While several of our other dish washing soap recipes call for Borax, You'll notice that this recipe doesn't. Many of our website guests and members were leery about using Borax on their dishes, for fear that it wouldn't wash away completely or that it was leaving frosty/cloudy dishes in the their dishwasher. If you prefer a dry detergent, there are links to those dishwasher recipes at the bottom of this page.
While this recipe is pretty simple and doesn't require cooking of any kind, it does require that you follow the directions completely, or it won't come out properly. (Trust me, I made 13 batches of homemade dishwashing soaps before I finally perfected this one. So, take advantage of my willingness to trash my own kitchen in the name of DIY & MYO!)
3 Cups of Water (dry cup measure, Not liquid measure)
1 c. Arm & Hammer Washing Soda DO NOT SUBSTITUTE - make sure it doesn't have ANY LUMPS.
5 Tbs Bronners Liquid Castile Soap (Peppermint is nice!) DO NOT SUBSTITUTE with other Castile Soaps- they are NOT the same
Regular Quart Mason Jar with a Lid (NOT a wide-mouth jar) DO NOT USE A LARGER JAR.
Free Printable Label for your Jar
Add the water to the mason jar, just regular water from the tap is fine. Add the Bronners Castile Soap.
Add the (completely powdered, LUMP FREE) arm & hammer washing soda, a little at a time, giving it a chance to dissolve, or it will overflow causing a Mess. Do not use baking soda, it will NOT
INVERT THE JAR. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP or you will have a solid block at the bottom of your jar that you CANNOT get out and be sure to Follow the directions COMPLETELY. DO NOT LEAVE THIS OVERNIGHT, it must be whipped during the time frame stated or it will turn into a solid chunk which WILL Break your Jar.
Leave it alone for at least an hour, then shake vigorously again. Put it back & make sure it is still INVERTED. You DO NOT want the contents to settle on the bottom of the glass jar.
After a couple hours or so, open the jar and it should be gelled, like so:
Attach your blender blade and gasket right to the mason jar, (we use a cheap oster blender for this), and whip for a minute or so until all the ingredients are well blended and smooth and creamy. It will look like this:
For those with Normal Water: Use 1 Tablespoon per Load of Dishes. This is a very low sudsing homemade Dishwasher Detergent. Here you can see we wanted to test the efficiency of the soap, so we smeared raw egg yolks all over the plate and let it dry a little while before adding it to the machine.
For those with SOFT Water: Use 2 teaspoons ONLY per Load.
Budget101 Budget Breakdown:
Washing Soda 55 oz box =6.875 cups - $2.97 box = .43 per cup= .53˘
Dr Bronners = 3.69 for 4 oz = $1.38 per 3 Tbs.
Total Cost: $1.91 per 64 Loads = Less than .02˘ per Load
FAQ- here are a few questions we Anticipate you asking:
1. I don't have a blender what can I use instead?
You can try a hand mixer or an immersion stick blender. We haven't tried these and don't know if they'll work well. Alternatively you can get a very cheap Oster blender on Amazon for making your own detergents, creams, lotions, etc. We use ours daily for these kinds of things.
If you transfer the ingredients to a blender, only whip it until you have reached the 4 cup mark on your blender or it will be a weaker concentration.
2. Can I use Regular Liquid Dishsoap like dawn, joy, etc
No. Those are not Low-Sudsing soaps and are not meant for the dishwasher. We use Dr Bronners because it is pure, made with organic oils, biodegradable, safe for use around food and works like a dream.
3. Is this safe for the Septic/dishwasher/etc?
We could find no indication on the ingredients anywhere that they were not safe for septic systems or dishwashers.
4. Where can I get the Ingredients Listed.
You can get the water from your faucet. You can get Arm & Hammer Washing Soda from the Laundry aisle of your local grocery store or here on Amazon. You can buy the Dr. Bronners Liquid Castile soap from the cleaning aisle of your local grocery store, at almost any natural foods/health store or from Here on Amazon.
5. Do you use Vinegar in the Rinse Cycle?
No, You MUST Use a DECENT Commercial rinse aid, or you will notice a cloudy effect on your dishes after several loads.
However, we sometimes dissolve 1/4 c. citric acid per 2 c. water over medium heat until dissolved and add that to the rinse dispenser instead. It's all a matter of preference and availability of ingredients. I prefer the rinse aid because it doesn't oxidize my kitchenaid mixer utensils like citric acid does.
6. I found another brand of Castile soap that's cheaper, can I use that instead?
We tested 3 different Castile Soaps Dr.Bronners, Kirks, Dr. Woods. We experienced the BEST results using Dr.Bronners Liquid Peppermint Castile Soap. The Kirks castile soap left a haze/film on the dishes, the Dr Woods works okay but doesn't seem to have the same cleaning power/results. If you were going to substitute, which we do NOT recommend, your 2nd best choice would be Dr. Woods Castile soaps.
7. Does this work with High mineral count/ hard water?
We have been noticing that those who already have hard water are using their hard water as an ingredient in their dishwashing detergent. If you have Hard water issues or use a Water Softener, you must use BOTTLED water in the recipe instead. Also, For Hard Water/High Mineral Content you will need to reduce the washing soda by 1/4 cup and increase the Bronners by 2 Tablespoons.
8. Can I use a Larger Jar?
You could, but then it wouldn't have the same concentration and would not work as directed.
9. I'm wanting to make this but my blender parts don't fit on a mason jar. I don't understand how it changes the concentration of the mix by using a larger jar.
This recipe makes 4 cups of Concentrated Whipped Soap. If you choose to use a blender, hand mixer, or immersion blender, be sure that you have 4 cups of whipped soap at the end. Often members use a blender or hand mixer and report back that they ended up with 6 or 8 cups of soap. It's no longer as concentrated at that level and you would need nearly twice as much for the same cleaning power as what the original recipe called for.
Other Homemade Automatic Dishwasher Detergent Recipes:
- MYO Dishwasher Pods/Tablets
- Money Saving Dishwasher Tips
- Homemade Dry Dishwasher Detergent in a Jar
- Homemade Automatic Dishwasher Detergent
Make Your Own Liquid Dish Detergent