Wednesday, May 31, 2023

DIY Dishwasher Tablets

In today's fast-paced world, convenience is key, especially when it comes to household chores. Dishwasher tablets have revolutionized the way we clean our dishes, offering a hassle-free solution with sparkling results. However, the cost of purchasing commercial dishwasher tablets can quickly add up. That's where the beauty of making your own dishwasher tablets comes in. Not only can you tailor the ingredients to your preferences, but you can also save money in the process. 

How to Make Dishwasher Tabs

I didn't grow up with a dishwasher.  They were still kind of expensive, and homes were designed for them.  Our first two homes didn't have one, but I made sure we had one in our first real house.

I sat in my chair with a smile on my face every time that thing ran.  I still get a smile when I hit start on it.

Besides, we have well water, so I'm saving water and electricity, right?  I mean we all have to make sacrifices, and that's mine.

For more DIY cleaning recipes, check out these posts:

Want to learn how to make your own cleaners?  My Natural Cleaners Ebook has 12 easy recipes that you can make at home plus printable labels.

What are dishwasher tablets?

Dishwasher tablets are compact, pre-measured blocks of cleaning agents specifically designed for use in dishwashers. 

They contain a combination of surfactants, enzymes, and other ingredients that work together to remove stubborn stains, grease, and food residue from your dishes.

While these DIY dishwasher tablets don't have enzymes, they do a great job at cleaning your dishes,  They also soften water if you have hard water.

How do dishwasher tablets work?

When placed in the dishwasher, the tablet dissolves in water during the wash cycle, releasing the cleaning agents. The surfactants help to break down grease and oils, while enzymes break down food into smaller pieces.

Benefits of using dishwasher tablets over traditional dishwasher detergents

Traditional dishwasher detergents often come in liquid or powder form, requiring manual measurement and the risk of using too much or too little detergent. 

On the other hand, dishwasher tablets provide a convenient and precise way to ensure the right amount of detergent is used for each load. 

We have six people here, and it's just easier to grab DIY dishwasher tablets so I know the right amount of cleaner gets into each load.

Here are some additional benefits of using dishwasher tablets:

Ease of use: With dishwasher tablets, there's no need to measure or pour detergent, eliminating the risk of spills and messes.

Consistency: Each tablet contains the perfect amount of detergent, ensuring consistent cleaning results with every load.

Time-saving: By using dishwasher tablets, you can skip the step of measuring out detergent, saving you valuable time and effort.

Effective cleaning: The concentrated formula of dishwasher tablets is designed to tackle tough stains and remove food residues effectively.

Convenience: The compact size and pre-measured nature of dishwasher tablets make them easy to store and transport, whether you're using them at home or on-the-go.

Dishwasher tablets aren't cheap but you can learn how to make dishwasher tabs to save some money.

Gathering the Ingredients

Before learning how to make dishwasher tablets, you'll need to gather the necessary ingredients. Here are the key components typically found in homemade dishwasher tablets:

Lemon Juice: Lemon juice enhances the cleaning power of the tablet and aids in water softening.

Borax: Borax helps to soften the water and helps get 

Washing Soda: Washing soda boosts the detergent's ability to remove grease and stains.

Epsom Salt: Epsom salt helps dissolve food to clean dishes.

Essential Oils: Add a pleasant fragrance to your dishwasher tablets.  I recommend using lime essential oil or lemon essential oil.

Where to find the ingredients

Most of the ingredients for homemade dishwasher tablets can be found in your local grocery store or online. 

Baking soda and salt are commonly available in the baking aisle, while citric acid and washing soda may be found in the cleaning or laundry section. 

I buy my essential oils from Simply Earth, Plant Therapy, or Revive.  

Equipment and Tools Needed

To successfully create your homemade dishwasher tablets, you'll need a few essential tools and equipment:

  • Mixing bowl: A medium-sized bowl to combine and blend the ingredients.
  • Measuring spoons: Precise measurements are key, so having a set of measuring spoons is essential.
  • Silicone molds or ice cube trays: These will help shape the tablets and allow them to dry and harden properly.
  • Storage container: Airtight containers to store your homemade dishwasher tablets and keep them fresh.

Optional tools to enhance tablet quality

While not necessary, the following tools can help improve the quality and appearance of your dishwasher tablets:

  • Food processor or blender: If you prefer a more finely powdered detergent, a food processor or blender can help achieve a smoother texture.
  • Gloves: Protect your hands from any potential skin irritation that may arise from handling the ingredients.
  • Funnel: For easy and mess-free pouring of the mixture into the molds or ice cube trays.
  • Labeling materials: If you plan on making different variations of dishwasher tablets, labels can help you identify each type easily.

Safety Precautions

While the handle, it's still important to take some safety precautions when making your own tablets. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Handle and store ingredients safely. Always follow the instructions on the packaging and keep chemicals out of reach of children and pets. Wear gloves and avoid inhaling any dust or fumes.
  • Use protective gear. In addition to gloves, consider wearing safety glasses and a dust mask to protect yourself from any potential hazards.
  • Keep the work area clean and organized. It's important to have a dedicated workspace where you can mix your ingredients without any distractions. Make sure to clean up any spills or messes immediately.

How to Make Your Own Dishwasher Tablets


Step #1

Combine the Epsom salt, borax, and washing soda in a medium sized bowl.  

Step #2

Add the lemon juice.  Stir well.  Add more lemon juice as needed so it's a thick paste.

Step #3

Spoon the mixture into ice cube trays or other molds.  Let dry overnight.

Step #4

Once dry, remove from the mold and store in an airtight container.

Makes approximately 40 homemade dishwasher tablets.

More Dishwashing Recipes

For more recipes to make your own dishwasher or hand washing detergent, try these posts:

I hope you enjoy these DIY dishwasher tablets!

Like this post?  Pin it!

dishwasher tablets, diy
Yield: 40 tablets
Author: Cari @ Homesteading in Ohio
Estimated cost: $5

How to Make DIY Dishwasher Tablets

prep time: 15 Mperform time: 30 Mtotal time: 45 M
How to make homemade dishwasher tabs.


  • 1 cup Borax
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1/2 cup Epsom salt
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 30-40 drops essential oils (optional)
  • Mold


  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring spoons


  1. Combine the Epsom salt, borax, and washing soda in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Add the lemon juice. Stir well. Add more lemon juice as needed so it's a thick paste.
  3. Spoon the mixture into ice cube trays or other molds. Let dry overnight.
  4. Once dry, remove from the mold and store in an airtight container.
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