Hard Water Stains? Homemade Dishwasher Detergent that works!


Since moving to an area that has particularly hard water, and with the mandated formula change to all dishwasher detergents, my dishes are an absolute mess.

They are clean, I promise.  But they don’t look very clean, they look cloudy.  My glass, my Tupperware  even some of my metal items are all cloudy.  It has been driving me nuts.

After seeing someone else make homemade laundry detergent (more on that tomorrow), I started thinking…perhaps I could come up with a homemade dishwasher detergent that would help with my problem of cloudy dishes.  So I started researching and researching and came up with a MAGICAL SOLUTION that actually gets my dishes clean!

Wanna see how well it works?  Here’s my before and after!

Amazing huh?  (Yes, this is really embarrassing to admit my glasses were so gross looking!  I hated having people over because they were just yucky.  Of course, every one’s glasses here look like that…so no one was judging…but it bothered me that my glasses looked like that!)
After making it, found a cute jar to put it in and then cut some brown vinyl letters so everyone would know what was in the jar.  Then I couldn’t help myself, I added vinyl on the top to say how much to use.
And then, because I am super lazy and didn’t want to have remember my recipe, I cut brown vinyl for the back of the jar with my recipe!  (I love love love using vinyl for things like this!!)

And just like magic, my dishes are now clean!!  And this is definitely a cost effective way to wash dishes too.**

Home Made Dishwasher Detergent

(affiliate links included for your convenience)

I found the borax, washing soda and lemi shine all at my local Walmart but I have included links so you can just buy them online without having to hunt for them in the store.  They were near the laundry and dish soap section that are currently combined at my store because they are in the middle of a remodel.  But you should find them in similar places in a similar kind of store.  Kosher salt was with the baking items.

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until mixed.
  2. The citric acid in the lemi shine will make everything get a bit hard.  The first time I made this I put it directly into my container and it all got really really hard.  I had to use a knife to get it out.  So I suggest letting this mixture sit out in a bowl for a couple of days, stirring often.  You will still get a few little “balls” of detergent, but that is just fine!  You just don’t want it all in one big piece!  Believe me, this is the best way to go!! ***
  3. The lemi shine suggests running an empty dishwasher cycle with just that in order to clean your dishwasher.  I followed their directions for good measure!
  4. Fill your rinse aid spot with white vinegar.  Add a small container with white vinegar in it to the top rack of your dishwasher before running.  Don’t put it in your rinse aid compartment!  (see this post here for more details, but basically, the vinegar isn’t compatible with the rubber pieces in the rinse aid compartment!) (This is sooo much cheaper then your typical rinse aid and makes a big difference in how your dishes will turn out!)
  5. Use 1 tbs of detergent per load of dishes.  I do about a 30/70 split with 30% in the pre-wash spot and 70% in the wash spot.  If you don’t have a prewash spot, you can put it all in the wash spot.

*You can experiment with the lemi shine amount.  The recipes I based this off of called for only 1 cup but said to add more if you have hard water.  I have really hard water, so I ended up using 2 cups and my dishes came out sparkly and shiny!!  If you can’t find Lemi-Shine, citric acid should work as well and some had had success using a packet of unsweetened yellow kool-aid lemonade.  I have never personally tried citric acid or kool aid though and be sure not to get colored lemonade as I would worry about it staining…stick with the original yellow kind :)

**I have not done my own personal cost analysis, but several other people have who use similar detergent recipes to mine and cost-wise I think they compare pretty comparable.  That being said, I am estimating my cost per load to be about $0.06.  (Which compared to Finish Power Tabs 100 for $15.50 at Costco = $0.15 a load) is a savings.

***For those having issues with the detergent clumping, please be sure to try the following solutions:

  • Please be sure to follow my instructions in #2 above and let the mixture sit out in a bowl, stirring occasionally.  This solved all of my problems and is a simple solution.
  • You can also leave the Lemi-Shine out of the mixture and add it directly into the dishwasher each time.
  • Some readers have suggested blending it up, using a silicon packet you find in shoes etc, adding a bit of uncooked rice or putting your detergent into small muffin tins and purposefully letting it harden to create your own tabs.  I have never personally tried these and can’t testify to whether or not they work :)
****A few other things I do to help ensure that my dishes get as clean as possible are as follows: pre-wash everything, run my kitchen sink water until it is very hot right before running my dishwasher, make sure you use white vinegar as stated above. And don’t be afraid to play around with the proportion of Lemi-Shine; you might need more or less.

This is an eco-friendly dishwasher detergent option if you are looking to decrease the amount of chemicals you use in your home, this would make a great option as well!

I love my sparkly clean dishes!!

