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.
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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 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.