Dishwasher Tablets or Powder Recipe

Dishwasher powder contains a range of chemicals and the residue of these transfers onto the cutlery and plates that you use to eat – yet another way in which our system is being overloaded with chemicals. This is from WellnessMama who was a great source of information when starting my non-toxic journey. She is a pioneer in this area and it is well worth checking out her website which is packed with recipes and information.

I have been using this recipe for two years now, my cutlery and plates are always clean and every now and again I give my dishwasher a major clean out by scrubbing the plastic holders with a mix of bicarbonate of soda, castile soap and hot water. I clean out the tray at the bottom and put a cup full of vinegar in the top and bottom tray and set it on a hot wash. There are a few variations on this and you can substitute things like borax for bicarbonate of soda or baking soda if you do not have all the ingredients but the basic recipe is listed below:

What you will need:

As you start to play with the recipe and non-toxic products you can just sort of make it up as you go along.

2 cups of Borax or bicarbonate of soda (if I use bicarbonate of soda then I just add Borax and not the soda crystals below)

2 cups washing soda crystals (I think this is great but not always essential – when I sometimes don’t use it, the powder still washes my crockery etc just fine).

1 cup of table salt

1 cup of citric acid

*You can also add dried lemonade powder to this recipe at 1:5 ratio (1 cup) for that lemon freshness


*add 2 drops of Orange or lemon essential oil for their anti bacterial properties (again not essential and to be dropped directly into the dishwasher).

What to do:

Put all the dry ingredients (citric acid, soap, table salt, borax and bicarbonate of soda) together in a bowl and mix thoroughly.

Put the powder in a flexible plastic ice cube maker.  Allow them to dry out for 24 hours and transfer to an air tight container.  I then add lemon or orange essential oil to the dishwasher directly at the start of each wash.

If you do not wish to make tablet shaped dishwasher tabs simply place all the ingredients in an airtight container and use about a tablespoon per wash.

*This recipe was found on the Wellness Mama website.

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