Homemade Dishwashing Powder | Healthy housekeeper

A simple recipe for safe, green dishwashing powder that effectively cleans even the dirtiest dishes without residue or streaks.

Woman adding a tablespoon of homemade dishwasher powder to the dispenser

One product that you should definitely get rid of in your household is automatic dishwashing detergent or tablets.

This stuff is one of the most toxic chemical concoctions that people use in their homes, day after day, year after year…usually without even thinking about it.

Is this stuff safe for the very dishes and utensils we use to eat?

What’s the point of buying anything organic, local, and nutrient dense if the kitchenware you serve it on has dangerous residues on it?

While companies that make these products assure us that the chemicals rinse clean and clear, I don’t (and never have) believe their company’s claims.

Even the ingredients in “green” dishwashing powders that I have studied are toxic…. although much less than supermarket brands.

Some of them contain glycerin, which is sticky and increases the likelihood of residue on your dishes. It doesn’t wash off easily!

It’s important to remember that the marketing term “environmentally friendly” doesn’t necessarily mean “people-friendly”..

I have yet to find a brand of dishwasher powder that is 100% safe and that I’m comfortable with.

If you think you’ve found one, please share it in the comments, along with a list of ingredients!

However, it’s so easy and inexpensive to make your own, I don’t know why more people aren’t doing it.

Another tip… I don’t recommend trusting the Environmental Working Group’s ingredient safety database 100%.

While it’s a good source of information, it’s also sometimes wrong.

A few of the ingredients I researched using this method appeared “green” but as I searched further they were far from safe!

I’m not saying you shouldn’t use it, just avoid using it as the sole or ultimate authority on any particular chemical you may be investigating.

Try it and make your own dishwashing liquid! The following formula works well even for the very hard well water we have in our home. It is also safe for septic tanks.

Does it work as well as commercial brands?

No it does not. But it works well enough in my experience.

Just make sure you scrape the dishes before you start loading.

This is a little extra work that I would much rather do than use a product that removes everything under the sun but potentially leaves toxins on our plates, cups and utensils!

Woman pouring DIY dishwasher powder into dispenser

Homemade Dishwashing Powder


  1. Mix together washing soda and citric acid in a small container with a tight-fitting lid.

  2. Add 1 tablespoon of dry mix to the main wash compartment per dishwasher load. Use 2 tablespoons if the load is heavy or particularly dirty.

  3. Fill the dishwasher tank with the white vinegar. This is optional but recommended if you have hard water.

Homemade automatic dishwashing powder in LG dishwasher

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