Author Topic: Dishwashing detergent  (Read 2864 times)


  • Magnum Stache
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Dishwashing detergent
« on: November 11, 2015, 06:52:26 PM »
Okay, I know it's an odd topic. 

I was out shopping earlier in the week and couldn't find dishwashing detergent at Target.  They had the expensive little "pods", but no powdered stuff. 

I went to Food Lion today.  They had powdered Cascade (at $5 a box!) and the pods.  No store brand powdered detergent, which is what I usually buy. 

Is this stuff disappearing?  Are people buying just those pods these days? 

Does anyone have a good recipe for homemade dishwashing detergent? 


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Dishwashing detergent
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2015, 06:58:50 PM »
I buy the Finish tabs at Costco in bulk when they are on sale, but I only use half for each load. I think it ends up costing me about 5 cents per wash.

Someone might come on here with a homemade detergent, but I remember reading that people have had less success with homemade varieties in a dishwasher. Apparently they oftentimes produce a weird film on the dishes.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Dishwashing detergent
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2015, 07:01:41 PM »
I'm sure a LOT of people are buying the pods.

You didn't mention liquid detergent. My parents prefer it; I think because it's easier to control (powder tends to go everywhere...) It is more expensive, though; I couldn't bring myself to shell out for it at my last place. I did, however, pick up Cascade (Platinum? Complete? the "fancier" one) before my roommate got the store brand because I found it actually cleaned dishes and didn't leave crud behind...I'm sure this is dishwasher dependent, though.

Now I handwash due to no machine in the new place, so it's a moot point!


  • Bristles
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Re: Dishwashing detergent
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2015, 07:28:06 PM »
I like the liquid Kirkland brand from Costco, in the big green bottle.  It does a good job at cleaning, and saves me from breathing in the powder abrasive stuff. 


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Dishwashing detergent
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2015, 09:38:09 PM »
I ran out the other day and tried recipie #1 from this website.

It seemed to do fine but I did go ahead and buy another bottle of the normal stuff (off brand liquid) when I next went to the store. I prefer. Liquid but I always put in half the amount.


  • Stubble
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Re: Dishwashing detergent
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2015, 02:05:50 AM »
I had been thinking about making dishwasher detergent for the last several months, but it's one of those things I just didn't get around to...  Until about a week ago I ran out of it.  I had borax and baking soda on hand.  I think homemade recipes call for 'washing soda', I believe (correct me if I am wrong), that just baking "baking soda" turns into washing soda.    I haven't yet baked my baking soda.

But for the past week, I have put a small tsp of baking soda and a small tsp of borax and the dishes are coming out just fine.  However, I do pre=rinse, but I pre-rinsed anyhow with store bought detergent.   Hopefully my dishwasher will be okay.   Maybe I should put on my to-do-list bake baking soda tomorrow...


  • Stubble
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Re: Dishwashing detergent
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2015, 04:55:15 AM »
I use the same link as above to make my own Dishwashing Detergent.
The mixture I use is:

1 cup borax - same as for laundry detergent
1 cup washing soda - same as for laundry detergent
cup citric acid - amazon
cup kosher salt - store

Mix together, store in air tight container - 1 tablespoon/load
I stored my first batch in a ziplock bag and the air still got to it and made it really hard and clumpy.  I had to chop it up with a knife and put it in airtight mason jars and it's fine now, but make sure you've got an air tight container.

I get the same results as the Cascade stuff and save lots of money, and it's really simple to make.  I got everything from Walmart except the Citric Acid which I got from Amazon.  Making your Laundry Detergent has the same first 2 ingredients and then shaved down Zote or Fels Naptha Laundry Bar and I like to add in sentables as well.  I get really excited when I have to make a batch now, but I don't have to make it often b/c they last forever!  Saves a ton of money.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Dishwashing detergent
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2015, 05:44:58 AM »
I used this same recipe with less salt and acid but would always get a film on my dishes.  You never notice anything like that?  Maybe I will try again with these amounts.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Dishwashing detergent
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2015, 09:58:31 AM »

Does anyone have a good recipe for homemade dishwashing detergent?

Base recipe I use is 1 part washing soda, 1 part borax, 1/2 part coarse salt. Use a few cL of white vinegar as rinse, this solves a lot of issues with the film on glasses. Pretty much the same base ingredients as our laundry detergent except I add half a bar of grated soap to the mix and cook the whole thing in water (I can look up the exact quantities) until it dissolves completely.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2015, 10:08:47 AM by ykphil »


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Dishwashing detergent
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2015, 10:06:12 AM »
Tried my homemade for a while and it sucked big time.  we use cascade powdered detergent from costco plus lemi-shine (which I think is mostly citric acid and maybe something else) because the detergent alone leaves lots of residue.

I'd still be interested in trying a different diy recipe.

I hate those pods.  they are so pricey.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Dishwashing detergent
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2015, 10:15:02 AM »
I DIY a LOT of home cleaner recipes, but I am holding the line on dishwasher detergents. I buy the pods (when I buy the boxed powder I always seem to overpour and waste a ton), and I use white vinegar in the rinse-aid well.

I have tried DIY recipes and they just don't work with the machine. Someday we might simplify so much that we eliminate the washer altogether and just handwash, but in the meantime, PODS.

When I used to buy them at Costco, I would use the plastic bucket as my freezer compost container for when I was too lazy to take food scraps out to the bin. Just collect them in the freezer (no smell, magic!) and then take them out en masse when I have time.

For what it's worth, here is Bea Johnson's dishwasher detergent recipe from Zero-Waste Home. I didn't like it but maybe we just have hard water or something.

4 cups washing soda [usually avail near laundry detergent at superstores]
1 cup citric acid [avail at homebrew supply shops]
1 cup sea salt
« Last Edit: November 12, 2015, 10:18:43 AM by jengod »