Homemade Hippie Dishwasher Detergent

English: A pile of Borax based washing detergent.

Image via Wikipedia

About a year ago I acquired my very first dishwasher. I actually had to google “How to load a dishwasher” people! I am a hand washer from way back. So recently I was at the store checking out dishwasher detergent and of course reading the labels (that’s what I do) and I was not happy. The ingredients contained all sorts of surfactants and chemicals and soaps that I don’t ever use in my house. The eco-friendly dishwasher detergents were almost $5.00 for a 32 oz bottle! So for about a year I have been hand washing the dishes and using this beautiful new dishwasher as a drying rack. I had the idea to make my own dishwasher detergent, but too many other things going on to actually take the time to do it.

So finally, using ingredients that I always have around, I started playing with a recipe. It took a few tries and a few loads had to be washed by hand, but the final result is wonderful. Streak free, sparkling dishes every time. I don’t ever take the time to pre-wash the dishes before I load the dishwasher. I rinse of the worst of the gunk, and throw them in. I was also very surprised at how inexpensive this recipe is. My total cost is only 0.33 per load!

Homemade Hippie Dishwasher Detergent

1 cup Borax

1 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda

1/2 cup Kosher salt

1/2 Citric acid

I mix the borax, washing soda and salt in a jar and keep in under the sink. You can add the citric acid to the mixture, but the ingredients tend to react to each other and get all clumpy. My OCD doesn’t like clumps 🙂 So I keep the citric acid separate and add 1/2 Tbsp per load.scouring powder

Borax and washing soda (not baking soda) can be found in the laundry detergent aisle of most major grocery stores. Kosher salt in the spice aisle. I checked out several places to purchase citric acid and found the cheapest source was a candle supply store. They sell it to me in bulk for $3.00 per pound.

For each load of dishes I put 1 Tbsp of detergent in the soap dispenser and add 1/2 Tbsp of citric acid.

For people with soft water, you can skip the citric acid all together and make this detergent extremely inexpensive! For people with very hard water, you may need a full Tbsp of citric acid per load, or your dishes will turn out with a funny white film on them. Experiment with using the least amount of detergent possible and still get your dishes clean. You may be surprised how little it takes. Let me know what works for you!

Related Posts:

Homemade Hippie All Purpose Cleanser and Disinfectant

Homemade Hippie Windex for 0.12 cents per bottle

Homemade Hippie Bug Spray

Homemade Hippie Scouring Powder

Homemade Hippie Orange Cleaner

Homemade Hippie Wrinkle Cream

Homemade Hippie Hand Lotion, Body Lotion, Lip Balm



  1. Mike G said,

    February 26, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    I love Borax, you can do so much with it and clean just about anything.

  2. March 19, 2012 at 6:07 AM

    […] Homemade Dishwasher Detergent […]

  3. ThriftyNut said,

    April 21, 2012 at 9:14 AM

    How much citric acid?

  4. ThriftyNut said,

    April 21, 2012 at 9:14 AM

    oh I see below now.

  5. May 4, 2012 at 1:14 AM

    […] with making homemade cleaning and beauty products as I run out of them. So far I have made my own dishwasher detergent, window/glass cleaner, all purpose cleanser and disinfectant, lotion, wrinkle cream, hair spray, […]

  6. May 7, 2012 at 1:05 AM

    […] Dishwasher Detergent (easy to make) […]

  7. Amy said,

    May 12, 2012 at 11:09 PM

    I am going to try this recipe tomorrow- thanks for testing it out. I’ve been using my 7th Gen Dish soap for the last few days, which doesn’t work all that great! 🙂

  8. Melanie said,

    June 19, 2012 at 9:42 AM

    There isn’t a measurement for the citric acid if you want to add it to the mix. Is it 1\2 cup total?

  9. jenn e said,

    February 8, 2013 at 8:04 AM

    Do you know if you can use this with kombucha dishes?

  10. April 7, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    […] Homemade Hippie Dishwashing Powder […]

  11. April 7, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    […] Homemade Hippie Dishwashing Detergent […]

  12. April 7, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    […] Homemade Hippie Dishwasher Detergent […]

  13. April 7, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    […] Homemade Hippie Dishwasher Detergent […]

  14. April 11, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    […] Homemade Hippie Dishwashing Powder […]

  15. May 26, 2013 at 1:03 AM

    […] Homemade Hippie Dishwasher Detergent […]

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