How to Save Money on Dishwasher Tablets

How to Save Money on Dishwasher Tablets

Making dishwasher detergent is the best way to save money on your dishwasher. With just four ingredients, you can make dishwasher detergent that will clean your dishes just as well as the tablets you buy in-store. Dishwasher tablets aren’t expensive, but there might be times when you’re low on cash, or you can’t get to a shop, and making your own detergent is better for the environment.

Image: Shutterstock


If you spend around $15 on Epsom salts, $10 on a box of washing soda, $17 on a box of Borax, and $13 for 24 packets of lemonade mix, you’ll have all the ingredients you need. At $55, you might think you’d be better off buying dishwasher tablets, but those ingredients make enough detergent to last most of us at least a year.

How to Make Dishwasher Detergent

All you need to do to make dishwasher detergent is to combine the four ingredients in an airtight container. If you layer each as you put them in, they’re easier to mix. Make sure you don’t get the mixture wet, or it will harden and form into clumps. Once it’s mixed, you can take one teaspoon and test it in your dishwasher on any cycle you wish. That’s all you need for each load. The mixture’s also good as scour for your tub, shower, and sink. And if you keep one packet of lemonade aside, you can use it to clean your dishwasher. Pop it in the detergent compartment and run a cycle, and the citric acid in the lemonade will make short work of any grime or stains.

How to Save Money on Tablets

If you’re not convinced by the do-it-yourself approach, buy tablets in bulk from an online retailer like Amazon, or pick them up in-store when they’re on offer. You’ll need plenty of room to store them, but you’ll need just as much space if you’re going to make detergent using the method set out above.

Image: Shutterstock

Rinse Aid

Did you know you can use vinegar in place of rinse aid? Putting white vinegar in the rinse chamber is fine for the machine, and it will do a great job of sparkling your dishes. Try it yourself, especially if your glasses are a little spotty. If you’re not keen on the idea of filling your dishwasher with it, why not put some in a cup in the top of the dishwasher? You’ll find the glasses a little sparkler once that cycle’s finished running.

Different Cycles

You won’t save money on dishwasher tablets by knowing your best cycle, but you could save time, money, and water. In most cases, the quick wash cycle uses less water, less energy, and takes up less time, but that’s not always the case. Your machine may have an efficient cycle. As you’d expect from the name, that’s the one to use. Refer to your manufacturer’s instructions or check out their site for details.


Has your machine been appropriately maintained? If not, it won’t be running efficiently. And if it’s not running efficiently, you’ll be putting dishes back through for a second cycle. It’s a pretty simple machine, but there are many moving parts, including the spinning arm that distributes the water to the dishes. If that’s misaligned or broken, it won’t spread the water correctly, and your dishes won’t be getting the clean they’re supposed to.


Making dishwasher solution is the best and cheapest way of saving money on dishwashing tablets. There’s not much else you can do. We wouldn’t recommend breaking tablets in two and trying to use half for a cycle. That’s not going to work. And you won’t get your dishes washed if you run the machine without a tablet in it. You could pack your machine more efficiently, so you run fewer cycles throughout the week, or you could try and use fewer dishes for dinner and lunch, so there’s less to pack into the machine. Ultimately, you’ll find what works best for you.