Simple Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Recipe (Just 3 Ingredients!)

Homemade dishwash detergent

Dishes, dishes, dishes… the constant leaning tower of dishes. My downfall, my demise, my absolute nemesis.

Okay – that was a slight exaggeration but to be frank, doing dishes ranks pretty low on my favorite household chore list. I’m (admittedly) lazy when it comes to doing the dishes. I prefer a quick rinse, and it’s off to the dishwasher for the hard labor. Manually washing dishes requires extra effort, and it’s more wasteful than running a fully loaded dishwasher. One study found that washing dishes by hand wastes 3.5 times more water than a dishwasher!

If you want to be more efficient with your water usage in the kitchen, use that dishwasher! AND use a dishwasher detergent that effectively cleans dishes. To be honest, I haven’t found a commercial dishwasher detergent that’s non-toxic, eco-friendly AND effective… so I simply make my own! With just three simple ingredients, you can make an effective DIY dishwasher detergent.


Homemade dishwasher detergent is not only easy and fast to make, it’s also safe, non-toxic and reduces plastic waste. Plus, it’s cheap! Comparatively speaking, a 62-pack container of dishwashing pods at Walmart runs about $0.27 per load. This dishwasher detergent recipe is simple to make and only costs about $0.01 per load to make!

I believe having safe, homemade alternatives to the chemical-heavy products you can find in the store is important for living a minimalist lifestyle. I also believe that you don’t need to have any fancy equipment or secret ingredients to get the job done. Some DIY dishwasher detergent recipes call for Borax or washing soda, and those are great if you’re not in a pinch. But this homemade dishwasher detergent recipe is super easy and only requires three ingredients: naturally derived dish soap, baking soda, and water.

Make Your Own Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

All you need are a few items you likely have on hand already: 
  • An airtight container like a clean milk jug or bottle
  • Dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • Water

Take 2 teaspoons of your favorite dish detergent or castile soap (preferably a natural option like Mrs. Meyer’s, Seventh Generation, and Dr. Bronner’s) and add them to your container along with 4 teaspoons of baking soda. Slowly fill the jug with water, swirling it around to help mix everything up, and voilà! You have a simple dishwasher detergent that’s ready to use like any store-bought option. Simply fill your detergent reservoir before turning your dishwasher on, and you’re good to go.

Helpful hints: Gradually add the dish soap to your jug as you fill it with water. This will make the mixing process easier and help prevent over bubbling.

If you want to take your DIY approach to the next level, check out this recipe for homemade bar dish soap!

Simple Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Recipe

  • 1 clean gallon jug or airtight container
  • 2 teaspoons dish soap or castile soap
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda
  • Water
  1. Add baking soda and dish soap to jug, or gradually add dish soap to container with the water to prevent bubble build-up.
  2. Fill jug with water, gently swirling along the way to mix the ingredients together.
  3. Fill dishwasher detergent reservoir
I hope you love this recipe as much as I do! Please feel free to leave comments about your experience and any additional helpful tips for other readers.
Up Your DIY Cleaning Routine

Be sure to check out other homemade recipes to fit your lifestyle:
Easy DIY clean laundry


Minimalist Mama is a curated story of mamahood, minimalism and simple living.

Portia Owens


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