Tuesday, November 2, 2010

homemade dishwasher detergent

I have been making my own laundry detergent for 18 months now! It doesn't feel like it has been that long but it has. I can't imagine switching back to the store bought stuff. It is easy, cheap and effective! Earlier this week I made six batches of laundry detergent. I should be set for at least a year or more!

So it probably isn't a surprise that I have been wanting to try my hand at homemade dishwasher detergent. I always buy Finish Powerball tablets at Costco. I usually use a 'buy one get one free' coupon but I am not sure if Costco is doing the coupons less often or if I am running the dishwasher more frequently but the last few times I have had to buy the tabs without a coupon. I really was tired of dropping almost $17 for dish soap so yesterday I decided was the day I would finally make my own!

Since the recipe calls for almost all the same ingredients as the laundry detergent the only thing I had to buy was the citric acid. I was able to get it at a local health food store for $12 or so per pound.

homemade dishwasher detergent
1/2 c. washing soda
1/2 c. borax
1/4 c. citric acid granules
1/4 c. kosher salt

Combine ingredients. Use 1 tablespoon detergent per load. *Use white vinegar in the rinse aid compartment.

I used it last night for the first time and the dishes came out sparkling clean. I will reserve judgment for a couple of weeks though before I decide if it is effective long-term.

How about you? Have you made your own laundry detergent or dishwasher detergent? Did you love it or hate it?

19 comments:

My2Gs said...

I have made my own detergent as well. I was told that you can substitute citric acid with lemon kool-aid because it contains citric acid and it's a lot cheaper. However......I had a horrible experience with mine. It hardened in the jar to the point that I couldn't even scrape enough to use for a load. Curious to see if it happens with yours (since you used actual citric acid).

merathon said...

now where do you buy the washing soda and borax?

Char @ Crap I've Made said...

FOR SURE keep us updated on this. I think I need to try it. I hate those darn pellets.

Chris said...

I tried this, but somehow the citric acid reacted with the other ingredients, and by two weeks, it was a clumpy mess. So, I tried it without the citric acid and it worked fine. Since moving, our new house has super hard water, and the homemade stuff actually made the dishes even cloudier. Rats. So, I'm back to having to buy the expensive stuff until we can afford a water softener. I hope you have a better experience than I did!

Erin said...

@Merathon- The Borax can be purchased at Wal-mart or Target or Harris Teeter. I have only found the washing soda at Harris Teeter.

Grace said...

I will wait and hear how you like it long term. I have not had luck with homemade dishwasher detergent. Even if my dishes come out ok, the dishwasher itself gets really filthy - yuck! PLEASE do let us know how you like it in a few weeks.

I love my homemade laundry soap though.

Chelsea said...

I have been using laundry detergent for over a year now and won't go back.

I found both washing soda and borax at Kroger/Smith's, as well as another local grocery chain. It's in the same aisle as the laundry soap.

Anonymous said...

I make dishwasher detergent using a similar but different recipe. i don't use citric acid, and i add some tea tree and lavender essential oil. so my recipe is equal parts salt, borax and washing soda with 1 drop of each oil per cup (ie. if i am using 1 c each of the salt borax and washing soda, i would use a total of 6 drops oil (3 each)
you can also order borax or washing soda online through voyageur soap and candle company. they have all sorts of stuff (product, recipes and even packaging!) for making homemade cleaning/beauty stuff!
http://www.voyageursoapandcandle.com/
also as related to the laundry soap. i tried making our own but we CD and i found that the homemade stuff left residue... so it's the one thing i just buy.

Anonymous said...

oh! and i use vinegar as the rinse aid.

jen said...

i used the homemade laundry soap for a while but found that our towels never stayed fresh for longer than a day or two. but i do hate to buy the stuff with all the additives from the store. interested to see how the homemade DW detergent works!

Diana said...

I've used homemade laundry soap for a year now and I love it! It keeps our towels from getting that mildewy smell. It doesn't have the extra bleach in it that commercial detergents do, so every so often I'll do a load or two with commercial and then switch back to homemade.

We used homemade dish detergent for a while but it seemed to make our dishes cloudy. We also had a truly execrable dishwasher so that might have had something to do with it. We'll see, the next time I'm running low on my enormous Costco stash of dish detergent I'm going to try again!

Ms Polka Dot said...

I've been making my own laundry soap for about 6 months and love it! The recipe I have is for a liquid laundry soap, so I can add essential oil to it, but I'm curious to try yours as to not waste water. I'm so excited to try the DW soap!

Anonymous said...

I just made a post in the homemade laudry soap section that I meant to post here. No matter. I did the same thing with dishwashing soap as I did with laundry soap. That is: I tried the homemade and found it to be just ok. In the end the dishes were clean, but cloudy over time.

Instead of making my own, I buy name brands with coupons. On average i'm paying about $1.90/bottle. Like with the laundry detergent, I wait until there is a high value coupon out AND there is a sale. I buy the coupon in bulk on ebay. (I usually pay about $1.50/20 coupons.) I use the coupons at the store (usually Target or CVS) and stock up.

Generally speaking I buy dishwashing soap 2x a year.

joyfullyjulie said...

Where do you get citric acid granuales? I would like to try this.

semicrunchymama said...

I've been making homemade laundry detergent for a few months now, and love it! I doubt I'll ever go back to store-bought, now that I know how easy it is to prepare and how well it works.

I've never tried homemade dishwasher detergent, but now I'm intrigued. I'm going to check to see if my local health food store has citric acid next time I go. Please keep us posted on how it works long-term!

Anonymous said...

I've been using homemade detergent for a couple months and love it. I also found a recipe for homemade Cloth Diaper detergent and am also satisfied with that.

I think I might give the dishwasher detergent a shot. I store mine in all the giant left-over pickle jars we have.

magi said...

Good concept that u have done .its nice to see do ur best thing in this

Commercial Dishwasher

prolix said...

I actually enjoyed reading through this posting. Many thanks.
Commercial Dishwasher

shelly brown said...

Great tips..thanks for sharing… Your blog really inspired me. Actually I generally use the same method to make my own home made dish wash detergent. I used few ingredients 1 cup of baking soda in a bowl add 1 cups of borax, ¼ cup of kosher salt and add 3 drops of dawn dish washer liquid after that mix up in a plastic container now it is ready to use.

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