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How to Make All Natural Dishwasher Pods!


These All Natural DIY Dishwasher Pods will change your life, pinky swear!  Take it from the food blogger who does dishes like there’s no tomorrow, these are simple to make out of household ingredients and THEY REALLY WORK!

How to Make All Natural Dishwasher Pods ~

Hi guys — it’s Sue from The View from Great Island and I’m here to change your life forever.  No, really.  There are no scarier 5 words in the English language than we’re out of dishwasher pods…especially when you can’t get out to the store to buy more right away.  It’s a nightmare scenario whether you’re a food blogger like me, or a busy parent with lots of mouths to feed.  We depend on our dishwashers for our sanity, and when we run out of dishwasher soap unexpectedly it can be really, really annoying.

All natural ingredients for making your own DIY Dishwasher Pods

I think we all know you can’t simply substitute liquid dish soap in the machine or you’ll wind up with a kitchen full of suds, and I’ve tried running the machine with nothing at all in the soap dispenser, desperately hoping to escape the misery of hand washing (spoiler alert: it doesn’t work.)  But guess what?  There’s a silver lining to all this.  It forced me to do a little research and realize that it is indeed possible to make your own dishwasher detergent.  Imagine, never having to drop another one of those insanely expensive bags into your shopping cart ever again.  Imagine not having to worry about your child mistaking one of them for a piece of candy when you’re not looking.  Imagine not having to think about chemicals, bleach, or who knows what else getting all over your dishes every day.

DIY Dishwasher Pods made from simple, all natural ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen!

What you’ll need:

  • baking soda
  • salt
  • distilled vinegar
  • natural dish soap
  • a silicone ice cube tray
How to make your own DIY Dishwasher Pods out of common household ingredients

How to Make Homemade Dishwasher Pods


  • In a bowl mix 1 cup baking soda with 1/4 cup salt. 
  • Add 2 teaspoons of an all natural dish soap, and then enough vinegar to dampen the mixture.  Start with 2 tablespoons and mix well.  
  • Add more vinegar until the mixture feels moist (but not wet) and holds together when you compress it between your fingers. 
  • Then pack about one tablespoon of the mix into each opening of your silicone ice cube mold. 
  • Tamp it down really firmly, I used the end of a wooden handle to really pack it in.  Now all you need to do is let it dry completely in a warm place. 
  • This will take about 24-48 hours. 
  • Gently remove the pods from the mold and store in a closed container.  Use as needed.  Makes approximately 15 pods.

Natalie Monson

I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.

Learn More about Natalie

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Do these work in hard water? I had to switch from Trader Joe’s Environmentally Safe powder because it started creating too much buildup. As much as I hate it, I’m now using Finish Powerball, which works well but I wish I could find an effective more natural alternative. (I’ve tried 7th Gen., Ecover and others too, but they don’t work well for me.)

Would Dr. Bronner’s work in place of the dish soap? I’m currently using grated, melted, then diluted castile soap bars (bc I had extra) as my dish soap. Thanks for any feedback!

This looks like a great idea, one I’d love to try and have tried one similar but was told by a small appliance repair that the vinegar is bad for the dishwasher machine do you know if this is the case?

The vinegar actually does react with the soda. Adding a bit of vinegar to the mix, gives you the cleaning power of baking soda with the suspension power of vinegar salt because of the reaction. The purpose is to help with hard water deposits on your dishes. Thanks for reading!

Inlet mine dry for two days and they fell apart so I dried them an additional two days after compacting them even more and they still fell apart. I’m assuming it’s ok to just use as a powder. Any idea what I may have done wrong?

I made this, but I added too much vinegar it seems because the mixture won’t hold. How do I fix this? I don’t want it all to go to waste.

Hi Hanin! Sorry you ended up with a mixture that won’t stick. You could try adding more dry ingredients until you get a consistency that holds together better. Otherwise you can still use a crumbly mixture by adding a scoop to the dishwasher before turning it on.

Hi Christy, you could use Dawn, yes. 🙂 Most people prefer to use a natural dish soap when they’re making it from scratch (otherwise you could just buy the ready-made pods at the store.) But feel free to make it how you like!

I made this, it’s great; the only thing I changed was instead of the soap you had, I used a squirt of the cheap liquid Cascade dish washing liquid. It works wonderful the single batch made 13 pods. It takes me 2 to 3 days to full the dishwasher so they should last a while before I have to make new ones. Thanks great money saving tips, and no chemicals on my dishes. I also keep my rinse filled with white vinegar.

I am not sure what went wrong, but the result is awful, glass items look worse than before washing, all covered with white stains. Do you have any suggestions?

This recipe will make your plates, glass, pans cloudy. It leaves white powder on your plates. It won’t really clean them. I tried this recipe for a month. I have to handwash the plates and wipe them again. Please don’t try this. I’d rather hand wash my plates than use this recipe.

We haven’t tried it- but it shouldn’t affect the composition. Let us know if you try it and how it works for you! 🙂

Curious if you still use this recipe? If yes, how long have you used it in total? Have you found your dishwasher has gotten any damages? Or clogs etc?

Love it. Very economical. I have iron water and it has completely removed the rust stains in my dishwasher. My dishes are sparkling clean. Even takes off stuck in food.

I followed the recipe exactly, but they did not hold a shape, even in the silicone mold over two nights. Weird.