Over the years I’ve turned myself completely over to living and cleaning as naturally as possible in our home. For one it has saved us a ton of money and, for the other, I feel we are healthier for it. I went through several recipes I found online for homemade dishwasher detergent and settled on one that we just loved and use daily. The following recipe I picked up at Wellness Mama so I can’t take total credit for this one. However, when we moved into Grandma’s House it just wasn’t cutting it because I opted out of adding a water softener when we renovated this old farm house. (I’ve read many things on how the water is not very good for you to drink after salt has been added to “soften it” as well as the idea of our water being stripped of all those good minerals that we need just bothers me.) We were also short on money so I decided to forgo the water softener and crossed my fingers and figured if we absolutely HAD to, we could always add one later.
Here’s the awesome Recipe for homemade dishwasher detergent from Wellness Mama:
- 1 cup Borax
- 1 cup Super Washing Soda (Arm & Hammer)
- ½ cup Citric Acid
- ½ cup kosher salt (actually this Himalayan pink salt is what we use)
So, we moved in and then ran our first load of dishes and were absolutely horrified! For those of you with hard water you already know what I’m talking about: our dishes were absolutely covered in white horror, they even FELT dirty. So then we panicked and tried everything, Joe even stopped at walmart and our local grocery store and bought a couple of different additives in an attempt to find something, ANYTHING, that might help. Nothing helped. All those reviews on amazon about Lemi Shine had me really hopeful, our hard water laughed at it. And it all really bothered me because I hated that I wasn’t the one who was making it! So, I did a little more research, headed back to Wellness mama and spotted it “You can also add white vinegar as the rinse agent…” Of course!!! Duh!!
So, instead of using my dishwasher’s little compartment for rinsing (I knew just looking at it that it wouldn’t be big enough for the amount of vinegar we were going to probably need) I just grabbed a little mason jar and filled it up halfway and put it in the top rack. The difference was absolutely amazing! After three loads with half a cup of vinegar added you couldn’t tell we had hard water anymore! Between the vinegar and our homemade dishwasher detergent, we beat our hard water naturally! And, all in, the entire cost per load is around 10 cents!
UPDATE: A few folks mentioned that there is a rather scary rumor going around that vinegar will somehow “destroy” your dishwasher. So, I did some serious research and found what I suspected: most of what you’ve heard has been blown entirely out of proportion. But, like most things, there is a seed of truth to this. The place in your dishwasher that is labeled for a “rinse agent” to be added, is not built to hold vinegar. This is where the rumors came from. Don’t put vinegar in the little spot that is meant for rinse agents, it is not meant for that! Instead, just put it in a little cup (right side up of course) in your top rack and you’re good to go!