My dishes and dishwasher have been getting GROSS! I have scrubbed and scrubbed my dishes and they still looked terrible!! I have not used my glasses in over 2 years because they gross me out to use them. I was getting desperate. Whatever it was is ruining everything! Even my brand new dishwasher!! I had tried 4 different kinds of detergent, used jet dry and when that didn’t work either I used vinegar in the jet dry spot. That didn’t work either. I was considering getting a soft water system for my garage. 🙁 So I saw a recipe for a homemade detergent and figured I’d try it. (I make my own laundry detergent so why not!)  It makes a lot so I halved it so it would fit in my container. You don’t use very much because it has no “fillers” in it. Here are my results. (Note: I did not do any extra scrubbing. I washed, like normal, and ran on the normal cycle. These are only washed once.)

Here are the before and afters:

NO SCRUBBING!! I opened my dishwasher and gasped. Really, I did. Even my dishwasher looked brand new again!! I will NEVER use store bought soap again!! It is useless!! EVERYTHING came out shiny! Even my silverware was a very noticeable difference! Here is the recipe:

1 box of Borax
1 box of Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda (not baking soda!)
3 cups of Epsom Salts
Just a small sprinkling of Lemi-Shine Rinse Aid in each load. (Do not mix with the detergent. Add it separate.)

You can buy all of that in one place HERE.

Use 1 Tablespoon per load. (I use one spoonful of my serving spoons, but I separate it between the two spots. If it is a heaping spoonful it is too much and will stick to things. Less is more.)  🙂
And I still did have white vinegar in my jet dry compartment.
My dishes look even better after several washes!  Some things took several washes to save them.  For example, I have black spatulas and cooking spoons, etc. They were all white with this gunk!  I was about to throw them out and get new ones.  (I thought that maybe they were like that because of heat exposure or something.)  But after about 3 washes it started coming off.  It still took more than that for it to be gone, but it is gone now!!  They look new!!  I’m so happy with this recipe!
I hope you all can have super clean dishes too!!

22 thoughts on “DIY Dishwasher Detergent

  1. I have to try this too. My dishwasher has always left this "gunk" on everything too. Have to hand wash everything. Hopefully this works on my dishwasher too. I'll let ya know 🙂

  2. Wondering if this is still working good for you. I have tried 2 other formulas for DIY dishwasher detergent and it worked good for about 2 weeks, then everything started being left gritty…..I am willing to try DIY again though!

  3. You CAN get this to make your dishes gross. BUT that means that you are using too much soap and/or not enough Lemishine. If your dishes come out gritty or clouded use less soap next time. More is NOT better in this recipe. If that doesn't work try adding more Lemishine. It is all in the magic of the ratio used. Once you find what works, keep doing the same amount. Luckily mine worked perfect after the first time. Good luck!!

  4. If you use the citric acid (I've heard that lemon koolaid is perfect for this) do you still use the Lemi-Shine (and where do you sprinkle it if its not in with your mixture?)

  5. I'm excited to not have all of the white crud on our dishes! I bought the liquid Lemi-Shine Rinse Aid, but am now wondering if you meant the regular Lemi-Shine powder. Could you please confirm?

  6. Yes, you are supposed to use them both. If you do add it, you would combine it with the other ingredients and not include it separately with the Lemi-shine.

  7. I have never bought the liquid Lemi-shine, but I am sure that it will work. I use the powder. If you like the way it works then just stick with it, or you could try the powder next time.

  8. I pinned this last week because our dishes looked so bad (even after trying a few different detergents, using jet-dry, cleaning the dishwasher…) that I was in the market for a new dishwasher. I have run a couple of loads, and I DON'T NEED A NEW DISHWASHER!!!! This stuff is so amazing that I came back here to leave a huge THANK YOU!!!! If I hadn't seen the pictures on your blog, I wouldn't have tried it until it was too late. You have saved me several hundred dollars, and I can't thank you enough!

  9. How do you add the Lemi-shine to the load if it doesn't go in the 2 designated detergent spots with the mixture?

  10. I didn't split the detergent between the two spots. I put the detergent in the pre-wash area and the lemi-shine in the regular wash area.

  11. I am so glad to hear that it worked for you as well!! I am so happy with the results. I have to say that I was given Cascade from someone that was moving and I didn't want to just throw it away so I used just ONE load of it and my dishes and dishwasher look just like they did with months of use! It was terrible! I'm NEVER going back!

  12. I'm thinking, remembering Chemistry class… Adding the Citric acid would help level out the PH of the detergent so it's more mild. Being too alkaline or acidic can cause damage to the dishwasher over time, especially to seals. However, I will be using this recipe as soon as I can get the citric acid, thank your for posting the pictures too!

  13. It makes a LOT so I half the recipe and I store mine in a cascade container that was for the little pod things. It has a lid that opens on one side and is made of hard plastic so it has worked great for me for over a year now. 🙂

  14. It depends on your results. At my last house I used about 1-2 tsp. At the new house that just doesn't cut it. I have no idea why that is except I have a different dishwasher. So I now use about an equal amount of soap and Lemishine and I get the same result.

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