Homemade Automatic Dishwasher Detergent With Baking Soda ?

Total Time
Prep 1 min
Cook 1 min

It Really Works! Get a sparkling load of dishes using baking soda and Borax--for pennies. We’ve been reading about the miracle uses of baking soda. So, one day, we ran out of automatic dishwashing detergent. In a pinch, we decided to make some detergent with two tablespoons baking soda mixed with two tablespoons of Borax (we have a box in our laundry room just gathering dust). You cannot believe how beautiful our dishes came out! For pennies a wash! We are now converts and will not need to buy commercial dish detergent. The cost: Since two tablespoons = one dry ounce, you can see how far this will go. A small 16 oz. box of baking soda costs under $1.00 and will last about 32 loads. A 76 oz. box of Borax ix about $5.00 and will last 152 loads of dishes. Assume you do one load a day, you will need 12 boxes of baking soda (or buy bigger versions, we just don’t have that on hand here…) and two boxes of Borax. Total for the year to wash dishes if you do a load a day: approximately $22.00. Total for the year to buy commercial dish detergent: average $5 a large box, which lasts about a month (or less), costs approximately $60.00 a year. We based this on our frugal purchases of store brand detergent and Cascade. However, we know many people who use newfangled products such as cubes, gels, and tabs–all of which are more money and promise better results, but we bet the results are just as good as baking soda and Borax.


  1. Put mixture into washer’s detergent holder as you would normally with any detergent.
  2. Our dishes have never, ever looked cleaner–no scratches, no water spots, just crystal clear glasses, dishes, and silverware. Our dishwasher is cleaner inside, too. Typically, we don’t love homemade products because they may not work better than store-bought solutions, but this is different.
Most Helpful

5 5

This worked great. I followed the directions as written and my dishes looked better and felt cleaner then they do with using Cascade. I too had a box of Borax just sitting around collecting dust but now it will get used! Great recipe and much cheaper.

5 5

We ran out of dishwasher soap this morning and was in a bind. This combination worked excellent. We also added some vinegar to the rinse agent container. I think we will switch from the Cascade packets to using this.

1 5

I was SO excited to try this out because I wanted to start saving money on dishwasher detergent but I was very disappointed with the results. My glasses had a white film on them and a lot of the dishes just didn't seem very clean. My silverware was also very spotted :( Guess I'll keep looking for another homemade recipe.