Saturday, February 8, 2014

Homemade Dishwasher Tablets

I am spoiled and like the convenience of dishwasher tablets and that has become one of Destructo's chores to put it in the dishwasher and turn it on.  But they can get expensive even when buying store brands.  So I set off to find a homemade recipe that is easy (because I am a bit lazy), cheap (because I need to live more frugally now that I am more or less a stay at home mom), and one that works well (because I like clean dishes.)

I found the recipe I used on the One Hundred Dollars a Month blog and decided to try it back in the summer.  Yeah.  It took a while to work up the motivation to actually do it.  

It only has four ingredients.  Ignore the rubbing alcohol.  I didn't realize that was in the picture.  Destructo was busy coloring on my couch while I made this with a pen.  Rubbing alcohol works great to get pen off suede just FYI

Ingredients (not counting rubbing alcohol)

The recipe calls for:
1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda
1/2 cup epsom salt
and finally 3/4 cup lemon juice
I even included Amazon links for those who prefer shopping from the comfort of their couches.  I doubled this recipe and it filled three ice cube trays.

I would make it just slightly wetter than this consistency

You mix the dry ingredients together, add the lemon juice, mix it well, and then put it into ice cube trays.  I would love the silicon ones to pop them out even easier, but the hard plastic ones I have worked just fine.  You want to add enough lemon juice that the mixture forms a dough that can be easily scooped up and packed into the trays.  My first batch was a bit dry and crumbly.  The second was probably perfect.  Wait 12-24 hours and pop them out of the trays.

Ice cube tray filled up (don't fill it all the way up is a life lesson I learned)

Cute little soap tablet
Does it work?  Well I think it worked really well.  We have a 14 year old dishwasher.  Nothing goes in it without being rinsed first.  To test this soap out, I let Mr. Destructo's poached egg breakfast plate sit until after lunch.  I scraped the solids off it and left everything else.  I put it in the dishwasher without any rinsing just to see what would happen.  Yeah it came clean with just a slight film.  Everything else that was rinsed like normal and a few other things I tested with just a quick rinse and still some junk on them all came spotless.  So I was pleased overall since my dishwasher really sucks.  I just am too cheap to buy a new one until it fully dies.  

Before and after

I will also include this recipe from The Hippy Homemaker something that is similar to lemishine.  I use this to help with my dishwasher's suckage and my incredibly hard water.  I haven't made this yet but plan to once I run out of lemishine and will update this post when I do to let you know what I think.

Its ingredients are citric acid and kosher salt for those shopping from their couch.

Finally to save money on a rinse aid, I just fill a small tupperware container on the top rack with white vinegar.  This is far cheaper than commercial rinse aids and works better in my opinion.

So there you guys have it.  My newest attempt at saving money and  living a bit more ecofriendlier.  Let me know what you guys think of this recipe if you have tried it or do try it in the future.  I am curious how it works in a better dishwasher.

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