I can’t get over how expensive dishwasher tablets are. Especially the eco varieties… The sad thing is, ‘eco’ doesn’t always equal eco-friendly. Just because a bottle or packet says ‘organic’ or ‘earth’ means very little.

If you haven’t heard of the term  ‘green washing‘, let me fill you in quickly… Some companies like to tell us what they’re not including in their products, and print words like ‘natural’, ‘green’, ‘eco’ etc., yet some still use some very questionable ingredients. In Australia, companies are not required to list ingredients on the labels of their cleaning products. True eco brands are fully transparent, with nothing to hide and they’re the brands I encourage you support if DIY isn’t your thing.

This recipe began as a powder. The tablet version was born after continual frustration from my husband and I, when using the powder version. It had a tendency of clumping together into a solid block, meaning we were hacking at it with a knife to break blocks off… GRRR! I figured that purposely clumping powder together and making “tablets” myself meant we’d have less hassle each evening getting lovely non-toxic dishwasher powder into our dishwasher! It’s so easy to do. If you’re not already making your own, why not give it a go? And if you have tried and you’re not completely in love with the results, read this blog for some handy tips.

Dishwasher Tablets

Makes: 850 g | 30 oz Prep Time: <5min.


300 g | 10.6 oz sodium carbonate (washing soda)

250 g | 8.8 oz citric acid

200 g | 7.1 oz borax

100 g | 3.5 oz fine salt

1-2 drops of essential oils (per use)

My choice of essential oils…

My favourite essential oils in this recipe are lime and lemon, but don’t be limited by my suggestions. Use oils that fit your budget, or those that you already have in your collection. Read here for more information.

Extra equipment required…

Moulds or ice-cube trays (silicone is the best choice for ease of unmoulding)


1. Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix until combined.

2. Spoon mixture into moulds and press down firmly until full.

3. Leave to set for 12-24 hours in a cool and dry place. After this time, turn moulds upside down and gently tap the bottom – tablets should fall out easily.

4. Place on a tray or sheet of baking paper and leave to dry for a further 24 hours before storing in container of choice.

To Use

Add essential oils (if using) to one tablet and place in the dispenser of your dishwasher prior to operation. Replace rinse aid with a ramekin of vinegar on top shelf.

Want to ditch the borax?

While I am comfortable using natural borax for cleaning applications (check out this blog post), you might prefer to avoid it. If so, just leave it out – simple! Want to know a secret? The tablets set much better without borax anyway and I don’t notice a difference in cleaning results.

Recipe Notes

Yes this recipe is a powder, with no liquid (there are no typos)

Tablets may stick together, depending on how much moisture gets into your storage container. They should, however, come apart easily enough. If this really bothers you, line tablets on some baking paper and create layers.

If you leave this completed recipe (the powder) in a container, it will solidify – so making tablets is best. If your dishwasher only takes powder, either crush before use or throw on the floor of the dishwasher.

Kmart has great ice-cube trays with silicone bottoms that allow you to pop tablets out easily.

When removing tablets, do so over your dishwasher so any excess particles land in your dishwasher rather than wasted on the bench or floor!

I trust that you will make the decision on whether this formula is suitable for your dishwasher. I cannot take any responsibility if your dishwasher doesn’t agree with this recipe.

Krissy Ballinger

Krissy Ballinger

Author, Advocate & Founder

Krissy wants to see a world where people make conscious, educated decisions that honour both humans and habitat. With a background in education and health promotion, she devotes her time to passionately increase awareness on common and avoidable toxins, in everyday items like washing powder and deodorant, and to educate individuals on how they can easily reduce their daily exposure, through simple and realistic do-it-yourself ideas and recipes.

Krissy has sold over 40,000 copies of her natural DIY recipe books, including her award-winning book, Naturally Inspired - Simple DIY Recipes for Body Care and Cleaning, and her newly-released kids book, Make & Play - Natural DIY Recipes for Kids. She offers honest and gentle guidance, education and 100+ natural DIY recipes on her website The Inspired Little Pot.


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