Friday, April 8, 2011

DIY Dishwasher Soap

Earth Day is coming up-Friday April 22. So, my plan is to post some Earth friendly ideas on the Fridays up until Earth Day (OK, it is only 2 Fridays-when I had this plan there were many Fridays before Earth Day!). Maybe we can do a few Earth friendly posts the week leading up to Earth Day too-OK?

First up, DIY Dishwasher Soap. I generally use this dishwasher soap, which is totally awesome, but it quite expensive (I think). I have been wanting to make my own dishwasher soap for a while now. I googled it and found a few recipes, all very similar. In the end, I went with this recipe, for the most part. (But, it is not the recipe I wrote on the jar-long story!) I used two packages of the lemonade kool aid. Next, I may go for the giant amount of citric acid. It is about $5 per 4 ounces at the natural food store (so $20 per pound!), or $23 for 5 pounds on line. I figure if I make this recipe often, and make a bunch of bath fizzers, then it will be a good buy! (Other recipes, like the one I wrote on the jar, call for 1/4 cup citric acid, rather than the packet of Kool Aid.) The recipe on the jar calls for 1 teaspoon of rice too, to keep the citric acid from clumping.

So, it was crazy easy-just mix it all together! Here is the recipe, from Sustainable Sakonnett.
  • 1 cup of Washing Soda
  • 1 cup of Borax
  • 1 packet of Lemonade Kool-Aid drink mix (for the citric acid, optional)
  • 1/4 cup of salt (optional) 
Use 2 Tablespoons per load. Done. I have used this for a few loads so far and I like it. I love the Method soap a bit better, but for the price and DIY factor I am going to stick with this one for a while. Let me know if you try it!
I got to use Squirrel's sticker maker to make some labels for the jar! This sticker maker is pretty cool. I have been wanting to use it for a while, but it never seems to be 'my turn' when we get it out to make stickers!

So, here you have it. A quick and easy Earth friendly project to get you started on your way to I love our Earth day!

PS. If you haven't seen it yet, you should check out SouleMama's DIY laundry soap. I have made that a couple of times and I LOVE it. I like to use the Dr. Bonner's peppermint soap and it smells so good when you open your washer after it finishes. 


  1. I have a question... Is borax environmentally friendly? Its name implies that it has boron in it... Isn't boron bad for us? Just a question. I don't have a dishwasher but I definitely love the idea of making my own soap. I remember my mom making the handsoap from lye, animal fat and ash (I think) when we were kids.

  2. Hi Michele
    Thanks so much for your question! It seems that Borax would be toxic if inhaled or ingested in high concentrations, but otherwise is ok. (How is that for a technical answer?) I know you should keep it away from kids and pets. And I know I have used it mixed with sugar to bring ants to their demise. (sorry ants!) But I do use it in laundry detergent, for toilet cleaning, and now for dishwasher detergent and it seems pretty great. I found this link that gives a bit more information.

    Let me know what you think.

  3. I really want to try this. I use the Method soap, too, which does seem expensive. It would be great to have a cheaper alternative, yet still Earth-friendly.

  4. I'll check out that link. Thanks for the thoughtful response Vanessa!

  5. Thanks for all the ideas. I think I spend way to much money on earth-friendly washer soap. I'm going to try to make some now.

  6. Vanessa, I love this idea. Never really thought about making my own DW soap, but I feel the pain when buying the stuff at the store.


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