Monday, August 06, 2012

Making our own dishwasher soap (updated)

I was pretty sure that the laundry detergent we made was going to be OK based on all my friends who use similar versions. I was less confident however, that homemade dishwasher soap would work.

I figured it was worth a try though, because we run at least a load of dishes a day and the gel-packs I like to use aren't exactly cheap.

I looked at a few different recipes and decided on this one at Homestead Revival, mainly because it was simple and I had all the ingredients. I used the washing soda and Borax I had left from making the laundry detergent. I bought the citric acid from Amazon for around $12. I used 2 ounces so have enough to make 7 more batches. I figured if this didn't work I could still use the citric acid to clean the dishwasher and still save money over the commercial dishwasher cleaners.
Here are the ingredients.
I strongly recommend you read Amy's post on Homestead Revival as she gives good information about the ingredients and if you should or should not use salt in the recipe. She also recommends using vinegar as a rinse agent, which we haven't tried yet since we keep forgetting to buy it.

Dishwasher soap recipe:

1/2 cup borax
1/2 cup washing soda
1/4 cup food grade citric acid

I pored it all into into this Ziploc container and shook it up. Super easy.

Like I said, I wasn't all that confident that it would work. Rich was even less confident. We have used it every day this past week though and it is working great. I use a little less than a tablespoonful each time. I should get about 36 loads from this at about 5 cents a load.

UPDATE: It just never quite worked as I had hoped. We have had a few really good loads come out, but mostly I have ended up washing things twice. We are going back to commercial products until we can figure out what we need more/less of. 

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