Tuesday, September 17, 2013

DIY Dishwasher Detergent

Here is the second installment for my DIY cleaning venture. This was actually the very first thing I tried to make. I went through two different recipes because I didn't really like the first one. 

I was the kid that grew up with a dishwasher but we didn't use it. It left spots on the dishes. So my mom preferred that my brother and I wash all the dishes.... by hand....together...mind you, he is six years older than me, so you can imagine how well we worked together. 

I hated washing dishes. But little did I know that it was training me for the years ahead. After I left for college, I never had a dishwasher again....until 10 years later when we moved into our current house. I pretty much still hate doing dishes. Even with a dishwasher. It's one of those tedious jobs that has to be done every day or the mess gets out of control. And if anyone else attempts to do it, they don't load the dishwasher right, or they don't pre-rinse the nasty stuff so it doesn't get clean. Am I right? What's a mom's motto? If you want it done right, do it yourself? I'm just poking fun, in all reality, my husband helps with the dishes and I greatly appreciate it. Love you honey! ;)

So we usually bought those Cascade packs. When I was "Crazy Coupon Mom", I would get them for great prices, but only the small bags, so I felt like we ran through them rather quickly. 

First I found a recipe for dishwasher tablets.

You make up the mixture and then form it into a tablets that fit your dispenser. The recipe made up more than 30 tablets. However, it left a nasty film on the dishes. In researching other recipes, I realized that what was missing was a rinse aid. Duh. So maybe the film would go away with a rinse aid. But the other thing that I didn't like about these was that they dried out really easily and crumbled everywhere. I stored them in an airtight container, but they all stuck together and then crumbled over time. 

So I started looking for another recipe. 

This time I found a powder recipe. The blogger talked about using a rinse aid and light bulb went on as to why the tablets didn't work. I found the recipe at Being Creative to Keep My Sanity where I also found my laundry detergent recipe. This lady has it all figured out! 

This recipe makes a TON of detergent, doesn't cost much to make, and you can find everything at Walmart. Easy Peasy.

So here is the recipe:

1 box Borax (4 lbs)
1 box A&H Super Washing Soda
24 packets of powder lemonade (I bought Kool-Aid)
3 cups Epsom salt
Lemi-Shine Rinse Aid

It's pretty simple....Mix borax, A&H Washing Soda, lemonade packets, and epsom salt together in a LARGE bowl. Done!
Use about one Tablespoon per load. Before you run the load, sprinkle some Lemi-shine (about a Tbsp) in the bottom of your dishwasher. It works beautifully!

Store in an air tight container. We've had horrible humidity lately, so even in an plastic container, the powder has been clumping, but it crumbles again pretty easily. 

That's it!

Dishwasher and wallet perfection!

10/31/13 - I want to make an addition to this recipe - in the last few months of using this detergent recipe, I found that for older dishwashers it works better if you pour the detergent in the bottom of your washer and then pour the Lemi Shine in the soap dispenser. I have found that my dishes come out MUCH cleaner when I do it that way. I hope this helps! 

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