Monday, May 14, 2012

Low Tech Dishwashing Detergent for High Tech Machines

We eat from our food storage all the time so I cook from scratch a lot. I wash some of the dishes by hand; some go straight to the dishwasher. I usually rinse the dishes so they can sit in the dishwasher until I have a full load. So, do I grab the latest high tech detergent? Heavens, no! I make my own and have been doing so for about five years. It is easy, inexpensive and our great-grandmothers used these ingredients to wash their dishes as well. You can find all the ingredients you need in the big box stores.

I encourage you to read the labels on the boxes, borax is recommended to boost the cleaning power of your dishwasher. The picture is missing some optional ingredients. Here is the basic recipe:

5 cups super washing soda
5 cups borax

I mix big batches and store it in empty vinegar bottles. I fill the pre-wash cup and then add about 2 TBS per load to the wash cycle dispenser. (Don’t forget the vinegar in the rinse cycle!)

If you have hard water, you may find this recipe leaves some residue on your dishes.  I don’t have hard water. It works just fine for me.  However, if you do have hard water you can add course kosher salt to the mix.  Here is the recipe:
5 cups super washing soda
5 cups borax
2 cups course kosher salt

This recipe is very forgiving and the ratio of ingredients is just a recommendation.  I have corresponded with some people who use twice as much borax as washing soda and swear it won’t work if the ratio is 1:1.  I have also corresponded with others who use more salt.  Experiment and see what works best for you.  This recipe for dishwashing detergent is so much cheaper, it doesn’t have a bunch of nasty chemicals in it and it is really, really simple to make.
I have one additional optional ingredient for those who want a lemon fresh scent.  That is unsweetened lemonade.  Use the two quart powder packet without sweetener.  You can buy a store brand; there is absolutely no need to spend more for one of the expensive, nationally known brands. I know a woman who always adds lemonade powder to her dishwashing mix.  She also uses a bit more salt because the water where she lives is very hard.

I admit I haven’t added lemonade to my recipe yet.  However, next time I mix up a batch I am going to try it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

To help eliminate spam on this blog, your comment will be moderated.