Dishwasher Powder

One of the best ways to be frugal is to constantly discover new ways of doing things. This week I discovered a new way to wash dishes in the dishwasher. I made my own dishwasher powder! It is super easy and works great.

Homemade Dishwasher Powder

1 cup baking soda
1 cup borax
1/4 cup salt
2 packets lemonade flavored kool-aid
30 drops lemon essential oil

In a medium mixing bowl, stir all ingredients together. Stir well until oil is throughly mixed with dry ingredients. Store in a plastic container with a tight fitting lid (gladware works great). Use 2 Tablespoons per dishwasher load.

This recipe also works great to scrub crusty pots and pans. Just shake a little into the pot and scrub. You could also use it to scrub your sinks. It smells great and works like a charm.


  1. Where can I find borax? Borax is sold in discount stores and grocery stores near the laundry detergents. 20 Mule Team is a common name brand. It is sold in a greenish box with red lettering. Borax is a laundry additive and is suitable for a variety of cleaning needs.
  2. Why does the recipe call for salt? I'm not real sure how the salt works but it reduces the film on the dishes (esp plastics). My dishes have been film free, without using a rinse aide.
  3. Lemonade kool-aid?! Yeah, it seems weird. The original recipe called for a 1/4 cup of citric acid. Citric acid is hard to find and can be expensive. The kool-aid packets are primarly citric acid. Choose lemonade so that there is very little food coloring and it smells nice. Do not use presweetened kool-aid. Use the 20cent packets.
  4. Where can I find essential oils? Essential oils are sold at health food stores. They are a little expensive but you use very little at a time. One bottle of lemon essential oil will last forever! You can also use grapefruit essential oil.
  5. More questions? Leave a comment and I'll be happy to help.