Have you found a difference in how clean your dishes get since the dishwasher detergent change?

I would love for you to follow me on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, Pintrest and via email. 

 Oh and if you are looking for a great price on vinyl, go check out Expressions Vinyl!

I did a LOT of research when coming up with my final dishwasher detergent solution and trial and error.  This recipe is a combined effort of many sources, much research and a lot of trial and error on my part.  But a lot of my final inspiration came from this post here.

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  1. says

    Thanks for posting this!! I have tried other versions of dishwasher detergent and they haven't worked for us at all because our water is so hard, too…I'll give this a shot though. I hope it works for us! I've never heard of Lemi-Shine…off to Wal-Mart I go!

  2. says

    I tried something last year but it left my dishes cloudy after a bit, I think the lemishine here will do the trick. Thanks for the information.

  3. says

    Hmmmm, we have REALLY hard water so I will have to try this, too! Right now I'm using finish gel packs with a cup of vinegar for a rinse aid and that works fabulously for us, but it is a little pricey. I imagine this would be cheaper, I'll have to add to my walmart list for tomorrow!

    • Taylor Merowitz says

      Hi NessaAnn, I was wondering which Finish Gel pack you were referring. Is it possible that you give me a link? I’m in Canada, and if you can give me a Canadian link to its manufacturer’s website, that’ll be great.
      I spent some time on finishdishwashing.ca but couldn’t find anyone fit the name.
      Thanks a lot

  4. says

    I&#39;m experimenting with making dishwasher detergent too. Instead of Lemi Shine or citric acid I use powdered lemonade mix. It works well and is a bit cheaper too.<br /><br />Do you find that the Kosher salt does anything?

  5. says

    Thanks for posting! I, too, was having problems with our dishes coming out of the dishwasher looking clean. My husband called a place to have the dishwasher looked at and they told us about Lemi Shine (which I see you used). If, for some reason you want to use regular detergent again, you can also use the Lemi Shine (instructions on the back) with the detergent. Man, that stuff has made a

  6. says

    I&#39;m so glad I found this via Pinterest today! We have removed most commercial cleaners from our home and I recently picked up the 365 brand detergent from Whole Foods and it has turned our glasses this way. I&#39;ll be running to the store to get Lemi Shine ASAP! Thanks for sharing and such a cute jar!!

  7. says

    Thank you for posting this! We have semi-hard water and I&#39;m a little worried about what our dishes will look like when we run out of our phosphorus-based cascade tabs. I&#39;ve never heard of lemi-shime but I will check it out!<br /><br />Popping over from strictly homemade!

  8. says

    Wow! Thanks so much for posting this! We have tried dish detergent after dish detergent and our dishes always come out looking so nasty! I have looked into many different homemade detergents and this stuff sounds amazing! We already went out last night and bought the stuff! The dishwasher is currently running using this new detergent so we will see how it turns out! 😀

  9. says

    i made some of the detergent too…i only had a few things to come out cloudy and they were platic pieces…i also have very hard water…i was afraid my dishes were not getting clean so i mixed a little powdered dish detergent with it…i also have read that you can use a drop or 2 of dish soap in with it…i tried that too…i will give this a shot also… thanks for sharing…found you at

  10. says

    Can&#39;t wait to try this! Loving the vinyl recipe. I&#39;ll be trying this ASAP – thanks so much for sharing at The Thrifty Home :)

  11. says

    Thanks for the recipe. I&#39;m using one that requires citric acid but I have trouble finding it. I&#39;m going to try the lemi shine next time! Great project.

  12. says

    Hey Ashley, I just wanted to tell you that your post came just in the nick of time. I was running super low on dishwashing soap, and was just about to buy some more. Then I read how easy this recipe was, and of course couldn&#39;t wait to try it. <br /><br />I only found the liquid lemi shine at the store, so I used citric acid instead, and added some baking soda, just for kicks, he he. SO FAR, I

  13. says

    Just made my own and my dishwasher looks better then every. My dishes look so much cleaner too! I don&#39;t have glass glasses, but my stainless steal items look much better and so do the plastic cups;)

  14. says

    I wish I could get lemishine here in Canada – citric acid is hard to find – anyone know of a good substitute for lemishine???

  15. says

    OMGosh! I read every comment and your post twice! WOW! you are one smart cookie! And HELLO BIG COMPANIES OUT THERE HELLO listen to this lady! Hello!I just don&#39;t understand these people, they don&#39;t listen to the consumer do they! Bloggers are SO inspiring! It is amazing every day, I just cannot get enough of the innovative ways we take care of stuff when noone will fix what is broken! So

  16. says

    I have been looking for a recipe for dishwasher detergent that worked without leaving a film. We resorted to using store brand detergent and adding some Lemi-Shine to that. I never even thought about adding it to the homemade stuff. Talk about a blonde moment. :) Thank you sooooooooo much!! I can not wait to try this!

