Is Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Safe?

Asked January 25, 2017, 8:43 PM EST

Hi Penn State Cooperative Extension, Is it safe to make your own dishwasher detergent? I keep seeing a ton of recipes on line and don't know if their sanity. In a pinch, I used one when I was out of detergent. It worked wonderfully! So, my husband wanted to keep making our own. However, I didn't know if this was a bad thing to do on a regular basis. They all have salt, baking soda or washing soda, some have borax, and all have lemon oil or citric acid plus white vinegar for rinsing. I've also seen some with oxiclean. Thank you for the help!

Dauphin County Pennsylvania

1 Response

One of the larger considerations is with these home made formulations: Are they food grade? Most soaps used for dish washing have to meet certain criterion not to leave any film that would not be edible. High salts and other contents may leave residues that for some folks pose a health hazard if they are sensitive to salt, etc. Soaps and detergents are relatively inexpensive, I would suggest that you stick with a commercial brand made for your dishwasher, and follow the instructions.
Thanks, G.