Lavender Lemon Powdered Dishwasher Detergent For Hard or Soft Water

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For the last year and a half I have been making my homemade dishwasher tablets and using them to clean our dishes in the dishwasher, but one day I decided it was high time that I make a simple powdered dishwasher detergent that was more effective and took less time to create. The first time that I had made a powdered dishwasher detergent (with all the ingredients that you saw in the dishwasher tablets), it turned into one big hard rock after 24 hours of sitting in the container, and I was baffled what else to do besides turning it into the dishwasher tablets. Now after reading some more, I have learned that I didn't need all of those ingredients, to begin with! The fact of the matter is, I was making it much harder than it needed to be.

Washing Soda is the secret ingredient to cleaner dishes

All of those dishwasher detergent recipes out there (including my dishwasher tablets) contain a plethora of ingredients that all do the same job (lower the ph and soften the water), some just do that job much more effectively than others. This is where washing soda comes in! Washing soda is far more powerful than either salt or baking soda. In fact, most dishwasher detergents on the market do not contain either of these. They usually contain washing soda instead because it is so effective. Borax on the other hand, when combined with washing soda, creates oxygen bleach; though it is not nearly as strong and effective as actual oxygen bleach and with all the concern about borax and it's safety, there is no need to add it to the recipe.

Not all oxygen bleaches are created equal

There are all kinds of advertisements on the naturalness of Oxiclean, and when they first started making their product, I bet it WAS in fact, natural and safe to use, but over the years to save money and to make money, the recipe has changed and it is no longer a natural safe product to use. On EWG, OxiClean doesn't even score a slightly passing grade, it fails with a big red F because of all of its fillers. MY personal favorite eco-friendly oxygen bleach that doesn't contain all those fillers, is OxyBoost. Their oxygen bleach contains no fillers, is 80% PURE oxygen bleach and is eco-friendly! I use OxyBoost for everything; from a laundry booster to an amazing pet stain remover (or ANY stain for that matter).

dishwasher detergent1

Lavender Lemon Dishwasher Detergent For Hard or Soft Water



  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and then transfer to desired storage container.
  2. For use: Use 2 Tbsp. per load of dishes.

STILL HAVE MINERAL DEPOSITS ON YOUR GLASSES? You can also add the Citrishine and Citrus Rinse Aid to your dishwasher for an even better clean.

Note – For those that live in humid areas, you can fill a small cotton muslin bag or a sock with a couple Tbsp. of bentonite clay and throw that in with your powdered dishwasher detergent. This will help to absorb the moisture, keeping your powder from turning into a big solid block.

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  • oxy clean does have additives in it so it’s not nearly as strong as a pure oxygen bleach, but it isn’t terrible on the EWG rating list. They get a B on there, so if that is the only oxygen bleach you can find, it will do!

  • Wendy

    Hi … I am wanting to try making the lavender lemon dishwasher detergent but in Canada I can’t find oxy-boost anywhere? Any other options or advice. Thank you

    • i’m not exactly sure of the brands that you can find up in Canada but if you just search for oxygen bleach, that’s what oxyboost it!

      • Linda Linton

        Are you able to get straight sodium percarbonate in Canada. That is pretty much what oxy boost is. I order sodium percarbonate from Amazon and that has done great for me when making this or laundry soap.

  • I find that when I still have a powdery film on all of my dishes, the dishwasher needs a good cleaning! We fill up the soap dispenser like a normal dish load, along with the citrishine. In the top shelf I put a bowl 3/4 full of vinegar and run the dishwasher through a normal cycle. Here in an apartment, the only other time i have this problem though is when they treat our water once a month. It’s really annoying! I don’t have this problem when i add a squirt of Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds to the dishsoap so I am currently working on a liquid dishwasher detergent using that, since it works great in hard or soft water! Keep your eyes peeled!

  • emilee

    Would sweet orange or lime work just as well as lemon? TIA

    • Christina

      sure would!

  • mia

    What’s your opinion of Charlies Oxygenated Bleach?

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  • Felicia

    Was wondering if you knew anything about Bio Kleen Oxygen Bleach Plus?


    • Hi Tia! At first glance they sound like a very environmentally friendly company but when you look into their ingredients in their products on EWG many of their products get D’s and F’s ( and the specific product in question is rated at a C (

      I honestly don’t know what to say about this product though because as far as I can tell, EWG is the only place that is that is showing them to not be as green or healthy as advertised, every where else including Whole Foods seems to love the company….but I can’t get over the fact that all people’s opinions aside…the ingredients speak volumes about the product. I think this is one of those times (like with Borax) that you need to think on both sides of things and come to your own conclusions on whether you feel comfortable using that product or not. From what I have read of the ingredients on EWG, I wouldn’t be personally buying that product. The oxy boost that I reference in this post only has two ingredients (Sodium Percarbonate, Soda Ash) and is 100% concentrated because of that. I really do love that stuff.

      • Felicia

        Thank you so much for getting back to me so quick!Im just now looking into making my own cleaning supplies and of course want the safest for my family.Is amazon the only place to buy oxy boost?

        • you can buy it from but I find that amazon is easier because I buy a large amount of stuff from them already. I think that the price with shipping is the same because I am pretty sure it’s ecogeeks selling it on Amazon as well.

  • Linda Linton

    Any thought on making your own from sodium percarbonate and washing soda?

  • Dorton

    Where does one get bentonite clay?

    • There is a link at the end of the article for Mountain Rose Herbs, they are a great one stop shop for ingredients such at bentonite clay. That’s where I purchase all of my clays, butters, etc.

  • Dorton

    For powdered deterdent staple rice into a coffee filter and put it in the container. Works wonders.

    • That’s a GREAT idea! I hadn’t thought of that! I don’t often have coffee filters on hand though because I we use a french press here in the house.

  • AngelMama

    I would love to try this but for the life of me I cannot find Washing Soda anywhere in Canada!

  • This is great! And thanks for the recommendation on the oxy boost – I’ve been avoiding recipes that call for oxi clean but didn’t know about an alternative. Can’t wait to try this!

  • annie

    I’ve been wanting to make homemade dishwasher soap but haven’t had the time to find a recipe. Pinned this so I can try it!

  • Ann

    Did you ever figure out the cost per load?

    • roughly .15 per load

      • Ann

        Wow that’s great! Would you add the citrishine to the mix.or just put in separate.And about how much? I have my Amazon shopping cart ready to order supplies but wanted to know how much per load. I’m excited to try it

        • I put the citrishine in a separate compartment because you want it to be released in the rinse phase or the phase after the wash phase. There are two compartments that I can put soap and in whichever one acts first I put the dishwasher detergent in. I can’t wait to hear how your glasses come out!

  • Ooooh, I’ve been dying to try a new dishwashing detergent. I’ve been buying an eco-friendly store-bought version because I can’t find a recipe that doesn’t leave film on my glassware. :/

  • happymothering

    I dream of the day we have a dishwasher again! This recipe looks super simple – I’ll have to save it for later!