DIY Dishwasher Soap Packets

Happy 2012, all!!!!

Wow!What a break! I think I need a break from my break.  We were busy, busy, busy all two weeks, and I can’t even remember what we did to stay so busy. I had grand plans to get lots done, but… well, you know how it goes…

I did get one thing accomplished. I perfected the pre-measured dishwasher soap packets, that I utterly failed at the first time I tried to make them.  Believe me… I… F.A.I.L.E.D.!!!! But, I won’t bore you with all the gory detail.

Here they are! Dishwasher Soap Packets! (or, as I like to call them, soap biscuits. ;))

Aren’t they pretty??? :D

These are really easy to make. The trick is to not get the dishwasher detergent too wet when you are making them. (Which is why my first batch FAILED! ;))

Here’s what you do…

Start with your DIY dishwasher detergent, and put it in a large bowl. Begin spritzing it with water and stirring the water into the detergent. Not too much water, just a little at a time. (If you get the detergent too wet it will go all volcano on you. Trust me… NOT COOL.)  Get the detergent just wet enough that when you squeeze it in your hand it starts to stick together, like damp sand.

Then start scooping out 1 Tablespoon mounds. I packed mine into a mini muffin pan lined with coffee filters that I had cut into fourths.  I could only fit 20 in the pan (the detergent recipe I use makes about 40 or so), so then, I lined my measuring spoon with a piece of the coffee filter and packed the detergent in to form pre-portioned little mounds in their own little wrappers. Like so…

Let them air dry for about an hour or so, and store them in something with a lid. I just used my old store bought dishwasher-detergent container, and it works well.


I just need to come up with a cute label to cover up the old one. ;p

Now, I don’t have to worry about my kids using too mush soap when they load the dishwasher. (Whenever they do, that is!) Love that!!!

One more thing… be sure to test out if your little “soap biscuits” will fit into your soap dispenser in your dishwasher. You may have to slightly flatten them if they are too tall for the dispenser to close. Just FYI. :D

Also, make sure your dishwasher is working properly before you try to run it. Websites like can help you keep it up to date.


Hope everyone has a wonderful 2012! (and a good rest of the week! :D)

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Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post.


DIY Dishwasher Soap Packets — 101 Comments

  1. Pingback: DIY Dishwasher Detergent « Lady with the Red Rocker

  2. I’m going to have to try this. I have made my own dishwasher detergent before but not in the “biscuit” form. When I made it before it too was a major FAIL. After a couple weeks it hardened completely in the container and I had to go outside and bang the container on the ground to get enough loosened up to run the dishwasher. Ended up throwing it away.
    Gonna give this a shot…thanks! Pinning it for later use!

  3. Wow, awesome idea! I’m planning to make my own dishwasher detergent really soon so I’m definitely bookmarking this!

  4. This looks great! I checked out your recipe for the soap as well, and I love how your glass came out compared to the purchased brand. I make my own laundry detergent, but haven’t ventured to the dishwasher side of things. Maybe it is time! Thanks for sharing!! :)

  5. Wow, I have to try this.
    I am starting the CSI Project Forum today so crafters can gather and talk.
    Come by and register. It is FREE!
    I would love it if you would share with your readers too!!!
    The first 50 people to register could win giveaways from our forum sponsors.

    Dee, the CSI Girl

  6. I have a new low-water dishwasher, and it’s virtually useless to circulate enough water to clean the dishes. The water doesn’t even fill up enough for the dishwasher detergent (and I use fresh, Cascade, the good stuff) will not dissolve if it’s in the dispenser. To remedy, I have to fill the bottom of the dishwasher with water, add the dishwasher detergent directly to the water in the bottom so that it will dissolve, manually adjust it to wash only and not drain, and then repeat this process for the rinse, and for the rinse cycle add Lemi Shine since my water is filled with lime and there would be white powder over everything otherwise. If you’re one of the fortunate ones that has a good dishwasher, these packets are genius, and if you have one of those water-saving dishwashers, probably could use this if you drop it into the water, instead of putting it in the dishwasher detergent dispenser. Thoughts? I’m all for ecology, and saving money, etc., but sometimes these new appliances are something of a disappointment if you have low water pressure in the first place!