  17. says

    OH MY!!! I cannot believe the difference this made on your glasses. I have a very special pitcher that is ruined due to our extremely hard water. I am going to make this and will hope that I get the same results :) Did you have to wash the glasses more than once to get the film off or did it work the first time?

  18. says

    Hi. I originally found this recipe on another blog (but of course can&#39;t remember which one!)but now found it on yours. My question is, why kosher salt instead of regular salt? Regular salt has an anti-caking agent, and the kosher salt I used (because it does not have a caking agent) caused my whole recipe to turn into one rock-solid chunk that I can&#39;t even chip off in order to use. Is it

  19. says

    I am so excited you shared this idea and recipe!! I have a question for you, though! At my local store, there was liquid and granulated/powder Lemi-Shine. Which did you use? I assumed it was the powder, but when I mixed mine, it didn&#39;t clump at all! Did I use the right one or did I do something wrong? I have noticed an improvement in my dishes, but just wanted to check! Thanks!!!

  20. says

    This was a great post! I too have very hard water! Thanks for the before and after picture. You did a great job explaining all of that!

  21. says

    Thanks for sharing this. I love it. I&#39;m on my second batch. We have really hard water and I used the 2 cups of lemi shine as well (basically the whole bottle!).<br /><br />On a side note, this also makes a really good scrub if you have lots of hard water build-up in your shower or sinks. We moved into a house that had been empty for a long time (it had been a foreclosure and was in not

  22. says

    Another poster asked this and I didn&#39;t see the answer so I&#39;m hoping someone will answer me….<br />Can you use regular salt instead of the kosher salt? What is the difference in the two for this recipe? Will regular salt not work?<br /><br />Thanks!!!

  23. says

    I have incredibly hard water too, and I LOVE Lemi Shine. I use Method Smarty Dish (grapefruit) and a smidge of powdered soap in the pre-rinse compartment, and I add a little Lemi Shine to each compartment. Makes a world of difference in how shiny my dishes are, and how shiny my stainless steel dishwasher interior is! Also: after I unload it, I spray the inside with some white vinegar. Especially

  24. says

    We have terrible hard water and I can&#39;t wait to try this! I made my own laundry soap the other day and I love it! I love the smell of it too! That is almost as important to me as how well it cleans! :)<br />I would love to know what font you used for cutting out your vinyl! CUTE! As soon as I find Lemi Shine I will be making my own batch up! Can&#39;t wait!

  25. says

    Hi Amy! <br /><br />Thanks for stopping by! I hope you love this dishwasher detergent as much as we do!<br /><br />When I cut this this vinyl out I didn&#39;t have my Silhouette, but I borrowed my friend&#39;s Cricut. I used the Lyrical Letter&#39;s cartridge though to cut these letters out.<br /><br />I usually by Lemi Shine at WalMart! I believe it is near the dishwasher detergent area, but

  26. says

    Thank you for this recipe! I made this a couple months ago with some success. At first, I didn&#39;t have any problem with it clumping together. It worked great! But as time went on, the concoction turned into a boulder! I had to chip away at it to get any out and it stopped getting my dishes clean. They looked like they did before using this recipe, maybe worse! So, since it&#39;s the citric

  27. says

    I just made a small batch of dishwasher detergent this morning that I hope will work. I used 1/2 cup Borax, 1/2 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup washing soda, 1/2 cup cascade and 1/4 cup Lemi Shine. I used the cascade because I read somewhere about someone doing that and figured I could stretch it out really far this way and use way less per load. Now after reading about the citric acid in the Lemi Shine

  28. says

    Hi Carrie! <br /><br />I am happy to hear you like the dish detergent! <br /><br />But that is strange that your silverware comes out dirty :(<br /><br />A few other things I do to help ensure that my dishes get as clean as possible are as follows: pre-wash everything, run my kitchen sink water until it is very hot right before running my dishwasher, make sure you use white vinegar in the rinse

  29. says

    for all of you who have super hard water (as do I) I found that filling your sink with HOT water and vinegar and then letting your dish/cup/silverware/plastic-ware sit in the mix over night and then rinse with cool water in the am (sometimes you may have to run a sponge over it..and I mean sometimes) will get the &quot;fog&quot; off ANYTHING!!! I did this to my dishes b4 I started using the

