How to Make a Natural Dishwasher Detergent with Baking Soda and Vinegar

Updated on April 3, 2023 by Joseph D. Nielson

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close up clean plates inside dishwasher

Making your own dishwasher detergent is simple, and we’ll show you how. You can be confident that your dishes will be as clean and sparkling as they would have been if you had used store-bought products.

To see the difference, try Fresh Home Guide‘s homemade dishwasher detergent. You’ll be surprised how simple it is to make your own natural dishwasher detergent, and how much money you’ll be saving in the process.

What You’ll Need to Make the Detergent

Baking soda

The main ingredient in the detergent is baking soda. Baking soda is an effective cleanser commonly used in many kitchen and bathroom cleaning products because it can help remove dirt and grime without leaving behind streaks and spots.

White vinegar

White vinegar is another key ingredient in this homemade dishwasher detergent. Vinegar has natural antibacterial and antiseptic properties that are great for getting rid of germs, bacteria, and odors on dishes. Plus, it can help cut through grease and grime without leaving behind a residue or film.  

Together with baking soda, these two ingredients make for a powerful detergent that can get your dishes clean and sparkling.

A clean container for storing your detergent

For storing your homemade dishwasher detergent, you’ll need a clean container with an airtight lid. This will help keep bacteria and moisture out of the detergent mix and ensure that it stays fresh for longer periods of time. You can use any type of container, from a mason jar to an old plastic food storage container. Just make sure that it is clean and sanitized before you use it.

How to Make the Detergent

Making your own homemade dishwasher detergent is a simple process that only takes a few minutes. All you have to do is mix together baking soda and vinegar in the right ratios and store it in an airtight container until you’re ready to use it. 

Here’s the steps:

  1. Combine 1/4 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of white vinegar in a clean container. Stir gently until baking soda is completely dissolved in the mixture
  2. Fill the container with warm water, stirring occasionally until all the ingredients are mixed together

Tips on how to use the detergent in your dishwasher

Once you’ve made your homemade dishwasher detergent, it’s time to start using it in your machine. Here are a few tips on how to get the best results:

  • Make sure that your dishes are properly rinsed before putting them in the dishwasher. This will ensure that there isn’t any food residue left on the dishes that could interfere with the detergent’s cleaning power
  • Start by filling your dishwasher’s soap cup with 1 tablespoon of homemade detergent, then fill the rest of the cup with regular store-bought dishwashing liquid. This will help ensure that your dishes get a thorough cleaning
  • Run the dishwasher on a normal cycle, using the hottest water setting available for best results
  • If your dishes are not coming out as clean as you’d like, try increasing the amount of detergent in the soap cup by 1 tablespoon until you get the desired results

It’s also important to remember that your homemade detergent has a shorter shelf life than store-bought varieties. To extend the life of your detergent, make sure to keep it stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Additionally, make sure to use it within one month of making it for best results.

Benefits of Using a Natural Dishwasher Detergent

Using a natural dishwasher detergent like the one described above has several benefits:

Saving money

Making your own homemade dishwasher detergent can save you money compared to buying it from the store. The ingredients are inexpensive and can be found at most grocery stores, so you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank when making your detergent.

No bleach, phosphates, or other harsh chemicals used in the mixture

Store-bought detergents often contain harsh chemicals like bleach and phosphates which can be bad for the environment. By making your own detergent, you can avoid these ingredients and use natural alternatives that are safe for the environment.

Environmental benefits of reducing the amount of packaging and waste from store-bought detergents

Making your own dishwasher detergent also eliminates the need for purchasing store-bought varieties, which often come in bulky packages. By making your own detergent, you can reduce the amount of packaging and waste associated with buying from the store. In addition, you’ll be reducing your carbon footprint by using natural ingredients that are better for the environment.

It’s important to remember that all dishwashers are different and may require different cleaning instructions. Before using your homemade detergent, be sure to check the instruction manual for your specific dishwasher model so that you can get the best possible results. 

Additionally, it’s a good idea to test a small amount of the detergent in an inconspicuous area of your dishes to make sure it doesn’t cause any damage. With proper care and maintenance, you can ensure that your dishwasher will run efficiently and last for many years to come.

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Q: How often should I make the detergent?

A: The homemade dishwasher detergent should be used within one month of making it for best results. You can also store it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place to keep it fresh.

Q: Can I use this detergent with all types of dishes?

A: Yes, you can use this detergent with all types of dishes. However, before using the detergent on delicate or fragile items, it’s important to test a small amount in an inconspicuous area first to make sure that it won’t cause any damage. Additionally, if you don’t feel like your dishes are getting clean enough, you may want to try adding a few drops of liquid dish soap to the mixture for extra cleaning power.

Q: How do I know if my detergent is working?

A: You should be able to tell if your detergent is working properly by the results that you are getting. If dishes aren’t coming out clean enough, then you may need to adjust the amount of detergent or add more liquid dish soap to the mixture. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to check your dishwasher manual for specific instructions and maintenance recommendations. 

Q: Is this safe for septic systems?

A: Yes, this homemade dishwasher detergent is safe for septic systems. All of the ingredients that are used in this detergent are natural, biodegradable and non-toxic, so you don’t have to worry about harming your septic system.

Joseph and Family
About Joseph D. Nielson

Former journalist and editor for various press groups, I now dedicate my time to reviewing products for the home and family life. When I get time to myself, I enjoy rock climbing, taking my dirt bike for a rip, and most importantly providing my family with the best home possible!