Thursday, March 26, 2015

DIY Cleaner - Dishwasher Detergent

I've been using homemade cleaners for awhile, gradually transitioning away from store-bought and to more homemade, natural ones.  (Round up of most of them here.)   There are two I struggled to find good homemade recipes for: toilet bowl cleaner and dishwasher detergent.  I think I finally have winners on both which means we are just down to buying dish soap (Dawn) and magic erasers (they really should just give you those in the hospital with your baby, you will need them at some point).

One of the things I like about this recipe is that it mostly using things I already buy for other homemade cleaners which means fewer things to buy, keep track of, and store.  I think that's one of the things I like most about homemade cleaners is that I can buy just a few supplies and make so many different things.  And they are generally cheaper.  And work just as well.  And aren't as toxic.
I pulled out the camera to take pictures of the ingredients and Luke immediately started cheesing.  He thinks all pictures I take should be of him.  He's mostly right. 

This one is one of the easiest homemade cleaners to mix up.  No grating, just ingredients straight out of the box and stirring.  Takes less than 5 minutes to make a batch that lasts for months.  Easy and cheap.

On a side note...I really wouldn't mind getting rid of my dishwasher.  I'd much rather have that space as an extra cupboard since we are so short in our kitchen anyways (I have major pantry envy for anyone who has more than a small cupboard and a storage tub in the basement...which is what we do.)  I end up doing dishes my hand almost daily anyways with my baking and they always dry so much better in the drainer than in the dishwasher.  And you don't have to put away days worth at a time once you actually run it.  I like the idea of having all the dishes put away each night before bed, no build up.  Am I the only one who thinks about this all the time??  Hahaha.  I mean, I'm not going to tear out my dishwasher anytime soon, since we have a working one that would be a waste and dealing with the plumbing wouldn't be fun.  Just saying, if I didn't have one in my kitchen it wouldn't be the end of the world (my sister doesn't have one and she manages just fine.  And she almost has 5 kids.).  So yeah...I sometimes dream about how nice it would be to lose the dishwasher and have that as cupboard space.  I know.  I am probably the only person who thinks this.    ANYWAYS.

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent
2 cups Borax (found at most stores: Target, Wal-Mart, Kroger, etc.)
2 cups washing soda (not sold at Target, at least my stores)
4 packets sugar-free Kool-Aid (the same stuff you use to make these cookies)

Mix everything up.  Store.  Before running your dishwasher put 1TB in the open cup and 1TB in the closed cup.  We use plain white vinegar as a rinse aid. 

This isn't perfect.  We occasionally have to rewash dishes by hand but we had to do that too with store-bought detergent and I don't think it happens any more frequently with the homemade stuff.  We rinse or soak anything that has caked on residue.  We also wash by hand all pots, pans, and large casserole dishes, just to save space in the dishwasher.  For our everyday dishes, which are sometimes in the dishwasher up to a week between runnings, this works great.

Now, as you will notice, we don't store ours in a pretty container.  It's in an open pitcher we got from our church festival beer garden (#Catholic).  I've thought about storing in a pretty Mason jar or something but really, it's so much easier without a lid.  And we have so many of these pitchers so this is cheap and easy.  Why complicate things??


No comments: