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Here's What
You Can Substitute For Dish Soap
A great alternative for dish soap is baking soda — which is made of sodium bicarbonate that neutralizes odors and absorbs grease when mixed with water. Make a paste by mixing half a cup of baking soda with a few tablespoons of water, put on a pair of gloves, and scrub dishes with the paste and hot water to clean and disinfect.
You can also use everyday shampoo — or combine one part water with four parts liquid castile soap and shake the mixture before using it just like your normal dish soap. Likewise, if you have run out of dishwasher detergent, you can use lemon juice or distilled white vinegar, which tackle grease thanks to their acid content.
However, instead of putting these in the detergent cup, pour half a cup of vinegar or lemon juice into a bowl, and place it on the top rack — the wash cycle will then disperse them throughout the machine to the other dishes inside and clean them. You can also pour powdered lemonade into the detergent cup up to the rim, and run the washing cycle like normal.
Another everyday essential you can pour into the detergent cup is borax, a natural mineral cleaner that is a common ingredient in dish detergent and will work just as well to bust grease on dishes. So don’t panic if you have guests coming over in 30 minutes, a sink full of dirty dishes, and zero dish soap or dishwasher detergent.