By Lace / February 26, 2018
best dish washer tablets

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The Best Dishwasher Tablets – Easy Homemade Tabs for Clean Dishes Every Time!!

Are you looking for dishwasher solutions without harsh toxic chemicals? How about saving money on dishwasher tablets too!? Sound too good to be true? I can assure you it's not. In my quest to save money on my weekly shop and further reduce our toxic exposure I've discovered the best dishwasher tablets that do exactly this. All without compromising on effective cleaning. This post looks at why making the switch is a good idea and how to easily make no nasties' dishwasher tablets fast. You'll get my favourite DIY dishwasher tablet recipe and I'll even point you in the right direction for everything you need to get started pronto. Ready to switch and save? Great! Let's get started.


Why Ditch Regular Dishwasher Tablets?

dishwasher tablets

If you're a regular reader of this blog you already know what I'm going to tell you: Regular dishwasher tablets are packed with harmful chemicals. Chemicals we all would do well to avoid. Not only are these bad for your health they are harmful to the environment and wildlife. We live here on mother earth so we'd better look after it, one, because we've nowhere else to go and two, our children inherit the earth. We don't want to leave them living in a sh*thole. I certainly don't. With this in mind, when my husband suggested we get a dishwasher I wasn't keen when he said we'd need to buy dishwasher tabs. No, no we don't. These are some of the horrible ingredients dishwasher tablets often contain:

Alkaline salts

These corrosive salts cut through the dirt on dishes and it'll burn holes in your insides if ingested. OK, perhaps not holes but ingestion is dangerous. With their bright colours, they may look like a fun snack to small children so always make sure they are way out of sight and reach of your younguns. Over time the high PH of these salts damages your crockery too meaning you'll be replacing them sooner than you might like to. Booo!

Synthetic fragrance

I've discussed the toxic cocktails that make up synthetic fragrance before in my air freshers post and it truly is nasty stuff. Many chemicals, often hundreds of them are used to make one fragrance and the vast majority are toxic to humans and animals. Known for causing breathing difficulties, reproductive harm, birth defects and skin inflammation, synthetic fragrance isn't something you want to be exposed to. Reduce your exposure to this crap and ditch these chemically laden tabs already!


Known to cause irritation to the skin, eyes, nose and throat and that's at low exposure. Yes, when you're eyes are red raw and streaming at the swimming pool - that'll be the chlorine. High-level exposure has been associated with respiratory problems and children are especially at risk. Prolonged exposure causes the senses to adapt so you are unable to detect the pungent smell which would usually alert you to exposure.


  • Regular Tabs Contain Several Toxic Chemicals
  • Ingredients have been Linked to Hormone Disruption, Skin Irritation and Breathing Problems
  • Over Time Dishwasher Products Damage Crockery
  • They Dumb Down Your Sense of Smell!

D.I.Y Dishwasher Tablet Ingredients List

To avoid these nasty chemicals and find something more health friendly I present this: DIY dishwasher tabs in a flash! These dishwasher tabs are so easy to make and contain just a few simple ingredients's, you may find you already have them in the house. Let's take a peek at what the ingredients are and the rationale behind them:


Cuts through grease and dirt with deodorizing effects. Table salt works just fine for this purpose and its what I use. I never consume tablet salt, by the way, it's refined and lacks minerals, therefore, I only use it for cleaning.

Soda crystals

These tackle dirt, stains, oils and odors making them perfect for cleaning dishes. Soda crystals also soften water so are perfect for those living in hard water areas and reducing limescale build up in your dishwasher for a longer life and effective cleaning.

Bicarbonate of soda

This is a much milder alkaline substance that can be used as a safer alternative to alkaline salts. Bicarb is an effective cleaner and will cut through grease and stains without burning holes in your throat if it's accidentally ingested.

Lemon essential oil

Another effective de-greaser with antibacterial and antimicrobial properties for squeaky-clean dishes that smell just citrus fresh without the presence of toxic synthetic fragrance.


  • Gentle, Less Harmful Ingredients
  • Antibacterial and Cuts Through Grease
  • Cheap to Make
  • Provides Effective Cleaning 

The Recipe: Dishwasher Tabs


Photo Courtesy of Alison Owens


Combine the salt, soda crystals and bicarb and add a few drops of lemon essential oils in a plastic bowl. Mix thoroughly and spoon into the ice cube trays and compress gently. Pop the trays into the fridge for a few hours until hard. Gently pop cubes out into a jar and seal. Voilà dishwasher tabs.

Don't fancy tabs or want an even quicker solution? Just throw the combined ingredient's in a jar and use with a scoop. These tabs last for ages if you keep them sealed and in a cool place. Remember to reuse your jar for storage and keep it green!

RELATED: Discover the Best Natural Laundry Detergent, Gentle Enough for Newborns to 500!

