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How to Make Dishwasher Detergent Cubes

Welcome to the world of sustainable and eco-friendly cleaning! In a time where environmental consciousness is paramount, finding effective alternatives to commercial cleaning products has become essential. If you’re looking to reduce plastic waste, minimize harmful chemicals, and take control of what goes into your dishwasher detergent, making your own dishwasher detergent cubes is a fantastic option.

Dishwasher detergent cubes are not only easy to make but also customizable to suit your specific cleaning needs. By crafting your own detergent, you can ensure it’s free from harsh chemicals, unnecessary additives, and excessive packaging. Embracing this DIY approach not only benefits the environment but also promotes a healthier living space for you and your loved ones.

In this guide, we’ll take you through a simple and cost-effective method to create your detergent cubes using readily available ingredients. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or just starting to explore the world of homemade cleaning solutions, making dishwasher detergent cubes will undoubtedly be a rewarding experience. Let’s embark on this journey together and take a step towards a greener and cleaner future. Get ready to unleash the power of homemade cleaning with your very own dishwasher detergent cubes!

Learn how to make your own dishwasher detergent cubes with this easy step-by-step tutorial.

We decided to carry these savings into our dishwashing by making dishwasher detergent. We have been making our own laundry detergent and it’s saving us money. This DIY Dishwasher Detergent is budget-friendly and gets dishes sparkling clean. It takes about 5 minutes to whip up, so it really couldn’t be easier. 

It cost me $1.23 for 12 cubes of detergent….roughly ten cents apiece. I recently paid $5 for a pack of 20 dishwasher pods (about 25 cents each). If you prefer powder, check out Back In the Book Nutrition for her Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Recipe! 

Please note: Do NOT use in dishwashers with stainless steel interiors.

Benefits of the Ingredients:

Citric Acid:

In this recipe, however, consider this versatile cleaner boosts dishwasher detergent to help get rid of stuck-on food, suspends hard water deposits to keep them off your dishes, and assists in smooth rinsing at the end of the cycle. Here are other great uses for citric acid around your home

Though optional in this recipe, Citric Acid is a versatile and valuable addition to your dishwasher detergent. Its multifunctional properties work wonders in enhancing the cleaning power of the detergent. Acting as a potent cleaner, citric acid effectively tackles stubborn, stuck-on food residues, ensuring your dishes come out sparkling clean after every cycle. Additionally, it works to neutralize and suspend hard water deposits, preventing them from leaving unsightly spots on your dishes.

Moreover, citric acid facilitates a smooth rinsing process at the end of the dishwasher cycle, leaving your dishes spotless and residue-free. Beyond its role in dishwashing, citric acid boasts a myriad of other practical uses around your home, making it a valuable and versatile household item.

You can easily find food-grade citric acid in the canning goods section of your local grocery store, ensuring access to this beneficial ingredient whenever you need it.

Food-grade citric acid can be found in the area of your grocery store where canning goods are sold.

Washing Soda (not baking soda)

This powerful cleaner raises the cleaning pH to help break down food and grease and soften the water to reduce spots, leaving your glasses and silverware as it was meant to be seen!

Arm and Hammer washing soda can also be found in the laundry aisle

Another key component of this recipe is Washing Soda, which should not be confused with baking soda. This powerful cleaner elevates the cleaning pH, effectively breaking down tough food stains and grease while also softening the water to minimize the occurrence of spots. The result is dishes, glasses, and silverware that shine as they were meant to be seen.

You can easily obtain Washing Soda, such as Arm and Hammer’s product, in your grocery store’s laundry aisle, providing easy access to this remarkable cleaning agent.

Epsom Salt:

Got hard water? That can leave behind spots on clean dishes. Adding Epsom salt softens water and keeps glassware clear.

Epsom Salt comes to the rescue for those struggling with hard water issues. Its addition to the detergent helps soften the water, preventing the formation of spots on your clean dishes and glassware.


This is a natural disinfectant and mild abrasives—just what you need to blast away stuck-on food and germs. You may be interested in learning that borax is a common ingredient in many commercial detergents. Borax sells under the name 20 Mule Team and can be found in the laundry aisle at your grocery store or big box store.

When seeking a natural disinfectant with mild abrasive properties, look no further than Borax. This powerful ingredient serves as an excellent aid in removing stubborn food residues and germs, leaving your dishes sanitized and immaculate. You may be surprised to learn that Borax is a common ingredient in many commercial detergents, and you can easily find it under the name “20 Mule Team” in the laundry aisle of your local grocery or big-box store.

