home + garden

Rinse Aid Alternative for Dishwasher

Rinse Aid Alternative from Go Gingham

When my new dishwasher was installed, it came with a feature I hadn’t bargained for: a flashing red light. The flashing red light was telling me I needed to add a rinse aid and no matter what I did, it wouldn’t stop flashing. For a moment, I considered returning the dishwasher. Honestly, the last thing I wanted was to get tricked by a business into having to buy another consumer product.

Good for you rinse aid from Go Gingham

Then it hit me. What if I used white vinegar as a rinse aid? After all, that’s what I use in the washing machine in the rinse cycle for our laundry. I’ve also used it on my hair as a “rinse aid” so why not in the dishwasher? I poured the white vinegar into the little spout for rinse aid and guess what happened?

It worked like a dream.

It’s one less chemical cleaner entering our home for us to breathe. It’s less junk going down our drain. It’s inexpensive – 1-gallon of white vinegar is less than a tiny bottle of rinse aid. It hits my criteria on all fronts – good for you, good for the environment, and good for the pocketbook. The dishes are squeaky clean when they come out of the dishwasher and there’s no little red light flashing at me.

We still need to load and unload the dishwasher. I haven’t figured out how to make THAT happen without a little reminding. Try it out and let me know what yo think.

Which do you prefer? Loading the dishwasher or unloading the dishwasher?

Go Gingham related links:

Sort of homemade dishwasher detergent – 2 ingredients make up the new mix!
Green living: once a month garbage collection
Green and frugal living – the sweet spot where green and frugal meet
Cute and clean for the kitchen: make a baking soda shaker for soaking those stubborn pots and pans
The mop cover is a re-purposed t-shirt: how to make a mop cover

More related links:

Read Environmental Working Group’s review of rinse aids – they’re a non-profit and very helpful when deciphering whether cleaners and consumer products are actually “natural” or “green.”

10 thoughts on “Rinse Aid Alternative for Dishwasher

    1. Jane, good to know. I assume you mean lemon from a bottle, right? I was picturing you squeezing a fresh one into the dishwasher. I’d rather put lemon in a cake myself! LOL! 🙂
      Thanks for writing in, Jane!


  1. Hi! I used vinegar for a while (same reasoning as yours) until I read it corrodes the rubber “sealing” on the sides of the door of the dishwasher… Can anybody comment on this?


  2. It’s me again… Decided to do a little research on my own, and found this:

    Bosch doesn’t say anything about vinegar but Miele does in their manuals:

    Alternatively, it is possible to use

    Household vinegar with a max. 5% acid content


    Liquid citric acid with up to 10% acid content.

    The resulting rinsing and drying quality will not, however, be as good as when rinse aid is used.
    Do not use vinegar with a higher acid content (e.g. vinegar essence containing 25% acid). This would damage the dishwasher.


    1. Thanks, Meg! I was going to suggest mixing vinegar with water (50/50). That’s what I use in a spray bottle for cleaning. I had to laugh – can there really be more harsh/damaging ingredients in vinegar than there are in rinse aid? Hmmmmm….
      Well, I’d love it if I owned a dishwasher long enough that the gasket dried right up!
      Thanks for checking this out and letting us know, Meg! Have a great day. 🙂


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