How to Clean Dishes at Less than $1/month

That’s my guesstimate. 31 cents on longer months and 28-29 cents in February depending on a leap year (haha). Basically, it costs a penny a day to do the dishes in my home.

I was just trying to cut costs. The holidays and two birthdays were coming and I just wanted to find a way to save something here to get something there later (like my beloved cleaning service…they are AMAZING). We’ve all been there. Now, I have been cleaning eco-friendly for a while, but there were some things I hadn’t researched and my dishes were one of them. Is There a DIY for cleaning dishes? Yes, there is, and after some research and a little experimenting, I found some things that really work. And after doing the math it costs about a penny per load in my dishwasher.


  • Washing Soda: It’s a natural substance, made from salt and limestone. Scientifically it is known as sodium carbonate. It cuts grease on anything and can be used for many of the cleaning projects in your home.
  • Borax: Borax occurs naturally in the environment and can be mined as well as created in a lab. It is only toxic in concentrated amounts and should be kept out of the reach of children. You can find it in the laundry detergent aisle.
  • Kosher Salt: Kosher salt is a pure salt. It’s your basic table salt.
  • Citric Acid: This is a natural sanitizer and lowers the ph. You can buy food grade citric acid like Fruit Fresh or just use unsweetened lemonade packets.

The Recipe:

  • 1 Cup Washing Soda
  • 1 Cup Borax
  • ½ Cup Salt
  • ½ Cup Citric Acid


  • Mix together and store tightly covered in a Mason Jar.
  • Use one tablespoon per load.
  • Add Distilled White Vinegar to the rinse dispenser for the best results.

This will do it. It’s so simple and so cost effective. I hope anyone that reads this, tries this. Have a great day!


What do you think?

11 Points

Written by Elizabeth Plumb

Story MakerYears Of Membership


Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply