Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Dishwasher Dilemma

I've posted several recipes for making your own household and beauty products. One of the products that has been giving me a bit of trouble is the dishwashing detergent. I've tried a few different things but still had that white film all over my dishes. Well, I found a solution: Kool-Aid. Let me explain. 

I've been doing some research into rinsing agents, what works and what doesn't. A really good rinsing agent is citric acid. Citric acid is useful in sprouting, canning, drying or freezing. It can be used to preserve Vitamin C content, retard spoilage by bacterial growth and prevent discoloration.  You can buy citric acid in powder form or you can get citric acid from Lemonade Kool-Aid.  I chose to go with the Dollar General generic (Clover Valley) at 10 packs for $1.00. I figured it's $1.00 (I already had the other ingredients), why not give it a try?  

I reluctantly put the ingredients in the dishwasher, shut the door and waited for the end of the cycle.  When I came back, with Hubby by my side, we opened the door and guess what we saw?  Sparkling clean dishes!  Finally!  This is the one area that Hubby was having a hard time with.  He'd OFTEN say, "If you want to switch back to store bought dishwasher detergent, I wouldn't mind." Poor Love.  He's been so patient and supportive.  

Here's the recipe, in case you want to wow your husband (or wife.  or cat. whatever.)  with your dishwasher detergent skills: 

1/2 c borax
1/2 c washing soda (not baking soda)
15 packs of lemonade Kool-Aid (or generic kool-aid like stuff) 
1/4 c salt 

Mix all of the ingredients together in a container.  Give it a good shake.  Use 1 tbsp per load.   

A few notes about the recipe:
  • Just use the packets of kool-aid.  Don't make the drink with the water and the sugar and then add it.
  • The next day, you may find your mixture has hardened.  That's the citric acid. Just give it a good scrape with a spoon to loosen it up before scooping it into the dishwasher.
  • If you want, you can add white vinegar to the rinse compartment.  I didn't do this, but you can if you want to. I didn't actually have a need to.  But if it makes you feel better or you find that you can't live without white vinegar, go for it.
  • Don't use colorful drink mix, it will stain your dishes and the inside of your dishwasher.  Stick with the light colored ones.  
  • For added scent put 15-20 drops of your favorite essential oil into the detergent container.  Mix well.  If you don't want to commit to the whole container, just add a couple drops into your detergent compartment after you put 1 tbsp of detergent.  

One of the best things about this recipe is that you can buy all of these things at the grocery store.  You may spend a few more dollars to start, but these ingredients last forever!  You'll definitely get a return on your investment.  

Enjoy your clean dishes!  I'll hopefully be posting my deodorant recipe soon. I'm so close to perfecting it!  

Thanks for stopping by,


1 comment:

  1. YAY!!! I hope it lasts! The film on some of my dishes seems to be sticking around...even after going back to a store brand detergent. Do you think I can just add a couple shakes of a Kool-aid packet to my mix I already have (the original)? I don't want to waste any of it.

    Thanks for sticking with it!!!

    Oh, and I went back to using Purex for my diapers. My diapers were starting to REALLY stink, which indicates residue from my detergent. I am still working to get the stink out. But I'll use the homemade for everything else because I love it so much. :) (Though, it's a bit pricey)



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