Thursday, April 5, 2012

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent with Scouring Power

I finally went to the store last night and got the remaining ingredients for homemade dishwasher detergent.  We ran out of the regular store brand detergent yesterday afternoon, and I decided now was the time.

I've experimented in the past with vinegar as my rinsing aid in the dishwasher, so I knew that was going to work well....and CHEAP! 

I've scoured the internet for recipes and combined several ingredients to make my own.  I needed something a bit abrasive, like a scouring agent, because one of my boys' chores is to help load the dishwasher.....and let's just say he doesn't always get them rinsed off properly beforehand.

Alrighty roo, so here is my recipe, and I'll also list alternative ingredients you could use.

Ingredients before mixing

Dishwasher Detergent with Scouring Power
  • 1 cup Borax
  • 1 cup Washing Soda
  • 1/4 cup Kosher Salt (scouring power)
  • 5 single serving packets or .70oz  SUGAR-FREE Lemonade (ONLY LEMON)
  • Vinegar (White)
  • Dawn Dish Soap

Combine Borax, Washing Soda, Salt, and Lemonade together in a container.  I used a shatterproof jar with a locking lid (found at Wal-Mart) since my boys help with the dishes!
When you're ready to run a load of dishes, put 1-2 TBSP in the dispenser, depending on whether it's a full load or super grimy.  Also put 3 (and only 3!) drops of Dawn Dish Soap in the dispenser with powder ( put too much in, and you might have an overflow problem!) Lastly....put vinegar in the rinse-aid dispenser or splash a little in the bottom of dishwasher.

The Salt is not only awesome to use for scouring, but if you live in an area with hard water, it helps soften the water. The vinegar , as a rinse-aid, helps leave your dishes spot-free. 

I tried not using the Dawn Dish soap and and was left with a little cakey powder around dispenser and few streaks on plastic ware.  I think the soap helps suds up the powder better. 

*I made a double batch because I had  bought a large container. 

Alternative Ingredients
  • Sugar-Free Lemonade=1/4 cup Citric Acid or Fruit Fresh or 2 packets SF lemonade (kool-aid)
  • Dawn Dish Soap=Any Dish Soap will Do
  • Washing Soda=Baking Soda
I used the Sugar-Free Lemonade only because it was what was available to me in our small community.  But, it does have the citric acid in it to help clean your dishes.  Just make sure if you do use the lemonade that it is SUGAR-FREE! 

Math Break-down

76oz = 4.29

Washing Soda
55oz = 2.19

Kosher Salt

48oz = 2.14
4oz = .17/batch

Dawn Dish Soap
24 oz.=2.83
3  Drops=?

Sugar-Free Lemonade
1.41 oz=1.74
.70 oz.=.87/batch
Total cost for 24 oz batch= $1.81

Comparison with Store Brand
Palmolive® eco+ gel 75 ounce detergent – $3.79 – 28 loads = $0.14 per load

Homemade powder 24 ounce detergent – $1.81– 48 loads = $0.03 per load

Rinse-Aid Comparison
FINISH® JET-DRY® Rinse Agent 4.22 ounce solution – $3.99 – 1 fill = $3.99 per fill

White Vinegar as a Rinse Agent 1 gallon solution – $1.79 – 1 fill = $0.06 per fill

Homemade Detergent and Vinegar Rinse-Aid Vs. Store Brand Detergent and Brand Name Rinse-Aid
.09 cents per fill VS. $4.13 per fill!
Not only is this a much cheaper way to wash your's more natural without added chemicals!
Time to wash another load!!

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