Category Archives: Cleaning Recipes

DIY Dishwasher Tabs

Recipe adapted from Mom4Real
Recipe adapted from Mom4Real

Update 2 weeks later: I’ve made both a tester batch and a full one and I find my dishes aren’t AS clean as I want them to be. I’ve noticed that my kitchen utensils don’t always lose their stuck on food, even with soaking, and that the cutlery still has a residue leftover on them. I’m even using distilled white vinegar as a rinse aid. I’ll keep using the batch that I have now but when they are gone I’ll either swap to another DIY or stick with my Kirkland brand. I haven’t decided yet.

Ok, I did go back to the Kirkland brand. I use it only at night or when I’m upstairs so I’m not in the immediate vicinity of the kitchen. Right now it’s the holidays and I don’t have time to play around with detergent recipes.

I’ve used store bought dish tabs for years. I love my Cascade it works incredibly well, but at $20+ per box but is way overpriced so I swapped to the Kirkland and loved it’s affordable price of $10. My problem is that they changed their formula, the smell is different / stronger, and as a result, I started getting headaches every time I did dishes. I don’t consider the fair price worth the tradeoff so I swapped to the Finish Powerball tabs, but those are complete junk!! I have to pre-wash my dirty dishes before I can put them in the dishwasher, and that doesn’t guarantee a good clean. Several items had to be re-washed more than three times to get clean, and if you’re wondering… No, my dishwasher wasn’t over-packed.

Now it’s time to try the DIYs. I saw this recipe from Mom4Real and thought wow 3 ingredients, I can do that. All you need is Baking Soda, Citric Acid (or Lemi Shine) and liquid Dish Soap.

I have a tendency of going all-in when I do DIYs, then I come out disappointed with too much ‘product’ that doesn’t work out for me so this time I decided to reduce the original recipe before I created it. I also decided I wanted more of a blue color than was in the recipe so I added an extra 1 Tbsp of dish soap to the original recipe… so here’s my test version:

1/4 Cup Baking Soda
1 Tbsp Citric Acid or Lemi Shine
1.5 Tsp Dawn*
Mixing Bowl
Glove or Spoon to stir with
Silicone Mold
Airtight Container

I added each to the bowl in order of ingredients and used a gloved hand to mix it up. Once it was nicely incorporated with the pretty light blue color I started to add it to the silicone mold. Now you’ll see a bunch of expanding, so I recommend only adding half the cavity of the mold due to expansion. Set a timer for ten minutes, when the timer is up then you can level off the expanded part and put it into a new cavity. Mine made 6 fully formed tabs.

The original post said to leave it to air dry between 4 hours to overnight, so I left mine on top of our cooled stove. The mixture did dry into hard tabs as promised, which I was excited for. The silicone molds made it super easy to pop them out. I recommend popping them out onto a folded paper towel or hand towel to avoid any breakage. I then put them straight into the airtight container to use as needed.

In my case, my dishwasher was already loaded and ready to be turned on so I tossed a tab at the bottom of the dishwasher, per the original poster’s directions and turned it on.

In this load, I did leave the dishes with stuck-on gravies and pasta on them to see what the result would be, and I have to say I’m pretty impressed! Out of an entire load of dishes, the only thing that didn’t come out clean was the plate that had pasta and gravy on it. I think we had that dinner two days ago and just didn’t have enough dishes to run a load.

I looked up about 20 different DIY dishwasher detergent/tabs yesterday, and as long as this keeps working I won’t be looking any further than the cupboard to get out the ingredients when I need to whip up a new batch.

I’m not sure how much it costs per batch as I already had all the ingredients on hand, but if I remember, I will try to price it out and come back to update later.

*I’ve seen many a recipe call for low-sudsing soaps like Castile, I used this with no problem in my dishwasher. Your needs may be different.

All-purpose cleaner

Buying a great all-purpose solution from the grocery store will set you back about $3, depending on where you live. You can easily make your own for pennies on the dollar by following this recipe.

1 Tablespoon of Dish Soap
8 oz of water (I use this bottle)
1 Spray Bottle

This is easily scalable, meaning you can make it in larger batches if you have a larger bottle or just want to be lazy and make it less frequently. A great recipe calculator I’ve found is from Fruit From Washington and I find that I use it for both cooking and cleaning recipes all the time.

Credit to Clean My Space for the original recipe.

DIY Glass Shower & Toilet Bowl Cleaner

So this is one of those great recipes you can make in advance and bottle it to be used whenever you find that you’re in need next. The ingredients are very simple and you will probably have two out of three in your home already.

DIY Glass Shower & Toilet Bowl Cleaner
1 Cup White Vinegar
1/2 Cup Dish Soap (I use the standard blue Dawn)
1 Teaspoon Xanthan Gum (Don’t have any? Double the dish soap)
Heat safe bowl
Hand mixer or whisk
Spray bottle that can handle a thick spray (I used this bottle.)

In your heat-safe bowl warm the vinegar in the microwave for 1 minute.

Pull your heated vinegar out, careful it may be hot! Add the xanthan gum and mix really well, the hand mixer makes life easier on this one but a whisk will do.

When the xanthan gum is fully incorporated add in your dish soap and mix gently. You want the mixture to blend well but not bubble up.

Allow mixture to cool to room temperature then add to your spray container and/or bottle if pre-making for future use.

WARNING: Above recipe can cause discoloration on the seat/lid if you use this solution on it. It is not recommended for anything but the interior of the bowl.

Toilets  Extra Supplies: Gloves, Paper towels or cleaning cloths, all-purpose cleaner.

With gloved hands lift the seat and spray under the ring of the bowl, and the inside of the bowl itself. The mixture should cling to the surface thanks to the xanthan gum.

For the toilet itself grab your all-purpose cleaner. Since your seat is in the up position, spray the bottom of it then close it, spraying the top of the seat. Moving on to spraying the bottom of the lid next then close the lid and doing the top of the lid. Move on to the tank, making sure to avoid spraying your walls.

Leave that sitting for at least three minutes.

Grab your gloves again. With the all-purpose cleaner spray the outside of the bowl as well as the sides, this part doesn’t need to sit on there long. With paper towels in hand, wipe the exterior off first. Once the exterior is clean move onto the toilet lid, seat, and then scrub the bowl with a toilet wand. You shouldn’t need to scrub too much with the toilet bowl recipe because it does most of the hard work for you.

Once you’ve scrubbed the inside of the bowl put your toilet wand on the lip of the bowl and close down the seat and lid on it, making the bowl itself a drip tray. Allow it to drip dry before returning to its cubby. Once drip dried you can flush.

Depending on your household’s needs you may want to do this once or twice a week. In our two-person home, I do it once every other week or if I see any discoloration.

Glass Shower – Extra Supplies: Squeegee

Spray on the shower windows, leave it on for 6+ hours (overnight or while you are at work.) Make sure to close the bathroom door behind you and/or turn on your exterior ventilation because the vinegar smell is going to be very strong.

When you’re ready to wash it off, just wet the dried mixture and squeegee off the soap scum.

If you find there are parts that were missed, repeat steps above.

Recipe adapted from two different bloggers so here’s a link to ensure they get credit: Christine’s Cozy CornerHeavenly Edens.


DIY Soft Scrub

¼ cup Water
1 cup Baking Soda
2 Tbsp Castile Soap (or dish soap)
ketchup bottle or easy pour bottle
measuring cup (optional)
stirring utensil (optional)

Add in the order of ingredients to a measuring cup or bottle.
Mix gently by tilting back and forth, or stir together.

Use as needed.

If mixture becomes too solid then just add more water. I normally have too much leftover so I will just add water the next time I go to use it. It’s easier if you use a chopstick to make a hole in the solid mixture, then add water.

Tip: Buy baking soda in bulk, there are so many uses for it. Softscrub, deodorizer, mix with toothpaste, some will even exfoliate their skin with it (although I don’t I find it too abrasive.)

Credit to PopSugar