Homemade Dishwasher Tablets Recipe

These homemade dishwasher tablets will not only save you money, they’ll also save your health and the planet!

Many dishwashing powders and liquids contain a whole host of chemicals that are both terrible for the environment and our own health. 

Most of these product are derived from petrochemicals and contain synthetic fragrances (even when advertised as “fragrance-free”). The chemicals in these products get into our waterways and damage aquatic life, and also release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into our homes, which can cause short-and long-term health effects. 

Homemade cleaning products

There are plenty of other advantages to making your own homemade dishwashing tablets, too. The most obvious one is the amount of money you’ll save, followed by the packaging and plastics you’re not buying and bringing into your home.

Also, reducing the toxicity of the spent water produced during the dishwashing process means you can implement a greywater irrigation system without compromising the health of your plants and soil. 

And, if you have the skills and ingredients to produce homemade dishwashing tablets, there’s also the benefit of reducing the reliance you and your family has on large supply chains. Which is why having a really simple but effective recipe, like the one here, is particularly useful. 

How to make homemade dishwasher tablets

non toxic cleaning


  • 1 cup bi-carb soda
  • 1/4 cup citric acid
  • 1/2 cup sea salt
  • 1 tbsp plain white vinegar
  • 20 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 15 drops lemon essential oil
  • Silicone ice cube mould or tray
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Add the bi-carb soda, citric acid and sea salt to a large bowl and mix until combined.

Add the essential oils, mix through, then add the vinegar to the mixture and stir through thoroughly. 

Spoon the mixture into your mould and press down firmly until it’s well packed. 

Leave to set for 12 hours in a cool and dry place. 

Once set, turn the mould upside down and gently tap the bottom to remove the tablets. They should pop out easily.

Store tablets in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

To use, add your homemade dishwasher tablets to your dishwasher tablet compartment or if they’re too large the cutlery drawer.


  1. Just found you.
    Rapt to find all the ways to live cleanly, self sustainable and to assist the planet to be less polluted and better for everyone.
    So looking forward to being part of your community
    Ellie Lawrence

    • Hi Ellie, Welcome, we look forward to sharing all our great ideas with you. Enjoy exploring.

      • I love the idea, but is eucalyptus oil essential for the cleaning? It is toxic to dogs (even the aroma) so I do not use it at home. Is there an alternative oil that is as effective in cleaning dishes, or is only for scent?

  2. Love that there is such a recipe!

    I have a question; doesn’t the addition of vinegar to bicarb cause a fizzing reaction due to the manufacture of water and carbon dioxide? Therefore, what would be the cleaning properties remaining in the bicarb?

    All the best,


    • Hi Kristy – your mould should be similar to an ice cube tray so just as much as you can fit in. Or however large your dishwasher tablet dispenser is in your dishwasher.

  3. HI there PIP, I’m wondering on the chemistry of adding vinegar and bicarb together. Aren’t we getting just a fizzing action and we get carbon dioxide and water? I’m not sure how this helps before the tablets are made.

    I’m very keen to have a homemade and less toxic tablet so maybe someone who has used this method could comment?

    All the best,


    • Hi Christine, thanks for your comment 🙂 Given the ratio of vinegar to bicarb soda in this recipe that won’t be an issue. Good luck and let us know if you need anymore help!

  4. Hi
    I would really love to use this recipe. I have read that home made dishwasher tablets/liquid can damage the dishwasher – the vinegar can apparently eat away at the rubber seals, or is there not enough vinegar to do any damage?

    Many thanks

    • Hi Karen – the small amount of vinegar shouldn’t damage your dishwasher but we recommend checking with your dishwasher brand to be sure!

    • Hi Sandra – best to stick with citrus acid if you can but switching to tartaric acid shouldn’t cause any issues. Let us know how they go!

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