  30. says

    Carrie, I was having the same problem! Solved it by placing a cup (coffee) right side up full of vinegar on the top rack of the dishwasher (dishwasher empty) ran the hot water in my sink till HOT and was sure the disposal was run and cleaned then did a &quot;pots and pans&quot; &quot;high temp&quot; &quot;sanitizing&quot; rinse wash to clean the dishwasher.. I did it a 2nd time (right after)but

  31. says

    VinylDesign – <br /><br />I believe that the Lemi Shine will cause this to happen (the citric acid I believe?) Anyway, I have two solutions for you. <br /><br />1. Make the detergent and leave it out in a bowl for about 24 hours. Occasionally stir it and break apart any pieces that form. After a day or two, you can put it in a jar and it should be fine.<br /><br />2. Leave the Lemi Shine

  32. says

    Just found this fabulous recipe for the dishwasher! Thank you for making a recipe in smaller quantities. I was hesitant to try other similar recipes that called for entire boxes of ingredients. This, I can do!!

  33. says

    So, I&#39;m not a very good reader LOL. Mine is hard as a rock in the container. Going to have to toss it out and make it without the Lemi Shine. It drives the kids nuts and I&#39;m constantly jabbing at it with a butter knife. <br /><br />And my silverware always come out cloudy. Meh.

  34. says

    Ok I have made this two times. The first time it got hard as a rock. This time it is trying (in a air tight container) but I keep shaking it so it doesn&#39;t. Has anyone else experienced this?? Please let me know. Thanks!!

  35. says

    Hi – I have been making this recipe for a couple of months – found it on a different blog. I halve the recipe so it fits in a pint jar. I add about 15 drops of grapefruit essential oil to it too. Before I start the dishwasher, I also put a cup or so of vinegar in the bottom of the dishwasher and 2-3 SMALL drops of blue Dawn dishwashing soap. Its amazing how good this all works. I didn&#39;t

  36. says

    I&#39;m curious about the salt, too, didn&#39;t put it in my current batch but want to know if it will make a difference next time. And good news, I found a 2x refill pack of Lemi Shine at my grocery store last week.

  37. says

    One of the previous comments asked if the Lemishine is powder or liquid. I didn&#39;t see an answer but would like to get some feedback before I make this.

  38. says

    Jodi – the LemiShine is a powder. <br /><br />I usually respond to all comments via email as long as the email isn&#39;t a noreply email. When I created this post I had no idea it would become so popular. Now I try to respond via email if possible as well as answer on my blog. So I am sorry you couldn&#39;t find the answer. But I hope this helps!<br /><br />Good luck and I hope you love it as

  39. says

    Thanks for the information. I am wondering if I can use &quot;rock&quot; salt only because I have some in the pantry. Well, maybe I will purchase kosher salt just to be safe. Thanks again.

  40. says

    Royalty – Thanks for stopping by! <br /><br />I am really not sure if rock salt would work. I do know that rock salt is inedible though…and I am not sure how well it would dissolve in a dishwasher and if it might leave any residue on the dishes or not.<br /><br />Sorry I don&#39;t have an answer to your question.<br /><br />Good luck!

  41. says

    Thanks for the info. I made this up and found that I had to let the mixture sit out for about 4 days before it quit clumping. It may be affected be the amount of humidity (or lack of) in your kitchen or maybe even the temperature of the room. Anyhow, once it quit, I put it in an empty Oxyclean containter (I&#39;m keeping it under the sink, so it doesn&#39;t need to be pretty) and it seems to

  42. says

    I mixed up a batch this morning, and left it in my Ninja processor all day, hitting the pulse every now and again. At this point (about 6 hours later) it is such a big wad of gum that my Ninja won&#39;t even spin it. I followed the recipe exactly, except cut it in half. Anyone else have this trouble? I&#39;ll continue to break it up by hand for a day or two (if I can), but I&#39;m considering

  43. says

    Hi Denise! Thanks for stopping by. <br /><br />I am wondering, if, because your mixture was in an &quot;air tight&quot; container, if that is causing the problem. <br /><br />When I made this the first time, I put it directly into a container and it became a big hard rock! But the second time I left it out in a bowl and just stirred it by hand every once in a while. <br /><br />When I let it

  44. says

    Hi Joan!<br /><br />I have never had a septic tank before so I am not completely familiar with the requirements for septic safe.<br /><br />But I did a few google searches for each individual ingredient and it appears as though each ingredient is marketed as &quot;septic tank safe.&quot;<br /><br />Salt is a bit of a &quot;controversial&quot; element, but based on the reading below, my guess is

  45. says

    I *think* I read all the comments on this, but I didn&#39;t find an answer to this question: Is there a particular reason to ues Kosher salt rather than iodized, which I already have?

