homemade dishwasher detergent recipe

Here’s a great way to extend your dishwasher detergent, and really get more for your money!

Mix 1 cup Borax and 1 cup Baking Soda

Add the 2 cups of that mixture to 2 cups of store bought powder detergent.

Use 2 Tbsp of this mixture in your dishwasher.

*Though I have never had a problem, I’ve read of others getting cloudy residue on their dishes after using a mixture similar to this. (It may depend on the brand of detergent you use.) If you seem to be getting a residue buildup, try using 1 Tbsp mixture.

Rinse with white vinegar (instead of Cascade or something) for sparkling clean glasses!

I store mine in an empty Cappuccino container from Costco. It has a scooper that is exactly 2 Tbsp, perfect for this purpose!

I did a cost breakdown for those like me who like to know the savings. Here are my costs:

Borax (4 lb 12 oz) $2.56 at Walmart

Baking Soda (12 lbs) $5.19 at Costco

Cascade (125 oz) $9.39 at Costco

Notice, one box of Cascade costs $9.39. To make the same amount (125 oz) of dish detergent using the above recipe it would cost you about $6.20.

Savings: $3.19!

For those who want to see how it’s all calculated (this would be helpful if your ingredients cost something different from mine), here is how I did it. I’ll try not to get you too lost!!…

1. Convert from oz to cups

2. Know: Baking Soda has 2 cups per lb

3. Know: 1 cup = 16 Tbsp


The Borax has 9.5 cups = 152 Tbsp

The Baking Soda has 24 cups = 384 Tbsp

The Cascade has about 15.5 cups = 248 Tbsp

Use the following equation to figure out how much each ingredient costs you:

16 Tbsp x (full price of product) ÷ (total Tbsp in product) = Price/cup

*Remember to round your answer up or down

*Don’t forget that you’re using 2 cups of Cascade, so multiply your answer by 2.

My costs:

Borax: 16 x $2.56 ÷ 152 = $0.27/cup

Baking Soda: 16 x $5.19 ÷ 384 = $0.22/cup

Cascade: 16 x $9.39 ÷ 248 = $0.61 (x2) = $1.21/ 2 cups

Then add them all up.

Mine totals $1.70. Remember this is for 4 cups of the mixture of all three ingredients.

Now find how much it costs per Tbsp:

*Remember the recipe above calls for 4 cups total

*Know: 4 cups = 64 Tbsp

*Remember: We’ll be using 2 Tbsp of the mixture for each dishwasher load


2 Tbsp x (total cost for 4 cups of ingredients ) ÷ 64 Tbsp = cost/ load

My cost:

2 x $1.70 ÷ 64 = $0.05/load

Compare cost of Cascade by itself with the cost of the mixture:


248 Tbsp ÷ 2 (since we use 2 Tbsp per use)= 124 uses

124 uses = $9.39 (cost to buy it at store)

Homemade Mixture:

124 uses x $.05 (our cost per load) = $6.20 (cost to make it)

So, you can see that it would save us a difference of approx. $3.19 per 124 uses.

I’m no mathematician, so there may have been an easier way to do this. But this works for me.