Incorporating these ingredients into your homemade dishwasher detergent recipe guarantees a highly effective and eco-friendly cleaning solution, enabling you to maintain a clean and sanitary kitchen while contributing to a greener and more sustainable environment.

#DIY Dishwasher Detergent Cubes #green #Clean #cleaners #MakeYourOwn


Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Cubes

Servings: 24 cubes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Set Time: 6-8 hours


  • 1 cup Borax
  • 1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (NOT baking soda)
  • 1/4 cup Epsom Salt
  • 1 tsp. citric acid (optional)
  • 4-6 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • Ice Cube Trays

Find everything you need on Amazon here.


This DIY Dishwasher Detergent is budget-friendly and gets dishes sparkling clean.

How to Make Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Cubes

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the Borax, Arm & Hammer Washing Soda, Epsom Salt, and citric acid (if using). Make sure to mix them well to ensure an even distribution of ingredients.
  2. Slowly add the lemon juice to the dry mixture. The mixture will fizz, so add the lemon juice gradually while stirring to avoid excessive fizzing.
  3. Continue adding lemon juice until the mixture reaches a “sticky” consistency. The final texture should not be runny but rather hold together when pressed.
  4. Once the desired consistency is achieved, spoon one tablespoon of the mixture into each slot of an ice cube tray. Fill all the slots on the tray with the mixture.
  5. Set the ice cube tray aside in a cool, dry place, and let the detergent cubes dry for 6-8 hours. This will allow the cubes to solidify and maintain their shape.
  6. After the drying period, carefully pop the detergent cubes out of the ice cube tray.
  7. Store the detergent cubes in an airtight container or a zip-lock bag to keep them fresh and prevent moisture from affecting their effectiveness.


The mixture will fizz. That’s okay. Just keep it in mind and add the lemon juice slowly.

How to Use:

  1. When it’s time to run the dishwasher, drop one detergent cube into the bottom of the dishwasher.
  2. Choose the cycle of your preference and start the dishwasher.
  3. Sit back and let the magic happen! The detergent cubes will dissolve during the cycle, effectively cleaning and sanitizing your dishes.
  4. Once the dishwasher completes the cycle, enjoy the sight of sparkling clean dishes ready to be used again.

These homemade dishwasher detergent cubes are environmentally friendly and highly effective in removing tough stains and grime. By making your detergent, you have control over the ingredients, ensuring a safe and efficient cleaning solution for your dishes. So, embrace this sustainable approach and bring the power of DIY cleaning to your kitchen!v

Learn how to make your own dishwasher detergent cubes with this easy step-by-step tutorial.

You’ll Love these Benefits of Making Your Own Dishwasher Detergent Cubes:

Making your own dishwasher detergent cubes offers several benefits that make it a compelling option for environmentally-conscious and budget-conscious individuals.

Here are some of the advantages:

  1. Eco-friendly: Homemade dishwasher detergent cubes allow you to reduce your environmental impact significantly. By avoiding commercially packaged detergents, you decrease plastic waste and contribute to a greener planet.
  2. Chemical Control: When you make your own detergent cubes, you have complete control over the ingredients. You can choose natural, non-toxic substances, avoiding harsh chemicals and unnecessary additives found in many commercial detergents. This is especially beneficial for households with allergies or sensitivities to certain chemicals.
  3. Cost-effective: Creating your dishwasher detergent cubes can be a cost-effective option. The ingredients used in the recipe are often more affordable in bulk and can last for a considerable period, providing excellent value for money.
  4. Versatility: Homemade detergent cubes often include versatile ingredients like borax, washing soda, and citric acid. These components clean dishes effectively and can be used for various cleaning purposes around the house, offering multipurpose utility.
  5. Customization: DIY detergent cubes can be easily tailored to meet your specific cleaning needs. You can adjust the ingredients or quantities to tackle different water hardness levels, food residues, or other dishwashing challenges.
  6. Reduced Packaging: By making your detergent cubes, you eliminate the need for excessive packaging that comes with store-bought detergents. This reduces the overall waste generated and supports sustainable living.
  7. Safe for Children and Pets: Using natural ingredients allows you to create a dishwasher detergent that is safe for children and pets in the household. There is no need to worry about harmful residues or fumes that might be present in some commercial products.
  8. Satisfaction of DIY: Making your own dishwasher detergent cubes can be a rewarding experience. It empowers you to take control of your cleaning routine, and the sense of accomplishment in creating something useful from scratch can be highly gratifying.
  9. Great Results: When properly formulated, homemade detergent cubes can deliver excellent cleaning results. They can effectively remove stubborn food residues, leave dishes sparkling, and keep glassware and silverware looking their best.
  10. Reduced Allergens: By using natural and hypoallergenic ingredients, you can minimize the presence of potential allergens in your dishwasher detergent. This is especially beneficial for individuals with allergies or sensitivities.