  46. says

    dayuntoday – great question.<br /><br />Salt can help to soften water as well as act as a scouring agent. Salt can also help to cut the grease. <br /><br />However, salt is not completely necessary in this recipe and you can even try the recipe leaving salt out all together. I like it though because I have particularly hard water. <br /><br />I have heard of some people using table salt and

  47. says

    If your mixture is clumping, try the following solutions:<br /><br />1. leave your mixture out in a bowl for several days, stirring often<br /><br />2. citric acid / lemi shine is the cause of the clumping so you can leave this out of the mixture and add it directly to the dishwasher upon each use<br /><br />3. don&#39;t place directly in an air tight container, use a bag or a bowl and stir/

  48. says

    I bought a new Finish product called Power Up, just started seeing commercials for it….guess it&#39;s new! I&#39;m going to try making some and using it in place of Lemi Shine, I do really like your recipe but this mixture might not clump…not sure! :) I will let you know how it works! Fingers crossed!

  49. says

    Ashley, this sounds like the answer to my problem. Much cheaper than a new dishwasher! lol! If I were to put the Lemi Shine in separate, do you have a guestamate of how much to use per load? I have all the ingredients and am ready to make a batch, but rather it not clump or harden, so I&#39;s just as soon put the LS in per load. Thank you so much for the recipe and all your helpful ideas and

  50. says

    I&#39;ve been using your recipe for about 2 weeks now and I need some help! After washing my dishes still come out dirty (stuck on food) and my silverware is especially dirty. Also, there is a grittiness to all of my dishes, especially the plastic ones. It feels like there was a sand storm in my dishwasher and not all the sand washed away! Today I washed a load of dishes 3 times, plus a rinse

  51. says

    dizzymomma,<br /><br />Oh no! Sandstorms in the dishwasher are no good!<br /><br />One thing I noticed was the the amount of detergent used could play a difference in its effectiveness. You could try using less detergent or using more and seeing if you can find the right balance. 1 Tbs worked for me, but this can vary depending on water quality levels. <br /><br />Also, you can play around

  52. says

    I use a very similar recipe except instead of Lemi Shine (a product I have never heard of so now I&#39;m interested!) use 10 packets of unsweetened lemonade. Kroger sells theirs for 10 for a $1. I will never buy dishwasher tabs or liquid again!

  53. says

    Thanks for the post. I&#39;m thinking of trying it but I wish your before and after pictures were taken in the same place. The after is taken against a white wall so there is no way to tell if the cloudiness is all gone. But I have to admit, despite my natural tendencies toward skepticism, the comments are encouraging. :)

  54. says

    Andrea – I have heard that unsweetened lemonade works as well! I am glad to know that you have success with it! And thanks for passing the tips along to everyone! Thanks for stopping by and for taking the time to comment!<br /><br />Katie – Yes, that was definitely an afterthought…having the photos taken in the same spot. :( Thanks for stopping by and for taking the time to comment!

  55. says

    I just saw this on Pinterest and had to check out your recipe. I, too, have been making the soap and love it…though my jar is not as cute as yours! Mine became an absolute brick at first, so I added uncooked rice to the container. I ended up with a lot of cooked rice in the dishwasher! So, now, I keep my container (clearly labeled!) in the refrigerator to prevent clumping! Works perfectly!

  56. says

    Hi Rachel! <br /><br />Thanks so much for stopping by! <br /><br />I am so glad to know that you&#39;ve found a great solution to clumping. I had no idea that keeping this in the fridge will prevent it from clumping! I hadn&#39;t even thought of that! What a great tip! Thanks so much!<br /><br />Have a wonderful day!<br />Ashley

  57. says

    I&#39;ve seen a lot of &quot;recipes&quot; that say to use vinegar as a rinse aid, but I was recently looking through my dishwasher manual and it specifically says NOT to use vinegar too often (ok as a cleaner) because it will eat away at parts of the dishwasher. Has anyone heard of this?

  58. says

    I have a dishwasher with a stainless steel interior and exterior. I was told not to use anything that has lemon/citrus on the exterior because it would ruin the finish. So, will lemi-shine or fruit-fresh ruin the interior of my stainless steel dishwasher?

  59. says

    Oh me oh my I can&#39;t wait to try this!! I&#39;ve had it up to my eyeballs with crusty dishes!! And I&#39;m not able to add more salt to our water softener at the moment because my back is wonky. I should be able to carry lemi shine just fine!! ;)<br /><br />-Sylv<br />sylvieliv.blogspot.com

  60. says

    Me oh my I can&#39;t wait to try this! I&#39;ve had it up to my eyeballs with crusty dishes!!! And I&#39;m not able to add more salt to our water softener at the moment because my back is wonky!! I should be able to carry Lemi Shine just fine! ;)<br /><br />-Sylv<br />sylvieliv.blogspot.com

  61. says

    Sonya – That is a great question! I don&#39;t personally have a stainless steel interior dishwasher. I always recommend following your dishwasher manufacturer instructions, but you can also check our lemi-shine&#39;s website for more information as well: http://www.lemishine.com/. In their FAQ section they say it is safe for cleaning stainless steel, but I am not sure that that means it is ok

  62. says

    Is there a substitute for the Lemi-Shine? I have been wanting to make homemade dish detergent to go with all my other homemade cleaners, but I am allergic to citric acid and haven&#39;t been able to find a recipe with it yet.

