Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Homemade, Green Dishwasher Detergent? I'm Game!

I went into a complete and total panic.

You know... the kind where the edges of your vision blur, you hear the synapses in your brain as they fire, and an unwelcome rush of sound flows out of your mouth with no chance of being held in.

Stick figure screaming, "Noooo!!!"

I was out of dishwasher detergent.

No, really... that is a bad thing.  Trust me.

See, we were having a difficult month.  I had to be extraordinarily careful with funds, balancing one item with another (Do I buy milk, or do I buy bread?).  Dishwasher detergent was not on the list.

I remembered that I had once seen a recipe for detergent somewhere, so I decided to do a search, and see just what I could come up with.  Did I have the supplies to make my own?

As it turns out, I did. 

I found a piece on Organic Authority, which was written by Elizah Leigh, entitled, DIY Automatic Dishwasher Soap that's Naturally Effective.  Yeah, I know... the title is rather wordy... but so are mine, at times, so don't let that stop you from checking it out.  Elizah had two different recipes listed.

One was a powder detergent recipe that required Borax and washer soda.  She mentioned that baking soda could be used, as well.  I suppose this is probably due to the fact that the only difference between baking soda and washer soda is a bit of hydrogen and oxygen... H2O, to be exact.

Well, heck!  I had those ingredients!

Box of Borax with a small box of baking soda in front of it.

The other recipe she mentioned was a liquid detergent.  This one required a few more ingredients.  She listed castile soap, water, white vinegar, and lemon juice.  She also mentioned an essential oil of your choice, but I think that's just because it'll help the final product smell better. Which, when using vinegar, is probably wise.

Holy crap!!!  I had those ingredients, too!  

White vinegar, castil soap, and lemon juice in back, peppermint oil and 1/2 cup of water in front.

Complete with an essential oil - mine is peppermint.


I decided to look into just who Elizah Leigh was.  I mean, what if she didn't know what she was talking about?  These are my dishes we're talking about here.  I'm the type of person that re-washes dishes when people offer to help wash them after a holiday dinner... because they just don't ever get them washed as perfectly as I do.

Yep.  I'm fanatical about my dishes.  This probably helps explain my panic when I discovered a lack of dishwasher detergent, right?

So, anyway... we were talking about who Elizah Leigh is. 

As it so happens, she knows her stuff.  I poked around her LinkedIn profile, and she's a Green Living journalist for NationalGeographic.com. Her interests closely match my own, so there's a chance that she demands as much dish washing perfection as I do.

It's worth a shot.  I'll be trying out both of her detergent recipes, so we'll see how this goes.  You'll see the results of the first one tomorrow, because as is clearly written in Murphy's Law:

 Discovery of a lack of detergent only occurs after a large meal in which 
more dishes than usual are used.

Dishes overflowing from sink - both sides.
I should probably point out at this point that it was totally worth it. Dinner was super yummy!

I'm off to get those things cleaned.  If you're excited about trying these recipes of hers before I write about my results (which will be posted Thursday), you can find the specific amounts of each ingredient within her article.

Good luck!  If you try one, let me know how they work for you.

1 comment:

  1. It's one of the great recipe about DIY laundry detergent. It help me make new one. Thanks for sharing this incredible tips.