How to Make Homemade Dish Detergent Cubes

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Use this Homemade Dish Detergent Recipe to clean your dishes & reduce household waste.

I have fallen in love with making my own cleaning supplies. I am able to save so much money and I am using ingredients that aren’t harsh or dangerous. If my daughter picked up my antibacterial cleaner and drank the whole bottle it wouldn’t taste pleasant, but she would be just fine.

Creating a homemade household also allows me to significantly reduce the amount of waste that leaves my home because I do not need new packaging each time I need a new cleaner. Most of my store bought cleaners have been replaced with my own and I am working hard to replace them all. The only ones that have not yet been replaced are my toilet bowl cleaner and my glass stovetop cleaning solution.

You can see all of the tried & true recipes that I use in my home inside this ebook. Today, I made a large batch of homemade dish detergent cubes (I doubled the following recipe) in an attempt to stock up before having my 3rd child. I don’t want to have to worry about making or buying many supplies within the first few weeks with her so I am making my batches in bulk 🙂

Homemade Dish Detergent Recipe

This recipe is Borax free which is great because many people have adverse skin reactions to Borax. It can also cause nausea, vomiting, and other issues when ingested in large amounts. Having Borax in your dish detergent shouldn’t provide a large enough amount to cause any of these issues, but it isn’t a necessary ingredient so we just leave it out.


  • 1 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
    • Washing Soda helps to reduce hard water effects and acts as a detergent cleaner.
  • 1 cup Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
    • Baking Soda acts as a detergent cleaner and cuts through grease.
  • 1 cup Morton Coarse Kosher Salt
    • Salt reduces hard water effects and acts as a gentle abrasive cleaner for stuck on food particles.
  • 1/2 cup White Distilled Vinegar
    • White Vinegar helps to hold all of the ingredients together and it is an excellent cleaning product.
  • 1/8 cup Lemon Juice
    • Lemon juice acts as an extra binding agent and the acidity helps to remove stuck on food.
  • 10-15 drops Lemon Essential Oil
    • Lemon Essential Oil has antibacterial properties and it leaves a fresh citrus fragrance in the homemade dish detergent cubes.



Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Make sure that they are all combined well before moving to the next step to ensure consistency in your finished product. You can use the powder in your dishwasher without adding any liquid binder if you want, but it can harden in storage so I prefer to use it in cube form. 


dry ingredients for homemade dish detergent  mixed together in a mixing bowl

Slowly mix in the distilled white vinegar, lemon juice, and lemon essential oil

**Vinegar and lemon juice with baking soda will fizz and you can end up with a pretty awesome eruption if you aren’t careful so add the liquid slowly.**

The homemade dish detergent mixture will be clumpy, but not sticky. It will feel similar to damp sand.

Wet and dry ingredients for homemade dish detergent mixed together in a mixing bowl


Pack the damp mixture tightly into ice cube trays and let sit to dry for 24 hours. Be sure to push down on each cube to be sure that it is all packed tight enough to stick together as it dried or you will end up with crumbles.

Homemade dish detergent packed into plastic ice cube trays


After the homemade dish detergent cubes have dried, flip the ice cube trays over and gently tap or push on the bottom to release the tablets. Don’t twist the tray like you would for ice cubes or you will break the cubes. If the detergent cubes break as they come out, pack them back into the trays and give them some more time to dry.

Tips for Using Homemade Dish Detergent Cubes

  • Use one tablet per load of dishes. If the tablet won’t fit in your detergent compartment, just throw it in the bottom of the machine before starting the cycle and it works just the same. You can cut the cubes in half for smaller loads as well.
  • The only issue that I have had with this recipe is that some of the detergent on the bottom of the tabs might crumble off if you aren’t very gentle with them in storage. If you do end up with some powder on the bottom of your storage container, then you can just scoop that up and use it in another load as a powder detergent. It will have the same effect. **I have found that the addition of lemon juice (updated in the recipe) has solved this issue.** The lemon juice added to the original recipe makes a harder bar that doesn’t fall apart or crumble easily.

This recipe makes about 45 tablets depending on the size of your ice cube trays.

Homemade Dish Detergent Cost Breakdown:

I make my own cleaning supplies because homemade supplies reduce our household waste, reduce our dependence on a shopping center, they allow me to choose what ingredients are included, and they reduce our monthly household expenses. These homemade dish detergent cubes save $0.11 on every single load of dishes that I wash. Let me show you how…

Arm & Hammer Washing Soda

$3.81/box, 7 cups/box


Arm & Hammer Baking soda

$6.04/box, 8 cups/box


Kosher Salt

$2.47/box, 6 cups/box


Distilled White Vinegar

$3.30/gallon, 16 cups/gallon


Lemon Essential Oil


Lemon Juice

4.60/15 oz bottle (the recipe uses about 1 oz)


Total–> $2.26/batch | $2.26 for 45 tablets=$0.05/load!

A popular name brand of dish detergent tablets costs $0.16/load so the saving is significant not to mention the amount of packaging waste that you aren’t bringing into your home! Since you can cut these in half for smaller loads so your cost/load could be even less than this.

*Prices based on &*

>>More Cleaning Supply Recipes<<

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  1. Very interesting, we love making our own products. We will have to give this a try!
    Thanks for sharing with us at The homesteader Hop!

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