how to make dishwasher tablets

Learning how to make dishwasher tablets at home can be a fantastic method of saving some time and money, particularly if you find yourself doing a lot of regular washing up. While plenty of great pre-made dishwasher tablets are available, they can often be expensive and packed with ingredients you may not be 100% comfortable with.

Not only do homemade dishwasher tablets give you more control over your finances, but they can be an excellent way to shake up your cleaning routine. For instance, when you make your own dishwasher tablets, you’re free to add special ingredients which leave your dishes smelling like lemon juice or help with getting rid of unwanted tea stains.

Today, we will tell you everything you need to know to make your own dishwasher tablets.

How to Make DIY Dishwasher Tablets

There are numerous cleaning tips and articles out there offering advice on how to replace your store-bought products with homemade dishwasher tablets. We will look at a simple recipe that works for most people. The ingredients you’ll need include:

  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 2 cups washing soda
  • Half a cup of citric acid
  • Half a cup of white vinegar
  • 20 drops of essential oil, like lemon juice or mint essential oils
  • Half a cup of coarse salt

Step 1: Mix All Dry Ingredients

To begin making your dishwasher tabs, mix all the dry ingredients, including citric acid, salt, baking soda, and sodium percarbonate. Baking soda is excellent for de-greasing and getting rid of odours. It can keep your dishwashing machine in good condition as well as clean dishes.

Sodium percarbonate is a kind of active ingredient responsible for disinfecting your washing machine, dishwasher, and dishes. Using this substance in your homemade detergent is a little safer than Borax, which is slightly different.

If you choose to use salt, it will help to get rid of the lime in your hard water, and it should stop your dishwashing equipment from clogging too easily.

Mix all of your dry ingredients thoroughly to ensure an equal distribution of all the right products in each dishwasher tablet you make.

Step 2: Mix in the Vinegar

After thoroughly combining the dry ingredients for your own dishwasher detergent tablets, apply a set of disposable gloves to protect your skin from the citric acid and baking soda crystals. You can then apply your white vinegar and essential oils using a spatula.

The white vinegar will create a chemical reaction when added to the baking soda. This means your dishwasher detergent will start to foam. To stop the mix from foaming too aggressively, add the white vinegar slowly. Mix them thoroughly to ensure everything is combined into a paste.

Remember, the various hard substances in your dish tabs will clump when exposed to even a few drops of vinegar, so you’ll need to ensure you’re mixing thoroughly to get rid of the lumps. Although white vinegar might not smell like the best product to add to your dishwasher at first, it’s excellent for disinfecting and getting rid of grease on dishes.

Remember, you can always add vinegar slowly and reduce the amount you use overall if your mixture seems to be foaming too much.

Step 3: Add the Essential Oils

lemon oil

Now comes the fun part of mixing your homemade dishwasher detergent tablets. After you mix baking soda, white vinegar, and the other essential ingredients mentioned above, you’ll want to use a few drops of essential oils to improve the smell of your sparkling dishes.

Essential oils make your dishes smell great when they come out of the dishwasher. Most all-purpose cleaner soap and detergent substances come with their own added scent. Lemon essential oil is the most common choice for a clean scent. Lemon juice can even be added to improve the disinfectant properties of your dishwasher tablets.

Remember, 20 drops of essential oil are only required for a large batch of tablets. If you’re only making a handful of soap tablets, you can slowly add a smaller number of drops to the vinegar and baking soda mix. You can also experiment with other recipes using things other than lemon essential oil. Some people love using tea trees or cinnamon for their disinfectant properties.

Peppermint oil is another excellent choice, as it can give your dishes a fresh scent, and it’s great at fighting bacteria.

Step 4: Fill an Ice Cube Tray

Once you’re done mixing everything for homemade dishwasher detergent tablets, you should be left with a simple paste that smells a little of citrus oil. Grab an ice cube tray or something similar for creating the cube shapes of your tablets. Fill your ice cube tray as much as you like, and leave the mixture to sit for about 24 hours.

