I ran out of dishwasher powder recently and figured that it was as good a time as any to try making it myself. I’m very slowly eliminating or at least cutting back on the chemicals in the house by attrition. It’s the easiest way I’ve found to make a change – just run out of other options. I’m not about to waste anything that I already have and the others are more likely to accept the new ideas if they have no other choice. So, homemade dishwasher soap was born at our house.
And I’m almost certain that nobody else even noticed this small change. The dishes look exactly the same as they did with the old dishwasher soap.
I had a plan in motion to make this as soon as I ran out, so I ordered some citric acid on-line from Well.ca (no shipping charges in Canada). The rest of the ingredients I already had on hand from making my peppermint laundry soap powder.
If you are wondering what the little sachet thingie in front of the powder is for – citric acid can clump up, so I read a suggestion about adding rice to the powder to absorb moisture. My diswasher doesn’t have a food grinder and food tends to circulate around in it if the dishes aren’t scraped off, so adding some rice to the powder didn’t make a lot of sense to me. Instead, I cut the toe out of an old pair of pantyhose (haven’t worn pantyhose in years) and poured some rice in it and knotted it. I just keep it in the jar. Problem solved. Also, if it clumps up a bit, just shake it vigourously with the lid on or stir it around a bit.
Here is how to make it (I found this at DIYnatural):
Dishwasher Soap Recipe
- 1 cup borax
- 1 cup washing soda
- 1/2 cup citric acid
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
Add all ingredients to a jar or empty container of some kind and shake to mix. Use 1 tbsp per load of dishes.
They recommend using vinegar for a rinse agent. I don’t. I have hard water, BUT I use a water softener and have never found the need for a rinse agent. I also only use 1 tbsp per load (even when I’m using the regular store bought powder – because I’ve never found that you have to fill up the whole little well for the dishsoap – my dishes have always come out clean using the bare minimum. No need to waste extra soap.
It’s been working great (better than having my husband do the dishes) – the dishes are clean and there has been no residue left behind.
Now I just need some hints to keep my kids from disappearing before they get the dishwasher loaded.