Matches for: “dishwasher soap” …

homemade dishwasher soap powder

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 (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.

Linking to A Pinch of Joy, Addicted to Recipes, Frugally Sustainable, A Delightful Home, Like a Mustard Seed

slow living update – March 2013

early morning April fools

early morning April fools

Happy April Fool’s Day. I was going to write about March going out like a lamb this year (it did – we had beautiful weather this week). However, this morning we woke up to a bit of snow falling. At least this snow won’t stay. It’s above freezing outside and most of the snow melted away this weekend. Things will start to green up shortly, which means that there will soon be a lot more work to do on the weekends. There are a lot of flower gardens here at the farm as well as lawn. Luckily the tall kid learned to mow lawn last year. We’ll keep her busy and out of trouble.

I’m following the example at Slow Living Essentials again this month and using her categories to summarize my month and list some things I’d like to accomplish.



Easy meals were the focus of this month – mostly because the time change halfway through kicked our butts and we were all dragging by the end of the day. There was a lot of breakfast for dinner in the evenings. We made up for it on weekends, even trying out pasta making for the first time. The dad tried his hand at homemade lasagna. Now he wants a pasta roller. One small success and it went to his head.

I didn’t write much about food or recipes this month (actually, I didn’t write much this month at all), but I did post about making ginger syrup and homemade gingerale.


We are still in the process of emptying out the freezers in order to fill them up again this summer.


I’ve got plans for some projects that would fit in here, but they didn’t get accomplished this month. Some closet clean-outs have some sweaters and ripped jeans stacked up in the sewing room waiting to have a few things made out of them. I have an old corner shelf that would make a great stable for the small kid’s horses with a little paint and a few additions. I’m just waiting for warmer weather and for the dad to clean me off a workspace in the woodshop.

We also bought a new (to us) vehicle to shuttle me back and forth to my new job in the city. My old car was ok for driving back and forth to my job in town, but wouldn’t be reliable enough for longer distances each day. We found a vehicle that is in very good shape for being almost 10 years old and should be able to get me through some good snowstorms for several years. We always buy used and the dad keeps the vehicles in reasonable running order. This one is a little bigger than the rest and feels a bit like I am driving a house, but I will be safe and the mileage is the same as my old vehicle.

{Green – cleaners, body products and basic herbal remedies}:

I made a hair mask to help tame some of the winter frizz in my hair.

I’ve also made some more of the dishwasher soap – and I forgot that I am supposed to leave the lid off for a few days or everything will clump and harden. I put it all in the food processor, whirred it up and let it sit to dry out again on a cookie sheet on the counter for a day and the problem resolved.


Nothing is growing here at the moment, except the pile of books that I need to return to the library.



I finally unpacked and set up the sewing room, but haven’t as yet done anything in it. I put a small old oriental rug of the dad’s grandmother down on the floor, scored an unused rolling desk chair from the dad’s shop and am ready to go to work. Soon. I can feel it.

I did finish the pair of socks, finally (which the tall kid tells me are going to be hers) and have started a Lady Kina sweater for myself. It it works out well, I can see making more than one of these.



I’ve finally got my reading groove back. I finished a couple of books in one night (Before I Go To Sleep and The Glass Castle) and have been working my way through the rest of the pile. I found a couple of Harrowsmith Magazine cookbooks that have been great to read through – I miss that magazine now that it is out of print.


{Enhance – community}:

The hockey season finally wrapped up last weekend, so the dad’s coaching obligation for this year is at an end. His gig as Master of Ceremonies at a local dinner went well, but hopefully we will have a few quiet Saturdays coming up before the next busy season starts.

I went to a Talents of Our Town sale last weekend as well and found a great hand loomed locally made rug for our freezing cold upstairs bathroom floor and bought a new supply of handmade soap from a local island resident that makes great soaps. I also found a local supplier for lye, so I am soon going to try making my own. I just need to get off my lazy behind.


My husband and I just got back from our first weekend away by ourselves in a couple of years. We try to do that every year or two, but I think three years had passed since we last went away. This year we stayed in downtown Toronto at the Royal York and spent a few days walking around downtown and eating way too much.

Linked to Frugally Sustainable, GNOWFGLINS

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slow living 2012 – August

Now that August has finished, it seems like summer is over even though we officially have until September 22. We are into our last long weekend of the summer and it started off with a blue moon and a peaceful Friday night. I sat outside after everyone else was asleep last night watching the moon, listening to the crickets, frogs and coyotes and even attempted (though not entirely successfully) to take some pictures.

School starts again after this weekend, along with getting up early to pack lunches, brush hair and find matching clothes – all things that we let slide a little over the summer. Hockey will even be starting up soon. I just had to register both girls last night before the deadline. The dad will probably be coaching again this year. I think he likes it more than he lets on.

