I found out we had run out of dishwasher soap, even the samples I had gotten, and I went to the internet to find out a homemade substitute. Most of them mentioned either washing soda or baking soda + borax - some others mentioned shaved Zote Soap.
We had baking soda - but no borax. So I filled the containers with baking soda and added a few drops of dishwasher liquid to each pan. Then we ran the dishwasher. The waste water came out nice and dirty, with a few teeny bubbles, and the dishes turned out to be nice and clean.
Now, the dishes had been rinsed and were fairly clean already - and it was 1/2 a load at a full cycle - but nevertheless - it did work. I am getting more baking soda and will look for the borax.
(Note: the reason you can't use plain dishwashing liquid is that there would be a lot of bubbling, like a bubble bath out of control - but a few drops in the baking soda seems to be OK.)
By pam munro
By G J Amber  01/08/2009
I have been using baking soda with a tiny bit of dishwashing detergent to wash dishes by hand. Does wonderfully at first but soon does not cut grease. Will try adding some borax. Thanks! And I do put some vinegar in rinse water.
By Noella  01/08/2009
Reminds me of my submission to Really Good Quotes a year or two ago:
The twins were getting ready to go to a friend's house, out in the country. I was busy getting breakfast, beds made, etc. Then it was time to load up the dishwasher and leave. Got all the dishes in, counters washed, etc. But I'm out of Cascade, actually been out for a day or two.
Now my husband has used dish soap in the past -- I didn't know you could do that.
Soooo, I put in the dish soap, not just a few drops, but the whole dishwasher bowl full. Do you know what happens when you use dishwashing soap in the dishwasher, especially about a quarter-cup full?
I'm in my bedroom curling my hair and yelling to the boys to hurry up. I hear William in the kitchen.
"Uh, Noella? I think you need to come in here."
"Why? You guys need to get ready."
"Uh, Noella? There's suds all over the floor, Lots of suds, they're covering the whole floor!"
I groan, walk into the kitchen, and sure enough, there ARE suds all over the floor. Just across the room from the dishwaher sits our computer and that's where the suds are headed.
The boys bring lots of towels from the bathroom and I call Bill, who after hearing my dilemma, is laughing his head off. His solution is for me to get out my Rainbow Vacuum and start vacuuming the water out.
Well, I get out the vacuum and I guess I didn't watch how the salesman did it 26 years ago because when I started vacuuming the water out, the motor to the vacuum starts sounding funny. Quickly, I shut off the vacuum and open it up, to find that it took out water good enough, now suds are way up in the motor. I did remember the salesman told us that if that ever happened, disconnect from the water housing and run dry. Water and oil soaked the towels on the floor.
Anyway, I sopped (is that the word) up the rest of the water from the dishwasher, and drained it.
By Terri (Guest Post) 02/28/2009
I have also used a couple capfuls of vinegar in the rinse aid compartment (where the nasty Jet Dry goes. and it works well to lessen streaking and water spots.