This is one of the super simple recipes that almost feels like cheating 🙈!
We had been using this homemade detergent for a year, and it works just as well as the pretty pricy store-bought dishwasher detergent we had before.
Now we hardly ever use it anymore. Not because the detergent doesn’t work, but because of minimalism! We gave away most of our kitchenware and plates so now we actually don’t have enough plates to fill the dishwasher with anymore 😂! We only kept 1 big plate, 4 side plates, 2 small rice bowls, and 2 blates (= something between a bowl and a plate)… It works surprisingly well because my husband does all the dishes right afterwards so they don’t pile up. Well, I do still use the dishwasher whenever I bake a lot though 😁.
1 part (dishwasher) salt
3 parts baking soda
Mix salt and baking soda and store in a big jar. Use 1 1/2 tbsp (~22.5 ml) per cycle. Do not fill your dishwasher with any additional salt!
If you do prefer to fill your dishwasher with additional salt, use only 1 tbsp of baking soda per cycle.
Depending on where you live you might be able to get baking soda and salt in bulk (e.g. at Whole Foods or in pharmacies). If this isn’t an option where you live, you can always buy regular salt and even dishwasher salt in cardboard boxes, whereas the packaging of baking soda seems to vary A LOT depending on the country you live in. I have heard that it is close to impossible to get plastik-free baking soda in the Phillipines, I know a Turkish brand that sells baking soda in jars, and in Germany it’s usually sold in small 50 g (1.8 oz) paper bags, or online in an oversized 25 kg (55 lbs) paper bag!
In fact, a reader had asked me on Facebook about how much baking soda I think would be a good amount to keep at home. She was thinking about ordering one of those massive 25 kg (55 lbs) bags and was wondering if it was too much (spoiler alert… YES!). Turned out she lives in the same city I live in, so I asked some people I knew and also in a local Facebook group and only two days later we had enough people to order the bag. And it’s ridiculously cheap too! Instead of paying ~10 EUR/ 11 USD per kilogram (0.28 USD/ oz) like we usually do when we buy baking soda in these small 50 g (1.8 oz) paper bags, it is only 0.91 EUR/ 1 USD per kilogram (0,03 USD/oz)!
So how much baking soda do you need?
Well, how much you will need depends on your very individual usage of course.
Just so you can estimate what you might need: In our household of two we had used 1 kg (2.2 lbs) in a year when we were still using our dishwasher every 2-3 days. Besides using baking soda as dishwasher detergent, we also used it to make our own dish soap, laundry detergent (we have been using chestnuts instead since last fall though), for cleaning purposes, as tooth powder, for homemade mouthwash, and of course for baking purposes as well 😉.