My dishwasher is still very new, I also know that we have Hard Water in our City and felt this was a contributing factor, yet I never saw recipes that helped. I’ve tried endless recipes for ALL natural Dishwashing Detergent and they NEVER worked 🙁 I always had to re-wash the dishes which was so frustrating. I had NO idea until I researched that it is missing Phosphates which is an additive that is truly ALL natural.
Since the ban on phosphates in dishwasher detergent went into effect. It took us MONTHS to figure THAT one out. The new detergent formulations imposed by the federal government back in 2010. Apparently it has caused quite the uprising among the general dishwashing public. There’s even a website called BubbleBandit.com that you can buy dishwasher detergent WITH phosphates (they sell “commercial” soap, which is NOT affected by the ban).
Powdered Dishwasher Detergent/Scouring Powder:
1 cup Washing soda or Baking soda (I’ve seen many recipes that use both..so use whatever you have on hand or a combination of the two.)
1 cup Borax (Borax and baking soda/wash are both natural disinfectants and mild abrasives.)
1/4 cup Kosher salt (reduces the effects of hard water)
1/4 cup citric acid (available at brewing places or Amazon.com. Or as an alternative you can use the same amount of Fruit Fresh or two packets of Lemonade-Flavored Kool-Aid, ONLY lemon and ONLY unsweetened!)
1-2 Tablespoons of TSP (Purchase Here – Dap 63004 TSP All Purpose Cleaner, 4-Pound)
Add 3 drops of dishwashing liquid. Do not use more than three drops. The dishwasher will overflow if you use too much dish soap! (It doesn’t have to be Dawn…that’s just what I had.)
Then splash 1/2 to 1 cup of white vinegar into the bottom of the dishwasher and start the machine.
The homemade dishwasher soap costs about $.05 per load. The store bought brand is about $0.15 cents per load. I run at least one load if not two a day. At one load a day, it is a savings of $36.00 per year.
You can see a significant savings by using the white distilled vinegar as a rinsing agent. Typically, I would refill my rinsing agent once a month. By using the vinegar, I’m paying $0.06 per fill versus Jet Dry at about $4 per fill. I am saving $47.28 per year. If you combine the two, that is a savings of $83.28 a year!!
If you use coupons & match with the store sales, you could get the dishwasher soap & Jet Dry/rinsing agents cheaper, but using the homemade version could still be a great savings for your family on a regular basis.
If you are JUST looking to save money and it doesn’t matter about using ALL natural products – Go to your local Dollar Store.
Here is the “recipe” I used for a very long time, I just wanted to get as natural as I could so I now use the one above, but this is still a good one:
1 teaspoon oxygen bleach (I bought a 5 lb bucket of SUN brand at the Dollar store for about $3)
1/2 teaspoon Dawn dish soap
1/2 cup white vinegar (poured into a bowl or cup on the top rack of the machine)