In summary, making your own dishwasher detergent cubes presents a host of benefits that extend beyond just clean dishes. From environmental conservation to personalized cleaning solutions, it’s an option that empowers you to lead a more sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle while maintaining a hygienic and tidy home.

FAQs for Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Cubes

1. Is this dishwasher detergent recipe safe for all dishwashers? Yes, this homemade detergent recipe is safe for use in all types of dishwashers, including standard residential models. It contains natural and non-toxic ingredients that won’t harm your dishwasher’s internal components.

2. Can I use these detergent cubes for handwashing dishes? While these detergent cubes are specifically formulated for use in dishwashers, the ingredients used (like Borax and Washing Soda) are generally not suitable for direct use on skin or for handwashing dishes. Stick to using them exclusively in your dishwasher.

3. Will these detergent cubes work in hard water areas? Absolutely! This DIY recipe is designed to combat hard water deposits effectively. The Epsom Salt and citric acid help soften the water and prevent mineral buildup, ensuring your dishes come out spotless even in areas with hard water.

4. Can I omit the citric acid from the recipe? Yes, you can omit the citric acid if you prefer. The recipe will still work effectively in cleaning your dishes, but the citric acid does contribute to enhanced cleaning power and helps with stuck-on food removal.

5. Can I use vinegar as a substitute for lemon juice? Yes, if you don’t have lemon juice on hand, you can use white vinegar as a substitute. Vinegar offers similar acidic properties that aid in cleaning and removing mineral deposits from dishes.

6. How many detergent cubes should I use per dishwasher load? One detergent cube per dishwasher load is typically sufficient. However, you may adjust the quantity based on the size of your dishwasher and the level of soiling on your dishes. For larger loads or heavily soiled dishes, you can use two cubes if needed.

7. Can I add essential oils for fragrance? Yes, you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil for a pleasant fragrance. Keep in mind that essential oils are optional and may not provide any additional cleaning benefits, but they can leave a refreshing scent on your dishes.

8. Are these detergent cubes safe for septic systems? Yes, this homemade dishwasher detergent is generally safe for septic systems since it doesn’t contain harmful chemicals or phosphates that can harm septic tanks. However, it’s always a good idea to consult with a septic system professional to ensure compatibility.

9. How should I store the detergent cubes? Store the detergent cubes in an airtight container or a resealable zip-lock bag to keep them dry and prevent moisture from affecting their performance.

10. Can I use these detergent cubes for other cleaning tasks? Absolutely! The ingredients in these cubes, such as borax, washing soda, and citric acid, have versatile cleaning properties. You can use them to clean surfaces, sinks, bathroom fixtures, and more. Just ensure they are suitable for the specific cleaning task and avoid using them on delicate surfaces like marble or natural stone.

Check out my other DIY recipes:

Homemade Laundry Detergent

DIY Shout Stain Remover

How to Make Your Own Fabric Softener

Homemade Essential Oil Playdough



#DIY Dishwasher Detergent Cubes #green #Clean #cleaners #MakeYourOwn

Dishwasher Detergent Cubes

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 8 hours 6 seconds
Total Time: 8 hours 5 minutes 6 seconds

This DIY Dishwasher Detergent is budget-friendly and gets dishes sparkling clean. The best part is it takes just minutes to wrap up this all-natural dishwasher detergent cubes recipe!


  • 1 cup Borax
  • 1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (NOT baking soda)
  • 1/4 c. Epsom Salt
  • 1 tsp. citric acid (optional)
  • 4-6 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • Ice Cube Trays


Mix the Borax, Arm & Hammer Washing Soda, Epsom Salt, and citric acid together.

This is important so make sure it is mixed well.

Add lemon juice.

The mixture will fizz. That’s okay. Just keep it in mind and add the lemon juice slowly.

You’ll want to add between 4-6 Tablespoons of lemon juice to make the powder “sticky”…it won’t be runny when it’s done.

Once you have a “sticky” substance, spoon one tablespoon of the mixture into an ice cube tray.

Continue until all cubed slots are filled on the tray.

Set aside and let dry for 6-8 hours.

Pop-out of tray and place in a container or zip-lock bag to store.

Drop one cube of the detergent into the bottom of your dishwasher and run on the cycle of your choice.

Dishes will come out sparkling!

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