Easy-peasy, non-toxic dishwasher powder or tablets and rinse-aid tutorial

I love my dishwasher – it is my savior in a busy working week. The only thing I don’t like is my off-the-shelf dishwasher tablets – opening up the packaging to be hit in the face by this horrendous toxic, chemical smell and then having to stick my hand in to get one out. Blurghh… my poor skin which is sensitive at the best of times. Plus, it’s full of nasties for the drains and, subsequently, the environment.

I know that a dishwasher is not not the best option for an eco-friendly life but I’m not quite ready to give it up. So in the meantime, I have decided to switch to making my own tablets and rinse-aid from more natural products. Wherever possible, I am sourcing plastic-free raw materials.

If you are concerned about cleaning power performance, I have found that this recipe to be really good – just remember to rinse items well before they go in. Rinsing is the key to good dishwasher performance – regardless of whether you use shop-bought or home-made dishwasher tablets.

Dishwasher Tablets


75g citric acid
(plastic-free option from Ecodoo available at Big Green Smile)

75g baking powder/bicarbonate of soda – I pick mine up at my local refill store

75g washing powder (again, ecodoo comes without plastic)

5-10 drops of essential oils (I use DoTerra oils for their powerful, natural properties) e.g. lemon or wild orange, something citrus-y!


Bowl and mixing spoon

Moulds if you want to make the tablets (ice-cube trays work well).

Water spray bottle (optional)

Glass storage jar (Essential oils don’t like plastic containers)


Combine altogether in a bowl and mix ๐Ÿ™‚ – Done!

For dishwasher powder – store in the jar if you are making the powder and use as normal. 

However for tablets –  (I like a tablet because I’m lazy!) use a few sprays from a water bottle onto the powder so it starts to become “tacky” or sticky… but you don’t want it wet!.  The idea here is not to have too much fizzing, hence using the spray! 

Push into your moulds/ice-cube trays and leave for 4 hours at least, or better still, overnight.  

Pop-up and store in your jar.  Use as and when required.


Good, old white vinegar. That’s it.

If you want to add some essential oils, again, I would go for something citrus-y for their cleaning power and light, fresh scent.

The great thing about all these ingredients is that they can be used for so many other things so don’t worry about buying in bulk. Citric acid is a great descaler and bicarb can be used as a stain-remover for your clothes (and cakes, obvs!!).

Enjoy the natural cleaning power without all the harsh chemicals!

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