespoon in the prewash compartment.

Reader tips for fighting film/residue:

  • Valerie found cutting the baking soda by 1/4 to 1/2 less solved the problem.
  • Lori said she solved the problem by mixing equal parts DIY mix with commercial detergent, not 100% homemade but still saves money.
  • Suz advises that adding a couple drops of regular handwashing dish soap to the dispenser should be added before putting in the homemade stuff does the trick, and use vinegar as a rinse agent.
  • Gina recommends adding salt to the batch to help with cloudiness, though no amount specified so play with this a bit to see how it works out for you (helps soften the hard water). Sarah recommends using Kosher or pickling salt.
  • Marty advises that by cutting the amount used by half may help (since the mix is too strong or concentrated if you’re getting a white film problem).
  • Kristina recommends that you run an empty load with a bowl full of vinegar on the bottom of the dishwasher every once in awhile to help clear things up and get better (non-cloudy) results. TL found good results by running a load with a 2 C. measuring cup filled to the top with white vinegar, placed on the upper rack.

Thanks so much to everyone for sharing, Tipnut readers are the best!

I feel it’s worthwhile experimenting and finding a solution that works best for you and your machine. Making your own detergent is inexpensive, effective and environmentally friendly (with no harsh chemicals required). They are effective stain removers, natural disinfectants and santitizers and it’s quite satisfying when you find one that works just right. Good luck and feel free to share your experiences below!

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    • CattyB

    I’ve used recipe #1 for almost a month now (dishes done every 2-3 days) and it’s worked great! I was totally amazed at the glorious sparkle on all of my dishes the first time I opened the dishwasher. I’ve NEVER has such good results with Cascade or any other commercial detergent.
    I use about 2tsp each of borax and washing soda and always use vinegar in the rinse dispenser and the dishes — glass, plastic, china, flatware — all come out sparkling – and very clean – every time. I can’t understand why some people are having a problem with residue – maybe that aluminum thing mentioned above???

    • Vyrianna

    I am looking forward to trying these recipes to find out what works best for my family, but I have used borax before in our dishwasher. When we rented a place that had extremely hard water I used two tablespoons of borax along with my dish detergent and vinegar as a rinse agent, to get the dishes (particularly the glasses) to come out clean. It started that I was using Calgon Water Softener (the powder) in the dishwasher for get things clean because nothing else was working. But that stuff is expensive, I did have 20 Mule Borax on hand and when I ran out of the Calgon I tried that. It worked wonderfully and was about 1/3 the price or less when you take into account the different sizes.

    From my reading about using borax for cleaning & homemade beauty products you have to have HOT water to dissolve it. So if some people are having problems, I would have to agree that it water may not be getting hot enough.

    • laura

    Hi. I have heard, and this may sound stupid, that the reason fleas and roaches die from borax is because it makes them burp. Which is; apparently, something ants, fleas, and roaches can’t do, so instead, they basically blow up. So I have heard. My mom told me this as a child and since moms are always right I am still assuming it is true. I do remember her sprinkling it on the carpet when we were younger to kill fleas, something I still do today. So I do not believe it is toxic. I haven’t done any other research. I’m playing the “my mother always did it” card. And she is about as “Green” as they get.

    • laura

    And thank you so much for the tips! Can’t wait to try them!

    • Jacklen Taylor

    None of those recipes have ever worked for me. What does is my homemade concoction 🙂

    1/2C washing soda
    1/2C borax
    1/4C kosher salt
    1/4C citric acid

    use 1TBS per load, and fill the rinse aid reservoir with vinegar.

    We have an oooooold inefficient dishwasher that came with our apartment, and very hard water.
    This works beautifully with no film or residue!

      • TipNut

      Thanks for sharing that recipe Jacklen!

      • Gillie

      Thanks TipNut and Jacklen! I’ve been using Jacklen’s formula for a couple of weeks and am happy so far. We have very hard water here and I find I have to rinse the dishes before putting them in. It also helps to have vinegar in the rinse aid compartment or add some along the way.

        • Lee

        I also used Jacklen’s recipe and with great results! I used 1 tablespoon in the closed compartment and one tablespoon in the open compartment and put vinegar in the rinse cycle. The dishes are crystal clear and very clean. I do not prewash before putting them in the dishwasher, just scrape them, and my dishwasher is about 10 years old. I wish tipnut.com would post this recipe on the top of the page for other readers. For the citric acid, I used 10 envelopes of lemonade flavoring (like koolade), unsweetened, from the dollar store (10 cents per pack)and it equaled 1/4 cup. You can only use the lemonade flavored, though. Thanks for the recipe…it is a success.

