While cruising up and down the aisles at the grocery store this weekend, I could not help but notice how inexpensive Kool-Aid drink mix is. Okay, I won’t even mince words here–the stuff is dirt cheap! Ten cents for a packet? It just blows my mind!

And because there is nothing we enjoy more than showing you how to get the most  bang for your buck, keep reading to find out how this nifty little packet can do more than just quench your thirst!

Sure, it is great for mixing up a cold batch of lemonade, but did you know that lemon Kool-Aid drink mix can also be used to clean your dishwasher? It sure can! Just imagine: no more rust or lime stains, no more yucky smells, and no more heavy scrubbing.



Here is what you will need:

  • One packet of lemon Kool-Aid drink mix.
  • Your favorite book or magazine.

Here is what you will do!

  • Begin by making sure your dishwasher is empty.
  • Pour one packet of lemon Kool-Aid (the only flavor that works) into the detergent cup.
  •  Run the empty dishwasher.
  • That is it! The citric acid in the mix wipes out stains–you don’t have to! Now, grab your book or magazine and take advantage of the extra time you have on your hands!

So don’t spend money on any more expensive or harsh cleansers. Instead, dig a dime up from the sofa cushions and grab a packet of lemon Kool-Aid!

Leave a Reply

43 thoughts on “DIY: Lemonade Kool-Aid as Dishwasher Cleaner”

  1. Karlah Hook says:

    i have done this for years. and the best way to clean your washing machine is to use a scoop of Tang on a hot water wash cycle it works wonders and smells good 

  2. I just bought 8 canisters of Country Time Lemonade this week for $.25 a piece at Dillons(Kroger).  Do you think it would work? 

  3. Vanessa Gill says:

    Thanks for the info I hope this really works :)

  4. Bo says:

    but wouldn’t it make everything sticky, sugar?

    • S Wallenbrock says:

      Kool aid doesn’t have sugar, you have to add it to the mix. We substitute Splenda instead.

  5. Tisa Wren says:


  6. Anonymous says:

    wonder if it works in the clothes washer….

  7. Maryann says:

    This works great and much cheaper then the dishwasher cleaners out there.

  8. Terri Weston says:

    Does it freshen the washer with a fresh lemony smell?

  9. Terri Brown says:

    I stopped buying dishwasher soap a few months ago. I bought a large box of Borax instead. I mix one cup of the Borax and one cup of baking soda together in an old cool whip container. From that mixture, I use two tablespoons in the detergent compartment. In the open compartment, I splash some white vinegar. That’s it! The dishes and the inside of the dishwasher come out VERY clean!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Can you tell me what you think this costs?  I’d like to know if it’s cheaper than buyer detergent with q’s?  I just spent $1.24 at Walgreens for 20 loads.  What do you think?  I make my own laundry detergent so this is something I may definitely be interested in!

      • Terri Brown says:

        dwggnr – The large box of Borax is 4.99 – I had some baking soda in the cupboard, not sure what a box runs, but lets just say 1.00 (I know it’s cheaper though!), plus white vinegar isn’t much either. Since I started doing this in February, I’ve only gone through 2 cups of the Borax and 2 cups of the baking soda (still have enough from the last time I mixed for a couple more loads). I run my dishwasher on average about 3x a week. So all together, I probably used about 2.50 worth of product with the white vinegar and ran the dishwasher approx. 40 times since I started. That works out to be about .06 per load. That’s about the same as what you spent at Walgreens. Paying anything more than that and it would be cheaper with the borax. Not only do I love that it’s cheaper than most of the dishwasher detergents, I just really like how clean my dishes and dishwasher are! NO spots on the glasses either :)

        • Anonymous says:

          Thank you Terri for responding! I think I’m going to make some just to try it. I like that I already have everything on hand (I use borax in my laundry soap so I stock up on it) and that I am already saving money without having to watch the sales. Thank you so much!

  10. Patti Harris says:

    I can’t wait to try it.

  11. Diane Woods says:

    Could this work to freshen a garbage disposal as well?

    • When I peel an orange I toss in all the peelings (one at a time) while the disposal is on and it freshens it up beautifully! Limes and lemons work well too! Another trick is to throw in a cup or so of ice every month (if you use yours as often as us) while the disposal is running–that keeps the blades sharp and certainly will break away any built up gunk..

  12. Sarah Boyce says:

    I heard on Rachel Ray that any instant citric type juice mix will work.  Then, I had to have my fridge repaired and the repairman told me that Tang actually works best.

    As for washers, I have a front load and again, the repairman for that years ago told me (and said it is in the maintenance video I never watched) to use 2 tablespoons powder dishwasher detergent in the tub of the washer, then hottest settings possible.  I did it for a while but couldn’t tell it did anything.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I would love to know how someone came up with this idea! If my husband saw me dumping kool aid in the dishwasher he’d think it had finally happened.  I finally lost my mind!!!  Great tip but dishwashing soap would probably last longer in my house then kool aid would with my little monsters!!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    My hairdresser daughter used to use it one her hair to blond it up.

    • melissa says:

       If you ever die your hair red the red kool-aid once a week or so helps keep it red longer   

      • Anonymous says:

        Thanks. I am so old school that the only color I use is my natural color, but my granddaughter just went through every color of Splash (or was it called Splat?) and is currently bright red. I’ll let her know.

  15. Anonymous says:

    We’ve used Tang with amazing results, too. 

  16. Kelly Jean says:

    Can you use if for the clothes washer?

  17. Yes, I’d love to know if it works in the washing machine too!

  18. Didn’t work will for us and it took awhile to get our dishes clean after it left a film all over the dishes. 

  19. Thank you for this tip!!

  20. Anonymous says:

    This does work! My dishwasher was pretty yucky and I had tried scrubbing it but had no luck. Three cycles of lemonade worked for me. It is sparkling new!  I also used the Great Value brand from walmart which was even cheaper

  21. Anonymous says:

    I don’t really care about cleaning the dishwasher, however, I loved the suggestion to ‘dig a dime up from the sofa cushions’!  I’m now 10-cents richer! :)

  22. Why not just skip all the extra stuff in it and buy citric acid powder in the canning aisle. Just put a teaspoon of it in the washer. You can also use a cup of vinegar. The reason that any of these can work is because acid dissolves calcium. The same idea as running vinegar through your coffee pot.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I found a recipe that calls for 1cup borax, 1/2 cup baking soda and 1 envelope of koolaid lemonaid. I use this for back up in case i run out of dish washer detergent. I love it. I also used orange koolaid once because I was out of the lemonaid, worked just as good.

  24. Rebekah Finn says:

    Kind of makes you wonder whether we should really be drinking this stuff, huh?

    • Anonymous says:

       lol, and exactly why it’s not even allowed near the house.

    • Anonymous says:

      I used to be the smiley face on the Kool-Aid Pitcher until I started drinking the stuff and it drove me insane! :(

    • Alicia Gray says:

      Well sure real lemonade is better than Kool-Aid, but it’s the citric acid in the lemon flavor that works…something that’s also in fresh-squeezed lemonade. 

  25. Thu says:

    Will this works for washer too?

  26. Anonymous says:

    Well this is one I can’t wait to try!!! Thanks KCL!