Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Domestic D'uh: Homemade Dishwasher Soap

For two and a half years, I've been buying those dishwasher soap tabs without much thought. We always used them at home when I lived with my folks, so I just assumed it was the way to go. But, after switching to naturally-based (and homemade) cleaners for the rest of the house last year, I figured that there had to be an alternative for cleaning my dishes, too.

So, I Googled it, because I Google everything when in doubt. All of the initial "recipes" I found involved powdered citric acid. It was suggested that this could be found at wine and cheese making establishments. Um, ok. The baby was napping and I had a dishwasher full of gross dishes, so I Googled on a little more and settled on this mixture:

Equal parts Borax, washing soda, and baking soda. Mix thoroughly. Use 1 tbsp. per average load.

That's it! You see, the reason for the citric acid in all the other mixtures is because it is supposed to prevent the formation of a cloudy residue that is sometimes left on dishes when using powdered detergent. But, by filling the "Jet-Dry" reservoir with straight white vinegar, you'll likely avoid that problem.

Disclaimer: From my reading, I understand that this residue might still be present, despite the vinegar, if you have especially hard water. In that case, you may want to track down that citric acid after all!

So I used this new mixture with the white vinegar boost today for the first time and I have to say - it's great! No cloudy residue and the dishes are sparkling. I might add a few drops of essential oil (like peppermint) next time to avoid the telltale smell of the vinegar, mind you.

Being cheap is sort of exciting. I hear it's my forte.

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