    • Yikes! That does not sound good. When you read the manual for your dishwasher, Does it tell you to use a certain kind of soap. It sounds like you would have to use liquid soap in a dishwasher like that. Maybe you could pre-dissolve the soap in a cup of hot water? Hope this helps! Thanks for stopping by! :D

  7. Yes, it does say to use Cascade…but since I have low water pressure there is not much I can do since this is a low-flow dishwasher (I would NEVER buy this model but it’s the landlord’s choice). Liquid doesn’t work any better, since there is not enough water in the rinse cycle to reach the detergent inside the dispenser. Tried it, and liquid is actually not recommended by plumbers since it clogs your drain–too gelatinous. Pre-dissolving soap is a good idea, and using the hottest water possible (it should be at least 120 degrees) which is basically what I’m doing by adding water to the bottom of the dishwasher–supplementing the low-flow wash/rinse water that is supplied to the dishwasher. Does that make sense? Trust me, I miss my old dishwasher, and word to the wise when choosing a new dishwasher-research like crazy! Cool site, and Happy New Year to all!

  8. Stephanie,
    I love this post. Found you on Creative Blog Hop! I am going to link it up and share it on my living natural website Naked Moxie. And, of course use this in my home. The organic brands are mega pricey! Thanks again.. Dr. Lisa

  9. I finally clicked over to this this week… how cool! I am definitely trying this when ours run out. Thanks so much for linking up at Creative Me this week (and last week too)!

  10. Thank YOU so much for linking up to last week’s {wow me} wednesday link party. You were one of the top viewed links from last week. I’ll be featuring you tomorrow night at this week’s party. Hope to see YOU again this week.

    Ginger @

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  12. Wow! What a super idea! And with all those “no phosphate” detergents now on the market that don’t actually clean anything, I’m definitely going to try this! Thank you so much for sharing! Pinning so I don’t lose you!

    • Ellen, it’s funny you should mention that… My husband was just telling me that he was listening to a broadcast that was talking about phosphates being taken out of our cleaning products. Thank you “Big Government”! :D Thanks for visiting! ;)

  13. Pingback: Look What I Made! Link Party 1-11-2012 | Creations by Kara

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    • January, Because I did not want to waste my ingredients, here is what I did when my first batch failed: I baked the packets the oven to dry them out… Like on 200 or 225 for about 1 hour, then I turned off the oven and let them sit in there all day. After that, I crumbled them up and put them in the food processor and processed them until it was a powder again. Then I tried spritzing with water again, this time using less water. It really is hard to gauge how much water I use when making these. I spritz until I can “just” start to see the powder holding together when I squeeze it in my hand. I spritz a few times, mix, spritz a few times, mix… Altogether, I might spritz 9 to 12 times… Because I use about 1 cup of LemiShine, I might need to add slightly more water than someone who uses less LemiShine. Does that make sense? Hope this helps! :D

  15. Awesome tutorial and brilliant idea. Thanks you so much for linking up to Strictly HOmemade. Your link was the most viewed last week so I am featuring you again!!! Cheers!

  16. Tried to make the biscuits tonight…in order to not add too much water, are the tablets kind of “loose”? By the time that they held together when I squeezed them, I must have had too much water in them, because as they sat out to dry, they expanded.

      • But is it damp enough to hold together? Mine was still falling apart once I squeezed it…and sticking to my hands like crazy! LOL Then I added some more water and it seemed to be working very well. Till they sat there…over a couple of hours they expanded and expanded! :)

        • Kelly,
          Yes, damp is enough to hold them together once you pack them down firmly into your measuring spoon, or your muffin tin. If they will not hold together once you pack the detergent into your measuring spoon, then add one more spritz of water, and try to pack it again. They will will be soft, so you will not want to mess with them too much until they are dry. Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions. :D

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  18. I was searching for a question as to whether I need to use a dishwashing detergent in my dishwasher and came upon this site. It seems that most of you posting on this site are much younger than I but I recall that years ago (when most of my friends did not have a dishwasher) my roommate was fanatical about rinsing the dishes because she had heard that the American people ingest far too much soap due to improper rinsing of their dishes. I am pretty sure that the main thing about a dishwasher in sanitizing your dishes is the hot water, more so than the soap. Even if a few food particles were left, I would think any bacteria would be long gone. We pretty much remove all food residue before putting our dishes in the dishwasher because there are only two people in the home and we do not run it after each meal. Also, we scrub pots and pans by hand, we do not put them in the dishwasher. I have recently been wondering if using the soap is even necessisary in my case. Are we just spending unnecessarily and putting more harmful chemicals in our body? As a side note, phosphates were banned years ago back in the late seventies or eighties as I recall. Laundry detergents have never been the same!

