A few years ago I bought a new dishwasher. It was very exciting. It is super quiet, which is really important to me. I do so much cooking that there are often two loads a day. After dinner we like to watch a little TV. With my old washer I used to have to remember to start the dishwasher as we went to bed. Otherwise it was so loud we couldn’t hear the TV. Sometimes I forgot and would wake up to a dishwasher full of dirty dishes. My new dishwasher you have lean in close to tell it is even running. I also love that it can do quick wash, or for a small load top rack only. But after a few weeks of dishes I was getting that white film and water spots. And in my brand new, super-duper dishwasher! It was depressing. I kept changing detergents trying to see if that was my problem. After some research I realized my problem was hard water. That is when I found Finish Powerball Tabs. I purchased it at Costco for $15.69 per 100 tabs.
After seeing this pin from Matt Jabs on DIY natural, I wondered if I could get the same results for less on my own. Here is how to make your own dishwashing detergent at home:
Make Your Own Dishwasher Detergent
- 1 cup Borax
- 1 cup washing soda
- 1/2 cup Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup Lemi Shine the original instructions call for citric acid which is cheapest when purchased online. Otherwise it is available in the canning aisle during canning season at a higher price. It didn't work very well for me. On their FAQ page they mention that those with hard water problems may like to try Lemi Shine and I found it works perfectly. It is available at Walmart, which I found more convenient than trying to hunt down citric acid. You can play with increasing or decreasing the amount depending on how hard your water is. 1/2 cup worked for me.
- Mix everything together in a lidded container and shake.
- Use 1 TBSP per load.
Pour all these ingredients into a container with a lid and shake.
Use 1 TBSP per load.
So, it works, but is it worth the effort? Here is the cost breakdown:
Borax – $3.38=76 ounces/8 ounces=$0.32 per batch
Washing soda – 3.24=55 ounces/8 ounces=$0.48 per batch
Salt – $1.99=48 ounces/4 ounces=$0.16 per batch
Lemi Shine – $3.66=12 ounces/4 ounces=$1.20 per batch
Finish Powerball tabs – $15.69/100 loads = $0.16
Homemade Dishwasher Detergent – $2.16/48 loads = $0.05 Wowie kazowie! Even if you have to increase how much Lemi Shine you put in it is still a savings. Um, yeah…
This Pin Rocks!
I initially had great results with this dishwasher detergent. After using it for a longer period my dishes were not coming as clean as they should. I have switched back to my favorite detergent. Bummer, but we just gotta keep real. If you do not have any issues with hard water, this may still work for you. Feel free to let us know.