      • Janis

      Do you have to fill the rinse reservoir with vinegar for each load or once it is filled, does it last a few loads?

        • otherwiseknownasmom

        I would like to know the answer to this too…..anyone???

    • Morissa

    My dishwasher door was replaced ,due to a recall, and the handyman who came out and fixed it, said to put the dishwashing detergent into the compartment and do not close the lid, so when the door shuts the soap will go all over dishes inside. He said that the dishsoap compartment only opens at the very end of the wash cycle. So I thought maybe that is why the individuals making there own soap had residue on their dishes?

    It’s worth a try.

    • bbrowneyes

    I use recipe number 2 with 1 TBS works great and we love saving the money.

    • Health mom

    Thank you for sharing, I am washing a load now.

    • Bev

    I have been making my own dishwashing liquid (for handwashing dishes and general cleaning) for the past six months with great success. I make it up in a large clean plastic container and it lasts ages (and costs only a few pennies to make). Here’s the recipe:-

    Take one bar of scented soap (or plain if you prefer), grate to a powder on your kitchen grater and add 4 – 8 cups of boiling water slowly. If you have it, add a Tbsp of liquid Glycerine. Beat, blend or stir (careful, this may be FOAMY!) until well mixed. The top thick creamy foam can be skimmed and put in a jar, for use as shaving cream, the liquid can be bottled (note: the solution is rather goopy and should be shaken/stirred before each use) and used for hand soap, general cleaning, dishwashing liquid etc. You’ll notice there’s not a lot of bubbles but you’ll get clean and shiny dishes for a fraction of the cost.

    • NCmammaof2

    I tried the liquid reciepe and added vinegar to my jet dry compartment and it turned out great!!! WOW…got off dried on mac-n-cheese sauce off of my rubbermaid and all!!! I’ll never buy dishwashing detergent again:) And I only had to use 2TBS and I measured it out to be sure of how much I would need and it was just enough! This is going to save a lot of $$

    • Jamie

    I would like to try one of these recipes, as I use homemade for laundry and LOVE it. Am wondering if I can substitute lemon juice for lemon essential oil in the liquid recipe?!?!


    • lizz

    i tried the borax and arm and hammer recipe WITH the vinegar and i had white filmy stuff all over my dishes.

    • Patrice C

    When I got a new dishwasher I thought it would be interesting to actually read the how to load since I had been loading a dishwasher for over 25 years and it did say to use less detergent if you had a water softener. To much detergent could eat the etching off the glassware, That is usually what causes the cloudiness. Hope this is helpful.

    • Leolalee

    Most dishwasher soap, homemade or otherwise, will etch glasses if used in too high a concentrate. If the glasses are truly etched, nothing will clear them up, it is in the glass. If you are getting residue from your detergent, that should wash off. Only use enough detergent to clean the dishes, more in NOT better.

    • Bonita K Wilson

    Hi,I have an old dishwasher that still works great.Probably 20 yrs old.We have very hard water as a lot of you do.I learned a long time ago from the back of the box I use for water softner for my clothes,which is “WHITE KING water softner”,it has a hint on the back of the box,on using 1 Tablespoon pr dishload in the bottom of the dishwasher, I also just put in 1 level scoop of dishwashing powder in the bottom at the start,is all I put in for all the cycles.My dishes are clean,it’s cheap,and it works.The scoop I use is from one of those drink mixes,it holds 2 Tablespoons.I never use the baskets to fill.That would take 1/2 cup or more of detergent.All I know is this works,and doesn’t use much soap.Doesn’t leave a film.Also my friends & neighbors do it too.It’s found in the laundry isle by the washing soda.I have a cottage cheese container with a TB spoon in it,with a lid on it sitting on the dishwasher.And I have another container with a lid and the scoop of the detergent in it.All I have to do is pop the lids,toss the white king,and DW detergent in the bottom of the washer, and start the wash.Really easy.Hope that helps,A box of cascade lasts 6 mo for me. Bonita

    • Mario

    I read about borax and it is not so safety see Wikipedia.

      • Rachel

      wikipedeia is the worst source to cite. Anyone can on there and write anything they want.
      that being said, as you would have found out by reading the other comments on this site, borax (mule-team borax found in the laundry aisle) is no more dangerous than any other cleaning agent. no, you shouldn’t eat it, but it’s perfectly safe to use in the dishwasher as it’s all rinsed away anyway.

