I’m new friends with the dish washing machine. Back at our old place, I did all the dishes by hand. They sometimes piled up. Our new place has this handy dandy dishwasher. Of course I was excited – who doesn’t love empty clean sinks all the time? I started my dish washing journey by buying the Wal-Mart brand of detergent. I knew detergent was toxic but was (and still somewhat am) ignorant to the specifics of it’s toxicity and why I needed to buy the $10 “natural” version over the $2 “store brand” version. I kept a close eye on it in the cupboard, and really had no issue until I went ahead and bought a different (yet still cheap) brand. On the first attempt I noticed my kitchen smelled like the aquatic section of a pet store. Chlorine. I knew I needed a new option. I was not buying a $10 “natural” detergent when for all I knew it was just as toxic in a different way, so I went online and found this recipe. And now after using it and giving it two thumbs up, here it is for you!
Cast of Characters
Washing Soda ($3.09) Borax ($3.36) Fruit Fresh/Citric Acid Substitute ($3.58) White Vinegar ($2.38) Glass Jar ($3.50). These are the prices from Wal-Mart and Kroger. You don’t need to get a new jar if you have one already. If you use vinegar as an all purpose cleaner then you aren’t spending any extra either. The Fruit Fresh is in the canning isle, but it would be cheaper just to buy bulk citric acid online or if you have a specialty store in your area. That is what I will attempt to do next.
This is my new dishwasher soap! It is:
1 cup of borax
1 cup of washing soda
1/2 cup of citric acid (Fruit Fresh here)
I used 1/2 tablespoon in the main soap dispenser, and about a 1/4 tablespoon in the pre-wash area. You might have to change this depending on your water. Making this batch used about half of the container of Fruit Fresh, but barely touched the other ingredients. I know I can make many batches with what I bought today, and if I go ahead with the bulk citric acid, who knows when I will need to stock up on “dish soap” supplies again!
I added the red tag to remind myself that it isn’t safe for Little W. I try to keep only vinegar cleaning supplies under the sink, but because this has a lid I think it will be okay for now under there. Since it has Borax it is not safe if accidentally digested. Boo, but it is better than the alternative. I put the boxes up in the laundry closet where she can’t reach them.
The white vinegar is for the rinse (where most people put their Jet Dry). You can also clean your dishwasher by putting a glass of white vinegar on the top shelf and run a hot empty load (well, empty besides the one glass). I did that last night before starting a fresh load with the new soap.
If you decide to try this or already do something like this, please let me know if you have any recommendations. I’ll update after a week or two to share anything that I have learned in the process.