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Do you wish you could make your own affordable dishwasher tablets? We’ll show you how to make orange spice DIY dishwasher tablets with natural ingredients.
I have been dreaming of having a dishwasher for years, and I finally got one over the summer. I thought what I had was a huge stockpile of natural dishwasher tablets, but we’ve been going through them so quickly!
Since we work from home and homeschool, we make a lot of dirty dishes. So I wanted to start making my own DIY dishwasher tablets so I can control the ingredients while saving money.
It’s not much harder than making the other DIY cleaning and beauty products I already make. There are several different ways you can make dishwasher tablets.
This particular recipe combines several different natural ingredients to make an effective DIY dishwasher tablet. If you want something a bit more simple, check out my homemade dishwasher detergent tablets recipe. It only uses 4 ingredients.
We used orange and clove in this recipe to give it a warm winter feel. But you can easily keep the base ingredients the same and just switch out the essential oils if you get tired of the same scents.
I recommend always using a form of citrus, since it cleans so well and the scent balances nicely with almost any other oil. Lemon oil and Thyme oil or Lime oil and Ginger oil are two other nice combinations.
If you prefer not to use Borax, you can substitute it for ¾ cup more baking soda and ¼ cup more Epsom salts. If you do use Borax, please remember to use a face mask because it can cause respiratory irritation.
This DIY dishwasher tablets recipe makes close to 2 dozen cubes, but it will depend on the size of the silicone mold you choose. We recommend choosing molds that have a simpler shape as it’s easier to remove the cubes and they store better too.
DIY Orange Spice Dishwasher Tablets
- 2-4 silicone molds, depending on the size
- 1 cup borax
- 1 cup baking soda
- ½ cup Epsom salts
- 1/3 cup citric acid
- Witch hazel, placed in a spray bottle for spritzing
- 15 drops orange essential oil
- 10 drops clove essential oil
- Mixing bowl, whisk, face mask and rubber gloves
- Mason jar or other container
- Wearing a face mask, add the Borax (or the recommended substitution) to your mixing bowl. Using the whisk or the back of measuring cup, break up any lumps. Repeat the steps with the Epsom salts and the baking soda, mixing them in with the Borax.
- Once you are satisfied that the lumps are gone and the mixture is smooth, add the citric acid. Be careful not to inhale it, as it can make you cough. It is added for the fizzing effect you need to make the soap break down in the dishwasher and rinse off the dishes.
- Whisk all those powders together well.
- Now add in your essential oils, one at a time. They both have a thin consistency, so go slow as you count your drops. Whisk to blend the oils well throughout the powders until there are no wet clumps and it is well blended.
- The last and probably most important step in the mixing process, is to spray the mixture to dampen it, without making it too overly wet, and mix the powder until it starts to stick together in small clumps.
- This is where you should put on the rubber gloves. Now, get your witch hazel spray, then lightly spray it over the top of the mixture in the bowl and start mixing it with your other hand.
- Turn the mixture as you go, and be sure to get the powder from the bottom of the bowl mixed in. Spritz again, repeating until you have a damp mixture. It should stick together slightly, but not be super wet. If it gets too wet, it will activate the citric acid and it won’t come out right. It is like a dry snow when it is about right. It will clump together but it will fall apart easily too. Once you see that it is sticking together when you squeeze it in the palm of your hand, it’s ready.
- Now, take small clumps, and press them down into the molds. Push down all the way, to be sure the mixture goes all the way into the corners.
- Repeat this until all your mixture is used up.
- Now, set the molds into a window sill if possible, or as close to some sunlight as you can, and let them dry for a few hours. They can sometimes puff up a little from the reaction of the ingredients. If they do, you can push the mixture back down into the molds and flatten it again. For mine to dry, it took about 3 to 4 hours at least. For the larger sized molds, it takes longer. I let them sit overnight to be sure. They will feel dry but have a bit of stickiness to them.
- Now, turn them out on to a flat plate, being careful as you go. They may still be sticky, so they can pull apart and you’ll just have to form them back a little. Now, leave the damp side up on the plate and let them dry a few hours until they have hardened all over.
- Once they are dry and hard, put them into your container of choice for storage. If you put them in too early, they will stick together and not dry all the way.
- To use: Place one large or two small DIY dishwasher tablets into the slot in your dishwasher before running the wash cycle.