Homemade Dishwashing Detergent

I was surfing the web one time and came across a do-it-yourself dishwashing detergent recipe. It’s supposed to be eco-friendly and economical. That seems like a win-win situation if you ask me.

After shopping around the Southbay, I found the hard-to-find ingredients (washing soda & borax). Afterall, why would a national grocery chain want to sell you ingredients to make your own stuff when you could buy theirs? Here are the components:

1cp Washing Soda (not baking soda, but it’s similar)
1cp Borax
1/2cp Kosher Salt
1/2cp Citric Acid (unsweetened lemonade mix packets will do)
Vinegar (this doesn’t go into the mix, but you add it to rinse dispenser part)

Now, let’s break down the costs:
$4.14 - Washing Soda (includes tax) - 55oz ($0.075/oz)
$5.34 - Borax (includes tax) - 76oz ($0.07/oz)
$1.5 - Kosher Salt - 13oz ($0.12/oz) - I just looked up a price since I always have this in my pantry)
$2.99 - Citric Acid (Sugar-free lemonade mix) - 3.2oz (0.93/oz) (I’m sure I can get this cheaper)
$1.83 - Vinegar - 32oz ($0.057/oz)

Here’s the cost of each batch (assuming 8oz per cup): $5.36
$0.60 - Washing Soda
$0.56 - Borax
$0.48 - Kosher Salt
$3.72 - Citric Acid

Each batch makes 24oz of dishwashing detergent. The instructions say use 1 tablespoon per load (which is about 1/2 oz in terms of dry ingredient volume), which will give you around 48 loads. Doing the math, each wash costs you around $0.11-$0.12. I’m sure the price would drop dramatically if you can get citric acid for cheaper than $0.93/oz.

Anyway, after using this mix for about a month, I haven’t really noticed any difference (that’s a good thing). The only thing is that you definitely still want a rinse agent (I haven’t tried the vinegar yet), because without it, it won’t be as good as the normal dishwasher detergent that you can buy in a store.

Scarf Girl, signing off.

Comments are closed.