Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

************ PLEASE READ THIS DISCLAIMER I WILL PUT IN CAPS JUST BELOW THIS ATTENTION GRABBING HEADLINE THING ************

I HAVE BEEN USING THIS FOR AWHILE, AND MY RECENT BATCHES HAVE NOT BEEN FREE FLOWING. THEY HAVE CAKED UP HORRIBLY MAKING THE MIX ALMOST UNUSABLE. THIS IS MORE OF AN INCONVENIENCE THOUGH. MY REAL PROBLEM IS THIS MIX SEEMS TO HAVE EATEN THE COATING OFF MY ALUMINUM HANDLED RADA KNIVES LEAVING A NASTY TARNISH THAT COMES OFF WHILE USING THE KNIVES. THE SAME FOR THE HANDLES ON MY KITCHENAID STRAINER. ALSO THE MEASURE LINES PAINTED ONTO MY 1 & 2 CUP MEASURE PYREX CUPS ARE COMPLETELY GONE.

I’VE STOPPED USING THIS HOMEMADE MIX JUST THIS WEEK (6.5.13) BECAUSE OF THIS. I SUSPECT THE LEMISHINE IS TO BLAME, BUT I’M NOT 100% CERTAIN, BUT I CAN’T AFFORD ANYMORE RUINED DISHES. 😦

More than a year ago I got two huge tubs of dishwasher tabs from Costco. I’m down to about 1/4 of the final tub. Of course when I stocked up on the dishwasher tabs David was still making a comfortable sum of money and I didn’t really think much of spending $15 or so on each tub. Obviously things for us now are far different. It’s bad enough when I have to spend $15 on toilet paper, $15 on David’s razors, and $15 on coffee beans. That’s almost 1/5 of my budget for 3 things!! Though I do use all 3 – I steal a blade from David once per month, I’d kill before I give up coffee, and I have cut our paper products usage a great deal (that’s a post soon to come!) – I still hate having to get larger ticket items.

I’ve been researching and reading about different types of homemade dishwasher detergent. I live in Nevada, and our water is exceptionally hard so I have to take that into consideration. I once tried to make the liquid stuff, but it never thickened and I was skeptical. I’ve seen the powder recipes that call for Kool Aid, but I’d rather just avoid the food coloring that has a potential to stain since we are in a rental. I found a recipe using Lemi Shine.

Lemi Shine

From what I can gather Lemi Shine is pretty much citric acid and scent. No food coloring either. So I grabbed a container, though it didn’t contain quite what the recipe stated I needed, so I adjusted my amounts, which is what I will put down for my recipe.

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent (with Lemi Shine) – Adapted from Crunchy Betty

1 1/2 cups Lemi Shine (12oz bottle)
1 1/2 cups Washing Soda
1 1/2 cups Borax
3/4 cup Kosher Salt

Mix ingredients. Store in a safe location and properly labeled.

Fill washing cup with detergent mix, and don’t forget to add vinegar to the rinse aid dispenser.

I used this last night, and most everything came out clean enough. I think I should have run an empty cycle to ensure that any crud was washed out of the rinse aid area. There were a few items that I am having to run again due to grease not coming off (olive oil from soup in a lunch bowl from Sophia, and a small container that had peanut butter from Nola). David’s tea mug also looked like something nasty had gotten inside so I washed it by hand.

I’m going to start a second cycle before dinner so I may have an update as to how it works. I will say that I didn’t have any unused detergent residue with the homemade stuff like I did with the commercial dishwasher tabs!

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