Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Dish washer soap recipe - no borax

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent WITHOUT Borax (for one full load) 1 Tbsp of Washing Soda – a.k.a. Sodium Carbonate. It acts as a de-greaser and disinfectant. 1 Tbsp Kosher Salt (or Sea Salt) – softens hard water. This amount can be adjusted, according to how hard or soft your water is. Secret ingredient –> 1/2 TSP Plant Based dishwashing liquid soap – the kind you use for hand washing your dishes. Yes, the one that your dishwasher’s manual says NOT to use!

But make sure you use no more than this amount. Otherwise, you’ll get a huge sudsy mess and you’ll cuss at me, like I did many times. And I don’t want that to happen. My AR already did that….after using too much and got my kitchen floor all sudsy. (If by chance, the dishwasher spits out suds from using too much dishwashing liquid, stop the machine and drain the water. Then, pour/splash some vinegar into the suds. It magically makes the suds dissipate. And then, start the machine again, without putting any more detergents.) Full strength white vinegar in the closed second detergent compartment + in the rinse aid well – The idea is to have the vinegar rinse the dishes after the powder washes the dishes. 1 Tbsp Undiluted Citrus Enzyme (Optional) See the recipe here but you can omit it and you’ll still be fine. There are other detergent recipes that require citric acid (see below for links) but I didn’t want to buy another thing. So since I was going to use this for cleaning anyway, I decided to add it to my wash. If you can make this enzyme, you should. It really makes the dishes and glass squeaky clean! And you can use it in so many other places, including washing fruits and vegetables. Juice from half of a lemon – totally optional, especially if you are going to use citrus enzyme. You can also use about 10 drops of essential oil of your choice but it’s also optional. It’s just for smell and does not really add to the cleaning ability. Since it’s oil, I wasn’t sure if it would leave a residue. Instruction: Dishwasher loading tip to maximize the machine: Make sure you load the dishes well so that water can reach inside the bowls, dishes, utensils, and glasses. In trying to be ‘green’, I used to really jam pack the machine and sometimes food residue didn’t come off because water flow was blocked. Make sure utensils are loosely placed and not too compacted. This is especially true if you are not running your dishwasher right away. Obviously, dried up food scraps won’t come off as easily. Also, open the dishwasher door when the wash is done and let air dry. It uses less energy if you let it air dry than use the heat. Now with the instructions on using the detergent…..add washing soda and kosher salt in the OPEN compartment. Fill the second compartment with vinegar and close the lid. Add the dishwashing liquid (and citrus enzyme, if using) anywhere inside the dishwasher. That’s it! When you use this formula for the first time, just be mindful of the machine and stay nearby, just in case the machine overflows with suds. Using 1/2 Tsp of Ecover brand worked like a charm for my machine. But if you are using another brand, especially if it’s concentrated, you’ll have to adjust the amount. Start with very small amounts and see how your dishes turn out and then increase it little by little if you are not happy with the result. So far, I am very happy with this formula for my dishes. If you have really greasy dishes and pans, you might need to add a little more of each ingredients, except for dishwashing liquid.

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