I make most of my own cleaning products. This way I know exactly what is in them, and it is much more budget friendly. There are a few staples that I buy that I combine to make everything else. Dishwasher detergent is one of the biggest challenges I have come upon. One must be careful not to have too much suds, or it can interfere with the seal and cause a leak. Not enough and you end up with dirty dishes even after they are washed. Eliminating the water spots on the dishes and the film from hard water has been the biggest challenge. I have finally determined that the best recipe for my water conditions, is a simple mixture of Dawn dish washing liquid and an oxygen cleaner, like Oxyclean. I don’t buy the name brand, but usually get the house brand to save money. I found these awesome ice cube trays at a garage sale. They are designed to freeze ice to go in a thermos, but the size and shape is perfect for making dishwasher tablets. They are silicone or rubber on the bottom, making it especially easy to pop the tablets out after they are hardened and dry.
Now it is just a matter of mixing the two ingredients together, in a ration of 1 unit of Dawn to 1.5 units of oxygen cleaner granules. Whatever measuring utensil you use, just use 2 measure of Dawn and 3 measures of granules and mix well. The mixture will expand slightly and chemical reaction will make the mixture warm to the touch.