  19. I absolutely love LemiShine. We have such hard water that it destroyed the motor in a brand new dishwasher in less than two years. Then we were told about LemiShine. We have used it ever since and never had another issue. It is made in Midland, TX and if you are so inclined you can buy it directly from the company. I buy mine in 5 gallon buckets. :) Thank you for the fabulous recipes!

  20. I love making my own detergent, cleaning products, etc because it saves me money. I like the idea of these pre-measured thing but if I had to buy coffee filters (or something else) to keep them from sticking together,it doesn’t really save anything. It only takes a few seconds to get the container out, scoop the amount I need into the compartment, then put the container back up. I personally want to save money so this doesn’t seem like something I would do. It is a great idea though :)

  21. When you were experimenting, did you try spraying the mixture with alcohol instead of water? I made bath bombs using alcohol to moisten the ingredients, and it worked well.

  22. I made the regular dishwasher soap which sadly turned into a brick a week later. Haha. I still use it though, I just take a knife to it and break it up. So what I was wondering was, if the regular detergent recipe already clumps couldn’t you just measure out a tablespoon of the mix into a muffin tin and let them sit until they clump together? Just a thought. I am going to give it a try and see how it goes.

    • Patrick, I guess you could do that, I just wanted it to work a little quicker, so I could put it away (my three year old would make a mess with it, if I let it sit out! :D). Let us know how it works for you. Thanks for stopping by! :D

  23. I just made my first batch of these after having forayed into the homemade laundry detergent and LOVING it! I added a few drops of ‘The Four Thieves” essential oil blend to my spritz bottle and just spritzed away and stirred until it was a good mold-able texture. The pods smell wonderful and do a great job with the vinegar as my rinse agent! Thanks for the excellent idea! :)

  24. I made these a while back and haven’t had much luck with getting the dishes clean. Everything comes out with a while powder residue on it, so we have to rinse the dishes again before we put them away. :( I’m going to try the regular recipe to see if it helps any. I noticed when I spritzed them to make the packets that it started to react, so I don’t know if reacted too much beforehand so it was ineffective in the wash. I’m thinking of just measuring them out and letting them harden on their own. I had a hard time getting them out of the coffee filters too. They seemed to stick to it. Hopefully this time works better! I really want this to work.

    • Trisha, you may have to up the amount of LemiShine. It took me several batches to get the recipe right for my type of water hardness. I would maybe hold off on making the packets (biscuits) until you are happy with the results. Hope this helps! :D


  25. Hard Rock by next morning when I made the dishwasher detergent recipe on pinterest and it was stored in a closed container. Will definitely try this even though I am getting frustrated after shopping several stores for the materials and then it failed. Quite a few pinterest wonders have been wonderful failures.

    • Anita,
      That stinks! If I don’t have time to make the packets, I store my powder with some silica gel packs (that stuff that comes in new shoes or vitamins to keep moisture out). I’ve never had any problems with it getting hard. To get desired results you may need to play around with the ingredients a bit, depending on the hardness of your water. I’ve been using a whole container of LemiShine and about 1/2 teaspoon of the blue Dawn dish soap with great results. Hope this helps! Thanks for stopping by! :D

  26. This is awesome! But here’s a challenge: could you come up with a DIY replacer for the laundry detergent pods? I love the ones made by TIDE but they are sooo expensive that on a college student budget it really hurts at the checkout!

  27. Pingback: How to Make Your Own Dishwasher Detergent Tablets « Her Baby Steps

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  29. OK, I made these about a month ago and the first batch was a fail, as I added lemon juice (from a different recipe,) and Lemishine (thinking more lemon would be better). I had a foamy mess on my hands. (talk about your science experiments! LOL) However, I did use them and they cleaned pretty well. I did add 6 DROPS of Dawn to the tablet when I put it in the dishwasher. I also experimented with adding a little oxiclean as well. I made more today, following the directions (go figure) and I still am having trouble with them foaming, even though I just spritzed water on the mix with a spray bottle. I will see how this batch goes. I am determined to get this!!!!

  30. You might can remove with label with Acetone, or Homemade Goo-Gone. 1 part Canola oil, 1 part baking soda. Let set for a few minutes, scrub with a scrubby. Good luck. Going to make some of these for myself. Thanks

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