Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Making homemade dishwasher detergent is a great way to save money and turn your life a darker shade of green. Homemade dishwasher detergent can be made from inexpensive ingredients that can be purchased in bulk-as an added benefit, the ingredients are safe for the environment!

The Secret To Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Although there are several recipes for homemade dishwasher detergent floating around on the Internet, they've gotten a bad reputation for leaving dishes with a white film. The problem with these recipes is that they leave out a few key ingredients. The following recipe for homemade dishwasher detergent will get your dishes clean and leave them sparkling:

  • The basics. To start, you'll need powdered washing soda-not baking soda. Washing soda can be found in the laundry aisle of your grocery store. You'll also need Borax, a powdered product that can also be found in the laundry section of your favorite store.
  • The secret ingredients. While washing soda and Borax are common ingredients in most homemade dishwasher detergent formulas, you'll need a few other things to help fight cloudy dishes and white residue: kosher salt and citric acid. Kosher salt is available in the spice section of most grocery stores and helps to soften the water in your dishwasher. Citric acid can be found in brewery supply stores or in some health food markets. The citric acid cuts through the residue left behind by the powders.
  • Putting it all together. To make your own homemade dishwasher detergent, combine 1 cup of washing soda, 1 cup of Borax, ½ cup of kosher salt and ½ cup of citric acid. Mix these ingredients and place them in a dry container with a re-sealing lid, such as a coffee can or large plastic container. To use, place one to two tablespoons of the mix in your dishwasher and wash as normal.
  • A little extra oomph! Pouring white vinegar into the rinsing agent dispenser is an inexpensive way to add sparkle to your dishes. Vinegar is a great substitute for expensive store-bought rinsing agents.
  • The Kool-aid connection. Some recipes suggest substituting powdered lemon Kool-aid or lemonade mix for citric acid. If you choose to make this substitution, be careful to use only unsweetened mixes and don't use mixes that contain any dye, as this will stain your dishwasher.
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