Friday, July 8, 2011

Dishwasher detergent

I've started to make my own dishwasher detergent because I got frustrated having to pay $5-6 for 30 tables. I did a search online and found a simple recipe that does the work. It costs about $5-6 to get the ingredients but it lasts a long time. I made mine in March and I'm just now half way down my big container as you can see.

This is what you need:

1 part Borax
1 part Super Washing Soda
White vinegar

This is extremely complicated so pay attention! Mix Borax and Super Washing Soda. I used 4 cups of each well mixed. You could also add salt as a scrubbing agent to your mix.

Use 1-2 tablespoons per load.

Add white vinegar to the rinse compartment and fill it up each time you wash a load.

Tah dah! Dishes are clean!

(My friend Kimber made the vinyl decal for my container. Isn't it cute?? She is so talented!!)

If you are interested in liquid instead of powder, here is a recipe. I haven't used it myself so no personal testimony on this one. If I had to take a guess, I'd say it works since it uses the same ingredients.

1 part baking soda
1 part borax
1 part water
1 drop lemon or orange essential oil per cup of detergent (please use only "certified100% pure therapeutic grade oils". This certification is similar to the "certified organic" label in foods)

Mix the ingredients thoroughly and store in a sealable jug. Use 2 to 3 TBS per load.

Some things I've come across as I've researched the subject are:

Acid in your detergent is not a good thing. Washing soda and baking soda are alkaline (they dissolve proteins). Acids (i.e. Fruit Fresh, Tang, vinegar, etc.) dissolve plant-based foods. If you mix them together, they cancel each other out and do nothing.

Bleach will work well but before you try it, read on. It's extremely alkaline, so it will dissolve protein but it won't cut grease because it's not a solvent or a detergent. Mixing it with other chemicals, specifically acids like vinegar, can produce chlorine gas. Very risky so I am not going to use it.

All borax does is soften the water by dissolving some of the minerals in the water and holding them suspended. If you already have soft water, you don't need it. If you're on a well, you do.

Yes you can substitute baking soda for washing soda, but it is less alkaline, so use half as much (i.e. 1-1/2 cups baking soda = 1 cup washing soda).

If your dishes are still not getting clean, run an empty load with 1/2 cup of CLR or a quart of white vinegar to remove hard water mineral deposits from your water jets. You may have to do that twice.

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