Since moving to an area that has particularly hard water, and with the mandated formula change to all dishwasher detergents, my dishes are an absolute mess.
They are clean, I promise. But they don't look very clean, they look cloudy. My glass, my Tupperware even some of my metal items are all cloudy. It has been driving me nuts.
Wanna see how well it works? Here's my before and after!
Amazing huh? (Yes, this is really embarrassing to admit my glasses were so gross looking! I hated having people over because they were just yucky. Of course, every one's glasses here look like that...so no one was judging...but it bothered me that my glasses looked like that!)
After making it, found a cute jar to put it in and then cut some brown vinyl letters so everyone would know what was in the jar. Then I couldn't help myself, I added vinyl on the top to say how much to use.
And then, because I am super lazy and didn't want to have remember my recipe, I cut brown vinyl for the back of the jar with my recipe! (I love love love using vinyl for things like this!!)
And just like magic, my dishes are now clean!! And this is definitely a cost effective way to wash dishes too.**
Home Made Dishwasher Detergent
- 2 c borax
- 2 c Arm & Hammer washing soda
- 2 c lemi shine*
- 1 c kosher salt
(I forgot to take a photo of the items but here is what they look like to help you find them!)
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until mixed.
- The citric acid in the lemi shine will make everything get a bit hard. The first time I made this I put it directly into my container and it all got really really hard. I had to use a knife to get it out. So I suggest letting this mixture sit out in a bowl for a couple of days, stirring often. You will still get a few little "balls" of detergent, but that is just fine! You just don't want it all in one big piece! Believe me, this is the best way to go!! ***
- The lemi shine suggests running an empty dishwasher cycle with just that in order to clean your dishwasher. I followed their directions for good measure!
Fill your rinse aid spot with white vinegar.Add a small container with white vinegar in it to the top rack of your dishwasher before running. Don't put it in your rinse aid compartment! (see this post here for more details, but basically, the vinegar isn't compatible with the rubber pieces in the rinse aid compartment!) (This is sooo much cheaper then your typical rinse aid and makes a big difference in how your dishes will turn out!)
- Use 1 tbs of detergent per load of dishes. I do about a 30/70 split with 30% in the pre-wash spot and 70% in the wash spot. If you don't have a prewash spot, you can put it all in the wash spot.
**I have not done my own personal cost analysis, but several other people have who use similar detergent recipes to mine and cost-wise I think they compare pretty comparable. That being said, I am estimating my cost per load to be about $0.06. (Which compared to Finish Power Tabs 100 for $15.50 at Costco = $0.15 a load) is a savings.
***For those having issues with the detergent clumping, please be sure to try the following solutions:
- Please be sure to follow my instructions in #2 above and let the mixture sit out in a bowl, stirring occasionally. This solved all of my problems and is a simple solution.
- You can also leave the Lemi-Shine out of the mixture and add it directly into the dishwasher each time.
- Some readers have suggested blending it up, using a silicon packet you find in shoes etc, adding a bit of uncooked rice or putting your detergent into small muffin tins and purposefully letting it harden to create your own tabs. I have never personally tried these and can't testify to whether or not they work :)
****A few other things I do to help ensure that my dishes get as clean as possible are as follows: pre-wash everything, run my kitchen sink water until it is very hot right before running my dishwasher, make sure you use white vinegar as stated above. And don't be afraid to play around with the proportion of Lemi-Shine; you might need more or less.
This is an eco-friendly dishwasher detergent option if you are looking to decrease the amount of chemicals you use in your home, this would make a great option as well!
I love my sparkly clean dishes!!
Have you found a difference in how clean your dishes get since the dishwasher detergent change?
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I did a LOT of research when coming up with my final dishwasher detergent solution and trial and error. This recipe is a combined effort of many sources, much research and a lot of trial and error on my part. But a lot of my final inspiration came from this post here.
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