  63. says

    Hi Heather! Hi Heather,<br /><br />Some people have used unsweetened lemon aid kool aid. I am not sure if that would cause you issues but it is worth a shot. You can also try this without the lemi shine and see if it works. Just a thought!<br /><br />Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

  64. says

    This is great, thank you! I had started a month ago pouring about a cup of vinegar into my dishwasher when doing the dishes, and they&#39;ve been coming out a whole lot streak-less. Can&#39;t wait to try this!

  65. says

    Thank you for this tip. I recently moved into an apt. The dishwasher must be circa very early 80&#39;s or late 70&#39;s…Let&#39;s put it this way, it doesn&#39;t have a part for rinsing agents. I suspect that the tenants before me didn&#39;t use it much. I too learned that there is hard water in this area I live in. I tried numerous cleaning products but not quite as spot free as it should be.

  66. says

    Hi! I have made this and so far I really like it. I have run into a problem though, it has dried up in the container and it&#39;s hard. I have to scrape it to get it out and it&#39;s all chunky now. Did I do something wrong? I followed all of your directions. The only thing I can think of is that it&#39;s been humid here. Thanks!

  67. says

    I made this and I&#39;m really trying to make it work but they keep coming out cloudy. What could be causing this. I followed the recipe and I keep mixing it up because it did harden?

  68. says

    The reason why a lot of soaps come in cardboard boxes is so the humidity of the product can be absorbed by the box itself and equalize with your house&#39;s humidity as it changes over the weeks/months; also the box flexes as it is picked up and used and that helps break up any large clumping. If you make this, you could store it in a heavy duty small grocery paper sack, (maybe a sturdy paper

  69. says

    Reading through most of the comments, I see salt is a very controversal and confusing element to this recipe. Since someone mentioned using &quot;rock&quot; salt in their recipe and you recommended not using it as it was not edible….my question is could you use sea salt? I&#39;m not familiar with kosher salt and not sure if there is even a big difference from kosher to sea salt?? I just wanted

  70. says

    With the clumping people r having…I haven&#39;t tried it yet but plan on it this week…instead of putting it in a container &amp; it getting rock hard why not try putting some in each compartment of an old ice cube tray then pop one out when u need it. then u would have little tabs just like u buy…don&#39;t know if this will work…just a thought?

  71. says

    I made this recipe and my dishes are cloudy still. We do NOT live in an area with hard water???? My container is sealed completly &amp; the mixture cakes up super bad, does yours? My husband put a tblspn in a clean glass with a drop of olive oil and this did NOT break it up, at all. What am I doing wrong? HELP PLEASE!

  72. says

    I had a terrible time with mine clumping up even with stirring it several times a day. ALl the family also notice a cleaning product odor that stuck to the plastic glasses. It over powered whatever you were drinking.This was strange to me since none of the products except the lemi shine has an odor. Not sure where your located but maybe our weather in south Georgia makes it clump up. Would love

  73. says

    I just made this last night. We have very hard water as well, and Cascade wasn&#39;t cutting it at all. I have been researching ways to cut costs and thought this looked promising. Well, it IS!! My dishes finally don&#39;t have that horrible film AND I calculated I will save over $267.00 a year JUST on dishwasher soap!! Thank you so much for this recipe!!

  74. says

    I just made this last night. We have very hard water as well, and Cascade wasn&#39;t cutting it at all. I have been researching ways to cut costs and thought this looked promising. Well, it IS!! My dishes finally don&#39;t have that horrible film AND I calculated I will save over $267.00 a year JUST on dishwasher soap!! Thank you so much for this recipe!!

  75. says

    Just made a batch and waiting for my dishwasher to be done with just the lemi shine so I can try it!!!<br /><br />I am curious though, am I still able to use regular rinse aids? I always use jet dry

  76. says

    can I still use regular rinse aids with this detergent? I&#39;ve always used jet dry and since it lasts for a few weeks it&#39;s always been easy to do. I doubt I&#39;ll remember to use vinegar every time!!<br /><br />super excited to try this out!! I have an old dishwasher and the tabs stick to the lid of the main wash compartment and don&#39;t dissolve. and buying gallon after gallon of liquid

  77. says

    So are you not to use lemi shine on the dishes? I was a little confused when you said to run a load empty. Can you help out? Also I was told not use anything with lemon because it will scratch your glasses? True or not?

