Homemade Dishwasher Tablets

Awhile back, we watched a documentary on Netflix (gosh, those really suck you in sometimes, don’t they?!) about a family that took all of their cleaning products and replaced them with chemical-free products. They even made most of them at home. Sounds a little crazy. Or is it?


I’ve been toying with the idea of cutting out some of the chemicals that we use a lot of in our house. I don’t know that we’ll ever make the switch to a completely chemical-free home, don’t get me wrong, it sounds amazing, but most days I feel like a chicken with my head cut off, so the thought of making EVERYTHING is a bit daunting. One step at a time though, which is why I started with these dishwasher tablets.


They were ridiculously easy and quick to make, and they smell amazing. I was a little nervous to try one for the first time, but the moment finally came when we used our last dishwasher tab from our Costco sized box, and I was at a cross-roads. It was either give it a go, or buy another box at Costco, which would last us another 2 years (don’t you just love Costco?!)


It was go time, now or never. The first problem came up immediately, or so I thought. These are really, really hard after they set, which means they don’t crumble well or break easily, so when I found out that they were too large to fit in the dishwasher solution compartment, I had no clue what to do. My husband is such a smart man, and he informed me that the compartment opens up during the cycle to release the tablet anyway, which tosses it to the bottom of the dishwasher. Crisis averted; I just threw it in the bottom at the beginning. Step skipped; you’re welcome, dishwasher.


If you still have the desire to use your designated compartment, I would recommend smaller ice cube trays. I think I ended up with abnormally large ones from the 4th of July section at Walmart – which also means that I could have had more dishwasher tablets if I had used the standard size ice cube tray.


Oh well, there’s a first time for everything. Back to where I was going in the first place – the tablets worked great! I didn’t notice any difference in smell or cleanliness between the Cascade pods and the homemade tablets, so they’re a win in my book!


Purchasing the initial supplies will be a tiny investment (still less than the Costco sized pack we normally buy) but it will last forever and make multiple batches. I definitely recommend getting the ingredients that you don’t have from somewhere like Walmart or Dollar General, so that these are as cost effective as possible.


Overall, I’m really happy with these, and now that I know how to make them, all I need is a smaller ice cube tray, and we’ll be living the natural dishwasher tablet lifestyle! What other cleaning products have you made at home? Do you find them to be just as effective?

Homemade Dishwasher Tablets
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  • 1 cup Borax
  • 1 cup Washing Soda
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup lavender epsom salt


  1. Combine all ingredients except for lemon juice in a bowl
  2. Mix well
  3. Add in lemon juice slowly and continue mixing
  4. Once combined, fill up ice cube trays and flatten off the top
  5. Allow to sit for 6 hours to harden and form shape
  6. Remove from ice cube tray and store in a sealed container

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