How to Make a Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Life is not good all the time. It’s never impossible to come home from work totally exhausted only to find out you have a bunch of dishes to hand-wash because your dishwasher detergent has run out. Maybe it didn’t happen to you, yet – but it could be anytime. Well, it doesn’t hurt to be informed. In this article, we will tackle some methods on how to make homemade dishwasher detergent.


Since there are actually numerous ideas out there that are already proven to be effective, we will just give you the simplest ones.


  • 1 Why you should learn how to make a homemade dishwasher detergent
  • 2 Dish soap upgrade
    • 2.1 1. What you need
    • 2.2 1. How to make it
    • 2.3 3. Small summary
  • 3 Lemon therapy
    • 3.1 1. What you need
    • 3.2 2. How to make it
    • 3.3 3. Small summary
  • 4 Summary

Why you should learn how to make a homemade dishwasher detergent

The answer is pretty simple – guaranteed convenience and feeling secure. Imagine having a loaded dishwasher filled with sauce-splattered spoons and crusty plates. The dishes are so dirty that grime starts to provoke your nostrils. It’s time to wash the dishes but you can only see yourself in shock after finding out one problem – you’ve run out of dishwasher detergent.

If only you have some spare dishwasher detergent you’ve made before. Well, worry no more. Below are some effective ways to make your own detergents.

Dish soap upgrade

Even though you do have run out of dishwasher detergent, you may have regular dish soap instead. However, dish soap alone cannot be a substitute for dishwasher detergent for the suds will only overflow the dishwasher and you will not be able to achieve anything. This method exists to turn dish soap into something usable for dishwashers. This is done by adding a few substances to the mix.

1. What you need

  • Regular liquid dish soap; 2 – 4 drops
  • Baking soda
  • Table salt
  • A container (or your dishwasher)

1. How to make it

  • First off, you need to add a few drops of dish soap to the detergent packet of your dishwasher. The amount ranges usually from 2 drops to 4 drops depending on the number of things you put in it and also the ‘hardness’ of the water. If you want to keep using this ‘recipe’ afterward, it may be better to put it in another container instead. As long as you mix the substances with the proper ratio in mind, it does not matter.
  • Second, put the baking soda and table salt into the detergent packet until it is full. The proportion should be two parts of baking soda and one part of table salt. As mentioned before, you can alternatively put it in another container as long as you keep the ratio the same.
  • That is it. Yes, those are the only things you need to do to make a homemade dishwasher detergent. Now you can run the dishwasher as per normal and it will clean your dishes as if nothing has happened.

3. Small summary

This method is the probably the easiest way to make a homemade dishwasher detergent. Although using a proper one is still recommended, you can do this as an alternative instead.

Lemon therapy

If you do not even have dish soap, do not worry for there are still alternatives. Another way to make homemade dishwasher detergent is to use lemon. It has some antibacterial properties which make it good for cleaning. The method is largely the same but with some addition and tweaks to the formula.

1. What you need

  • Lemon extract; 1 ½ cups
  • Baking soda; ½ cup
  • Washing soda; 1 ½ cups
  • Sea salt; ½ cup
  • A large bowl
  • A sealed container;
  • Mixing utensils

2. How to make it

  • The first thing you need to do is to prepare a container and all of the ingredients. It is harder this time to accurately measure the proportions if you mix it straight on the dishwasher, so another container is recommended. More specifically, a large bowl would be the ideal choice.
  • Second, you can now mix every ingredient you have gathered into the bowl. Make sure you do it properly until the texture of the mixture is already consistent.
  • More likely than not, the amount you will be making is more than what your dishwasher would need in one washing. Therefore, you would want to store the rest of the mixture in an airtight container.
  • For the portion that you are going to use, simply put it in the detergent packet. The mixture is ready and can already clean your dishes properly.

3. Small summary

This method is more natural in its ingredients, especially with the lemon. If you do not have a regular dish soap you can use, or if you simply want to avoid as much artificial content as possible, then this homemade detergent might be the better option for you.


Trying to know how to make a homemade dishwasher detergent brings nothing but only advantages. The methods are cheaper, easier, and more natural to use than the real one. So if you ever have some problems of running out of dishwasher detergent, you can consult this article and make your own cleaning agent!

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