How do you make homemade dishwasher powder?
Pam from Australia
Just a note about the bleach as detergent suggestion: If you are on a septic system like we are, the bleach can actually kill all of the beneficial bacteria. Use it sparingly. (02/01/2009)
Just FYI: "Fruit Fresh" is ascorbic acid (vitamin C), not citric acid. It should still work similarly, though it is less acidic than the citric, and so more would be required to get the same effect. (02/02/2009)
I use only bi carb of soda in dishwasher, works well. Use bi carb also in my washing machine for my clothes then use the grey water for my trees. Stubborn stains may need to be pre soaked first. (02/03/2009)
I'm running my first load with my homemade mix:
I too, am interested in becoming more green;however, instead of "jumping right in," I wish to research first. My husband bought me a couple of books about Natural Cleaning. One book appears to liberally use Borax, the other book actually complains that we should not use too much borax.
I do not have an "automatic dishwasher."; I am the dishwasher, and I do not have my own dishcleaner yet; however, I would like to share with all of you, from this book, why Borax should be used sparingly. (Thriftyfun, if I've misquoted, or "done it wrong," please let me know so I can "make it right.")
In the book, "HOME HINTS AND TIPS: The New Guide to Natural, Safe, and Healthy Living" by Rosamond Richardson, published by DK Publishing, Copyright circa 2003, American Edition, Dorling Kindersley Limited Text copyright circa 2003 Rosamind Richardson
Page 47 BORAX "a naturally occurring mineral and may be used in small quantities for treating stains and mildew, and removing odors. However, it contains the element boron, which cannot biodegrade, and consequently should only be used sparingly."
Also, in this same book, in the Glossary,page 187, under BORON, "Boron is an essential mineral for plants but not animals. In fact, it can be toxic in excess." In the same book, on page 186, BORAX, "widely and diversely used , for example, as a mild antiseptic, a cleansing agent, a water softener, and in the manufacture of enamels, shellacs, heat-resistent glass, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, and other chemicals. It contains the element boron" And again, the same book, on page 186 under BORON& "A mineral element that is a necessary food supplement for some living creatures, but can be damaging at high levels."
What is a low, safe level of Borax? I don't know. From the book I quoted out of, Borax contains Boron, a mineral that cannot biodegrade, so the more it's used, the more it builds up in the septic, etc. The book also says Boron is toxic in high amounts. What is a high amount? I don't know, but I would think if I were washing dishes on an everyday basis with it, it would definitely build up, and probably become toxic.
I really want to be "green" but I also want to be smart about it. I am really proud to say that in my community, I can recycle plastics 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7. I can also recycle cans without having to remove the labels (no food stuck to them, of course), and I don't have to crush the cans. I can also recycle, (and this excites me), newspapers with inserts, magazines, books, catalogs, phone books, and junkmail, along with glass. cardboard, and food boxes that don't have any food stuck to them. I can also recycle aluminum foil as long as there isn't any food stuck to it.
I have a type of septic system, and I don't want Borax building up on the property. Borax is nonbiodegradable, and can be toxic in "large amounts," I don't know the math.
I did see a couple of dishwasher recipes that looked safer than the ones with Borax. Because of what I read in the above book, I would be afraid to use Borax on a daily basis in a dishwasher, because I'm afraid it could build up on the dishes, pots and pans. Borax could build up in septic or septic type systems, and not only that, even in a city, Borax could build up in water supplies.
I've heard the scare stories about Los Angeles, and how anti-depressants and such are showing up in the water, is Borax or nonbiodegradable Boron next? (02/08/2009)
By Carol L.
The dishwasher is done and it is amazing! No more $$ at the grocery store for the liquid dishwasher detergent! Way cool! (02/09/2009)
I just wanted to add what I found this am: ";Now, none of these risks mean that you shouldn't use borax. If you do a bit of research, you will find risks associated with all cleaning products, natural or man-made. However, you do need to be aware of product risks so that you can use those products properly. Don't use borax around food, keep it out of reach of children and pets, and make sure you rinse borax out of clothes and off of surfaces before use."
I don't know, but I'm going to do more research! thanks to Carol for the added information. (02/09/2009)
Just to let everyone know. I still am using regular detergent in my dishwasher ( although I'm currently trying to find a good recipe for homemade stuff). However, my kids were frequently getting strep throat when they were little and the Doctor told me to use bleach in the dishwasher since strep can live on anything plastic for 24 hours or more. It worked and since bleach naturally dissolves after drying, it is safe for the kids to eat on after washing. I don't use it in the dishwasher all of the time now, but I will put some in the dispenser with the other soap, if someone at home has been sick. Another tip is to put toothbrushes in the dishwasher with bleach after someone in the house has been sick. (02/13/2009)
I have tried the equal parts of Washing soda and Borax (1 tablespoon of each) to each load in my dishwasher for a month now. I've read all these comments raving about how great it does. I'm going back to regular dishwasher detergent, my dishes look terrible! They don't get clean, and my glasses and silverware have a white yucky film on them that I had to scrub off with dish soap and vinegar. What could I be doing wrong? (02/18/2009)
To make sure the dishes come out sparkling clean, you have to add salt to the mixture. I mix 1 cup Borax, 1 cup washing soda and 1/2 cup sea salt in a margarine container and mix it well. Works great! (03/02/2009)
Re: bleach as an antiseptic; more environmentally friendly is hydrogen peroxide which can be bought in gallon size bottles at most grocery stores. We keep our toothbrushes soaking in it and have had no plaque buildup on our teeth since. Use it to disinfect counter tops, bleach stains, and probably could be used in the dishwasher as well. Re: borax, I'm not concerned about using it. 20 Mule Team has been around as long as I can remember. I'd much prefer that to toxic household cleaners. Re: washing soda, I called Alicia at Arm and Hammer and ordered my two and got the free shipping. Awesome deal. (03/12/2009)
I made a mixture of 20 mule team borax, washing soda, fruit fresh, and glycerin yesterday and it took forever to cook! It was worth it as three loads have gone through the dishwasher and the glassware looks great. I allowed the finished product to cool in a glass gallon jar and kept mixing it as it cooled. It did settle, but a good shake is all it take to have a liquid dishwasher detergent for pennies! I didn't measure as I mixed, but I did use much less washing soda than borax. Worth the effort to use my dishwasher for pennies rather than the store bought product! (03/15/2009)
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