Do you want to have a greener kitchen? Go green by using a homemade dishwasher detergent. From reducing exposure to potentially harmful chemicals, to saving money, there are many great reasons to choose homemade instead of store-bought versions of this essential household item.

What’s Wrong with My Detergent?

Standard dishwasher detergent is a mixture of chemicals. Some argue that scientists do not know the long-term effects of these human-made products. But they are definitely dangerous to consume. Plus, everyone responds a little differently to these chemicals. For some, the chemicals in dishwashing soap can irritate skin.

A Great Dishwasher Detergent Recipe 

We reached out to the Green Cleaning Coach, Leslie Reichert, for a simple, five-ingredient detergent recipe you can make at home:

  • 1 cup table salt
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup oxygen bleach
  • 10 drops essential oil (your choice of scent)
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice concentrate

Mix the first four ingredients together and put one tablespoon in the soap dispensing area of your dishwasher. Then, add one tablespoon of lemon juice concentrate, and you’re ready to begin washing.

3 Tips for Using the Homemade Detergent

1. You do not need to add a lot of this special dishwasher soap to get good results, says Reichert. Only 1 tablespoon will do the trick.

2. Do not add the lemon juice concentrate until the very end. If you mix it in with the other ingredients, your soap will begin to bubble and foam. 

3. This soap does not work very well if you do not wash the dishes right after you add it. Do not put your dishwasher on delay. Just add the soap, top off with lemon juice, and begin washing immediately.

A Breakdown of Costs 

Is it really worth it to try this recipe? Keep in mind that one homemade recipe can wash many loads of dishes. So how much will it cost you to make this homemade dish soap?

1 cup (8 ounces) of table salt will cost you around $1.50. One cup of baking soda is less than 50 cents. A cup of oxygen bleach will cost just over $2.00. A 32-ounce bottle of lemon juice concentrate is around $3.00 (this contains about 64 tablespoons). Last but not least, a bottle of essential oil, such as lavender, will cost you around $7.00, which will last you many, many batches of detergent. You can pick whatever scent you like best.

So to make your own soap, you will only need to spend between $12-14. This is a great price for a green cleaning product that can be used for many loads of dirty dishes. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment 

Not everyone has the same exact dishwasher, so it may take a little experimenting to develop the perfect recipe for your home. If you have hard water in your home, for example, you may need to add more salt. Is food still sticking to your dishes? Use kosher or sea salt instead of table salt to improve your homemade recipe’s strength.

You cannot go wrong with homemade dish soap. Relying less on artificial chemicals is good news for your health, your family’s health, and the environment’s health. Try this safe homemade recipe by the Green Cleaning Coach today, and begin your journey towards a cleaner, greener kitchen.