Clean Your Dishes with Kool-Aid

Yep. I said it. Kool Aid…Those of you who know me know that I like to make my own stuff, and I happen to make my own dishwashing detergent. Why, you ask? Well have you ever checked the ingredients list on that box of Cascade? Check it out. Most of that unpronounceable stuff includes phosphates, petroleum, bleach and/or chlorine. Why Kool Aid? Well the number 1 ingredient in those little packets of Kool Aid is citric acid, which is a natural preservative, and excellent for cleaning dishes. Lemon works best because it’s practically colorless. (DON’T use cherry or grape KoolAid for this, because you’ll end up with pink or purple dishes).

Powdered dishwashing detergent recipe:
1 cup of Borax
1 cup of Washing Powder (I like Arm and Hammer Brand but this is NOT Baking Soda, that’s different)
4-6 packets of Lemon flavored Kool Aid (NOT the Sugar Free kind that comes in a container, you want the “old school” kind)
1/4 cup of Citric Acid
1/4 cup kosher salt (optional but I like it)

Pour all together in an AIRTIGHT plastic container and shake vigorously to mix. Store AWAY from sunlight. (I keep mine under the sink) DONE!
SAVVY TIP: In order to NOT get streaks and spots on your glasses pour white vinegar into your rinse-agent dispenser. (That’s where you’d normally pour Jet-Dry).

Fill your dishwashers’ detergent compartment(s) with the powder, fill the the dispenser with vinegar, and put the top back on. Then shut and use your dishwasher as usual.
Everyone’s dishwasher is different, so don’t be afriad to tweak this recipe if you need to!
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19 thoughts on “Clean Your Dishes with Kool-Aid

  1. Annette

    I make my own laundry detergent, and my mom asked me just last night if I knew how to make dishwashing detergent. I cannot wait to try this!!! 🙂

  2. Savvy

    Wow that’s great! I forgot to mention that the mixture shouldn’t get wet, otherwise it will harden, so make sure you use a dry spoon to scoop it out ok? Good luck and let us know how it goes!

  3. Savvy

    Hey Nyla! Thanks so much for check me out! I’m glad you like this one. I’ve got a TON more where that came from trust me.

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  5. SisterBoyd

    You know I’ve never seen this post. Now I need to go get some Borax and Kool-Aid! I tried the automatic dishwashing cleaner using castile soap and it was a no go. Trying to tweak the recipe is costing too much because I’m having to wash my dishes as least twice.

    I got the Arm & Hammer Washing Powder, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen Borax. Do they carry it in the regular grocery stores?

  6. Shones

    I’m so glad you included the link to this in a recent post. I am all over it! As soon as I get a chance, I’m going to pick up some Lemon Kool-Aid. The white vinegar tip is good as well. Thank you, Savvy!

  7. SisterBoyd

    I’ve been using this for almost and a week and so far so good. Actually, it worked so well I saw Kool-Aid on sale and I got more 😉

    …now on to the laundry detergent…

  8. Savvy

    @Sisterboyd Great! Lemme know how it goes. You might have to tweak it a bit and add little baking soda to the mix if you see spots on your dishes… Every diahewasher is different

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  10. Ann Kroeker

    Okay…I’m going to try this after I go shopping, because I’m trying to find inexpensive and healthier options. I like the vinegar idea, too, as we do have streaks on our glasses.

  11. Savvy

    @Ann Great. I hope it works out for you. Just remember: Everyone’s dishwasher is a bit different, and the chlorine and salt levels in the water are also different. The recipe here is guideline, but tweak it to make it work for you.

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  13. Lisa

    I use this recipe but without the koolaid. What a great idea! I’m gonna add it to my next batch! 🙂

  14. vanessa

    Great idea! Do you have a soap recipe for handwashing your dishes ? I live in Mexico so as far as I know there is no borax here.
    Lovely site!

  15. Savvy

    @vanessa Hola! The Savvy Shop carries Borax, take a look there first. Hmm. I haven’t tried making any yet. (You’ve given me an idea though). I use Dr. Bronner’s. It’s a great multitasker. Check out this post I did on it’s many uses! I also use this Method one, because it’s healthy and refillable! Thanks for commenting!

  16. Jen

    For the person who asked about dishwashing liquid, here’s the only thing I’ve read so far. When you’ve got 1/3 bottle of dishwashing liquid left, add 1 tablespooon of Borax and fill it the rest of the way up with white vinegar. This will make it really thin, but the point is, it extends the dishwashing liquid longer.
    I happened to have 2, small dishwashing liquids left, in 2 different containers, one almost done, the other about 2/3 up. I filled up enough of the one that was almost out and did this, so when it’s gone, I’ll do the same thing. Just something to think about!

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