DIY Dishwasher Tablets - I tried it all!

After spending months researching the ingredients that went into a Finish Powerball tablet, I was not only astounded by the number of toxic chemicals but was fascinated by the chemistry behind it. This is what led me to find my own ingredients and attempt my own version.

One thing I did learn, its a tough job! The science that goes into this tiny tablet is incredible. I must have tried every possible recipe on the internet all with mixed results.

I have since moved house & changed dishwashers only to my disbelief to find my old recipe was not working the same - it was cleaning ok but it was leaving water marks on the glass from the rinse. So, you need to take this into account when making dishwasher tablets or powder. It can sometimes be hit. One thing for sure, having vinegar or a citric acid solution sure does help the process.

So overtime I have come up with a number of dishwasher powder/tablet recipes. This is story behind how those recipes have evolved.

Dishwasher Recipe 1

At first, I made a simple combination of washing soda & coconut soap. From my research, commercial dishwasher tablets contained up to 70% washing soda, so I let it be the hero ingredient. The other part was a mix of SURFACTANTS which is why my natural coconut soap flakes made up the rest.

You can use the mixture of washing soda & coconut soap flakes in powder form as is - and you can also use this directly in your sink for hand washing or you can get fancy & make some dishwasher tablets


  • 2 cups Washing Soda
  • 1 cup Organic Coconut Soap Flakes

* For hand washing - switch the amounts so 3/4 cup soap & 1/4 cup washing soda


  1. Simply combine the ingredients in a bowl TAKE CARE: not to breathe in the raised dust or get it in your eyes.
  2. Store in your 750ml Amber Apothecary Glass Jar

How much: This will make approx 650g . You only need approx. 1 tablespoon (15g) per load

Dishwasher Recipe 2

This recipe uses the same ingredients as the first, but now we add some essential oils & water to form them into dishwasher tablets.


  • 3/4 cup Washing Soda
  • 1/3 cup Organic Coconut Soap Flakes
  • 10-15 Drops Essential Oils
  • 3-4 Tablespoons of Distilled/Boiled water


  1. Add all the dry ingredients into a bowl & mix well
  2. In a separate cup, combine the Essential Oils & water
  3. Add 3 tablespoons of the infused water to start, working quickly, combine the ingredients with the back of a spoon until the mixture resembles wet sand (not a cake mix). Its ready when the mixture holds when pressed between your fingers.
    NOTE: You will feel the mixture heat up because of the reactions
  4. Add approx. 1/2 tablespoon of your mixture to each compartment in an ice cube tray & compress firmly with your finger
  5. Let dry preferably overnight, then pop them out & store in an airtight container

How much: This will make approx 18 tablets

Dishwasher Recipe 3

After I had used Borax for a long time & was very comfortable that it was safe for me I started to include it in my dishwasher powder & tablet recipes. This recipe works like the two above, it just included Borax :-)


  • 1 cup Washing Soda
  • 1/3 cup Organic Coconut Soap Flakes
  • 1/3 cup Borax


  • Just add the essential oils & water then place in ice cube tray to make tablets (like recipe 2)
  • Or just combine well and use in powder form (like recipe 1)

Yes, I know this is becoming a very long story - well at least you can see I do trial things out & keep trying to improve on them. The reason why I keep all these recipes here is because they all do work to varying degrees. I have many customers who swear by the simple recipe 1 but others prefer the inclusion of Borax. So don't give up, you just tweak & try again.

In saying that, I am working on yet another recipe which includes a new ingredient Sodium Percabonate - its just a mixture of washing soda & hydrogen peroxide that has been dried. Its the active ingredient in Napisan/Oxibleach & is a safe non-toxic amazing versatile ingredient. I have been searching for a version of this that uses natural washing soda & now I have it - soon you will too!


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