Homemade Dishwasher Soap Recipe (with Lemon)

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I have been tinkering with the idea of using a homemade dishwasher soap recipe for a while. I really love the money I have saved using my homemade laundry detergent powder and it cleans super well.

I did some searching online and found a collection of recipes and concoctions for making dishwashing soap at home.  I pulled together what I think will work best and I am very pleased with the results.

This recipe makes enough to do 216 loads of dishes in an automatic dishwasher.

homemade dishwasher soap recipe


(I am going to share Amazon links blow so you can see what the items looks like. The prices are typically better for these items at stores like Walmart of Target. I did order my citric acid online from Amazon and it was delivered in a day!)

You will also want to use a food processor, a large bowl, a large container for storing your detergent in and a 1 tablespoon scooper.

Homemade Dishwasher Soap Recipe


The citric acid came in a plastic bag. Since it is 5 lbs and I only need 2 cups this time around, I used a large airtight container to store the leftover in.  I should be able to get 22 batches of this recipe using this container of citric acid.

citric acid 5 pounds

Take all of the ingredients and place them in a large bowl.

Mix by hand (or with a large spoon) to ensure all ingredients are all combine.

Homemade Dishwasher Soap Recipe with lemon

Doing one batch at a time, add the powder mixture to your food processor being sure not to overfill. Use the chopping attachment also known as the multipurpose blade.

multipurpose blade for food processor

I like to run it on high and just let is mix the powders together well and work out any clumps.

When it is done in the food processor, dump it into the container you will be storing the detergent in.

Repeat until all of the detergent is run through the food processor.

Homemade Dishwasher Soap Recipe food processor

Add a 1 TBS scooper to the container. Pop a lid on it and you’re done.

Like I said, this made enough to do 216 loads of dishes when using 1 TBS per load. If you have a super duty load, feel free to use up to 2 TBS of detergent.

Homemade Dishwasher Soap Recipe at home

Super easy and very thrifty.  This costs $0.05 per load when using 1 TBS!

How to Store

Store it in an air-tight container! This is key to prevent it from hardening.

Also, to prevent hardening of the detergent, I recommend adding a Silica Gel Packet. It is one of those little packs you get in a shoe box. If you have a free one hanging around in a shoe box, score! Otherwise, you can grab them very affordability on Amazon.


  1. How clever is this! That’s so cool that you linked up the ingredients to Amazon…makes it easy to find them. Might have to try making this sometime. 🙂 Found your project via Tip me Tuesday. 🙂

  2. Are you serious? 1 Tbsp per load? And judging by your cost per load, you only paid $11 for the ingredients?
    OMH!! That’s $1.55 per month if you do a load every day?!! That’s crazy.
    What are the results like? Honestly. As good as a bought detergent?
    Can I even get those things here in RSA? I’m sooo excited to try this.

    1. I love it and it is working great. Just 1 TBSP is all you have to use.

      What is RSA?

  3. He would have thought it would be that simple to make your own dishwasher soap! I am going to share this with my mother in law. Thank you for linking up at Tell Me About it Tuesday!

  4. The last time I made homemade dish washer detergent it dried into one huge impossible hard clump. Has your recipe done this? I might be willing to give it a try if you have had good results.

    Thanks so sharing!

  5. .05 a load?? That’s what I’m talking about! I can’t believe the price of dishwashing detergent–love this post-thanks for sharing

  6. Do you need rinse aid and dishwasher salt in your machine when you use this?

  7. What is the Citric Acid for and is it really necessary? It is a little pricey. Can this be found at Walmart or is it only available online? I am new to this whole DIY stuff. lol I have been making my own laundry detergent for about a year now. 🙂

    1. Kelley- the citric acid is going to keep film off the dishes. I linked to the 5 lb bag, but you can buy it in 1 lb increments AND you can buy it at any store that sells canning supplies. I just linked to it online to give you a picture of what it looks like and brands that make it.

  8. No way Crystal! I am going to try this. I use the platinum cascade packets and oh my gosh, they are expensive! I paid $17 for dishwasher tablets when I bought a bucket last week.

  9. I have always wondered about making my own dishwasher detergent. I definitely want to try your recipe.

    Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!

  10. DO you have to run it through the food processor?

    1. You do not. You can put it in a large jug or canister and shake it to mix.

  11. I have had problems with lemishine taking print off of glasses. Any worries that would happen with this mix?

  12. Laura Bowers says:

    So I can’t use lemon dish soap on my silverware. What would happen if I just left the lemon out, would that be okay?

  13. Caley Thomas says:

    Do you think you could dry this in ice cube trays and make dishwasher tabs? Love your website by the way!!!!!

    1. You sure can! I have been testing a method for about 6 weeks and have a tutorial I will be sharing soon for this!

  14. Do you have a recipe for LIQUID dishwasher detergent? just curious… 🙂

  15. This sounds great! I’m just waiting to finish my current dishwashing soap to make and try this. Will it be OK in a HE dishwasher? They always say to use HE soap or whatever – will this work too?

  16. Hi! I used your recipe to make my previous batch. It has worked wonderfully! Thank you for the recipe! I was wondering if you can tell me how much Lemishine to use. For some reason, I don’t see it listed in the ingredients anymore.

  17. Is there a difference between baking soda and washing soda?

    1. Yes.

      Baking soda is for cooking, traditionally. Causes food to rise. It can also be used as a freshener as it absorbs smells.

      Washing soda is like soap. It is often used used in detergents and as a cleaner.

  18. danna donahue says:

    I used a different recipe with the lemonshine. It is now a huge clump. I also put the silicone packets on the inside of the lid. I have to scrape it each time to use it. What did I do wrong and is it too late to fix the problem? I stored it in an airtight container.

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