Dishwasher Tabs: D.I.Y. with essential oils

by Diana E. Natalie Johnson
RECIPE PROVIDED BY: Michelle Anderson of ‘The Glow Drops’. PHOTOS: Michelle Anderson.

So you open the dishwasher to put away the “clean” dishes and are hit with a cloud of synthetic chemical scent – enough to give some people a headache. Your forks taste like cheap perfume, and your drinking glass smells like a dryer sheet. First world problem, yes, and one we would do well to avoid. Especially as we become more diligent in kicking harsh chemicals out of our lives that lurk in so many commercial products, and invite nature’s remedies, healers and detoxifiers in…

DID YOU KNOW? FORMALDEHYDE, a dangerous substance, given the red flag by health agencies, is still used in dishwashing products? “Formaldehyde can be listed as methyl glycol, formalin, methyl oxide, paraform, formic aldehyde, methanal, oxymethylene, or CAS Number 50-00-0. All of these are names for formaldehyde under OSHA’s* Formaldeyde standard.”(1)

(*OSHA: Occupational Safety & Health Administration)

One of the most popular commercial dishwasher detergents on the market today contains a potentially toxic harmful brew including alcohol ethoxylates


These essential oil-infused D.I.Y. dish tabs WORK and are EASY to make, providing a safe, cost-effective alternative to those heavily perfumed and potentially toxic commercial dish tabs or pods…while at the same time PROTECTING your indoor air quality and food surfaces from harmful residues.


A shout out to our friend Michelle, of The Glow Drops, a vibrant Young Living essential oils group, for providing us with this D.I.Y. and the lovely pictures to go with it…

D.I.Y. DISH TABS Ingredients:

For one batch you will need…

Glass or stainless steel mixing bowl, measuring cup, a half teaspoon measure, an ice cube tray to use as a mould, and a storage container.

1 cup baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)

1/2 cup fine sea salt

1/4 cup citric acid

1/2 teaspoon to 1 Tablespoon   Thieves™ Household Cleaner added in 1/2 teaspoon increments* (a truly all-aurpose ‘Essential Oil Infused’ concentrate).  *Keep adding Thieves concentrate in 1/2 teaspoon increments, up to approx. 1 Tablespoon, OR until the mixture holds together loosely when squeezed in your hand. SEE PHOTO BELOW…

(Note: Citric acid occurs naturally in citrus fruits. As an isolated compound it is sold as a white crystalline powder, available at your local bulk foods store. Citric acid is used as a food additive/preservative, and as a powerful cleaning agent. A natural chemical, Citric acid is a weak organic tricarboxylic acid having the chemical formula C₆H₈O₇.


In a glass or stainless steel mixing bowl, measure and mix all ingredients JUST UNTIL moistened.


SUCCESS HINT: START WITH THE one teaspoon of Thieves™ Cleaning Concentrate and only add the additional half teaspoon if needed for the mixture to loosely hold its form.

Press into an ice cube tray. Let sit to dry overnight.

Carefully pop your dish tabs out of the ice cube tray and store in a container.

Use as you would commercial dishwasher tabs – add to machine for any cycle.

USAGE TIP: Your D.I.Y. Dish tabs also make great ‘toilet bombs’. Toss one in the bowl and watch it fizz and bubble! Swish with a cleaning brush and flush! Safe for septic systems and not harmful to municipal water supplies.



To order Thieves® Household Cleaner Concentrate as well as the finest essential oils produced with utmost purity from Young Living – world leader in essential oils, CLICK HERE

For questions or further information on how to obtain the finest Essential Oils produced with utmost purity shipped directly to your door, contact Diana at:

  1. Saving Face. ©2016. Sabina M. DeVita, Wellness Institute of Living and Learning.


14 thoughts on “Dishwasher Tabs: D.I.Y. with essential oils

  1. I always get confused with recipes involving thieves cleaner. Do I dilute the concentrate first to make the cleaner? I
    Or just measure the concentrate to add?
    Has anyone used this I’m interested to hear if the dishes come out sparkling or cloudy
    Thanks! Love thieves!


    1. Hi Kerrie, for heavier degreasing action dilute 1 capful of the Thieves® cleaner concentrate in 1 cup of distilled water (water that has been boiled and cooled) & add a teaspoon of white vinegar. Otherwise approx. a capful to a 500ml spray bottle is fine for most everyday uses (kitchen, bathroom, etc.) We simply fill the spray bottle halfway, add a capful of the Thieves® cleaner concentrate, and sometimes we like to add a drop or two of YL Lemon essential oil. As far as the dish tabs are concerned, yes the dishes came out clean not cloudy, at least this was our experience – we are on city water. Hope this helps. (:


      1. Thanks so when it calls for thieves in the tab recipe I use 1cap of the concentrate not 1 cap of the diluted cleaner that I use for every thing else in life 😄

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Made this yesterday. The mixture started foaming. I actually made a really cool time lapse of it. The next day I went to take them out of the tray but it all crumbled. I only had one tab. I plan on just using the mixture in the dishwasher any way. Do you have any advice for me? Thank you!


    1. Hi Kayla – We would definitely say too much liquid. When mixing the ingredients we can’t add all the liquid at once – we have to add it a drip at a time while mixing well with a whisk – You’ll want the material to resemble damp sand when you squeeze it it has to be barely wet enough to pack into the ice cube trays. Too much liquid causes the citric acid to activate. You want to save the activation for when you use the tabs. Hope this helps for next batch you whip up, practice makes perfect (:


  3. Hi! Is it 1/2-1 tablespoons or teaspoons? The picture shown says teaspoons, but the directions say tablespoons and to start with , “The one teaspoon…” Just confused lol…

    Thank you,
    Kelsey 🙂


    1. Hi Kelsey – Sorry for the confusion, I wasn’t able to edit the photos, however we’ve changed the instructions as follows… Thanks for pointing this out (: ––– You basically want to use “1/2 teaspoon to 1 Tablespoon Thieves™ Household Cleaner added in 1/2 teaspoon increments* (a truly all-aurpose ‘Essential Oil Infused’ concentrate).  *Keep adding Thieves concentrate in 1/2 teaspoon increments, up to approx. 1 Tablespoon, OR until the mixture holds together loosely when squeezed in your hand.” ––– It’s hard to state an exact amount as it will react with the dry ingredients differently from batch to batch, depending on humidity levels and other factors.


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