DIY Chemical-Free Dishwasher Tabs

In the quest to get rid of chemicals in our home the next thing we are ditching is the dishwasher detergent.  Did you know that most commercial brand dishwasher detergents contain Formaldehyde?  

Yep.  You read that right.  A chemical known to cause cancer is under our kitchen sinks guys!

Formaldehyde is cleverly hidden under pretty names like methyl glycol, formalin, methyl oxide, paraform, formic aldehyde, methanal, oxymethylene, or CAS Number 50-00-0.  It's way past time we start reading the labels on our household cleaners!   

So, guess what?  I'm done.  No more in our home.


After doing some research and playing around with recipes, I found the one that I absolutely love.  This is so easy to make!

DIY Chemical-Free Dishwasher Tabs

For one batch you will need…

diy dishwasher tabs

A glass or stainless steel mixing bowl, measuring cups, a half teaspoon measure, an ice cube tray to form tablets, and a storage container.  I got a cute one from Hobby Lobby :)

diy dishwasher tabs

1 cup baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)

1/2 cup sea salt

1/4 cup citric acid

1/2 teaspoon to 1 Tablespoon   Thieves™ Household Cleaner added in 1/2 teaspoon increments*

diy dishwasher tabs

*Keep adding Thieves concentrate in 1/2 teaspoon increments, up to approximately 1 Tablespoon, OR until the mixture holds together loosely when squeezed in your hand. I only needed 1-1/2 teaspoons for mine.  This will depend on  humidity levels.  SEE PHOTO BELOW … 

Thieves Household Cleaner is a plant-based, all-purpose ‘Essential Oil Infused’ concentrate from Young Living.  I use it for all things cleaning!! More DIY recipes with Thieves to come ;)

Citric acid occurs naturally in citrus fruits. As an isolated compound it is sold as a white crystalline powder, available at your local bulk foods store, usually in the canning section. If not you can find it online here.

Simply mix all of the dry ingredients together.  Then started adding in your Thieves Cleaner in 1/2 teaspoon increments until just moistened.  I did this 3 times for about 1-1/2 teaspoons to the dry ingredients until it held together in my hand.

Press mixture into an ice cube tray. Let sit to dry overnight.

Carefully pop your dish tabs out of the ice cube tray. I turned mine upside down on a cutting board & gave it a good twist or two.  They popped right out. 

Store in your cute airtight container.

Use as you would any commercial dishwasher tab.

BONUS!!  Your D.I.Y. Dish tabs also make great ‘toilet bombs’. Toss one in the bowl and watch it fizz and work it's magic! Swish with a cleaning brush and flush! Because these are all natural they are safe for septic systems and not harmful to municipal water supplies.

diy dishwasher tabs

I only use Thieves now for all of our household cleaning, and that is straight from Young Living because I trust the quality and purity of their products.  If you are interested in ditching the chemicals from your home as well I would recommend doing what most people do when making the switch to a natural lifestyle. 

Start with the premium starter kit.  It comes with 11 essential oils for everyday use, a diffuser of your choice, a sample of this Thieves Cleaner (which will make 2 - 16 ounce bottles) and samples of an amazing antioxidant drink that I drink daily to support my immune system.  

It's the perfect way to get started!  And you'll be joining a team of strong women and men who have gone before you on this wellness journey.  We'll hold your hand along the way and teach you everything you ever wanted to know and more about supporting your family naturally.