I just love homemade cleaners. I first started by making my own laundry soap. It worked so well, and was so much more affordable than natural unscented detergents I could buy, that I decided to try making other homemade cleaners. My next recipe I worked on was homemade dishwashing machine detergent. We’ve been using this for over three years, yet somehow I have yet to share it here on Eating Richly! Well today is the day.
I’ve had a lot of friends tell me that they’ve tried homemade dishwasher detergent but it left their dishes streaky. I discovered through various trials that there are two secrets to getting streak free dishes with a homemade detergent.
- Citric Acid in the detergent
- Distilled white vinegar as a rinse aid
Some people use sugar free lemonade for the citric acid when they make their detergents. I found it’s cheaper (and contains less additives) if I just buy my own citric acid in bulk. We get a 5 lb bag of citric acid from Amazon and it lasts us over two years. You can also get the super washing soda and borax from Amazon, but I always find the super washing soda cheaper at stores like Walmart or Ace Hardware. Just remember that super washing soda is NOT the same as baking soda. It’s a different concentration.
You can also use the handy dandy Where to Buy feature on Arm and Hammer’s website to find super washing soda in a store near you.
We keep our detergent mix under the kitchen sink, and live in rainy Washington, so the only problem we’ve had with it is clumping. An easy way to help with this is to fill a clean stocking with rice, tie it off, then nestle that into the detergent. While our detergent still hardens a bit, especially as we’re getting down to the last 1/4 of the batch, we can still break it up with a fork if we need to.
I also make a couple homemade spray cleaners and have a few other ideas in the works. Do you have a favorite homemade cleaner?
- 1 cup super washing soda
- 1 cup borax
- 1/2 cup citric acid
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- Place all ingredients in a large jar and shake until well mixed.
- Use one teaspoon for the wash cycle and an additional teaspoon for pre-wash if desired.
In addition to the detergent, you can also pour distilled vinegar into the rinse aid compartment to help with additional rinsing to prevent streaks.