        • Kat

        THANK you! Finally someone said what I’ve been thinking! Wikipedia is NOT fact! It’s basically a huge rumor mill. All info should be taken with a grain of salt.

    • Joanne

    I made homemade dishwasher detergent because I had the ingredients on hand because of making laundry detergent (and the kids drink koolaid)
    1 cup each borax and washing soda and 2 envelopes unsweetened lemonade. I have been using for 2 weeks or so and I am soooooooooo happy with it. I do have soft well water and my water temp is pretty hot. So far no water spots or build-up in the dishwasher and I am NOT pre-rinsing. It has taken off pnut butter on knives and mac-n-cheese on plates. I use a rounded teaspoon in each cup and vinegar in my rinse aid compartment. I do at least 1 load a day. So I figure I am saving a good $10/ month on dishes and about $25/month on laundry.Thank everyone for all the input. Mine worked great since the first time.(a 7 yr old bottom-of-the-line Magic Chef)

    • Ruth

    I agree with Joanne. I have been using the following recipe for a long time, have never had any problems. I put 1 plastic spoonful in each compartment and fill the rinse compartment with vinegar about once every two weeks.

    1 cup Borax
    1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
    1 package unsweetened lemonade (10 for a dollar drink mix)
    Also I put vinegar in the rinse aid compartment

    • Nelly

    As far as the cloudiness, you may be using too much. I used to get cloudy dishes when using Seventh Generation, and then realized I don’t need to fill both dispensers. This cured the cloudy dishes.

    • Janis

    I was just curious how often you have to fill the reservoir for the rinse load with vinegar. I used the mix of borax, washing soda, and kosher salt, and added vinegar to the reservoir for rinsing and my dishes are sparkling clean, but I just wondered if you have to do the vinegar every time or if it lasts for a few loads.


    • Cassie

    If you have a problem, use vinegar to rinse. My dishes come out sparkly 99% of the time and in the soap dispenser I put 1T salt 1T baking soda and a few drops of soap and then use vinegar in the other dispenser.

    • Robbie

    isn’t salt corrosive? I don’t know if that would be to hard on the dishwasher. Also, I added some Somat Salt to the load and it made a huge difference. No residue.

      • Robbie

      fyi, Somat is made for dishwashers & is a water softner so don’t use if you have soft water.

    • Julie

    After reading (however not so thoroughly) the commentary on Borax and the concern about health and using it on your dishes, I kept thinking to myself that regular dish washer soap probably has much worse chemicals. I can’t imagine that the borax is any worse and it is a natural resource. If your dishwasher is truly rinsing the dishes, should a person really be concerned?

    • Rochelle

    I agree about the borax. When I decided to make my own, I had looked closely at the bottle and it stated “harmful if swallowed” to which I replied “this is poison!” At least the borax is natural.

    • Kirin

    Personally, I think the freak out over the Borax is mostly because people don’t realize what exactly is in that box of Cascade or even Generic dishwasher detergent. Dishwasher detergent is so Non-green and non-eco friendly, it should be banned in itself.

    Borax is a simple mineral compound. Yes, toxic, in huge amounts. Milk is toxic too, even water, if you have too much. We are not ingesting the borax, any dishwasher should easily rinse away the borax without problem.

    Most getting film might be using baking soda instead of washing soda, which are entirely different animals.

    • Cheryl

    The problem with residue may be due to a new dishwasher. The new dishwashers are made to only rinse well with a “rinse-aid”. I just got a new dishwasher and fun that out the hard way. The repair guy recommended I get new soap. Maybe we need a recipe for rinse-aid!

    • Shelby

    Hi, I have been experimenting with these recipes and so far the best combination, cheapest and everything comes out squeeky clean is:

    2-3 drops of Sunlight Soap divided into each soap compartment
    2 tablespoons of Baking Soda one in each compartment

    Vinegar where the rinse agent goes.

    I think that some may be experiencing residue because once you go cheap and cheerful you don’t purchase rinse aids anymore. Vinegar replaces this and now the dishes are not sparkling but squeeky clean.

    I also throw about a 1/8 cup of vinegar over the dishes in the pre wash cycle if the load is particularly dirty, like pots and my dishwasher is not that old, maybe within the last 10 years.

    • Amber

    I tried recipe #3 (1/4 cup Washing Soda and 1 TBS Liquid Dish Detergent) and I ended up with suds all over my kitchen floor. Are you really supposed to use that much for each load?

