Making Products, Shopping, Zero Waste

DIY Dishwasher Powder

Homemade Dishwasher Powder:

As the festive period approaches why not make up a batch of homemade dishwasher powder to see you through.

I love experimenting by making my own cleaning products so when our box of dishwasher tablets ran out I decided to make my own.

I’ve had success with DIY cleaning sprays, laundry liquid and now dishwasher powder, although I have (so far) failed to find a decent washing-up liquid recipe.

Why make your own?

Personally, I like the challenge but it can also be cheaper and more environmentally friendly by avoiding harmful chemicals and excess packaging.

If you can source your ingredients from zero waste stores in bulk you can really avoid plastic packets and other non-recyclable items.

Bicarbonate of Soda:

Bicarbonate of soda or baking soda helps maintain a natural pH balance and eliminates odours. It is great at removing stains due to its very mild abrasive properties. It is perfect for cleaning as it dissolves grease and dirt in water.

Soda Crystals:

Soda crystals or washing soda are a versatile cleaning detergent. They have been used in laundry and cleaning products as they soften water, dissolve grease and contain no phosphates or bleach.

Coarse Salt:

Coarse salt can be used to soften hard water by breaking down the lime-scale content. It helps keep the system clean and also acts as a mild scourer.

If you can’t find it in your zero waste store you can buy it in recyclable cartons.

Essential Oils:

Essential oils are natural plant extracts made by the distillation process. This produces concentrated plant extracts, which retain the odour and beneficial properties of the plant.

Some oils like lemon, orange and lavender contain disinfectant properties as well as smelling really good too.

How to make your own dishwasher powder:


  • 250g Soda Crystals
  • 250g Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 100-125g Coarse Salt
  • 20 Drops Essential Oil (Personally I use lemon)


    Weigh out the soda crystals, bicarbonate of soda & salt then add them to a large jar and shake the mix well.

    Then add 20 drops of your chosen essential oil.

    Shake the mix again.

    It’s as easy as that!

How to use:

Add 2 tablespoons to your dishwasher tablet tray for each load and make sure to use the eco setting on your dishwasher.

For a zero waste rinse aid use bulk bought white vinegar in a small tub or ramekin dish on the top shelf (never in the rinse aid compartment). I also add a drop of washing-up liquid to the vinegar as I’ve found that it prevents any greasy residue on the glasses.


Vinegar is acidic and can therefore corrode the rubber components of the rinse aid reservoir and pipes within the water dispenser system.

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