By Jamish from Ransom, Kansas
Editor's Note: Make sure you add the vinegar at the rinse cycle, as described in the tip, and not when you add the bleach or it will create a horrible gas.
I had trouble finding washing soda too until I went out to make some adjustments to my swimming pool water and read the label on the ph increase I got from litehouse pools, sodium carbonate 100%, same as the name brand washing soda!
I used to add bleach to the dishwasher. My daughter worked at whirpool in customer relations. She said the bleach ruins the gasket eventualy and causes leakage. just a heads up.
Please don't use bleach in your dishwasher if you or anyone in your family has breathing problems like asthma or heart conditions. The fumes from bleach will trigger both of these problems. And the hot steam from the dishwasher (or washing machine) will make the fumes spread even more than if you were just using it in the sink.
I simply use a very tiny bit of liquid dish soap ( not a dishwasher kind) and then add about 1/2 - 1 cup of vinegar at the beginning of each cycle. I set the dishwasher as usual and forget it. The dishes come out every bit as clean as they did buying commercial dishwasher detergants, which are very toxic according to a news broadcast that I heard. I am trying to go more natural in many areas of life.
Just a heads up... mixing ANY kind of acid based product (including vinegar), or ammonia, with bleach can create extremely toxic chloride fumes.
I tried the borax and baking soda recipe with vinegar as a rinse aid but my dishes came out horribly filmy, so I let vinegar soak in the dishwasher overnight and ran it empty, then I tried the recipe at the top of the page for a little normal dish soap and 1/2 C vinegar and my dishes came out beautiful. I'm not sure which one did the trick but it works.
I just got my dishwasher 2007 model which I installed myself saving $200 bucks and pickup $3.00 part at Home Depot just to get the hot water connected. Don't need to spend $15 bucks on a kit if you 'already had a dishwasher hookup. Anyway the unit came with a sample of Cascade Complete and Cascade Glass Spotter. I had Jet Dry Costco Jumbo Size already to last me a very long time. I also had Costco Krikland Sigtinure Series Automatic Dishwashing Detergent. I've tested that in my new one by itself. I it didn't clean the stainless steel pots and fooks, spoons and knifes so well.
So I gone back with Cascade 2-in-1 Pacs with Dawn did try that with one pad, but found out the hard way you need to use two of those. That did a very good job, but I did add Cascade Complete to the pre-rinse even though that product tells you you don't need to do it. Yeah, yeah. Pots and pans and everything else came out super duper clean. I ran out of the 2-in-1 pads they seem expensive to keep on adding them in. Costco has them for $12 for 90 pads, Wal-Mart 80 pads for $12, 50 pads for $8. I just got the biggest box of Cascade Complete at Costco for $7 bucks..
That cleans everything I put in the dishwasher even cast iron with oil. If it can't clean that then forget it. Which id did clean it so well maybe too well but hey just have to oil the iron and I back in business.
I use the Cascade Complete in both places also add a pre-wash. Just to play it safe. I'll stick with this product I did see the Bleach version but don't know if that's a good idea to smell bleach flumes during the drying cycle..
Good luck, making your own still cheaper to buy the ready made product.
I use 1/2 cup borax (can find at walmart, foodlion or publix) and 1/2 cup washing soda (can find at publix or kroger),and vinegar in the rinse.
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