We’ve always been very frugal people. We try to buy in bulk to reduce cost per unit, we try not to use water and power unless necessary, and lately, we’ve added making our own household products to that list.
It gives me a good feeling to know that we’re saving money and reducing the amount of harmful chemicals we use on a daily basis. It’s also quite fun and fulfilling to know we’re making what we use on a daily basis.
Let’s add something else to that growing list of homemade products: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent!
What You Need:
- 1 Cup Borax
- 1 Cup Washing Soda
- 1/2 Cup Baking Soda
- 4 packages of unsweetened lemonade mix
- Mix all ingredients together.
- Store in an air-tight container. (We reuse glass jars from things like store-bought salsa.)
- When you’re ready to run the dishwasher, go ahead and fill both cups.
- Does your dishwasher have a rinse aid container? Fill it with citrus vinegar cleaner! Your dishes will come out crystal clear!
This recipe works well for my family in our current location. When we move, things may change. Right now, we’re on city water, but results may vary from city to city. You’ll also get different results with well water.
Tips for Cleaner Dishes
There are a few things you can do no matter what type of water you’re using or where you live that will make any detergent work better in your machine.
1) Scrub Your Dishes – This doesn’t mean you have to wash them completely by hand. You don’t need to soap them up and wash them before you wash them. Just make sure you scrape the food off of them before you put them into the machine. This will also help reduce the amount of gunk you have when you clean the machine.
2) Don’t Overcrowd the Machine – You want to run a full load of dishes to make sure you’re not wasting water or power. But if you pack the machine too full, the water won’t be able to get to the dishes good.
3) Preheat Your Water – Just before you run a load, turn on the kitchen sink and run the hot water until it is hot to the touch. By doing this, your first dishwasher fill cycle will be hot instead of cold.
4) Clean Your Dishwasher – Keep the seals on the machine clean and clear of dirt and food particles, clean and empty the food from the drain, check the spinning sprayer arms for buildup, and run a load of citrus vinegar cleaner every month so your machine stays clean.
As I said before, my recipe works great for me. If you try it, and it’s not quite working for you, here are three more that you might want to try.
- Make Your Own Dishwasher Detergent – Mom 4 Real
- Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Recipe – Happy Money Saver
- Homemade Dishwasher Detergent – Wellness Mama