Saturday, May 28, 2011

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

In an effort to be a savvy shopper, I've been using my coupons carefully over the past few months.  We don't buy a lot of packaged foods, so the coupons most helpful for me are for toiletries, paper products, and cereal.   I decided to try a new kind of dishwasher detergent, simply because I had a $1 off coupon and it was an eco-friendly brand.  I'm not satisfied with it.  So, I've begun the search for a new one.

Some of my search for new detergent stems from the fact that our second little, M, has extremely sensitive skin.  In an effort to relieve her of some discomfort, I'm trying to remove as many chemical products as we can from our home.  Guess you could say I'm going a little 'greener'.

I decided to give homemade detergent a try.  I found a recipe on Mom Advice and tried it out.  Here's the recipe:

1 cup of Borax (you can find this in the laundry detergent aisle at most grocery stores, Wal-Mart and Target)
1 cup baking soda
1/4 cup salt

Use one tablespoon for each cycle.  You can also use vinegar as a rinse aid by pouring into the appropriate compartment in your machine until it reaches the fill line.  Store detergent in an airtight container.

It cost me $0.67  to make this one recipe, and this one recipe will last approximately 20 cycles, equaling to $0.03 a cycle.  (I didn't include the price for vinegar in this calculation, but one large bottle from Wal-Mart is $2.32, and I'm pretty sure that would last you a really long time!)  Not only is this 'green', but it's also more economical!

For the skeptics:  I've been using this all week and my dishes are clean, glasses are spotless.  I even did one cycle without pre-rinsing, and I was shocked at how well it did!  I will probably continue to pre-rinse, but you wouldn't have to.  Why go to the trouble of making it?  It takes about 2 minutes to stir all of the ingredients together, so I think that's definitely worth it.  Even if you're an 'extreme couponer', you still probably spend more than $0.67 for a pack of Cascade tablets.

Let me know if you try it out!

I read some things that stated the type of water you have (whether soft or hard) can affect the quality of this recipe. 


  1. oh this is cool! I want to try making this... that is pretty cheap! what did you store it in?

  2. I put it in a ziploc plastic container. Thanks for asking; I've revised my post a bit.


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