Homemade Dishwasher Tabs

Homemade Dishwasher Tabs - Make Your Own Dishwasher Tablets or Dish Tabs - Super Simple Recipe

A few months ago, I shared my recipe for Homemade Dishwasher Detergent, and it was a huge hit!  A few readers have emailed me or commented asking if I knew how to make homemade dishwasher tabs, and I am happy to report, I finally found an easy way to make your own that actually works!  Believe me, I tested a few methods that were not so great.  These dish tabs not only do a fabulous job, they smell great too!


Here is what you will need to yield 16-20 dishwasher tablets…

1/2 Cup of Borax

1/2 Cup of Washing Soda

1/2 Cup of Baking Soda

1/2 Cup of Citric Acid

1/2 Cup of Kosher Salt

15 Drops of Lavendar Essential Oil

15 Drops of Lemon Essential Oil

1/4 Cup of Water (may not use all of it)

An Ice Cube Tray

How to make your own dishwashing tablets

Mix all of the ingredients together with a whisk except the water. Mix really well, making sure that the oils are mixed well with the dry ingredients.

Make dishwasher tablets or dish tabs

Slowly mix in water, a little bit at a time.  I start with about a tablespoon, mix really well, then check the consistancy.  Keep adding water until you can form a loose snowball.  DO NOT OVER WATER OR THEY WON’T DRY WELL.

How to make your own dish tabs

Once your mixture is the right consitancy, fill your ice cube tray, pressing down to be sure there are no air pockets.

Homemade Dishwasher Tablet or Dish Tabs Recipe

Let them dry for 12 – 24 hours.  Once they are finished, you should be able to lightly turn your tray and they will drop out like ice cubes.

Homemade Dishwasher Tablets or Dish Tabs

You can store them in a baggie or jar, just be sure they don’t get wet until you are ready to use them!

I love that I can now make my own dish tabs…it means I have added yet one more item in our home that isn’t full of unknown chemicals, they smell absolutely amazing and I don’t have to run to the store every time I run out…I can just make more!

For more cleaning tips and tricks, like How To Clean In Between The Glass On Your Oven Doors, simply click HERE!

Essential Oils

I use essential oils in most of my homemade cleaning solutions and beauty products. I always use Young Living Essential Oils. You are in no way obligated to use them, but if you would like to find out more about them, the information is below. Please feel free to email me at jessica@mom4real.com if you have any questions!

Happy Cleaning! Below you will find all of the posts I have used my essential oils in, then below that, information on how you can purchase the oils for yourself!


I have completely fallen in love with essential oils and all the benefits they provide for the entire family.

I am so excited to be able to bring you an amazing deal on the Young Living starter kit with close to $70 worth of freebies!

Check it out now because this won’t be available after April 30th! If you have any questions, feel free to email me at jessica@mom4real.com

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  1. says

    I am so going to try this. Might be easier for my son when he is starting the dishwasher for me. I already make my own soap but he has a hard time measuring the right amount.

    • says

      Yay! I so wish I knew how to make my own soap! It’s definitely on my list, Tanya!

  2. Donell says

    Where do you buy citric acid?

    • says

      You can buy it in the canning section of most stores, right near the canning jars. Hope this helps! Jessica

  3. Pat says

    Are the oils just for the scent or do they serve a cleaning purpose?

    • says

      Hi, Pat! I’m not sure, but I think they are more for smell. You could try a few drops of vinegar instead! Hope this helps! xoxo Jessica

  4. says

    What an awesome idea! Thanks so much for sharing it, I can’t wait to try this out!

  5. tammy says

    How long have you been using these?

    • says

      For close to a month now, Tammy, and I love them…they work just as well as the expensive store bought tabs!

  6. PAT COBB says

    I will give this a try! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Maria says

    Thanks for sharing! I love home made products

  8. kathy Pender says

    This sounds like a great idea! I use the same recipe, minus the eo’s and water to make a powdered version, but the citric acid hardens and I have to break it up all the time. I will definitely be trying this version. Thanks for sharing! :-)

  9. Kellie says

    Definitely want to try this! About how much does it cost for one batch of these?

  10. Amanda says

    What a disaster! I’m so mad I wasted all that money on the oil and all the ingredients! They look like marshmallows and made a huge sticky mess. I only used half the water and made sure to whisk everything. These DID NOT WORK! Love all the photos but don’t love the project. Sorry.

    • says

      I’m so sorry they didn’t work out for you, Amanda. I’m not sure why. I just made another batch over the weekend and they still work for me. Sorry , Amanda!

  11. kacey says

    great idea! what is that cute little plant next to the container of tabs??

    • says

      Thanks, Kacey! That is a bird’s nest fern…bought it at Lowe’s!

  12. Deb says

    Just wanted to let you know you have a typo.. In the last paragraph, you say “it means I have added yet one more item in our home that is full of unknown chemicals,” and I think you probably meant to say ISN’T full of unknown chemicals ?

    Now, my question.. does this work in hard water ? Thanks.

    • says

      Thank you, Deb…I am so glad you pointed that out to me!

      I actually have hard water and they work great for me! Hope it helps!


  13. Priscilla says

    Could I use oxyclean instead of citic acid?

    • says

      Hi, Priscilla! I really don’t know about that…I would be afraid of the chemical reaction. If you make them with it, let me know how it turns out!

  14. says

    A few other essential oils you could use for not only wonderful smells, but also help clean are: D-Limonene Essential Oil, and Orange Essential Oil – both are great grease fighters (also use these two for handmade laundry soap, mix in with vinegar & water for counter top cleaner, bathroom cleaner, and wall cleaner (not recommended for anything with plastic or on wood furniture))

  15. says

    Would love to try this.
    Is there another name for “washing soda’? I am from New England and don’t know what that is.
    Can we get the citric acid at a drug store?

    • says

      I’m not sure what else it would be called. Usually you can find citric acid in the canning section of the grocery, but I would try amazon.com if you can’t find either! Hope this helps! ~Jessica

  16. TK says

    The problem is the reaction between the citric acid, baking soda, & water. The byproduct of the chemical reaction is oxygen, thus the tablets “rise”. That’s why a previous poster noted they are like marshmallows. I’m hoping I can compact them after they have dried a little bit & the reaction has run its course. Next time, I will leave out the baking soda & try using just the washing soda. The same thing will happen if you use vinegar with the baking soda.

  17. Debra says

    I’ve made this before but not in cube trays. It was an exercise in futility. I got 28 cubes from this. One thing I have not seen mentioned, but was very much present in the making…these little cubes rise like bread so keep that in mind. Heck, I wish my bread rose like these little beauties did.

  18. Debra says

    Essential oils do carry other qualities besides scent…they are more than that, but I’m too lazy to look it up, but the info is out there :)

  19. Jill says

    I made these last night and they kind of bubbled up into marshmallows, and now the tops can come out but the rest is stuck in the tray. Think I can scoop them out, ball them and still use them!? Thanks! I am not sure what I did wrong!


  1. […] Photo Credit: (Top Left) Sunshine Ceramics // (Top Right) Angela Says // (Bottom) Mom 4 Real […]

  2. […] Homemade Dishwasher Tablets- I used to make these when we had a dishwasher. I loved them. I hadn’t discovered the magic of essential oils yet, so I would squeeze a couple drops of lemon juice in the washer before I started it. I also would use vinegar as a rinse agent. […]

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