Natural Dishwashing Tablets - How to make your own

Have you ever been put off by the strong chemical smell in your dishwasher when you first open it up after cleaning your dishes? Have you thought to yourself that it can't be good considering you and your family eat and drink for those same dishes?

Over any given 12 month period in Australia, over 2000 children are admitted to hospital due to ingestion of common household chemicals, including dishwasher liquid and powder. Check out some of the symptoms and tips to keep your little ones safe as recommended by Choice Australia, but the safest and best route is to eliminate all of the nasty chemicals from your household, as they really aren't necessary.

How do you think Nanna kept her house clean before the proliferation of commercial products? A few basic staple multipurpose ingredients that can be used for cleaning, cooking, pest control and a range of other uses. The following recipe for dishwashing tablets will keep your dishes clean and tick off one more store bought product, and help get you on your way to being free from the supermarket strangle hold!

Natural Dishwashing Tablets


    • 1 Cup of Natural Borax
    • 1 Cup of Natural Sodium Carbonate (aka Washing Soda or Soda Ash)
    • 1/2 Cup Natural Citric Acid
    • 1/2 Cup of Table Salt (finer the better)
    • OPTIONAL: 40 Drops of your favourite essential oil/s to fragrance


  1. Combine all ingredients except the essential oil, in a large mixing bowl and stir, working on squashing any big lumps.
  2. Slowly add the drops of essential oil to the mix, stirring as you go, and working out any clumps to spread the scent. We used 20 drops of lemon Oil and 20 drops of Lime Oil.
  3. If you are happy with a powder instead of tablets, just store the mix in an airtight jar and you are done! Simply use 1 tablespoon per load as needed.
  4. To make the powder into handy tablets, use a misting spray bottle and start to slowly spray the mix, stirring as you go. If it starts to fizz, stop the misting and stir until it stops. You want it to end up looking like damp beach sand. It should form a ball when you squish it together, but break up when dropped back into the bowl. Take it slow and steady until you are happy with the consistency. If you go too far, just add some more washing soda to help dry it out a bit.
  5. Next grab a couple of ice cube trays, silicone ones work best, and give them a very light mist with water.
  6. Fill the cubes up with mix, making sure you squash and pack each cube so that it firms a firm tablet.
  7. When you have filled all of the cubes, finish them off by giving them a final light misting with water. This helps to form a crust to help hold your tablets together and make them easier to handle.
  8. Let them dry out completely overnight. Then pop them out and store them in an air tight jar.
  9. Simply add one table per load of dishes to wash.
  • For an extra boost, add a few drops of dishwashing liquid (only a few!!!) to the powder/tablet before closing the soap container in the dishwasher.
  • You can also add white vinegar as the rinse agent, and your dishes will come out clean, smelling fresh and best of all, be chemical free!
  • This recipe only costs approximately $7.50 to make from Eco Warehouse, and will make enough tablets for 25-50 washes (depending on the size of your ice cube tray. That's as little as 15 cents a wash!


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