Deb's Peppermint Dishwasher Detergent

Total Time
Prep 5 mins
Cook 0 mins

Like many people, I've tried for years to develop a cheap, natural recipe for dishwasher detergent that really works. This recipe, combined with my Homemade Jet Dry Rinse, comes close in performance to Cascade, and far outperforms commercial "green" products. Kudos to for the tip about citric acid. (I order citric acid online from at $3.50/lb.) **TIP: If you have very soft water, you might want to reduce or omit the baking soda to prevent a filmy buildup. This was developed for a hard water region of North Texas.**

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 2 cups borax
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup arm & hammer washing soda
  • 12 cup salt
  • 12 cup citric acid
  • 2 teaspoons peppermint oil (you can sub pretty much any essential oil)


  1. Mix all ingredients in large bowl.
  2. STORE IN AIR-TIGHT ZIP-LOK BAG, NOT IN A JAR! (It clumps if it gets too damp, and if it's in a bag a quick squeeze breaks it up. In a jar it becomes a rock.).
  3. To use: Fill prewash and wash compartments completely, and use heat boost setting if available. Adjust amount of detergent depending on results in your area: reduce amount if you experience white residue; increase amount if dishes don't come clean. Strongly recommend using rinse aid as well.
Most Helpful

5 5

Well, since your Deb's Homemade Dishwasher Rinse was so awesome, I knew I had to try this one. We've tried several "green" dishwasher detergents but none of them actually clean the dishes. Some of them smelled so horrible I threw them out without finishing the bottle & one brand I actually returned, it left such a gross film on the dishes. I have none of those complaints with your homemade recipe! I found all the ingredients either in my pantry or right on a shelf in the laundry aisle of my grocery store. I couldn't find my peppermint oil but had many others to choose from so I flipped open an aromatherapy book and saw "Anger - to dispell use ylang-ylang.". I decided to use that one in hopes that the next time we ask our teenage son to unload the dishes he'll do it with a more cheerful attitude. LOL It's one of my favorite scents anyway. So, this was a super easy recipe, super cheap, our dishes look great and the best part of all is that our house smells so beautiful! I wish I could do the math to figure the price per load, but as a basic comparison, I pay over $9 for one bottle of Cascade and all the ingredients for this recipe cost $11.54. I'm guessing I'll get 5 or more batches out of the borax & the A&H washing powder. The cheap stuff (salt & soda) will get 2-3 batches & we'll get at least 2 out of the Fruit Fresh. We just mixed it all in the ziplock bag. Thanks so much for sharing your creations with us, Deb! Any way to save money and use less chemicals in my house is a good thing. :)

1 5

I really wanted to love this, but I can't even settle for like. I followed the recipe exactly, and my dishes were absolutely disgusting. I also made the rinse aid to go along with it.....maybe it is my water, but back to Cascade I went.