So I have been on a homemade kick lately. I am trying to make as many of our daily use products as safe and environmentally friendly as possible. So I researched making dishwasher detergent. Apparently it is not safe to have any soap that suds in a dishwasher but baking soda and vinegar are quite effective, so I tweaked until I came up with this effective and super cheap liquid dishwasher detergent.
1 part baking soda
1 part salt
1 part borax
20 drops orange or lemon essential oil
optional some citric acid, or true orange or true lemon from grocery store
I mix these together and add 1 to 2 parts water, shaking. Add enough water that everything can be shaken into a liquid without leaving powder residue on the container. Shake before using.
I also use straight white vinegar in the rinse aid part of the dishwasher, and all my dishes are cleaner than they have been using store bought detergent and rinse aid. In addition we are saving a lot of money on dish cleaner.
If you prefer powdered dish detergent use the powdered citric acid or true lemon and skip the water. Use a few teaspoons dry mix in the detergent dispenser. I always add the water because I prefer liquid. I keep this in a plasticware beverage pitcher with a tight fitting lid. This works great for us.