  78. says

    This recipe sounds great, but does it do anything to your silverware. I just purchased a beautiful set of hammered stainless steel flatware. It is beautiful, shiny and in perfect condition &quot;right now.&quot; It said<br />specifically on the instructions not to use ANY citric acid or lemony dishwasher tabs as this could cause rusting on the flatware. Has anyone had a problem with this

  79. says

    I am going to have to try this. I tried one other one and it worked for awhile and now it is not getting my dishes clean. I even tried putting two tablespoons in and still not working. Any suggestions? I am going to buy the Lemishine and see if that helps also.

  80. says

    Just an idea fo the exceptionally busy folk, but if you have a large measuring cup or muffin tin, you could portion out the detergent as you&#39;re making it, and when/if it hardens, you can pop it out and grate it into the jar!

  81. says

    If you are going to leave the lemishine out, could you use the liquid lemishine instead of the powder? And how much do think you would use when adding the liquid separately? Thank you!

  82. says

    You are a lifesaver!!!!!! We just moved to New Mexico and the water here is awful! We were about ready to give up on the dishwasher, everything comes out super cloudy and wicked dirty still. Well, before swearing off the dishwasher for the next 4 years I came across this on Pinterest and even though I have never had luck with homemade detergents before I was desperate. So, I made a batch and used

  83. says

    Intitially I loved this mix. However, it has turned rock hard. I have to literally jab it with a knife to loosen enough mix to do a load of dishes. Has this happened to anyone else? Or what did I do wrong?! I used the same amount as instructed and storede it in a glass container. Any suggestions are appreciated!!

  84. says

    Initially I loved this mix. However it is now rock hard. I have to take a knife to it to chisel away enough for a load. I used to same amount as intructed and stored in a glass container. And now I have a huge amount of mix that I cant really use. Is this normal or did I do something wrong? Any suggestions would be appreciated!!

  85. says

    I have clean dishes (except for silverware), but my problem is the stainless steel interior. Stains run down the inside of the door and into the tub. Will this stop that problem, too?

  86. says

    Jean – I honestly am not sure. I don&#39;t own a stainless steel interior dishwasher nor have I ever had one. So I am not sure if it will help or not. I am so sorry!<br /><br />Liz – oh thank you so much :) You are so sweet! I am sooooo happy to hear that your dishes are looking fabulous again! Hurray!!! And I love the idea of a ziploc bag! I bet that is a great solution and would be easy

  87. says

    Hi Holly – I am so sorry you are having trouble with the mixture turning hard. If you check out my above post, #2 in the instructions addresses this. There are also a LOT of suggestions to be found in the comments as well. So yes, this is a common problem, but it can be easily remedied my allowing the mixture to sit out and dry for a couple of days in a bowl (stirring every so often) as I

  88. says

    Heather – I have heard the same thing, but I&#39;ve never tried those packets before that come in shoes. But it certainly would be well worth a shot!! <br /><br />Let me know if you try it and if it works or not!<br /><br />Ashley

  89. says

    Hi LeighAnn,<br /><br />Great question. <br /><br />I bought all of my supplies at Walmart. If you break it down into a cost-per-load, assuming you use about 1Tbs per load, it only costs about $0.06 per load which compared to something like Finish Tabs(100 for $15.50 at Costco = $0.15 per load)does save money.<br /><br />But saving money is always relative when comparing it to what you are

  90. says

    Okay, it&#39;s good to know you got everything at Walmart. We have a Walmart here on Maui but it can be very sparse. If they have everything, I&#39;ll give it a try.

  91. says

    I made this yesterday and today its not hard. What am I doing wrong, LOL!!?? I only made half of the recipe but left half of that in a bowl and put the other half in an ice cube tray HOPING for it to get hard so I would have tablets. Neither one got hard! I have now covered the ice cube tray with plastic wrap to see if it will get hard. Of course if it doesn&#39;t, no biggie, I will just use it

  92. says

    Kari – oh that is too funny! I&#39;ve had some batches that get hard and others that don&#39;t. I&#39;m not sure what the difference is, but it always seems to work well for me as detergent regardless of if it has the tendency to get hard or not! haha!<br /><br />Good luck<br />Ashley

  93. says

    Has anyone tried using oxygen absorbers in their containers to prevent clumping? Oxygen absorbers are silicon dioxide, the same thing used in citric acid to prevent caking.

