Sunday, March 24, 2013

Another Attempt at Dishwasher Soap

After my last failed attempt to make my own dishwasher soap a friend of mine tagged me in a Facebook post about a different kind of homemade dishwasher soap.

Hoping for better results I decided to give it a go.

Homemade Dishwasher Soap
You will need:
2 cups of Dr. Bonners castile soap
2 cups of washing soda
40 drops of lemon essential oil or lemon juice

Mix all the ingredients until you get a crumbly texture, you can use more or less of the washing soda until you get the desired texture.  Use about 1Tbsp per load. 

I poured my castile soap into a jar then slowly started to stir in the washing soda until I got a crumbly texture. It looked like cottage cheese. The soap and washing soda turned out to be about a 50:50 ratio. I didn't have any lemon oil so I used lemon juice. Has anyone else noticed how often I say that?  I think it's time to invest in lemon essential oil

As much as I love Dr. Bronner castile soap I wasn't thrilled with the idea of using it in my dishwasher.  It tends to leave an oily residue and I really didn't want to have that on my dishes, but I have been wrong in the past about the outcome of a homemade project so I went for it.  But I played it safe and only put about 10 things in my dishwasher.

The Verdict: I think the picture says it all.  Can you see the black swirly marks?  That is where I used my fingernail to scrape off the horrible residue that was on there.  It took a good dose of Dawn soap and elbow grease to get my dishes clean.  Can you imagine how happy I was that I didn't use this on a full load?

I went back to the Facebook post and asked if anyone else using this recipe had the same problem and if I was doing something wrong.  Some people responded that they had the same results I had.

I have no idea why this homemade detergent works for some people and not others, maybe it's the type of dishwasher being used, or maybe it depends on if you have hard or soft water?  So if you do decide to try this one, I would start with a small batch and only put a few dishes in your dishwasher. 

I would love to hear from anyone who has had success with this dishwasher detergent, or with another homemade dishwasher soap that you love.


  1. I wonder if the lemon oil cuts the crud and the lemon juice doesn't. Maybe?

  2. It could be how hard your water is - the harder the water, the more residue.

    1. I have a water softener so it's not hard water residue. Although the water softener sometimes leaves a filmy residue on things so it could be that.

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