Learned Something New…

homemade-cleanersI started making all my own household cleaners a couple of months ago, thanks to Simple Mom’s ebook, some tips I found at BeingFrugal.net, and my own googling.

So far, I have been thrilled with every homemade cleaner I have tried.

Except for dishwasher detergent. The recipe I have been using calls for a 1:1 ratio of Super Washing Soda and Borax, adjusting the portion of soda to compensate for hard water.

I have spent about two months experimenting, adjusting the recipe, and re-washing several dishes, due to very fine food particles being left on dishes, as well as a fine, white film on much of the glassware. Since I am a tightwad cheapskate very frugally minded woman, I have not been able to bring myself to buy commercial dishwasher detergent yet.

Today, I began mixing up another batch, because we have exactly $1 left in our grocery cash envelope. (Don’t worry, Uncle Rick, I have plenty of toilet paper. 🙂 ) I don’t want to waste that on something as trivial as dishwasher detergent. It would be put to much better use buying a couple of York Peppermint Patties or a king-size Butterfinger.

In the midst of measuring and sighing, I remembered that I wanted to google around and see if I could find someone who encountered the same problem, and had solved it. Boy, did I! I found several, actually. After reading for a few minutes, I discovered that part of my problem is that I am probably using a tad too much powder in each load. Instead of filling the cup, I need to cut back to one Tablespoon, maybe two, if things are really dirty.

However, I also found a couple of great ideas I would like to try in addition to using less.

Most of the sites I looked at, including this one, recommended adding distilled white vinegar to the rinse aid dispenser, or to try adding just a couple *drops* of dish soap to the powder mixture for each load. This site says to try adding lemon juice to the rinse aid dispenser.

I am still finishing off what is left of the commercial rinse aid, so my first try is going to involve adding a few drops of Dawn in with the powder until my dishwasher uses up all the rinse aid. If that does the trick, I may just continue to do that. However, I will probably still run one load with lemon and one load with vinegar, and compare the results.

When I do, you bet your sweet bippy I will certainly post the results for you to see. I know! You are so on the edge of your seat now, aren’t you? Okay, maybe it’s just me. I don’t care though. I’m having fun, and that’s all that matters. Right? 🙂

How about you? Do you have any tricks up your sleeve about this you would like to share? Any preferences? Do you think I am just a complete hippie nut job?


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