Super Simple Natural Dishwasher Rinse Aid

Homemade Dishwasher Rinse Agent

{UPDATE – AUGUST 20, 2012 – Since writing this post, I have found out some important information that you need to read in my updated Dishwasher Rinse Aid.  The post below still has some great information and might be just what you need, but please make sure to read both posts and then decide what version of Homemade Dishwasher Rinse Aid you should be using.  Thanks for reading!!}

For a long time now I have been gradually making more and more homemade cleaning products.

Some have worked great and some are – well, they still need some work.

One that has been working great for me is a super easy homemade dishwasher rinse agent.

If you are like me, you’ve noticed that your dishes haven’t been getting clean in your dishwasher like they used to.  There are a number of reasons for that, but in any case, you might need a boost in the dishwasher department.

When we had to replace our old dishwasher with a new one, I thought we’d have fabulously clean dishes.  Instead, I found myself having to clean at least 1/4 of the top rack every load.  Ugh.  Totally not efficient and not what this already-too-busy-mom needs at the end of the day.  Something had to change.

I talked with the dishwasher manufacturer and they sent me a bunch of dishwasher rinse aid saying that that would help, and they recommended a type of detergent (of course, it’s expensive).  Well, I wanted to stay away from the chemicals in both, and though I don’t have a great homemade dishwasher detergent figured out yet (I hope to soon), the rinse aid is working great.

Why make your own rinse aid?

1. It costs a whole lot less than the stuff in the stores.
2. It’s completely free of all the toxic chemicals.
3. It can be really fun to make something yourself and feel like you’ve “beaten the system”.
4. Save more money by not having to make a trip to the store when you run out.
5. It’s a fun thing to do with your kids! Well, this really doesn’t take much work, but you can still involve the kiddos.

The basic idea came to me from another local West Michigan blogger, Donielle of Naturally Knocked Up.  I read her post about it awhile ago and thought I’d give it a run.  Since my dishwasher had other issues at the time (long story), I wasn’t sure if it worked or not.  But now that the other problems are cleared up, I am sure that it does.  I just have one suggestion to make it a bit more user friendly.

How much can you save?

Right now, on Amazon, you can find Jet Dry for $6.09 for only 4.22 oz.

If you buy your white vinegar at Aldi, you can get 32 oz for only $.79.

Unbelievable.  That means that you can make 4.22 oz of “Homemade Dishwasher Rinse Aid” for only 10.4 cents (plus the cost of the color, if you decide to use it).  That’s a 5855% savings!

Try and get that kind of a return on your money anywhere else.  I think I should send out one of those “Guaranteed 5855% return on your money” investment letter and sell it for a huge profit :-).

Next week I hope to have some other dishwasher tips to share as well as (hopefully) a homemade dishwasher detergent recipe.  I’m still working on it.

Like this post?  How about some other DIY ideas:

Homemade Foaming Soap
 – Homemade Decongestant Chest Rub

How about you?  Do you have a favorite natural household cleaner?

{Photo Credit}

Shared at For Love of Cupcakes, The Prairie Homestead, The Healthy Home Economist, Tammy’s Recipes, Reasons To Skip the Housework, Growing Home, Beauty and Bedlam, Ladybug Blessings, Coastal Charm, Far Above Rubies, Learning The Frugal Life, The 21st Century Housewife, Hope Studios, Sugar Bee Crafts, At Home With K, Tip Junkie, Real Food Forager, Crystal and Comp, The Trendy Treehouse, Sew Much Ado, The King’s Court IV, Goodbye City Hello Suburbs, Day 2 Day Joys, Sugar and Dots, Women Who Do It All, Raising Homemakers, Dining With Debbie, Ginger Snap Crafts, Women Living Well, The Girl Creative, Natural Family Awareness, Keeping it Simple, Reasons To Skip The Housework, Not Just a Housewife, Tales from Bloggeritaville, Food Renegade, Mom Trends, Not Your Ordinary Recipes, Life as Mom, Sorta Crunchy, Homemaker’s Challenge, and Marvelously Messy.
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  1. Another website at
    has a great article on the subject and many practical user comments below it. Its a great compliment to this site.

  2. oops, the word compliment should be the word supplement.

  3. I use vinegar and a few drops of orange essential oil. (It helps cut the smell of the vinegar and aids in the wash cycle as well). I like the idea of the coloring! Thanks!

  4. The real problem isn’t needing a rinse aid. Rinse aids increase surface tension allowing water to bead off dishes rapidly preventing spots.

    Your problem is hard water. In the past dishwasher detergent manufacturers put phosphorus in the formula to soften the water preventing the white dust effect on the glassware and dishes.

    Phosphorus was banned by the EPA I believe around 2010. Ever since then people have been complaining about how terrible they’re dishwashers often create more work than if they were just washed by hand.

    The vinegar solution is a great answer at a low cost as it is acidic and cuts the calcium and other hard water minerals that cause scale. Lemi shine and other products that are more expensive do exactly the same only with food grade citric acid versus the aceatic acid in vinegar. Both work one is less expensive.

    The only real permanent solution is to have a good softener and filtration systems that are changed regularly and you won’t need the vinegar. But if you don’t care about the water system and plumbing and just want your dishes clean vinegar does the trick and it doesn’t break the bank. Although, once you have a good filtration system it is pretty easy and cost effective to maintain considering the plumbing work and damage to fittings the hard water causes.

    • I’m in the process of buying one. Our water is on the border of being hard but I think we need to make the move. Thanks. I do care about my plumbing but our water tested 6 or 6.5 the last time we tested and now it’s either a 7 or an 8.

  5. Awesome! Thanks.

  6. Noah Viitala says:

    I am doing at school report about some natural alternatives to different detergents. I have a question. Wont the dishes smell like vinegar afterwards?

  7. Mohammad AlTahou says:

    thank u for the tip
    u can add to you list
    (difficulty in finding the Rinse aid)
    seriously I am looking for this Aid in 3 supper market no luck
    I guest I am going used ur recipe
    thank you