If you're on a mission to create a more eco-friendly kitchen, consider making your own dishwasher tablets. It's an inexpensive, sustainable DIY project that's easy to boot.
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What's more, it doesn't call for hard-to-find ingredients. All you need are baking soda, washing soda, citric acid, dish soap and white vinegar. You can find these ingredients at the grocery store and on Amazon, but there's a good chance you already have a few of them at home.
As with many DIY cleaning products, these homemade dishwasher tabs will help you save money while protecting the environment. There are also plenty of ways to make them. Here's one recipe for homemade dishwasher tablets.
Things You'll Need
1 cup baking soda
1 cup washing soda
1/2 cup citric acid
White vinegar in a spray bottle
1 teaspoon natural dish soap
10 to 15 drops citrus essential oil (optional)
Silicone molds or ice cube trays
Be sure to consider the size of your dishwasher detergent drawer. You’ll want to use a silicone mold or ice cube tray that produces tablets that can fit in the drawer. Also, depending on your mold, one batch will yield 30 to 40 dishwasher detergent tablets.
In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients. This includes the baking soda, washing soda, and citric acid. Mix well.
Spray the ingredients with a bit of white vinegar. Pause and let the mixture fizz and then stir to combine. Repeat until the mixture resembles damp (but not wet) sand and starts to naturally clump together.
Add the dish soap and essential oils (if you are using them) and mix some more. Lemon essential oil is a popular choice, but any type of citrus essential oil works great.
Avoid adding the white vinegar too quickly. Otherwise, the mixture will harden into dry chunks.
Spoon the mixture into the silicone mold. Using your fingers or the back of a spoon, firmly press the mixture into the mold.
Lightly spray the top of the dishwasher pods. Again, avoid adding too much white vinegar.
Let the dishwasher tablets sit for at least 24 hours in a sunny, warm spot, like near a window.
Keep the dishwasher tablets away from pets and small children.
Once your dishwasher detergent tabs have hardened, remove them from the silicone mold. Store the DIY dishwasher tablets in an airtight container, like a jar.
When you're ready to use your homemade dishwasher detergent, simply place a tab in the dispenser drawer and run a cycle as usual.
If your dishwasher tablets are too big for the dispenser, you can crumble them up first. This option is ideal if you already have silicone molds and don't want to buy new ones.
As with all DIY natural cleaning products, there are a few things to keep in mind before using dishwasher pods. For starters, the effectiveness of these DIY tablets will depend on the hardness of your water. If your dishwasher detergent leaves water spots on your dishes, you can try using white vinegar as a rinse aid. This is a popular hack for people with hard water, so it's worth a try.