Review of Lemi Shine Dishwasher Booster

Lemi Shine Dishwasher Booster was one of the last products to get my Suddenly Frugal Seal of Approval. You see, in the old iteration of this blog, I focused on frugal living. And when I came across a product or service that was deserving of my kudos, it got this award called the Suddenly Frugal Seal of Approvel.

Nonetheless, I still believe that Lemi Shine is worthy of mention. Since first discovering the product, the Lemi Shine line has expanded greatly. Now there are all kinds of cleaning products from the Lemi Shine family. But let me explained how I first came across the dishwasher product.

When I made my own dishwasher detergent

A few years back I’d created a recipe for DIY homemade dishwasher detergent. It was a combination of ingredients that I had played around with a bit in the past. This was after successfully making my own DIY homemade laundry detergent.

FYI, I still use the components from that DIY homemade laundry detergent recipe. Note to users: if you have a front loader, put the powder in the drum and in the detergent drawer. It cleans better that way. I know that sounds redundant, but trust me on this.

Why did I want to make my own detergent–dishwasher or laundry? One, I was looking to save money over liquid detergents. Two, we were trying to live a greener life. This seemed like a good options for accomplishing both goals.

When it came time to make my dishwasher recipe, the biggest challenge was the fact that we have hard water. No matter what ratio of borax to washing soda to kosher salt I used, my glasses still came out cloudy.

dishwasher ingredients

How I discovered Lemi Shine Dishwasher Booster

I can’t recall exactly who told me about this product called Lemi Shine. However, I’m so glad they did.

Anyway, Lemi Shine is a citric acid-based “booster.” When you think of citric acid, you may think about Vitamin C. Even so Lemi Shine is not edible. Anyway, it works by helping to breakdown any scum that hard water leaves behind.

Once the product arrived and I used it, I loved it. I ended up having to use a bit more than the instructions suggested. I’m guessing this happened for two reasons.

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One, our water really was that hard. I mean I’m always having to use Lime Away to clean toilets and sinks. And, two, I’m guessing the homemade dishwasher recipe doesn’t have the same kinds of ingredients that commercial dishwasher cleaners have. Thus, the need for more Lemi Shine.

It’s important to note that I did not add the Lemi Shine Dishwasher Booster to my already made recipe and mix it around. No, I added it separately.

Alternatives to Lemi Shine

I recognize that not everyone may want to pay for yet another product to clean their dishes. Therefore, I picked the brain of some fellow frugal folks. Here were some of their suggestions on cheaper ways to achieve the Lemi Shine effect.

One suggested crushing Vitamin C tablets. Remember how I’d mentioned that citric acid is Vitamin C? Well, there you go.

Another suggested finding sugar-free lemon Kool-Aid–again, the main ingredient being citric acid. I happened to find packets of Kool-Aid on clearance for $.30 each so I picked up a few and tried them out.

Then on my own I picked up another citric acid-based product–True Lemon. It is a lemon powder that you add to your water. Again, the main ingredient is also citric acid.

Honestly, I thought True Lemon was going to be the real winner. Why? Because the next few ingredients are all citrus based–lemon oil, lemon juice, Vitamin C. A box of 10 packets cost $2.99.

Other products compared to Lemi Shine

I tried all of these products myself in the dishwasher with my homemade DIY detergent, just as I had the Lemi-Shine. And guess what? None of them worked as well as Lemi Shine.

I spent all one weekend experimenting with the different products. We were batch cooking for the upcoming week. So we had a lot of dishes to clean.

And the verdict? Nothing works as well as Lemi Shine.

dishwasher with clean fiestaware dishes

Final thoughts on Lemi Shine Dishwasher products

If you’re going to give homemade dishwasher detergent a try, Lemi Shine is the product that will definitely make your recipe a winner. It will have your glasses, flatware, and dishes coming out sparkling clean and clear. That’s why all those years ago I gave it my Suddenly Frugal Seal of Approval.


  1. I like the Lemishine products but the citric acid detergent booster did not work as I expected. I experimented with different amounts but everytime I’d still see a cloudy layer on the glasses and spots on the silverware.

    What finally has worked is a pod of the Lemishine dishwasher detergent combined with borax. I put the pod in the compartment and 1/4 cup borax on the bottom. No spots, no cloudy layer. Everything is sparkling clean.

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