What Can Be Substituted for Dishwasher Detergent?

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Perhaps you're in a pinch for dishwasher detergent; maybe you realized you were out of detergent late at night. Perhaps you simply want to create your own eco-friendly dishwasher suds. Either way, combining simple ingredients you may already have on hand can make effective detergents that are good for your budget, too.

Borax and Soda

Borax can be purchased in your grocery store's laundry aisle. This powder combined with washing soda or baking soda—1 tbsp. borax to 1 tbsp. soda—makes a dish detergent substitute.

Washing Soda

Washing soda can be used with borax or used alone in place of dishwasher detergent in a pinch.

Homemade Powder Detergent

1 cup each of borax and baking or washing soda combined with 1 tsp. kosher salt and a packet of lemonade mix makes a homemade dishwasher detergent. Use 1 to 2 tbsp. in your dishwasher's soap dispenser.

Homemade Liquid Detergent

Combine 1/2 cup each borax and baking or washing soda, 1/4 cup kosher salt, 1 tbsp. lemon juice and 3/4 cup water to make a liquid dishwasher detergent. Use 1 to 2 tbsp. in your dishwasher's soap dispenser.

Castile Soap and Soda

Castile soap is a low-sudsing soap made of plant oils. Combine equal parts castile soap and your choice of baking or washing soda. Use 1 to 2 tbsp. in your dishwasher's soap dispenser for a dishwasher detergent replacement.

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