What about Rinse Aid?

lemon a natural fragrance

Ah, this one is even easier. For Rinse Aid we use distilled white vinegar. Vinegar is a fantastic natural cleaner that keeps limescale to a minimum making the perfect rinse aid with the ability to prolong the dishwashers' life too! Just chuck it in the rinse aid dispenser. To save even more money and reduce waste we buy vinegar in bulk .Vinegar can be used to clean glass and as a fabric softener which keeps towels fluffy, so the vinegar can help you to ditch other household chemicals in the process. Pretty awesome for something so cheap and simple.


  • Gentle and effective 
  • No Vinegar Smell Left Behind
  • Saves money
  • White Vinegar has MANY uses and comes in handy all over the house!
  • Buy Bulk Vinegar Here

The Verdict

In the time that I've been using this recipe, I've always experienced clean, odorless dishes after my dishwasher cycle finishes. No complaints from me, this stuff really works. I recommend it to anyone with a dishwasher whether saving money is important to you or not. The less toxic chemicals we are exposed to the better and it's just that much sweeter when it's cheap and simple to achieve. I have no intention of ever using a regular dishwasher detergent and can no reason I'd need to, with solutions like this there's simply no need.

If you're looking to save money with a greener, non-toxic alternative to regular dishwasher tablets then using this DIY recipe is a great solution. Ok, so you may need to slightly adjust your shopping habits to achieve the biggest savings it is possible to pick up all the ingredients at your local supermarket. For busy people like myself, this has got to be the easiest way to get great cleaning results. This recipe takes minutes to make and you'll only need to do it once a month or so!

Yours, in squeaky cleanness,


Any thoughts on this recipe or do you have a request for a DIY recipe for something else? Let me know in the comments below, I'd love to hear from you!



About the author


Wife, mother and natural health and wellness enthusiast. When I'm not dabbling in natural stuff, I like to eat brie with onion chutney and mull over a good "coincidence" theory. Cooking up a nutritious storm, books with real pages and being barefoot are a few of my favourite things.

  • Xenia says:

    Thanks for the inspiration, I’m gradually getting chemicals out of my cleaning products and I LOVE the salts in a jar rather than making tablets 😀💙

    • Lace says:

      My pleasure Xenia, thanks stopping by. The salts in a jar are my favourite too, I find they need a daily stir to stop em sticking, before or after loading dishwasher is a good time 🙂 Keep up the good work with the cleaning product dash!

  • Alison says:

    These worked a treat!
    I did leave then for 24hours though, and that gave the time to harden up!
    They work, smell good, and encourage me to do it again! Thanks!

  • Kathleen says:

    This is exactly what I was thinking of doing this morning! Then I’ve found you here. This is brilliant, thank you so much for sharing. I love doing what I can for our environment and saving money makes it that much easier to do! Thanks heaps for a great post.

    • Lace says:

      Ah I’m so pleased you found my recipe here Kathleen! It’s my pleasure to share ways to go green without breaking the bank! Enjoy your homemade dish washer tabs.

  • Alex says:

    This was a wonderful read. I did not know how dangerous alkaline salts could be for me. My Dad has some antique dishware he puts in the dishwasher, but I worry about it now because of those alkaline salts. I will let him know about the downsides.

    That brings me to my question. Once you make the tablets, will they melt at all? I know it may be a silly question, but I have to ask it. I look forward to hearing your answer.

    Thank you for sharing and I hope you make it a great day!

    • Lace says:

      Hey Alex, thanks for your comments. Unfortunately, there’s lots of nasty ingredients lurking out there. If your dad loves his antique crockery definitely share this information with him.

      In to your question (no question is silly I love questions), will the tabs melt; as long as they’re stored in a cool dry place they won’t melt. Being in the UK I’ve not yet been blessed with temperatures high enough to warm my skin so I have no experience of the tabs in hot weather yet! If its hot where you are, perhaps keep them in the fridge.

      Have a lovely day!

  • sarah says:

    This is such a useful article and I really love the simple recipe for dishwasher tablets, usually I waste a lot of money in buying tablets just because the things they mention with their brand. Now I will make according to your instructions and will share this with all of my friends. Thank you so much.

    • Lace says:

      I’m so pleased you found the article valuable, Sarah. These dishwasher tablets really are so simple and save lots of cash. No need to fall for the big brands advertising, you can achieve great cleaning without the toxins easily.

      Let me how you get on with the diy tablets, I’d love feedback.

      Share away by all means, let’s change the way we dishwash one tablet at a time!

  • penelope says:

    What a cool idea, I had no idea you could make your own dishwasher tabs from natural ingredients. Does this work on really dirty and greasy dishes? And I’m totally swapping out the jet blu for vinegar, thanks for the awesome tips!

    • Lace says:

      Yep and it’s so easy too! I do believe most dishwasher advice is to rinse the plates first, which we do for the best finish. We’ve had some mingers in there before which came up quite well though. I’d advise rinsing first for best results and longer life of ye ol dishwasher.

      Hope that helps!

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