This Dr. Axe content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure factually accurate information.

With strict editorial sourcing guidelines, we only link to academic research institutions, reputable media sites and, when research is available, medically peer-reviewed studies. Note that the numbers in parentheses (1, 2, etc.) are clickable links to these studies.

The information in our articles is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by our trained editorial staff. Note that the numbers in parentheses (1, 2, etc.) are clickable links to medically peer-reviewed studies.

Our team includes licensed nutritionists and dietitians, certified health education specialists, as well as certified strength and conditioning specialists, personal trainers and corrective exercise specialists. Our team aims to be not only thorough with its research, but also objective and unbiased.

The information in our articles is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent with Orange and Lemon Oils

By

(40)
Homemade dishwasher detergent

Did you know that many conventional dishwashing detergents contain some ingredients that are not safe for you and your family? According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and their “guide to healthy cleaning“, these detergents can include phosphates, preservatives, formaldehyde and more. Some of these products “may contain ingredients with potential for acute aquatic toxicity; chronic aquatic toxicity; nervous system effects.”

Yikes. Instead, consider making your own homemade dishwasher detergent. Not only will you save a ton of money, you can be positive that the ingredients are safe for you, your family and the environment without question. (And for a backup store-bought dishwasher detergent, opt for one of these.)

How to Make DIY Dishwasher Soap

In a medium bowl, add the washing soda and purified water. Washing soda is a chemical compound that is safe to use for removing dirt and grease. It can even treat hard water. More specifically, it is the salt of carbonic acid. Because washing soda is often made from the ashes of burned plants, you may see it named as soda ash.

Purified water is important to help avoid chemical contamination. Blend these ingredients.

Next, stir in the vinegar, citric acid and kosher salt for this homemade dishwasher detergent. White vinegar helps disinfect safely but also helps keep your dishes spot free. The vinegar contains acetic acid, which helps take the grease off while acting as a rinsing agent.

Citric acid helps add some shine to your dishes while removing the minerals that may be caused by hard water found in your area. Kosher salt is an amazing ingredient because it is a mild preservative and can get some of those tough to clean stains off of your dishes by acting as a gentle scouring agent.

It’s now time to add the essential oils and mix well. Wild orange oil is perfect because it fights off grease and bacteria while enhancing your kitchen with a delightful scent. Lemon essential oil is a powerhouse of freshness, and it’s a great in a homemade dishwasher detergent because it, too, is antibacterial and antifungal.

Pour into a glass bottle and store in the fridge.

Tips

  1. To use, give the bottle a good shake and then add your DIY dishwasher soap to the dispenser. About 1½–2 tablespoons of detergent per load should do the trick.
  2. I suggest storing your homemade dishwasher detergent in the refrigerator to prevent fermentation and mold since it is chemical and preservative-free.
  3. A quick rinse before loading the dishwasher can provide a boost to a good set up of clean dishes.

Precautions

Though this homemade dishwasher detergent is safe, it’s best to keep it out of reach from children and pets. If you notice any irritation, please discontinue use. For best results, make sure to clean your dishwasher periodically. You can run the dishwasher using a cup or two of vinegar and baking soda to help provide a thorough cleansing.

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
DIY dishwasher detergent

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent


  • Author: Dr. Josh Axe
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 30 uses 1x

Description

The average dishwashing detergent has some unhealthy ingredients, so why not make a DIY dishwashing detergent right at home? Not only will you save a ton of money, you can be positive that the ingredients are safe for you, your family and the environment without question.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 ounces washing soda
  • 3¼ cups purified water
  • 4 ounces white vinegar
  • 1 ounce citric acid powder
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 20 drops orange essential oil
  • 20 drops lemon essential oil

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, add the washing soda and purified water and mix well with a wooden spoon.
  2. Stir in the vinegar, citric acid and kosher salt.
  3. Add the essential oils and mix well.
  4. Pour into a glass bottle and store in the fridge to prevent fermentation and mold (since it is chemical and preservative-free).
  5. Use about 1½–2 tablespoons of detergent per load. Give the bottle a good shake before dispensing.

Notes

Because this is a chemical-free dishwasher detergent, you need to give your dishes a quick scrub and rinse before loading.

  • Prep Time: 10 min

Keywords: DIY dishwasher detergent, homemade dishwasher detergent, DIY dishwasher soap

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4.6 / 5. Vote count: 40

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

26 Comments

  1. Val on

    my dishwasher recipe is this…

    2C.washing soda
    1/2 cup citric acid
    mix these first

    1/2cup salt(pure-pickling-salt)
    2tsp orange essential
    2tsp lemon essential
    2tsp diamtasous earth(foodgrade!)

    mix salt with essentials..the earth is silica so it don’t stick
    then mix it all together

    NOW for rinse aid..16 oz cheap 100proof vodka and 6 oz citric acid..sparkling glasses and no poisons coating your dishes

    Reply
  2. Frances on

    This is fabulous stuff! Thanks so much Dr Axe – I have been trying to source the perfect dishwasher detergent for several years now, but up until now have been unsuccessful despite many experiments. This stuff really cleans properly – even glass comes out sparkling! Lovely to know this stuff is not poisoning water courses like commercial stuff (even so-called “eco” products). So much cheaper than commercial products too. Thanks so much for this great recipe!

    Reply
  3. Carol chevalier on

    I have been researching breast cancer for my friend and found lots of thing that are really helping her.
    Than I found you and Jordan on u tube and i was very inpressed.
    I got your book essential oil ancient medcine and your web site. I am finding lots of information that is not only helping my friend but myself and my husband as well. love all the diy recipes. working on detoxing my home as well as my body. thank you for shearing all of your knowleage.

    Reply
    • mary butler on

      i would like to hear if you got any reply on your ask if the homemade dish washer detergent was safe for septic tanks.
      waiting to hear from you
      mary butler
      Ireland

      Reply
  4. Tamara Brooks on

    This homemade dishwasher soap looks interesting. Two quick questions: 1) i use Young Living oils which tend to be a fair bit stronger than a lot of other brands. Do these amounts still sound appropriate?
    2) Is there any reason I could or could not also ad a touch of thyme, lemongrass, cinnamon or oregano? We live on a farm and a little extra cleaning power bacterial wise would be beneficial. My son also does not do that well with orange.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Cristina on

      Is suggest melaleuca as it is tough but gentle. Play around with drops, but Dr axe has talked about quality oils of DoTERRA, and Young living is very similar, so I think 20 drops of either is good. He always boasts to only use quality essential oils :)

      Reply
  5. Joy on

    Everytime I’ve made this or any recipe for dishwashing with castilesoap my dishes are always covered in a film I’ve also used the recipes that have vinegar included
    Have any suggestions on a remedy?

    Reply

More Beauty

Ad