  94. says

    I use the silica gel crystals that are used for drying flowers, not sure if it is the same as oxygen obsorbers. I found mine at Hobby Lobby and bought a bag of them. After they are done absorbing moisture, just stick them in the oven to dry them out and they can be used again. I have made this recipe several times and haven&#39;t had any trouble with it getting hard since using the silica

  95. says

    I MASTERED THE CLUMPS! Since we live near the ocean, I knew that following the directions to leave the mixture out for a couple of days wouldn&#39;t work here. SO! I put my finished product in a baking pan – super large one – and spread it out well. I set my oven to the lowest temp (170 for my oven) and just let the mixture heat up….the oven dried it out well. I stirred it about every 20

  96. says

    I MASTERED THE CLUMPS!!<br />We live near the ocean, so Iknew that leaving it out (as recipe states) wouldn&#39;t work here. SO! <br />1. I made the recipe &amp; put it into the largest deep pan that would fit in our oven (15&quot; x 17&quot; x 2&quot; deep) and spread it out evenly in the pan.<br />2. Put the oven on lowest temp (170 is the lowest for my oven) and popped it into the oven

    • says

      These are WONDERFUL tips Nancy! Thanks so much for sharing your tips and successes with all of us! I am so glad you found a method that works for you!!<br /><br />Ashley

    • says

      Oh, Ashley! I just made a comment (reply) and after sending off the submit button I see this reply with a wonderful solution to the clump challenge ! YAY! You are all so smart! Going for it right now. I, too, live on the water (Gulf of Mexico) and never even thought about my climate causing all the fuss with clumps. Head bowed in gratitude to Nancy A.

  97. says

    I tried this recipe, unfortunately it did absolutely nothing to clean my dishes. Definitely will not be making this again as a dishwasher detergent. I have used it to clean my sink and kitchen compost container and it works well.

  98. says

    Okay ladies! I can&#39;t believe how many didn&#39;t read her recipe through. 90% of these questions are answered in the recipe! Do we read cooking and baking recipes like this?? Lord help our families if we do! LOL!!!

    • says

      Thank you &amp; I believe we all read pretty well. But your critique is noted.<br />I&#39;ve made this three times (so far). My first batch was fine (after sitting out and stirring it for a few days every time I went by &amp; was off work to pay close attention to it). My second batch wasn&#39;t consistent and the end of the batch got rock hard in the glass jar. I put hot water in it and finally

    • says

      Amendment. Up there in the comments a brilliant person noted spreading it out on sheets for the oven set at 170 degrees. I have pyrex glass cake sheets and a casserole dish &amp; did it. Check every 1/2 hour to stir and flip. Worked great. No clumps. I&#39;m a happy camper.

  99. says

    A little nylon/mesh bag with some rice in it should help with the moisture issues of clumping and getting hard. I have one of those from the dollar store in the bridal section and are usually used for the Jordan almonds (it was a bag of 6 for $1). Haven&#39;t had an issue yet.

  100. Val says

    CLUMP SOLUTION! I make my detergent in a 1/2 gallon mason jar. I use my immersion blender for a quick mix then lid the jar and turn it upside down on the counter. over the next few hours I shake the jar and leave it upside down. After about 3 hours I use my immersion blender again to cream the mixture – about 2 minutes of blending. This solves the problem but you need to shake the jar before each use to reconstitute the mixture as it does separate some.

    I will be trying this recipe as I am having the same issues with my dishing not getting clean due to hard water.

  101. Reena says

    OMG!!! I SOOOOOO GLAD I found this post. We only just got a dishwasher last week and I was so excited to have a machine do the dishes for me when I discovered everything kept coming out cloudy.

    I can’t wait to try this to see if solves our hard water problem… and the hippie in me is rejoicing that it’s an eco friendly dishwasher soap! YAY!!!!

  102. Reena says

    OMG! I just read this last night and bought the ingredients and put in one load in the dishwasher and VOILA!! NO MORE CLOUDY DISHES YES!!! Thank you for posting this!

  103. Toni Alvarez says

    Thank you soooo much. This recipe worked REALLY well. I have tried different homemade recipes and none have worked, I have really hard water.

  104. says

    I found you post on The Turquoise Home today.

    I love finding new ways to make products instead of buying chemical products to use. Your information is helpful and informative.
    I have bookmarked your blog for future reference

    I would love to give you the opportunity to share some of your ideas, recipes or posts on my Oh My Heartsie Girl Friday Features Linkup. Hope you can stop by and share.

    Have a great weekend!

  105. Gloria says

    This recipe worked beautifully! I live in a very hard water location and thought we needed a new dishwasher, but now we don’y! You saved us hundreds of dollars! Thank you so much!

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