Okay, I know you are going to think that I AM a crunchy-granola kind of mom when I tell you that I started making my own dishwasher detergent. Well, I’m still not.
I know you are starting to doubt me, but follow my logic…
Store-bought soap is pricey, homemade soap is not. Homemade soap works better than store bought. Any questions?
I found this recipe at DIY Natural. I already had most of the ingredients for dishwasher soap, because I had bought them when I made homemade laundry soap (and I already had the salt), so it really was a no brainer to switch over to homemade dishwasher soap.
Homemade Dishwasher Soap
1 cup Borax
1 cup washing soda
½ cup *kosher salt (*I used regular table salt, and it worked just fine.)
½ cup *citric acid (double this if you have hard water) (*I used 1 cup Lemishine found next to the rinse aids in the dishwasher-soap isle at Wal-Mart.) (You can also find citric acid in the canning isle, but I think you get more Lemishine for the money. JMO.)
Mix everything together and store in a plastic container. Use 1 Tbsp per load. Use white vinegar in the rinse aid compartment of your dishwasher to help keep your dishes from getting spotty. If you buy the blue rinse aid stuff at the store look at spending $3.75 or more per 30 loads. If you use white vinegar, you’ll be spending about $0.06 per 30 loads. Hello! (When I use white vinegar in stuff other than for dying Easter eggs, I feel like Martha Stewart!)
I am very pleased with how well my dishes turn out. They look better than when I washed them with the store-bought stuff. (And I used the
good expensive stuff!)
The glass on the left was washed with homemade soap and the glass on the right was washed with the
good expensive store-bought stuff.
So, would you switch?
This recipe will clump. To reduce clumping, add a few tablespoons of rice in a cheese cloth and tie it up. The rice will pull out the moisture and keep the detergent from clumping.
Disclaimer: If you have hard water, you may have to adjust the amount of citric acid (or LemiShine) that you use, to keep your dishes from getting cloudy. Also, I’ve read that some people have had problems with the kosher salt being too abrasive on their dishes, because of the larger crystals. I use regular table salt and have had no problems. If you use table salt, you may want to get the kind without iodine, but that’s what I had, so that’s what I used.
(This picture has nothing to do with dish soap, but I thought it was cute!)
I was going to tell you about how I made pre-measured soap biscuits. (or whatever you call them, I can’t think what they are called, so I’m going with soap biscuits. I think it has a certain ring to it, don’t you? Soap Biscuits…) Anyhoo, I was going to tell you how I made these little pre-measured biscuit thingys, but my experiment failed. And when I say “failed”, I mean, it FAILED. I will spare you with all the details, but lets just say it involved my oven and my food processor. Don’t ask!!!
So it’s back to square one for me. If anyone has any idea how to make soap biscuits, please let me know. Let me re-phrase that… If you have tried to make them and had success, let me know how you did it.
*Update: I did figure this out. It took awhile, but here they are DIY Dishwasher Soap Packets.