Friday, March 19, 2010

Homemade Dishwashing Detergent

FINALLY! I first started trying to make homemade laundry detergent late last summer, but with no success. My worst recipe resulted in pitting on my metal dishes and my best recipe left a heavy white residue on my glassware. I knew that I needed something with enzymatic action (commercial dishwashing detergent generally contains digestive enzymes from cow and pig stomachs) but I couldn't think of a vegetarian source that was economically practical - everything I could think of, I would have to order online (and pay more in shipping than the product cost).

Then I had a "duh" moment and realized I could use citric acid! I found it at my local health food store for $2.10/four ounce bag (1/2 Cup) - I dare say it works better than the commercial detergent I was using! I haven't broken down the total cost, but I'm pretty confident that it works out to be around around $5 for 100 loads (about $0.05 per load). I will post the actual breakdown and the price comparison to what I was paying for my generic commercial detergent later.

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent
  • 1 Cup Borax
  • 1 Cup Washing Soda (sodium carbonate)

  • 1/2 Cup Citric Acid

  • 1/2 Cup Kosher Salt

Add one tablespoon to the detergent cup.

I put the detergent into an empty Vegenaise jar (like a mayonaise jar) but any plastic, glass, or cardboard container will do. I also keep a tablespoon measurer in there that I got as part of a set from the dollar store - that way I never have to search for a proper measuring spoon and I don't have to worry about reusing it for a food item. If you are unsure of what washing soda is or where to find it, please refer to my post about homemade laundry detergent here.

I also refilled my rinse aid compartment with vinegar, which really seems to help prevent spotting on the dishes (I have really hard water).
*This detergent will clump, but you don't have to break the clumps up or anything - just use "as is"

1 comment:

shydandelion said...

Awesome! Makes me wish I had a dishwasher...So, it works really well?? I am all excited to make some! Hopefully by the end of the summer, I will be able to use it...