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If you’ve ever tried making homemade dishwasher detergent and been disappointed with the results, chances are you were closer to a great recipe than you thought! Most do-it-yourself formulas use the same basic ingredients, but there’s a trick to getting them to work.

You see, cleansers like washing soda are considered a base, while buildup removers like citric acid are, well, an acid! While both of these components are essential to a good recipe, they neutralize each other if used at the same time. Many homemade recipes mix them together, when really they’re best left separate.

Here’s an analogy: Hot water is soothing and relaxing, while cold water is refreshing and invigorating. However, when you mix the two together you end up with tepid water and lose the benefits of both.

What makes a good dishwasher detergent recipe?

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