Because she asked for a tried and true recipe, I've been searching around the 'net for one. I found out that many people use the simple 1:1 borax to washing soda recipe, but hate the film it leaves on their glassware. And then I remembered....I DID try this recipe...almost seven years ago. It did indeed leave a nasty film on the glassware, one that took almost a year to come off through regular washing. Yuck, grrrr, and no thanks.
Then I found this recipe at DIY Natural, which says commercial dishwashing agents include citric acid, and that's what keeps the film away. (By the way, the author of DIY Natural is the same author of Debt Free Adventure, which is a wonderful site for motivation and information about living a debt free life!)
Here is Matt Jabs' recipe:
5 SIMPLE INGREDIENTS
* 1 – 55 ounce box of Arm & Hammer® Super Washing Soda = $3.99
* 1 – 76 ounce box of 20 Mule Team® Borax = $4.99
* 1 – 48 ounce box of coarse Kosher Salt = $1.99
* 1 – 2 ounce container of food-grade Citric Acid = $1.15 You can find this online or at your local brewery or specialty beer store. If you cannot find this you can substitute 10-15 lemon Kool-aid envelopes per batch **the small unsweetened ones**, if you use any other flavor you could easily color the inside of your dishwasher (you need 10-15 envelopes to equal the 1-2oz of straight citric acid.) If you do not use some form of citric acid… you will most likely have the cloudy residue left that most “green” cleaners leave.
* 1 – gallon of White Vinegar = $1.79
COST BREAKDOWN & SAVINGS
Prior to making our own, we were using Palmolive eco+ liquid detergent. Here is the breakdown in cost analysis:
* borax | 76oz = 4.99 | 8oz=.53/batch
* washing soda | 55oz = 3.99 | 8oz=.57/batch
* citric acid | 2oz = 1.15/batch
* kosher salt | 48oz = 1.99 | 2oz= .08/batch
* total for 32 oz = $2.33/batch
* white vinegar (as rinse agent) | 1gal = 1.79 | 4oz=.06/fill
(**note** you only need to use 1 rounded tablespoon of this homemade detergent per load. If you feel it necessary… you may use a heaping tablespoon, but I do not.)
* Palmolive® eco+ gel 75 ounce detergent – $3.79 – 28 loads = $0.14 per load
* Jabs Homemade powder 32 ounce detergent – $2.33 – 50 loads = $0.05 per load
Here are the cost savings for my homemade rinse agent that goes along with this recipe:
* 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
That is a savings of 6650% on an effective rinse agent! Sounds too good to be true… but it is indeed true!
[I'm not sure where the Jabs' live, but I'm sure that my prices on all ingredients are a bit cheaper. Even so, homemade is probably cheaper than store-bought, no matter where you live!]
SIMPLE RECIPE & MAKING OF A BATCH
Each batch yields 32 ounces of resulting product which you should store in some type of container you were going to dispose of. I suggest something 1 gallon size or smaller so you can fit it under your kitchen sink; old coffee cans work great.
1. Start with these 5 ingredients:
2. Into a 32 ounce container – add 1/2 cup of borax:
3. Add 1/2 cup of washing soda:
5. Add 1/4 cup of kosher salt:
6. Put the lid on and shake it up well:
7. Label your container:
8. Fill “Rinse Aid” compartment with white vinegar:
When you do a load use 1 tablespoon of detergent per load (you can use a heaping tablespoon if you feel the need, but I do not).
This detergent will clump together but it doesn’t matter… just scoop out your tablespoon & forget about the clumps! It clumps because of the citric acid.
There you have it folks!
Simple, easy, fast, & efficient homemade dishwasher detergent.
I don't think I'm up to making a big batch of anything new right now as the moving van is coming in...gulp...ONE WEEK. But I'm definitely going to give it a whirl when we get settled in our new home.
Does anyone have another great dishwasher recipe? Please leave a comment and share!