homemade dishwasher tabs in a mason jar with lemon peel and a green background

Unfortunately, commercial dish detergent is loaded with awful chemicals that coat everything you eat off of. This recipe for DIY Dishwasher Tabs is a safe alternative that you can make right at home, and have comfort knowing you aren’t washing your dishes in harmful chemicals!

Store bought tabs can contain many toxic chemicals and fragrances which leave residue on the plates.  Since we eat off those plates, we have the potential to ingest that residue.  

I feel so much better knowing my kids are eating off plates without harmful residue on them.

This DIY contains the cleansing power of doTERRA On Guard® and Grapefruit oils, leaving your dishes clean and smelling fresh.  You could substitute the grapefruit for Lemon if you prefer.

I use affiliate links in this article.  If you click a link and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission.  Any money earned goes towards the cost of running this website.

Supplies and Ingredients for your DIY Dishwasher Tabs

You’ll need some baking soda for this recipe.  You probably already have some in your pantry.

Silicone Mold

A silicone mold like this one will make your dishwasher tabs uniform in size, and nice and clean looking. Be sure the size of the cubes in the tray will fit in your dishwasher. Ice cube trays could work, too.

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B08T5RX7RX&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=dn dishwasher tabs 20&language=en US

You can grab this one on Amazon and have it shipped free with Prime Shipping.

Food Grade Citric Acid

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07Q4R8W2D&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=dn dishwasher tabs 20&language=en US

You’ll want to make sure you have Food Grade Citric Acid since you’re using this on your silverware and dishes that you eat from.  I’ve used this one from Amazon many times.  (You can also use this to make Fizzy Bath Bombs!)

A Note on Essential Oil Usage and Safety

Please make sure you are using an essential oil that is safe to consume for this recipe. 

Since this recipe will be used on dishes that we eat off of, you want to ensure what you are using is safe.  Most so called essential oils available in drugstores and supercenters are synthetic fragrance only.  It’d be like washing your dishes with perfume. 

The brand I choose to use is doTERRA which is the highest quality essential oils available on the market, and the only brand I will use on my family.  

You also want to be careful where you buy your doTERRA oils because you want to make sure you’re getting real oil and not synthetic filler.  Most people don’t realize that doTERRA does not authorize anyone to sell oils on Amazon because fraud is so rampant there.  You never know what you’re getting and the bottle has frequently been emptied and refilled with coconut oil or who knows what!  Scary, right?!

Be sure to order your doTERRA essential oils from a Certified Site like this one!

[optin-monster-inline slug=”lddwqgzomaojc8ja4ht6″]

DIY Dishwasher Tabs Recipe

homemade dishwasher tabs with lemon peel and green background

DIY Dishwasher Tabs Recipe

Author: Dawn Goehring
How to make natural and safe dishwasher tabs that won't leave a harmful residue on plates
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate



  • Put baking soda, citric acid, doTERRA On Guard Cleaner Concentrate, and Grapefruit oil in a mixing bowl. Mix together until the mixture is an even consistency.
  • Press in silicon mold and let sit for four hours. You may need to press down occasionally during this time. Remove tabs.
  • Remove tabs and store in an airtight container like a mason jar.
  • Use in dishwasher in place of store-bought dishwasher tablets.


Dishwasher Rinsing Tip: Adding one cup white vinegar to the rinsing agent compartment in your dishwasher will help ensure that your glassware comes out of the dishwasher sparkling!  This is a fantastic natural option to synthetic store bought versions.

If you found this recipe helpful, I would be very appreciative if you could please give it a 5 star review on the recipe card above, and share it with friends so that others can benefit.

[optin-monster-inline slug=”lddwqgzomaojc8ja4ht6″]

Before You Go, See What’s New On The Blog

About The Author

Dawn Goehring Desert Naturals Essential Oils

Dawn Goehring

Owner / Founder of Desert Naturals

Dawn Goehring is the founder of Desert Naturals where she writes educational articles on essential oils, DIY's on natural beauty products, homemade cleaners, and provides related essential oil accessories like Planners, Journals, Trackers, tshirts, and custom made essential oil storage.

Dawn discovered essential oils about 10 years ago to support her then 4 year old son who was struggling to manage a respiratory condition. She then learned how to use essential oils for everyday natural remedies for her family, and has helped hundreds of women incorporate essential oils in their lives to live a healthier, more holistic lifestyle using natural products and essential oils.

Dawn has earned an aromatherapist degree and has earned a doTERRA essential oil specialist certification which is a fancy way of saying she has learned a lot about the chemistry of essential oils and how they work in the body.

2 thoughts on “Make Your Own Dishwasher Tablets”

  1. What am I doing wrong ? I followed the instructions exactly but when I put the mixture into the silicone mold it keeps expanding after I’ve pressed it down !! Should I now be pressing it into the mold ?

    1. Hi Rebecca. Any luck? This didn’t happen to me so I’m not sure. I would just keep pressing it down every so often while it dries, and maybe put less into the mold to give it room to expand.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating