24 November 2011

Yet another DIY dishwasher detergent

I was trawling through the scraps of paper on my desk earlier this week and came across an envelope with the words "yet another dishwasher detergent" scrawled on it, along with the ingredients.  As I'm just about to tackle my huge end-of-year grocery shop, dishwasher powder is short in supply so I decided to give it a go.

I am impressed - the results are very good, as good as the powder I normally use, if not a little better. As it is made from things I always have in the house it's a good alternative to commercial powder when stocks are running low.

Here it is:
1/2 cup borax
1/2 cup washing soda
Juice of 1 lemon

Mix together. I used two tablespoons of the mixture, more than I normally would, and the dishes sparkled and the dishwasher was gleaming and spotless inside.

Cost:  Approximately 80 cents (if you don't have to buy a lemon), around $1.20 if you do.

8 comments:

  1. HI, i DON'T KNOW IF ID DID SOMETHING WRONG HOWEVER I MADE THE DISHWASHER CLEANER USING THE BORAX ETC AND IT WENT SOLID IN MY JAR AND COULDN'T USE IT, CAN ANYONE PLEASE TELL ME WHAT I DID WRONG. THANKS ANNA.

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    Replies
    1. try this when you make the mixture up ... before the mixture dry put it into ice trays so they are the best homemade dishwasher tabs cheers Rosemary

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  2. the lemon juice probably caused it to solidify. I've seen recipes that use 2 packs of lemonade kool aid in place of the lemon. I would give that a try

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  3. I was going to ask (1) what is Borax? (2) where can you buy it? and (3) what is washing soda? These all sound like terms form the 1950's that I'm sure my local supermarket won't have. I googled and found this: http://forums.vogue.com.au/showthread.php?t=302596 which mentions that Borax can possibly found in a hardware store and is very toxic and most definitely not eco-friendly. If I'm going to make my own products I'd like for them to be nice to the environment and not likely to burn me. Does anyone have any suggestions for a dishwasher detergent that would fit this bill?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Borax is toxic yes, in HUGE quantities. Borax is a form of boron, a mineral that occurs naturally in the soil. It is used for pest control (and does a great job of getting rid of moths etc) and for stain removal in laundry detergents and powders.

      Neither borax nor washing soda will burn you. Whoever told you that mislead you. As for not being eco-friendly well borax is derived from the mineral boron, and as with anything, natural or synthetic, if overused and abused it is dangerous and environmentally unfriendly.

      You can buy borax at most supermarkets, in the cleaning aisle. Coles and Woolworths both stock borax, under either the Harpers or Bare Essentials brands.

      Washing Soda is simply the common name for sodium carbonate (which is not bi-carb soda) and you will find it in the laundry aisle. It is a water softener and stain lifter. It comes in two forms - powder or crytal. The most common brand in Australia is Lectric Soda, but there are other brands.

      Both these things should be kept well away from children and pets, as should any cleaning agent, "natural" or otherwise, but they are both safe to use as prescribed. Follow the directions exactly and remember to put it away properly when you have finished using it.

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  4. I'm buying it to treat Arthritis :) Boron is hard to get and since Borax is Boron I am told it is safe to take 3mg's twice a day for the treatment of Arthritis!!! Look it up.

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  5. Hello, just wondering, is it possible to replace borax with bi-carb, as with the laundry detergent?
    Thanks,
    Mariella

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    Replies
    1. Borax and bicarbonate soda are two entirely different things and generally not interchangeable. You can add bicarb to the Cheapskates Washing Powder if you feel the need for a boost for stain removing or to deodorise smelly washing, using it in place of the borax will not give you the same results.

      As for the dishwasher detergent no, do not swap bicarb soda for the borax, it won't work.

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