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Dishwasher detergent?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Do you make your own? I'm trying out some green house cleaning recipes and Googled dishwasher detergent. I found several variations on a common theme: baking/washing soda, Borax, Epsom/kosher salt and citric acid in some form.


I also found a super simple recipe of 1 part Borax to one part baking soda so I gave it a try. The first time I tried it worked just fine but the second time it left a cloudy film. Either I used too much (2 tbsps where most recipes recommend using 1) or I need a different recipe. I put white vinegar into my rinse aid compartment.


What has worked for you?

post #2 of 12

Just dropping into say I had the same problem. I tried for quite awhile & then it took several washes with conventional dishwasher detergent to get rid of the cloudiness. I've also tried all sorts of green detergents from the stores & have yet to find one that really works well.

post #3 of 12

I've used 7th Gen forever and really like it. i only fill 1 cup in the dishwasher.  I kind of want to start making my own.  I think less is more when it comes to soap in the dishwasher.  My dishes are plenty clean and have no film at all. 

post #4 of 12

I used Bi-O-Kleen powder for years with good results but with my current dishwasher, Bi-O-Kleen didn't work as well so I switched to Ecover tablets.  I've been using them for several years with good luck.  For me, the key is to add vinegar at every wash and I have no cloudiness or residue on the dishes.   (I just dump it into the bottom of the machine not in the rinse agent dept.)

post #5 of 12

I like 7th gen. powdered detergent best (& find it most economical of 'natural brand' dishwasher detergents).  I do find that every so often (1x a year) it seems to not work as well for awhile - I get a jug of the 7th gen gel dishwasher stuff, use them together for a few washes, and it goes back to working fine.


With your homemade recipe - could you be getting weird residues from old detergents left in the dishwasher?  Things like that can complicate homemade cleaning products sometimes.

post #6 of 12

Wanted to chime in here and say that if you have hard water a vinegar rinse will make the cloudy residue worse.


I have had zero luck with the borax/washing soda/citric acid blend. I found a recipe recently that was entirely different from others I had seen. It used borax and liquid dish detergent. I didn't pin it and can't find it again, of course.


post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
DeerMother - Hm. The vinegar is not causing residue when used with commercial dishwasher detergent so I don't think it is the vinegar.

I might give a try to making detergent with Koolaid. I have baking soda, Epsom salts and Borax already. For 10-20 cents it is worth a try I guess.
post #8 of 12

We used to have the same issue (cloudyness) till I started using MORE detergant! We have very very hard water. And I use 3 times as much as it says and my dishes are finally coming out clean. Doesn't seem to matter waht brand it is, as long as I use A LOT. 

post #9 of 12

In our search for dishwasher detergent I received many recommendations and some of them were crap.  How could this be?  It all hinges on your water (assuming, of course, that your dishwasher works alright.)   So, out went Cascade and Electrosol which both left soapy residues, even when used in smaller amounts.  Out went seventh Generation and that lavender liquid stuff.  What gave?  It turned out to be that our town well water was actually slightly acidic.  Most detergents are formulated for harder water, especially the gels.  We have luck with Trader Joe's brand.  I know they rebrand, and I don't know which brand they use if they do it with this product.


So, I imagine that doing some tweaking to your homemade recipe might be helpful.  Try adding more or less of each ingredient.  Our slightly acid water leaves some blue streaking in the toilet tank.

post #10 of 12

I've been having success with about 1T each of borax and washing soda in each compartment with a squirt of Dr Bronner's Sal Suds on both. Dishes are cloudy and have added white vin to rinse aid but haven't held a glass up to the light yet.

post #11 of 12

Saving money at the grocery store is a concept that can extend to every item you regularly buy. This includes dishwasher and laundry detergent, notes Bankrate. Some consumers extol the virtues of single-use dishwasher and laundry detergent – aka pods or squares – but the truth is that standard dishwasher detergent or even homemade detergent is cheaper. So, why not go all the way and save by creating your own?  Practicality is the one you should posess now. Everything is expensive but by creating your own you can save a lot money and you can even use it for business purposes. Learn more at: How to save money on laundry and dishwashing detergent.


post #12 of 12
I've hear of people using sals suds in their dishwasher with good results. Passionate homemaking has a recipe where they doctor sals up a bit.
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