Wednesday, February 16, 2011

homemade dishwasher detergent: the results

Way back in November I posted about making and using homemade dishwasher detergent. I promised I would share the results with you and I am finally making good on that promise!

I should mention that I have a very basic dishwasher, no bells or whistles and it is probably a good 10 years old or more. I rarely do more than rinse dishes before loading them in the dishwasher and when I do scrub it's usually only casserole dishes or the crockpot- you know, baked on stuff.

The first few loads of dishes turned out perfect, clean and spot free. After that I noticed that particles of food were stuck to the plates and bowls. I decided to make sure to scrub the all dishes before loading them in the dishwasher. I figured it would be worth the extra time and effort to save money and and be gentler to the environment. The scrubbing took care of the food on the dishes but then I noticed that plastic items were greasy and glasses were foggy at the end of the wash cycle. I doubled the amount of soap and added white vinegar but nothing got the dishes clean enough.

Long story short, the homemade stuff sucked and I am back to using the electrasol tabs. You can't win them all, right?

21 comments:

Joy said...

I make my own laundry detergent, buth haven't tried the dishwasher soap. Thanks for sharing your findings.
♥ Joy

Steph said...

Ditto here. Our homemade stuff worked great as long as I added large amounts of LemiShine, but then the only store in our area that carried it stopped. I'm back to my Earth-Friendly brand detergent. It works great, is environmentally friendly, and I get it for cheap from Amazon.com.

Thanks for remembering to update us!

Danielle said...

Thanks for giving the review. I was wondering how it worked out.

Andrea said...

My recipe is the same as yours except I didn't use the citric acid. I ulternate each load between store bought and homemade and so far so good:) sorry it didn't work out for you.

Crystal said...

Sometimes those fancy appliances revolt against naturalness. They are designed for hardcore chemical applications (mine even has a space specifically labeled for "JetDry" on it.) I use an eco friendly detergent since we have septic and it leeches not that far from my garden and splash in a good healthy dose of white vinegar in the bottom before I wash.

It's the best I can do.

WOM-MOMS said...

We like the Cascade tabs, but I hear ya. Do you have any other natural cleaning products that you've tried and liked? I've never purchased/made any cuz I didn't know if they'd work.

www.wom-mom.com

kera said...

we've been using the homemade stuff for about a month, maybe longer and haven't had any issues...except for when dishes aren't rinsed enough. i am finding that i HAVE to rinse but like you said worth the $$ saved and environment friendly! our washer is about 5 1/2 years old, we have a "rinse aid" compartment that i have to pour the vinegar in, is yours that way? i hope ours continues to work, just made up a 2nd batch yesterday and am very pleased overall! we were using 7th gen prior to this so i'm really saving a bunch of $$!

Jen said...

Just discovered the BEST stuff to add with your dishwasher. Lemme Shine. We have hard water and my dishes were looking just awful. Now, I add a teensie bit with electrosol and I am blinded by the silverware drawer now. Good stuff.

Karen said...

I had the same exact issues that you had. I also had these issues with the Shaklee dishwashing detergent. I guess some things are best store bought....

jt said...

Me too! I use it for laundry detergent and I'm totally happy with it, but when I tried to adapt it to the dishwasher- Yuck. Just last night I told Timm I was tired of that experiment and we were going back to expensive crap.

my dad said...

We now use both 7th GENERATION dishwashing liquid (works as good if not better then dawn) and detergent. However, I discovered that my 10+ year old basic, bottom-of-the-line-dishwasher, doesn't like the powder version-so we buy the liquid/gel one. I've found it cheap at Walmart ($3.75 a bottle) plus I get a $1 off coupon monthly from their website. Works the same as conventional AND its better for the environment. ;o)

-bri

Mrs. So and So said...

I had the exact same experience! I tried a couple different formulas, but I am back to the tabs too!

April said...

Method makes a great natural dishwashing tablet called Smarty Dish. It's found at Target or methodhome.com to find a store. It's really effective (better than Electrasol!)

Simply Charming Life said...

I have a (sort of) solution, I use the homemade in my first wash, and the cascade gel tab in the section wash (closed through first wash). In this way, I am still using my homemade to scrub, but the final wash rinses much clearer, as I was having the same problems as you.
Also, just started a blog myself, and I linked your lovely kitchen, great idea and pic! thanks so much. Kim at SimplyCharmingLife@blogspot.com

Sascha said...

Ah, I've been awaiting the result. Now I won't bother cause I have a seriously old machine. Like dinosaur old. And I like clean dishes. Sorry environment and pocketbook.

Caroline said...

I also recommend Method dishwashing products - eco-friendly (both the products and the company) and work great. I only use Method in my home now (love the wood cleaner!)

Kathy said...

Sadly my result was the same as yours. I switched back to the regular stuff. I just use coupons to buy it so it's not such a major hit to my wallet.

Knit 2 Sew said...

I made dishwasher soap and found that mine came out cloudy and ugly ...experimenting later liquid soap squirted into the dishwasher with the homemade soap. worked great. our dishwasher is a hunk of crap so beyond handwashing everything myself this works pretty good...oh and do a vinegar rinse in between washings (works great on not having to clean the machine by hand.

Bec said...

Thank you so much for posting this! I read tons of posts about people starting this sort of thing, but never about how it worked out for them. So thanks. Too bad it didn't work, but good to know.

Have you tried making homemade LAUNDRY detergent? If so, did THAT work for you? I'm interested in making some, but as of now am stuck on Tide, etc, as it actually WORKS and doesn't fade and dull my clothes. Hm... worth wondering.

Love your blog.

Tyree said...

electrosol or finish as it's now known puts out great $2.25 off coupons that go great with a sale for $2.50 or $3 I buy a bunch with coupons for 25-75cents a box of twenty and homemade is way more than that so I say---use what you like you can still save money!!:) www.fabulesslyfrugal.com www.athriftymom.com and www.commonsensewithmoney.com are my three favorite coupon blogs anyway I love finish/electrosol and had to tell you you can also get it cheap--
ps congrats on the cute baby!

shelly brown said...

Great tips..Generally I use the same method to make my own homemade dishwasher detergent..thanks for sharing such a lovely recepie...


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