Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cheap and Efficient Homemade Detergent!

You know what I get tired of? Okay, maybe that wasn't a very good question to narrow anything down when it comes to me. I'll go ahead and give it to you. Paying for things that don't work...and paying a lot of money for things that don't work or work as they claim. One of those things is dishwasher detergent. I'm pretty sure I've used everyone on the shelves and there is always something that doesn't work as it says. So, knowing there had to be a solution out there to making it myself, I went on a hunt and came across this

I must say, after playing around with it and finding the right combination of adding it to my wash and prewash, it works very well. I put approximately $20.00 into it since I had to buy a canister. However, if you have one, you can do it for between $12.00-$15.00. I've been using it since the beginning of January and I can't even tell that I've taken any out of the container. So I'm willing to bet this is going to last a very, verY, veRY, long time! 

There are a few things that I did do differently. Not really trusting the lemonade drink mix (she said it may turn your wash compartment yellow), I did go with citric acid. FYI:  One package of lemonade drink mix= 1/2 T of citric acid. Vinegar also ended up being a friend of mine in this adventure, so if you don't have a bottle handy, grab one. Whatever size is up to you, just know that per load you are going to use 1/2 T of vinegar. A 1/2 T measuring scoop wouldn't hurt either.

Here is the ingredient list that I ended up with: 

1 box of Borax (the 4 lb 12 oz box)
1 box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (the 3lb 7 oz box)
12 T citric acid 
3 cups epsom salts
Lemi Shine Rinse Aid (dry form)
Bottle of Vinegar

***These ingredients can be found in the detergent aisle. At Walmart, I found everything right next to the dishwashing detergent. Hmmm. To think it's been there the whole time and I just looked over it. Citric acid is something you may need to go to where the canning supplies are. I actually order my citric acid in bulk and it's a lot cheaper. If the citric acid is too pricey, you can always go with the original idea, (which again can be found here.), and use the lemonade drink mix packages. 

What To Do: 
***Before you start pouring, hunt down a huge bowl or something to mix it in because it is quite a lot. You need to be able to mix it well, so unless the canister you are putting it in is big enough to do that, you'll have to mix it in something else.

1) All you do is mix the first four ingredients and then carefully pour into your storing container. I say carefully because you may inhale quite the cloud of white powder, otherwise. 

To Use:
***It really does only take the 1 T of the detergent. I think it's going to depend on your dishwasher on how and where to apply it. She doesn't specifically recommend where to apply, but I can assume the main wash would be safe to bet on. She does recommend on using the Lemi Shine to sprinkle about a tablespoon in the bottom of the dishwasher before you start. Honestly, this combination worked okay enough, but my glasses weren't as clear as I like and I think it could have done a little better in the wash process.

I have a Whirlpool Gold Quiet Partner IV and it's very efficient, so I knew there was no reason this should not work well. What worked best for me was to:

1) Don't use the Lemi Shine in the bottom.
2) In the main wash compartment, use 1/2 T Lemi Shine and 1/2 T of the detergent.
3) In the prewash compartment, use the other half T of the detergent and 1/2 T of vinegar.

This made for much better cleaning results and my glassware was much more clear.

I definitely recommend this! Who can beat the cost and how long it will last? Just don't give up after a couple loads if it's not up to your standards. If you put the money into it, you might as well try and see what combination and placement of the detergent, Lemi Shine, and vinegar (if you chose to use it) works for you!

If you have an experience with this detergent, or know of anything you'd do different, I'd love to hear about it!


  1. I have always wondered about this:) I m going to try! Thanks! Thanks so much for stopping by today!

  2. Hope it works well for you! You're welcome and thank you too :)

  3. Ok I might have to try this! Even with coupons, dish washing soap is expensive!

    1. It really is! I'm using the another one for laundry soap as well, but I'm waiting until I can get a good review on it before posting. So far, so good!

    2. We have to use the free and clear with laundry soap because both boys have such sensitive skin. Hopefully the older they get, they'll grow out of it!

    3. Oh, I can understand that one! Both of mine had the worst skin! The little one still gets a dry scalp, but other than that, it's a lot better. No more sensitive skin only stuff, anymore! Hopefully it is just a phase with yours as well :)


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