Homemade All Natural Dishwashing Detergent That Actually Works

Homemade all-natural dishwashing detergent is a simple DIY that can be whipped up in less than 2 minutes. This recipe uses a few simple ingredients and costs way less than most of the natural options you find in stores and actually works.

dishwashing detergent powder in mason jar with lemons and wooden scoop

Ditch the toxins

When you first begin transitioning your home to more natural options, it can be really overwhelming. First off, you start reading all of the ingredients on the back labels of the stuff under your sink. Then, you convince yourself that these items are the reason you’ve been feeling sluggish, your head has been hurting, and you can’t jump on a trampoline without wetting yourself.

While it’s a possibility that some of your issues might be stemming from the toxins in your cleaning products, the pants-wetting is probably unrelated. I’d take a closer look at those kids you’re bouncing around in urine with.

Natural can be simple

One thing that you’ll probably notice when you dive into natural home cleaning, is that many of the recipes only call for a few ingredients. Plus they’re ingredients that we can actually pronounce!

And all God’s children said amen!

This dishwashing detergent is a perfect example. It’s super simple with only 5 ingredients and about 2 minutes of actual work.

all-natural dishwashing powder detergent in glass jar with lemons on wood surface

Does it actually work?

That’s kind of important, right? Because I’ve definitely bought “natural” cleaners and detergents before that didn’t actually do the job. Mama is busy. Mama doesn’t want to wash her dishes before she washes her dishes. Ya feel me?

That’s why I like this recipe. I’ve tried several, and this one actually cleans your dishes without leaving streaks and stuck-on food.

Now, that’s doesn’t mean that you can leave a casserole dish “soaking” in the sink for a couple of days, then let it dry out with all the crusty bits still on, then stick it in the dishwasher and think that this powder is going to do the job that you should’ve done when you left it in the sink 2 days ago…or so I’ve heard.

I’d never leave a dirty dish in the sink that long.


Now that we’ve settled that, let’s break down the ingredients and why they work so well.


Super Washing Soda

This is nothing more than sodium carbonate which is an alkali substance with a high pH. Many natural cleaning products use it as a cleansing agent. It’s derived from processing trona ore, and is considered safe by the EPA because it is a naturally occurring compound found in soil and water. I also use it in my natural laundry detergent.

Baking Soda

This pantry staple is used for more than just leavening baking products. It’s processed in much the same manner as washing soda, and is essentially a form of salt. Many green cleaning products use it because of it’s whitening, deodorizing, and cleansing abilities, among many, many other uses. Baking soda is always in abundance in my pantry. I use it for everything from baking, to grout scrubbing. It’s also a main ingredient in my recipes for homemade natural laundry powder, deodorant, and toothpaste.


This recipe calls for kosher salt because the crystals are slightly larger than traditional table salt and lend a little more elbow grease when scrubbing dishes. If all you have is table salt though, go for it. In my video I even used a little pink Himalayan salt because it’s what I had on hand. You aren’t going to mess this up.

Citric Acid

Citrus fruits contain citric acid, which is a naturally occurring compound. It can often be found in the canning section of your grocery store. It kills bacteria and is great for general disinfecting. Another benefit, especially for this recipe, is that citric acid helps to remove soap scum and hard water stains. Holla!

Lemon Essential Oil

Ahh, lemon oil. How I love thee. This is probably the essential oil that I reach for most often. *I drink it in my water first thing every morning to boost my metabolism and kick my cleansing organs into gear for the day. It is incredibly cleansing and detoxifying, both to the body and to surfaces. It’s especially great for this recipe because it is a natural grease fighter.

Lemon essential is an excellent addition to many natural cleaning products. I use it all over my home for surface cleaning, deodorizing, and disinfecting. It’s really great when my children go crazy with their stickers and decide that we need wallpaper. Lemon oil removes sticker residue (and permanent marker, FYI) like nobody’s business. Except that it’s definitely our business. All of us mamas need a bottle of Lemon oil in our stash. If you’re nodding your head while gazing across the room at the remnants of craft days gone wrong all over your dining room table, you probably need lemon oil in your life. Maybe even something for stress. I share lots more essential oil info here, friend.

*Only ingest pure, food grade essential oils that are suggested for internal use.


Combine all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Add 30 drops of your essential oil of choice.

Use a fork to mix and break up any clumps that form.

Store in a glass mason jar or airtight container.

When washing dishes, place 1 tablespoon of the powder in the detergent dispenser on your dishwasher.

natural lemon dishwashing detergent

DIY Natural Dishwashing Detergent

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Active Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 3 minutes


  • 1 cup super washing soda
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup citric acid
  • 30 drops lemon essential oil (or your citrus oil of choice)
  • glass jar or sealable container for storage


  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add 30 drops of your essential oil of choice.
  3. Use a fork to mix and break up any clumps that form.
  4. Store in a glass mason jar or airtight container.
  5. When washing dishes, place 1 tablespoon of the powder in the detergent dispenser on your dishwasher.


Other great alternatives would be On Guard, Grapefruit, or Wild Orange essential oils.

If you are new to essential oils and not sure what to use, feel free tovisit my info page and reach out to me for suggestions.

Did you try this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram


  1. Emma says:

    Oh I’m so curious to try this!! I’ve only ever had cascade pods work well, but I’m always looking for natural alternatives. Also, your blog is beautiful!

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