Tales from the Scrap House.

Homemade Lemon Dishwasher Tablets

I originally published this recipe on my old blog (which I neglected and was later deleted) back in 2016 and it was picked up by Ekko World. There’s recently been some interest in them again over on the KitchenScraps face-lurk page, so here ’tis for you all again.

These are borax free. While borax is often used in a lot of homemade cleaning products, I choose not to use it for three reasons

  1. It irritates my skin if I happen to get it on my hands,
  2. It’s toxic if ingested and;
  3. there has been a few studies that suggest that exposure to borax (and its cousin boric acid) may disrupt hormones and harm the male reproductive system.

This recipe makes 24 tablets. I used two regular size 12 hole plastic ice cube trays because that’s what I have available already in my home (I think we’ve had them around a decade now- they just don’t die). The tablets come out quite easily, but if you have some, silicone moulds might be even easier. Just make sure that your tablets will fit in your dispenser.

To check if they will fit, just fill your container with water and freeze, take one of the ice cubes, pop it in the detergent dispenser and make sure it closes properly.


1 Cup Washing Soda

1 Cup Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda)

1 Cup Salt

3/4 Cup Lemon Juice.

2 Ice Cube Trays (or similar)

Mix all your dry ingredients then pour in lemon juice (make sure you use a fairly large bowl because it fizzes quite a lot for a few moments). Mix it really well and divide mix between the ice cube trays packing down really firmly. Leave to dry at least a few hours before popping them out and leaving overnight to dry completely. Keep in an airtight container and use like any commercial dishwasher tablet.

Be fairly gentle when you pop them out of the trays. They do harden up a bit more as they dry. There were a few crumbly bits (which is why  they put the commercial tablets in plastic wrap). You can just scrape them up and will pop them in the dispenser like powder.

If you prefer powder, just omit the lemon juice and instead use 1/2 a cup of Citric Acid, mix together and keep in an airtight container.

To use place 1 tablespoon per load in the dispenser.

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