DIY Lemon Dishwasher Tablets

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Introduction: DIY Lemon Dishwasher Tablets

Homemade dishwasher tablets are easy to make and often cheaper than store bought brands that are filled with chemicals galore. Making them at home also gives you the opportunity to create and play with your favorite scents for cleaning your dishes.

Step 1: Ingredients

You'll want to gather the following:

  • 1 Cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
  • 1/2 Cup Epsom Salts
  • 1 Cup Borax
  • Juice from 1 Lemon
  • Essential Oils (Optional for Scents)

I chose not to use essential oils for my tablets, but you could easily add them. Eucalyptus or lavender could both be nice additions to your lemon dishwasher tablets!

Step 2: Combine Ingredients

Combine your borax, washing soda, epsom salt, and lemon juice into a bowl. When you add your lemon juice, your solids will begin to fizz. That is okay! Keep going. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon gently fold and mix the ingredients together until they begin to clump and are adequately mixed.

If you are using essential oils, add a 4-6 drops and mix in thoroughly.

Step 3: Press and Dry

Spoon your mixture into empty, clean ice cube trays. Using the back of your spoon or your fingers press your tablet mixture into the ice cube slots firmly. The firmer your press down on your tablets, the more likely they are to stay together once you pop them out of the ice cube tray.

Let your tablets sit for 24 hours to dry completely and harden.

Step 4: Pop and Store

Once you have let your tablets dry for 24 hours, release them from the ice cube tray. Store your tablets in a dry air sealed container like a mason jar or tupperware.

Step 5: Done

You're done! Use your dishwasher tablets like you would regular store bought tablets in your dishwasher. Enjoy the fact that you can clean your dishes without all of the harsh chemicals!

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23 Comments

Please tell me you know that Borax, Epsom Salts, and Washing Soda are "common" names for laboratory chemicals.

3 replies

And I assume that you understand that not all chemicals are created equal. Not every chemical is harmful to humans and the environment. Dihydrogen monoxide, for example, is a chemical, but we've done pretty well with that so far. I like the idea that this Instrucable gives me a gentler way to use my dishwasher. I plan on trying these this week. I will let you know how they work. :-)

Borax, Epsom Salts, and Washing Soda all occur naturally and are used around the world in almost every culture.

Nice instructabe, can you use it without the citric acid from the lemon? Unfortunately the acid in the lemon will etch your glassware and silverware. Never use any citrus based dishwasher detergent for that reason. It is very hard to find a non acidic dishwasher detergent, but if you are determined you can find it.

1 reply

I'm fairly certain the small amount of citric acid in this will have reacted with the sodium bicarbonate to become a small amount of sodium citrate. oops, a home "lab" chemical.

the small amount of juice from a single lemon, or maybe 2 dozen lemons have very little citric acid and would have a hard time etching modern glassware. modern creams and acids used for etching are MUCH stronger.

that said, fancy stemware and silver likely aren't safe to be put in a dishwasher.

This sounds good., can't download the recipe because I am not a member :-(

1 reply

You don't have to be a member to access the information. If you know how to cut and paste into a document, then print it out, you can save it! I believe being a member gives you the advantage of having all the info easily available and print, not to mention other membership advantages! I encourage you to read the membership info closely. Of course, becoming a member is a good thing! You can also easily resort to the old pencil and paper method with the ingredients list not being too long ;-)

I read that Borax is actually Formaldehyde and is a very toxic chemical.

2 replies

A quick trip to Wikipedia will relieve you of that misinformation.

very creative!

Definitely going to have to try these! Thanks

I love these and have been making them for years

The problem is that if you have hard water like we do, you get spots on the glasses, even with jet dry.

So I dont use them here anymore, however my kids dont have hard water and totally love them and have used them ever since they have been on their own.

Awesome way to save money

Thanks, I am going to try this with essential oil.

Anyone do a cost comparison??

Going to try this as I use some of the indigence for DIY laundry soap. Thank you

Borax, of the mule team variety, is sodium tetraborate or sodium borate (to get all official for a second) and NOT boric acid (hydrogen borate), which is a common misconception on the interwebs apparently.

Looks interesting! Can you post pictures of before/after in the dishwasher?