Saturday, June 16, 2012

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent (Updated for Bulk Recipe)

UPDATE: Im sad to say that this recipe might NOT be as super fantastic as I was origianally thinking it was. :(  It works just fine for me for the first few days, but now I am noticing that my glasses are looking filmy and a bit spotty.  All the other dishes are just fine, come out clean and great, but my tall clear glasses are coming out clean but murky.  I've been doing some research and I am wondering if I might need to do a vinegar rinse or something.  Ill keep at it and get back to you all but for now for the sake of honesty you might want to hold off on using this.  sorry if I led any of you astray!  I'll update again when I have some more answers. :)  Blessings!

OFHW dish detergent
Im not sure Ive ever had such a quick and positive reaction to a facebook post as I did when I mentioned earlier this evening that I had discovered a simple and effective recipe for homemade dishwashing detergent.  Looks like this post could be helpful indeed! :)
I’ve been doing some research into homemade cleaning products as id like to slowly make the shift away from pre-packaged cleaners for a variety of reasons, and I was searching for some ideas for the dishwasher when I came upon this post with some suggestions.

  Picture 072  the dynamic duo of homemade cleaning products
And just like with a food recipe, I just couldnt take any of these on face value but had to try a slight variation of my own and see if it would work.  And it did!  So, without further adeau, my recipe for homemade dishwashing detergent:
Homemade Dishwashing Detergent
Per Load:
1 Tablespoon Borax
1Tablespoon Washing Soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1Tablespoon water
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So, all I do is mix these four ingredients in a small cup, stir it up a bit, and put it in the OPEN compartment of the dishwasher.  I was concerned that perhaps I would need two “servings”, one for the open and one of the closed compartments, but no… just one portion was enough to get the dishes nice and clean.
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I was in such a hurry to get this post up the other night that I didnt include my experimentations from the following day for bulk amounts.  Heres what I’ve done to have the detergent ready at hand, and how Im putting it to practical use.
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Following the proportions for the serving per load recipe, you want:
Homemade Laundry Detergent (in bulk)
1 Cup Borax
1 Cup Washing Soda
1/3 Cup Kosher salt
Per Load: use 2 rounded Tablespoons
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I found a handy-dandy quart mason jar (is there anything a mason jar cannot hold?) and added each ingredient.  Put the lid on and gently toss the bottle upside down and back again until the ingredients have married nicely.
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Now you can either leave it like that or, to be on the safe side, you might want to label the jar very clearly so no one confuses this mixture for a food product.  You dont want a batch of Borax Brownies next time you bake, right?

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Then I measured out 2 rounded Tablespoons and added it to my dishwasher’s open compartment, so i could see visually how much i would need to add next time.  This way I dont have to get out the measuring spoon each time… i can just dump the right amount in by eyeballing it.
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And then lastly, I add a little bit of water (about a Tablespoon’s worth) to the mixture and stir it up a bit.  Its important to do all of this RIGHT before you run the dishwasher so the detergent doesnt get caked up or stuck to the door.
I have done five loads of dishes now with this and each load has come out perfectly clean.  No filmy residue on the cups, pots and pans getting just as clean if not cleaner than they did with the commercial gel detergent, and no residual gunk that I seem to find caked onto some of my taller glasses about every four or five loads or so. 
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So I am sold!  Both the giant box of Washing Soda and the giant box of Borax were 4.99 a box.  I cant begin to think how many washes Im going to get for that combined cost of 10 dollars, and when you think of how much that commercial stuff is, even on sale… for sure Ive got to be saving money.  And while I know that borax is controversial amongst the ecologically-minded (if you’re not a fan of Borax see the link above for a non-borax recipe) but it cant be any worse than what in the pre-packaged stuff.  And by the way, if you have a hard time finding washing soda, Sarah at Nature’s Nurture did a super groovy post on how to make washing soda out of baking soda; check it out here.
If you try this out let me know how it goes! And while Im not one to ask you to pin my posts, do feel free to pin this one if you feel so inclined as I bet there will be others who are interested in this homemade solution for dishwashing detergent.
Happy Dishwashing, Ladies!
Proud to be linking up today with Tiny Tip Tuesdays over at Nature’s Nurture and Anti-Procrastination Tuesdays at New Nastolgia, as well as Frugal Tuesday Tip at Getting Ahead, Teach Me Tuesdays at Growing Home, Show Me What Ya Got at Not Just a Housewife,


Sarah @ Natures Nurture said...

Sweet! I've seen quite a few dishwasher detergent recipes, but never came across one that uses water, and doesn't need the citric acid. I've always thought the citric acid was needed to help with the residue/film on the glasses. But I'm going to take your word for it, since you've done a few loads and haven't had that issue. Yay! I'm going to try this when we get back home next week.

P.S. Thanks for linking up to my washing soda post! :)

The Old-Fashioned Housewife said...

Hey Sarah, yeah thats funny I didnt see any recipes with citric acid, but mind you I didnt look too far. just one or two posts on the topic and my research was done haha. I do have a water-softener, and I have city water, and I would wonder if folks with hard water might need something else. But this is working like gang-busters for me, so Im going to stick with it! Let me know if you try whether or not it works for you. :)

Laura said...

I've haven't seen this recipe yet! The other ones I've tried haven't worked as well as the store bought stuff so I gave up. I might give this one a shot though because I have the ingredients here.
I've made homemade laundry soap though and it's amazing!


Kelly said...

I am so thrilled to have found this recipe! I'll be going out today to pick up supplies. :) Found you through the Frugal Tip Tuesday blog hop. Thanks for sharing!

Diane said...

Please come link up today at The Gathering Spot! Thanks for the recipe can't wait to make it.

Cindee said...

I have experminted with it . we have hard water. I use citric acid, my first batch was unsweetened (lemon only) Kool aid 4 pkgs maybe check Internet. Then ordered citric acid on next batch. Works good. I use vinegar in rinse dispenser and and lemi shine to dishwasher mix compartment. Works great saves me tons and non toxic!! Hope it helps

Anonymous said...

Hi! New reader here! Just popped in due to your update.. I've been using a very similar recipe from DIYnaturals website. It includes the citric acid (or unsweetened koolaid) which I understand is important to prevent the cloudiness you describe. I also sometimes put a drop or two of dish washing liquid sometimes if I have eggy dishes. So far it has worked at least as well as the Finish detergent I was using before! Happy homemaking! Beautiful blog!

Mrs. C.