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Here's What You Can Substitute For Dishwasher Detergent
Baking soda, while not as powerful as dishwasher detergent, is the simplest alternative, plus, you probably have a bunch of the stuff lying around the house already. Add just ¼ cup of sodium bicarbonate to the dishwashing compartment and run a normal cycle.
Distilled white vinegar has cleaning power all over the home, from cleaning the washing machine to kitchen counters. Place ½ cup in a bowl on the top rack and run a cycle. The water will distribute the cleaning agent to the rest of the dishes.
Another simple substitute for dishwasher detergent consists of 1 cup of sodium bicarbonate, 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup borax, ½ cup citric acid, and 1 cup coarse salt. Combine all of these ingredients and store them in an airtight container, and use the same amount you would normally use when running a cycle in your dishwasher.