I’m following the example at Slow Living Essentials again this month, and using her categories to summarize my month and list some things I’d like to accomplish.


We’ve been eating fresh fruits and vegetables with our meals all month and a few treats thrown in here and there. I wrote about spiced chocolate cookies, breakfast bacon and cheddar popoverssun-dried tomato pesto and chocolate coconut butter.

I have noticed that when I add a post about food to this space, it is usually either a baked treat or something to do with preserving the excess from the garden. I don’t post dinner recipes because our dinners tend to be simple meals of meat, starch and vegetables. We occasionally make a special dish or pasta, but the main meals are simple and usually quick to come together. The dad is the main cook while I am the bottle washer. He does it so much better than I do.


Here is where things started to get serious around here this month. So far we have frozen peaches, green peppers and jalapeno peppers (chopped or cut in strips), marinara sauce and oven roasted tomato sauce. I’ve made oven-dried tomatoes, 2 more gallons of pickles and started to ferment some jalapeno peppers to make my own hot sauce. This weekend we’ll be making more tomato sauce, some stewed tomatoes and passata and we’ll pick, blanch and freeze green beans if there are enough ready. The freezer is getting quite full already, and we’re not done yet. Good thing there are two of them.


I fail in this category. I used the air conditioner quite a bit this month in an attempt to make life comfortable. I also used my dryer for the same reasons. It was just too hot to do otherwise.


I’m still loving the homemade laundry soap and dishwasher soap. Once you have the various parts needed to make them up, it’s easy to keep making it. The citric acid seems to work great in my dishwasher – we have no issues with residue on our dishes.

As far as other homemade products go, I made a lavender bath soak to help me sleep earlier this week. It makes a nice bath, and I’ll be trying it out some more in the cooler months.


The garden survived the drought of the early summer and produced like crazy. We’ve nearly been drowned in tomatoes. Our cucumber vines have finished now, and the melons are soon going to be finished as well. We also missed the boat on the broccoli this year – we didn’t pay attention for a few days and they all bolted. I’m ok with that – I have always been squeamish about the little green worms in brocolli. Ick.

We’ve also pulled the onions, which are drying nicely on the garage floor. I might try to braid them up this weekend if we left enough of a tail on them.

And just to quickly list the rest of the garden, we have still to finish with the zucchini, potatoes, beans, canteloupe, watermelon, squash, pumpkin, beets, kohlrabi, cabbage and brussels sprouts. There is probably more, but I can’t think what else we planted at the moment. The biggest disappointment this year was our carrots. We harvested 6. Yep, 6. I put them all in the tomato sauce.

My flower beds are about to spring into action again as the sedum are huge and about ready to turn colour. The dry summer has even started to turn some of the trees yellow and reddish a little early this year.


I started a sweater for the tall hormonal kid this month (she chose the cotton for it). I’m using a pattern for a sweater worn in the movie We Bought A Zoo, but changing it quite a bit. Hopefully it works out the way I see it in my head. If not, it will be unravelled and made into a lot of cotton dishcloths.


I read a few books this month, but not as many as I normally would have. I’m part way through two Barbara Kingsolver books and enjoying them both. I don’t usually read more than one book at a time, but this month I have a bit of a short attention span and wandering focus. The Michael Connelly was a quick read and good. The Grocery Gardening book was an impulse purchase at the grocery store and had a few interesting bits and pieces, but overall not worth the price of purchase. And Emeril’s cookbook is great. We share an interest in bacon fat.

{Enhance – community}:

As far as community goes, we continue to buy local fruits as they are available, the kids have been part of summer community camps and we had a bbq to bring together some friends that we don’t get a chance to see very often.


We enjoyed our bbq weekend with friends – they stayed over in guest rooms and tents, we sat up late, rose early, went swimming and enjoyed breakfast together.

What else did we do – there were summer camps – the tall hormonal kid learned how to cook at a leadership camp and treated myself and my co-workers to a quiche, soup, salad and pie luncheon. Both girls enrolled in a riding camp and the small squeaky kid managed to master two jumps in a row with her pony, and the tall kid once again got comfortable at a canter.

We went out for dinner, entertained at home, swam whenever we had the chance, visited with friends and relatives, celebrated a neighbour’s new retirement, celebrated my birthday and went to a housewarming bbq at my mom’s new home.

And our standout customer of the month was a polite young tattoo artist who phoned and asked if he could store his newly purchased (used) hearse in our storage barns. He’d been turned away from other storage places because the owners were too squeamish. The dad’s answer was that yes, we had the space, but we’d prefer the hearse came empty.

Another busy, occasionally strange, but interesting month.

Linking to Frugally Sustainable, White Wolf Summit Farmgirl, Mind Body and Sole, Simple Lives Thursday

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