DIY Dishwasher Tabs

Every now and then, I have moments where it suddenly dawns on me that my mother wasn’t crazy. And still isn’t, I might add.

I’m sure you’re scratching your head, but let me explain.

My mom was a wonderful mother growing up – patient, loving, fun. Everything you could hope a mom would be. But occasionally, even she would snap.

I specifically remember standing in the hall one day while she lectured us about balled up socks. You know how kids take their socks off and they end up in a ball or inside out – never quite ready to go into the washer?


After 12 years of fixing them, she ranted and raved at us one afternoon that she better never have to turn another sock right-side-out again. We thought she was crazy…until yesterday afternoon.

I had one of those moments as I was loading the dishwasher yesterday. Y’all, there are only four members of my family, yet there were eleven dirty cups in the sink. ELEVEN!

I may have ranted and raved about using ONE cup. I may have assigned everyone a specific cup and hidden the rest. I may have threatened that if you lose your cup you’ll be relegated to going outside to drink from the hose.

I also may have burst out laughing when I realized the looks on my kid’s faces must be what mine was that time mom was mad about balled up socks.

So here’s the deal. I’m not one of those people that just loves to clean. I like for my house to be clean, so I do it. But it’s not something I want to do for fun.

And dishes are near the top of my “least favorite chore” list. Right behind laundry!

When you work from home and have kids home (hello summer!), the dishes just never end. Thankfully, we have a dishwasher to cut the time I spend physically washing them.

But running the dishwasher twice a day did make me think about what exactly was in our dish detergent. I mean, this is a cleaning product we’re putting on silverware we put in our mouths. Ick!

I decided to try my hand at making homemade dishwasher tablets recently and I’ve been thrilled with the results. I was worried they might not get dishes clean enough or leave them streaky or covered in film. This hasn’t been the case!

And they’re so easy to make too. It just took me about 5 minutes to throw them together.

DIY Dishwasher Tabs

Mix all the ingredients together in a glass bowl with a stainless steel spoon. Add the mixture to a square silicone pan. Allow them to dry until solid and then pop out and store in an airtight container.

They do take a little while to dry. I put the tabs in my garage and it took a little more than 24 hours. But it’s hot here in Houston – depending on how warm it is where you live it could take up to 48 hours.

Once they’re ready, pop one into the detergent area of your dishwasher before running a load. I also recommend using vinegar as a rinse aid. It works well without using all the chemicals that come in the commercial rinse aid.

I still haven’t figured out exactly how I’m going to deal with the excessive cup situation, but I feel a lot better about the way I’m washing them.

Oh – and Mom? I’m really sorry about those balled up socks. I get it now.

What weird item has made you lose your “mom cool”?

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