I’ve been making my own all-purpose cleaning spray for almost a decade, and occasionally make a batch of laundry soap. But this week, out of necessity, I added a new project to my repertoire of DIY natural cleaners: homemade dishwasher tablets. My daughter and I made them together, and I must say they make for a great homeschooling project. We were both giddy watching our mixture bubble up and become a marshmallow-like foam — and with the most heavenly citrus scent imaginable (and you know how I love citrus).
Even though I’ve always avoided toxic commercial cleaners with unpronounceable ingredients lists, I’ve noticed that even the “eco-friendly” options in stores tend to get sustainability ratings of orange and yellow, as opposed to green. I’ve never felt great about using them. If you make your own cleaning products, you always know exactly what ingredients have been used. The ingredients are household items that you might already have at hand, such as vinegar and baking soda.
Check out the recipes below!
All-Purpose Cleaning Spray
I use this all-purpose spray on most surfaces. It’s effective, incredibly easy to make, and so nice-smelling that I probably clean up more than I otherwise would… Give it a try!
Get a 32 oz (about 1 liter) plastic spray bottle and fill it with 2 cups of water. Add:
- ½ cup white vinegar
- 1 tsp Dr. Bronner’s liquid pure castile soap
- ¾ cup hydrogen peroxide
- 20 drops tea tree oil
- 20 drops essential oil (lavender or peppermint are my favorites)
Citrus Dishwasher Tabs
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1/3 cup Epsom salt
- ½ cup citric acid
- juice of 1 lemon
- 30 drops of citrus essential oil (this is what I used)
- silicone ice cube tray
- Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Squeeze the lemon juice into a cup and add the essential oil. Add the lemon juice and essential oil mix to the dry ingredients. Do this one drop at a time, because the mixture will foam up. Mix well until the mixture feels like grainy wet sand.
- Scoop the mix into silicone ice cube trays and let dry at least 48 hours. Store in a glass jar or other airtight container.
- Use one tab per dishwasher load.
DIY Laundry soap
- 1 bar (4.5 oz.) bar soap, such as Dr. Bronner’s or Fels-Naphtha
- 14 oz. borax
- 14 oz. Arm & Hammer washing soda
Grate the bar soap with a cheese grater. Add the borax and the washing soda and mix well. Store in a glass jar or other airtight container.