*Please see notes at the bottom for additional help and tips added by readers.
I don’t have a dishwasher. I’m weird and like to wash my dishes by hand. Most of the time, I want my dishes right after I wash them to use again…especially if I’m in a cooking frenzy. I hate the thought of waiting for them to wash and waiting for them to dry. Good grief. No thanks. There was a dishwasher here when we moved in, but I used it to store cake pans. Finally, I told Barry to get the silly thing out of my house and replace it with something useful – a cabinet for my pans. He did, and now I’m happy. That being said, I know most of you have a dishwasher and I’ve had requests to post a homemade dishwasher soap recipe. So, I did tons of research…and here’s what I found out – it’s hit or miss. Really. Some people like it, and some people don’t. The recipes I found were all similar, so that’s the one I’m going to give to you today. To get it tested, I gave some to three of my friends and they’ll review it for you at the end. It’s a very simple recipe. You’ll only need salt (regular), borax, and baking soda. That’s it. We like to keep it simple here at Stacy Makes Cents. Simplicity is bliss…….it’s also a pattern company.
Grab a mixing bowl and a whisk. You’ll need to measure 1 cup of salt into your bowl. (See note at the bottom about salt.)
Now, add your borax and baking soda – two cups of each. Mix it together……my borax is always clumpy. I ended up mixing it up with my hands. It feels sorta weird. Almost like a face scrub……but, don’t put this on your face. Thank you.
I separated mine out into baggies to take to my laboratory rats…I mean, friends. If you make this at home, you need to store it in an airtight container. Any moisture will cause it to clump up. Clump, clumpy…I’m getting technical today. Store it in a pretty glass jar. Have I ever told you I have a thing for pretty glass jars?
I wrote the instructions on the bag. Use two tablespoons of detergent, then put white vinegar in the rinse compartment. No, your dishes won’t smell like pickles. Remember that white vinegar loses its scent when it evaporates. I clean my whole house with it and I never have someone come in and say “Hmmmm, are you making pickles today?”
All the recipes said to put one tablespoon in each compartment. I have no idea what that means. Maybe you do…..so, put one tablespoon in each compartment. I sent the baggies on their merry way. Then, I awaited results.
My friend Tia from Sweet T – It’s a Way of Life was my first tester. She’s always looking for a good time, so I knew she wouldn’t freak out if something exploded. The picture is Tia’s “before” photo. Here’s what she said:I used the detergent several times and I was very pleased with it. It seems to get the dishes every bit as clean as the “commercial” stuff. I’m not one to wash my dishes before I wash them, so a load in my dishwasher isn’t an easy feat for the detergent either! It did seem to leave a little bit of residue on the glasses, just kind of a film, but I’m personally not someone who worries about my glasses sparkling in the daylight. And it’s not a BAD residue, just a little. Once when I used it, there was quite a bit of it gunked up in the little dispenser area where you put your detergent, but it only happened the one time, so it doesn’t seem to be a recurring problem. I was a little curious as to whether or not my dishes would all smell like vinegar, but they don’t. All and all, I thought it was very good stuff!
This is Tia’s “after” photo. Wow! Looks pretty clean to me! So, we get a thumbs up from Tia. Thanks to my partner in stockpiling crime! Do you smell pickles?
My second tester was Kim. She’s my neighbor and my guinea pig. Sometimes she gets busy and forgets things THAT I TELL HER TO DO! But anyway, she didn’t take a photo of her dishes. I am retaliating by posting her photo on my blog. I didn’t have anything of her in her PJs with her hair all matted….she’s pretty all the time anyway which makes me want to kick her sometimes – but I love her anyway. Here is what Kim had to say:I will admit that I was a bit skeptical because of the dishwashing detergent being “homemade” and the fact that it took so little for a full load of dishes. Although I always rinse my dishes off before I load them in the dishwasher, to keep down any odors, as it may be 2-3 days before I actually have a full load, I have found that sometimes there will be a fork, spoon, maybe even a bowl that doesn’t come out all the way clean. I was expecting that very same thing with your homemade version of dishwashing detergent. Much to my surprise, I didn’t have any dishes that were not completely clean. I missed adding the 2 Tbsp of vinegar during the rinse cycle and a few dishes were a little spotty but I didn’t do my part, therefore, can’t blame the homemade detergent/version.We get a thumbs up from Kim too! Although she says her dishes were a tad spotty, just like Tia who DID use the vinegar. Hmmmmmm. Thanks Kim! Love ya! 😉
My third tester was my friend and mentor, Lori. She puts up with a lot from me…..because I ask lots of questions and mess up a lot. She is very patient. I am quite sure she qualifies for sainthood. This is Lori’s “before” photo. Here is her take on the detergent:Having used the dishwasher soap for about 6 loads, I have mixed results. The dishes were just as clean as when I use Electrasol which was my biggest concern. I refuse to rinse (prewash) my dishes before I wash them in the dishwasher so I wondered if the homemade soap would work with that. It really did – they came out very clean. My problem is that after a few washes I began to see a “film” developing on my glasses. This may have been as a result of the fact that my rinse agent reservoir was already full when I started the experiment and was unable to use the suggested vinegar?
This is her “after” photo (thanks Dana!) and you can see that the dishes are very clean. Once again, we have the spotty issue, but overall the results are good. Thank you Lori! JSo, it seems that the stuff works pretty well. If you don’t mind your glasses not being shiny, this might be an option for you. However, the white vinegar might fix that problem. I’ve heard that it can vary place to place due to the different types of water. It’s cheap enough that you could make some and see if it works for you. Make a half batch to try first. If you do try it, I would love to have your review below for other readers.Thanks to my guinea pigs! I love you guys.
Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Recipe 1
Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Recipe 2
|Notes from Readers:|
The Lemi Shine is what will make your dishes sparkle and have NO residue. Lemi Shine is comprised of 100% all natural fruit acids and oils. It contains NO phosphates or fillers. Add 1 cup lemi shine to the recipe
I use 10 pkgs lemon kool-aid per recipe for the citric acid to cut down on film on the glasses
With the addition of salt in the recipe, you need baking soda, not washing soda. Cut out the salt and you’d use washing soda.
For those with spots, wash your dishes and then run again with a compartment of citric acid. Sparkly clean!
You can also add lemon juice instead of vinegar to the rinse aid compartment, if you prefer.
NOW brands has a 5 lb jar of citric acid that I bought at my natural foods store for $10 or less
|This post is linked at Make Your Own Monday at Nourishing Treasures.|
Homemade Dishwasher Detergent
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