January 6, 2021

How To: Dishwasher Tablets


I've done a lot of soul searching the last few months trying to really reassess the way we live as a family. I've looked at everything from the way we speak to each other down to the ingredients we consume on a daily basis looking for ways I can raise my kiddos to be kinder and healthier.

My first feat was to replace our cleaning products, skin care products, and candles with safer alternatives. While there are many products out there that are fragrance free and formulated to be safe and non-toxic, I decided to find ways to make products myself wherever I could. First, doing this saves me a ton of money not only by not purchasing cleaning products in stores, but also saving me a ton of unnecessary Target trips where I will undoubtedly buy a million things I don't need. Second, by making these items myself, I know exactly what is in them and they have fewer ingredients.

I plan to share the recipes I used to make these and honest feedback on pros and cons, how they compare to typical store products. What I can share so far is everything I have made has been extremely simple to make at home in under 10 minutes.

The dishwasher was actually the most recent product I tackled. I for sure thought there was no way I was going to be able to make something at home that cleaned dishes as well as the Cascade pods I was buying. I had become a loyal believer in rinse aid for my dishes and couldn't picture a world without it! I decided to see what recommendations there were out there for homemade dishwasher detergent when I stumbled on a similar recipe for tablets. I thought it was worth giving it a try and I am happy to report this is probably the product I was so excited to share! It WORKS! And really well. My dishes have truly been sparkling clean using this recipe, I was honestly shocked.

The tablets are super easy to make and use inexpensive ingredients. Your upfront cost will be a bit more, but they will last you for a year or more (depending on the measurement needed). I did do a calculation as well compared to the cost of standard dishwasher pods you buy at any store and the cost was still at least a $20 savings in the first year and more in the following years using the same ingredients. You can also swap out the ones I've linked with less expensive brands if you want to, I'm just linking what I used.

The only con I found is the size of the tabs tends to be too bit. This makes it tougher to fit them in the dishwasher compartment. You may have to crush them in there a bit when you close it or just leave it open. I also tried making them in a smaller cube mold (or just putting less mixture in each mold) to see if that made a difference in cleaning power. I'm happy to report a smaller size did NOT make a difference. In fact, knowing this now, the measurements below could make far more than just 24 tablets. Save even more $$.

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HOMEMADE DISHWASHER TABLETS

(makes 24+ tablets)

Ingredients:

  • 2 standard ice tray
  • Large bowl (for mixing)
  • 1 cup washing soda (Sky High Suds All-Natural Washing Soda)
  • 1/4 cup citric acid (Millard Citric Acid)
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup water
Instructions:
  1. In a large bowl, stir together all dry ingredients.
  2. Add water. The mixture will bubble and fizz. Wait 1 minute for bubbles to reduce, then stir to combine thoroughly. Mixture will be lumpy.
  3. Scoop about 1 Tbs. of mixture into each ice cube mold. Use finger to pack into mold and flatten top of cube.
  4. Let trays sit out on countertop overnight to dry thoroughly.
  5. When tablets have dried, give each tray a twist and crack to pop out.
  6. Store in airtight container. 

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