Up until my move to a different apartment last month, I have lived my adult life without a dishwasher. My first two places didn’t have one, and my last apartment had a terrible one that wasn’t even worth using. Now at my new place I’m living the luxurious life of a dishwasher-user, and it is pretty fantastic. However, I suddenly required dishwasher detergent, and so I decided to make my own. These dishwasher detergent tabs are natural, healthy, and safe for the environment. Here is the recipe for homemade Citrus Dishwasher Detergent Tabs.
Citrus Dishwasher Detergent Tabs
1/4 c washing soda
1/4 c baking soda
1/4 c salt
1/8 c citric acid
15 drops lemon essential oil
10 drops orange essential oil
up to 1/4 c water
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, adding the water slowly, until they form a paste. (It will fizz.)
Using a one tablespoon measuring spoon, portion into a silicone ice cub tray.
This should make 10 tabs.
Allow to air dry in a sunny spot until solid. (This took me about two weeks, but I think I did too much water.)
Pop out of the tray and store in an open container. They will continue to harden.
To use, put one tab into the dishwasher’s detergent tray.
You may want to use two if your dishes are particularly dirty.
Disclaimer: We rinse our dishes before loading them in the dishwasher. I find that these dishwasher detergent tabs are not strong enough for really stuck-on pots and pans. Though I had the same issue with store-bought natural dishwasher detergent as well, so I’m not sure what the magic solution is.
The washing soda and baking soda are multi-purpose cleaners and can cut through grease. The salt is added to combat hard water. Citric acid helps dissolve things like food particles on your dishes. The lemon and orange essential oils are both antibacterial and antifungal, plus they smell great!
What dishwasher detergent do you use?