Homemade recipe: Dishwasher powder

By Wendyl Nissen

Commercial powder can be very toxic, containing phosphates and chlorine which are not kind to the environment.

Over the years, I have tried several homemade recipes as an alternative to commercial dishwashing powders and these both have good results, so give them a try.

And a tip, if you run out of powder, you can always use baking soda instead.

Dishwasher Powder

  • ½ cup of borax
  • ½ cup washing soda
  • ¼ cup of citric acid
  • ½ salt (not iodised, sea salt is good)
  • 2-3 drops orange oil

Place all the ingredients in a plastic container and shake.

Use 1 tbsp per load.

You can also use white vinegar in the rinse aid compartment.

*If it starts to clump, put it in your processor to loosen.

Dishwasher liquid mix

  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup Dr Bronner’s castile liquid soap (don’t use normal liquid soap, such as Sunlight, as it will be too bubbly)
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 5 drops tea tree essential oil
  • ½ cup white vinegar

In a squeeze bottle, mix the water and liquid soap together.

Add the lemon juice and the tea tree oil, followed by the vinegar.

It should go white and a bit cloudy.

Use 2 tbsp per load, or just fill up the dispenser.

  • *

* If you are going to try these natural suggestions, remember you do so at your own – and your dishwasher’s – risk. I have used both of these recipes safely and my dishwasher is still going well, but your warranty will state that you must use approved powders.

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