You’ll need to check on your dishwasher tablets from time to time. Usually, it takes about 24 hours for the soap tablets to dry fully in a sunny spot. However, the amount of time it takes for your detergent to set will depend on your choice of recipe.

If your natural dishwasher tablets don’t seem fully dry, you can give them another 12 to 24 hours. Once the recipe is fully set, you can remove the tablets from the tray and store them either in a small bowl or plastic container with a lid. Make sure you keep your detergent away from children or adults.

You can make multiple batches of dishwasher tablets at once, provided you have a safe and dry space where you can store them. If the tablets appear to be moist when you go to retrieve them, throw them away.

Step 5: Use Your Detergent Tablets

Finally, all that’s left to do is put your recipe to the test. Remember that you can experiment with different recipe options for your tablet and different kinds of soap to get a sparkling clean in your dishwasher. However, you may find that any simple recipe won’t create the same texture as store-bought tablets, no matter how long you leave them to dry.

While your tablets should retain their shape enough to make it easier for you to place them in your dishwasher machine’s rinse aid compartment or detergent compartment, they can easily break or crumble. Be cautious when you place your tablets in your dishwasher.

Aside from the slight change in texture, and the smell of citrus essential oil, your detergent tablets should work just like store-bought ones. You can even add extra white vinegar to the dishwasher detergent mix if you’re washing particularly stained dishes.

You might need to experiment with your tablets before finding a mixture that works perfectly for your dishes.

What Can You Use Instead of a Dishwasher Tablet?

Making your own homemade dishwasher tablets in ice cube trays can be an excellent way to save money and transform the process of washing dishes. However, if you don’t have any dish tabs and don’t have the washing soda, vinegar, and other products required to make your own, you may need an alternative.

Fortunately, you can use a few options below instead of homemade dish tablets and store-bought dishwasher tablets. Note, however, that it may be worth checking the instructions on your dishwasher before adding any sustainable living products, salt, or baking soda to the machine. Some devices have extra instructions about the kind of substances you can use in the system.

Washing Soda

Washing soda on its own, such as sodium carbonate or Borax, can be an option for some people who don’t have access to dish tabs. This product has great antibacterial properties, but it can be dangerous when consumed in large doses.

Distilled White Vinegar

The acidic quality of this vinegar is excellent for washing dishes in hard water or soft water. You should be able to find something similar in whole foods stores. Fill a bowl with half a cup of vinegar and place it on the top rack when washing your dishes.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is another gentle tool for getting rid of stains, which is why you’ll find it in any great recipe for homemade dishwasher detergent. You can also simply run a cleaning cycle without your homemade dish tablets using baking soda on your own.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is a great tool if you don’t have any dishwashing tablets or dish soap. It’s reliably effective, either used with washing soda or on its own. You can even use lemon juice as a rinse aid to help make your dishes shine.

Dish Soap

It’s possible to use a couple of drops of dishwashing liquids or castile soap in some cases. However, make sure you don’t go over the top with the amount of soap you use, as you can easily create rivers of suds accidentally.

What Not to Use in Your Dishwasher

If you can’t make your own homemade dishwasher tablets with ice cube trays, keep in mind that it may be best to continue using store-bought tablets instead. While you might be keen to save money, filling your dishwasher with dishwashing liquid or laundry detergent can cost you more than you actually save.

Always check the instructions and warning labels on your dishwasher before adding any ingredients into the system, just in case. Additionally, make sure you start small with any homemade dishwasher tablet recipes you use. You might find that one cup of baking soda is enough for you, whereas other people need two. Experimenting with your dry and wet ingredients will help you find the best possible mixture for your needs.

No matter what happens with your homemade tablet strategy, avoid using the following products in your dishwashing machine, or you could end up needing to call out for a repair:

  • Shampoo
  • Household all-purpose cleaners
  • Body wash
  • Dishwashing liquid in large amounts
  • Standard blocks of soap

Enjoy Your Dishwasher Tablets

We hope this article inspired you on how to make dishwasher tablets by yourself! Using homemade dishwasher tablets is a quick, simple and effective way to save some cash on your day-to-day chores.

Consider experimenting with your own recipes the next time you’re running out of store-bought tablets.

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