DIY Dish Tabs

diy dish tabs

In my quest to save as much money as I can, I found that making my own cleaning supplies was one of the easiest and quickest ways to do so. I started out by making my own powdered laundry detergent, then tried liquid and moved onto fabric softener. These were all pretty easy and the savings were phenomenal. (Who wouldn’t like loads of laundry of only pennies?)

In addition to saving money, I like that the products I make are better for the environment. There is something so satisfying about knowing exactly what you are putting into your cleaning routine and what is being used around my family and pets.

diy dishwasher tabs

So one of the next big projects I wanted to take on was making my own dish tabs. I have seen many recipes around that I found were similar and I even experimented with them. Some left too much film and others just didn’t quite do their job. So, I decided to make my own. Here s my take on DIY Dish Tabs. They smell wonderful and they dry much faster than other recipes I tried.

DIY Dish Tabs

5.0 from 8 reviews
DIY Dish Tabs
Recipe type: cleaning
  • 1 C Borax
  • 1 C Washing Soda
  • ¼ C Epsom or Kosher Salt
  • ½ C Distilled White Vinegar
  • ⅓ C Baking Soda
  • 3 tbsp Water
  • Juice and Zest from 1 Orange
  1. Mix together the borax, washing soda, kosher salt and baking soda
  2. Slowly add in the vinegar. It may bubble up a bit.
  3. Add in the water, OJ and zest. Using your hands, mix together until it is like wet sand you would use to build sand castles.
  4. Put in molds and pack down. I used an old ice cube tray and some silicone candy molds. I found the silicone was easiest to remove. Allow to dry for a couple hours until hard.
  5. Store in an airtight jar.


33 Replies to “DIY Dish Tabs”

  1. This is a great recipe to make my own dish tabs. I like the ingredients and would like to make my own. I like that these dry hard and I bet they really work good. Thanks for the recipe.

  2. I’ve already tried these and love them! What a great and easy way to save money!
    Katie recently posted..Cariloha Bamboo Sheet Set Giveaway #LuxuryLinenMy Profile

    1. So glad you like them, Katie!

  3. These look super easy to make! I want to start making these and my own laundry detergent – self sufficiency for the win!
    Taylor S. recently posted..40 Amazing Toddler Food IdeasMy Profile

    1. They took no time at all and if you have the ingredients to make laundry detergent, you have most of the ingredients for this as well!

  4. Carissa Pelletier says: Reply

    I’ve never thought of this, but what a great idea. The store bought kind are very pricey for what they are so this is a great alternative.

  5. Oooh I will file this away for when my mom runs out of ones she got free with coupons because we finally got a dishwasher at the new place 🙂

  6. What a cool idea. We go through so many. Where would I find Borax at my store? 🙂
    Krystle(Baking Beauty) recently posted..Applebees Clubhouse Grille Sandwich RecipeMy Profile

  7. What a neat idea. I suck at making DIY stuff but this seems simple enough! thanks!
    Tatanisha W recently posted..Dollar Tree Freebies & Cheap deals May 28-June 4My Profile

  8. I’m going to try this! Dish tabs are so damn expensive!
    Slap Dash Mom recently posted..Summer Bucket List for GirlsMy Profile

    1. Yeah, I hadn’t had a dishwasher until we moved into this place last summer since like 8-9 years ago. I can’t believe how expensive they had gotten!

  9. I would assume there is a lot of trial and error involved in trying out different versions of these things that you find.

    1. There is! I tried 3 different recipes and combinations before I got this one just how I like it!

  10. I never thought of making my own dish tabs! I’m definitely going to be making some of these soon.
    Courtney Pies recently posted..Homemade Candy Tootsie RollsMy Profile

  11. Wow that’s cool! I never thought of making these. THanks!
    WendysHat recently posted..Daisy GardenMy Profile

  12. What a cool idea. I’m going to try this! 🙂
    Sara recently posted..15 Cool Chopping Board Designs for the KitchenMy Profile

  13. I’m all for saving money! How do I know how big or much a tab should be for my particular dishwasher? Right now I’m using the Cascade gel pods but the are pricey. The cycle I usually use has a dispenser in the door with a smaller pre-wash wash section and a larger one with a door that clicks shut to hold the main wash soap. The tab wouldn’t fit in the compartment.

    1. It’s OK to just toss these babies to the bottom of your dishwasher as well and skip the compartment. I would suggest just shaving them down or finding smaller molds if yours won’t fit. You honestly don’t need as much as you think for these to do their magic.

  14. […] soap was so freeing and frugal that I also branched out to dish soap and an all-purpose […]

  15. […] DIY Dish Tabs from Saved By Grace […]

  16. Hi , I’m not familiar with washing soda and where can I find ?

    1. Hi Cyn, you can find washing soda in the laundry soap aisle of most stores.

  17. […] Recipe inspired by Saved By Grace and this post contains affiliate […]

  18. These are packaged so pretty, they would bring a smile to my face whenever I run the dishwasher! do these get glasses clean? I’ve tried a combo of the borax and washing soda but got white film on my glass. I’m expecting the baking soda and vinegar will cut down on that?
    susan recently posted..Are Antibiotics in Cheese Creating Superbugs?My Profile

    1. It may. It also can depend on if you have hard water or not.

      1. We have hard water and make our own RLR for laundry with Borax, washing soda, and Calgon. I wonder if I could add Calgon to these as a water softener?

        1. With Calgon, I would worry about it leaving a film that is not safe for food surfaces.

  19. I have no oranges on hand; would a lemon work in its place?

    1. Sure, Lemon will work just fine. Just about any citrus would be great for this.

  20. Hi! I know this is an older post but I just stumbled upon your blog and love it! I have recently been diagnosed with several autoimmune disease and have been pretty sick – I’m trying to cut down toxins in our home by making our own cleaners, soaps, etc as well as reducing waste!
    I am going to try these today – about how many pods do they make? I only have 1 ice cube tray and was wondering if I can just let some harden, pop them out, then put more of the mix in. Or will it harden too quickly?

    Thank you for all the amazing recipes and information!!

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