    • Jamie

    I just tried to print the recipe and wound up with 32 pages including all the comments. Way to save the planet. How many cents would it cost you to offer a “print this recipe” button?

      • TipNut

      Hi Jamie, I’ve tried Microsoft IE, Safari and Firefox to print this and I only get the article when printing–2 pages total (without comments). I have no idea why you are getting something different. What browser are you using?

      I’m assuming you are clicking the “Print This Post” link under the article or are you doing something else?

        • nanny

        Does your computer have a cancel print option? You could always highlight the recipe and choose print selection. Or copy and paste to a doc before printing. Or better yet just copy to a word doc and save to your computer.
        Sorry to be sarcastic but we do have to think for ourselves here!

          • otherwiseknownasmom

          If you’re technologically impaired (as I am) it is sometimes difficult to execute things as intelligently as our technologically enhanced counterparts.

          Give her a break. Jamie might not be a techno whiz, just a common girl trying to save a dime.

            • fixitmom

            When you go to print – select “print preview” – determine which page the info is on that you want to print & then change your print page from “all” to page “x” of page “x” – this should work for you
            Also, if you use a Macintosh or have Windows with Adobe Acrobat installed, you can print the page to a PDF and save it to your hard drive (eliminating the paper trail) which will allow you to view at your leisure 🙂

    • Tina

    I just made recipe #1 with the vinegar in the rinse aid and not one single problem. NO cloudiness! I did get rid of all clumps. I mixed the two washing soda and Borax very well. Couldn’t be happier. My dishes are very clean. I have heard that adding a little bleach a tablespoon or so to each wash would fix the problem if your are experiencing cloudiness. May be worth a try if you are having problems. I’m loving my homemade detergent!

    • Neeka

    I find all of the comments about Borax being toxic interesting, isn’t all dish soap and laundry soap toxic? I wouldn’t drink Dawn or Tide, but I use it on my clothes and dishes, so why wouldn’t you use Borax? Am I missing something?

    • Neeka

    Okay I guess I should have finished reading the comments since others have pointed this out already lol.

    • Caps Fan

    For cleaning a dishwasher, whatever happened to using Tang for that?

    I don’t use Boraxo for my dishes, but have used on clothing. It gives an extra boost the lighter colors need.

    One time, I needed to wash my van; having no other soap, I grabbed the Boraxo. My van came out with a fabulous sparkle. At the gas station, a man asked me what I used to get my vehicle looking so great. He was very surprised to learn it was inexpensive Boraxo and not some expensive product from an auto supply store.

    • Veronica

    White vinegar will help to cut the cloudiness – use it as the rinse aid.

    • Sandy

    I have 5 year old Maytag.Recently my dishes have some sandy white residue on them ( particularly glasses in upper tray).I tried: liquid soap, vinegar wash,- still no luck. Any advice is more than welcome!

    • Les

    You can also buy Arm & Hammer Baking Soda at your local “feed” store in 50lb bulk bags. Here in Utah it’s $8.99 a bag.

    • Charles

    Has anyone figured out the cost per oz or cup or 1/2 gallon or gallon of this dishwasher detergent and the laundry detergent? I want to compare to the name brands and private labels. Have any of you done that? Thank you.

      • Megan

      see my contribution at the end…it is anywhere from .08 to .11 cents a load … have added some extra ingredients…works great.

    • Debbie

    I read through all comments and I am so sorry but I did have to giggle over the whole ‘toxic/poison’ thing…I believe many people are doing all the can to have less toxins in their home…The deal is that I have to take a medication to stay alive that had it’s beginnings as Rat Poison….so, please give me a break….no one is telling anyone to eat the stuff…and it is rinsed off anyway…I lived in England for 4 years and many people there didn’t even rinse their dishes! They seem pretty healthy…Also…I agree with those who have said if you have a problem…the answer is simple…Don’t use it.

    • Annette

    Have been using the borax/bi-carb/citric acid mix with white vinegar in the rinse aid part for months….what’s a few cloudy bits on a couple of glasses…
    Just thought I’d share this recipe with you for liquid hand soap…grate one cake of soap add 3.25 lts boiling water, stir until soap disolved. Wallah! 3.25 ltrs of hand soap for the price of a cake of soap.

    • Janie

    How does 3.25ltrs compare to quarts, cups? Is it like the liter bottles of soda?

    • valleycat1

    Janie: 1 liter is slightly more than 1 quart, or 34 ounces. One quart = 4 cups = 32 ounces. A one liter bottle of soda would be slightly more than 1 quart (assuming it’s really a liter).

    • Megan

    This is the combination I have come up with that seems to really work. My husband (an engineer) suggested I add a Calgon product, found Vaseline Intensive Care Moisturizing Beads cheaper at Walmart.

    Borax 76 ounces best place to buy is Ace Hardware
    Washing Soda 55 ounces best place to buy is Ace Hardware
    TSP 1 1/3 cup bought the large size at Home Depot, but
    may be cheaper elsewhere
    Citric Acid 4 ounces bought a 5 pound container through Amazon
    as it seems to be the cheapest way to
    Vaseline IC moisturizing beads 2 cups bought at Walmart
    Canning Salt 4 pounds bought at Walmart

    this combination will last a long time at 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons per load. I used the 2 tablespoons the first time, now I will cut back to 1 1/2 to see if I still get the same results, which will make this even cheaper yet.

    .11 per load versus the .09 or .10 a load for something that doesn’t work. it may be cheaper if I use less than 2 tablespoons, but haven’t tried that yet.

      • Adrienne @ Whole New Mom

      So basically you are putting the phosphates in that the government took out! I didn’t remember what TSP was :-). What do the beads do? That is really odd. Doesn’t sound too natural to me…..What do you think about that?

    • Riki

    I know, I was perplexed as well as to why people are worried about toxic chemicals on their dishes yet have KoolAid in their pantry. ?

    • momma

    Im confused My hubby says wikipedia isn’t REAL that any one they want can write any BS they want on it and yet every one is using it as a reference.. and that i should NEVER trust it..this is just a thought slightly off topic. and a LOT of things are “deadly” I use sweet and low in my coffee and theres chemicals in the air you breath from the cars you drive..so I dont know what to think. hank you for posting these. My stores do not sell washign powders or borax..however. Seems Ill stick to family dollar brand dishwasher soap $3 for a large bottle. After all saving money is my BIG issue..

      • Sally

      I’ve recently attended a science conference by a PHD university lecturer and he said there has recently been a double-blind (good quality) study done in US (I think) and Europe which clearly showed that Wikipedia is MORE accurate and reliable and MORE up-to-date than Encyclopedia Brittanica. He strongly recommended using wikipedia for research and learning because of its very high standard of info. Anything wrong that is put up is jumped on by other professionals in the field and is quickly corrected. This instant checking and correcting makes it an amazing free product. Hope this helps.

        • Veterkins

        RE: Wikipedia – during my college comp class it was the one reference site we weren’t allowed to use. Although it is generally accurate – here is wiki’s own definition of its site:
        is a free, web-based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopedia project supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its 20 million articles (over 3.78 million in English) have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world. Almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the site,[3] and it has about 90,000 regularly active contributors.

          • Veterkins

          Wiki says:

          Borax is also present in some tooth bleaching formulas.[5]

    • momma

    the store brand stuff I use is less than 5 cent a load… isnt organic (but we are poor so organic isnt an option) Family Dollar. forgot to add that.

    • nicole

    Isn’t borax toxic?? Even if there’s no visible residue it sounds risky to me.

    • Megan

    I’m not worried about organic, just wanted clean dishes and have consistently gotten them using my recipe above and only use 1 1/2 Tablespoons…my glasses have never been so clean. a friend who has extra hard water still had cloudy dishes so suggested she add more calgon type product to soften the water up.

    As far as toxic, well all that rinse water removes the soap as I have never tasted any by product when I have used my dishes, silverware, glassware after running them through the dishwasher.

    have been looking at several stores for the old type product with the phosphates but have only found them to be phosphate free so am sticking with my homemade soap.

    • Autumn

    to prevent dishwasher, dishes and glasses getting the dreaded white film I always put a tiny bowl (1/4 c size) filled with white vinegar on the top rack along with the other items. It works, even though we have the worst possible hard water.

    • Corli

    Use Borax Substitute (Sodium Sesquicarbonate) if you are worried about Borax being toxic. In the UK you can buy it as Dri-Pak Aqua Softna Limescale Preventer.

    • Amy

    I haven’t tried either of these, but I do have one question to those getting cloudy dishes. Are you using BAKING soda or WASHING soda? There is a big difference in the two. IMO, you should be using the WASHING soda, not the baking soda.

    I’m about to mix up my own laundry detergent using the Duggar’s recipe, and it stresses on making sure you use WASHING soda and not baking soda. Might be worth checking out.

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