Those who know me well are well aware of the diy dishwasher tablet follies in my kitchen this year as I’ve tested several recipes.
Some have been quite funny – I’m talking the complete with suds coming out of the dishwasher and all over the floor kind of funny! As I told the hubby who just stood there with that look on his face (if you’ve been married any length of time you know the look I mean) — “hey, at least the floor got mopped.”
As I neared the end of the last batch – which cleaned very well, but clumped badly, I was off to exploring again. There is just something about me and stabbing a knife into a little jar that doesn’t seem right or safe. I could have you in tears laughing about the results of me and ice on the roof, not just once, but twice. But I digress.
Instead of tweaking the recipe, yet again, I decided to see what Pinterest had to offer on the subject. Or, more accurately, to see if there was anything new in the last several months. I also looked at a few blog links as I was searching. The recipe I used is on a few different websites, in the exact same version, with the exact same photo and no “it really belongs to xxxx person” credit. So, the best I can do is own up to the fact that it isn’t a Green Leaf Inspirations original.
The original recipe calls for: 1 Cup Borax, 1 Cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda), 1/2 cup Epsom Salt, 3/4 Cup Lemon Juice
Now, I didn’t want to make a full recipe (that says somewhere in the 22 tablet range) — I just wanted to try it. So I thought I’d cut the recipe in half.
When I did that, it came out kinda soupy, so I wound up adding another 1/4 cup each of borax, washing soda and salt to get the tablets to form without being mushy. I just used one tablet in my dishwasher and I LOVE it. No film on my glassware, none on my plastic (yes, I have some) and all but 2 items came clean. This is a major win for the first time round. I have really hard water and my dishwasher is, um, challenged. It doesn’t understand it is supposed to actually clean the dishes. In it’s defense, the one dish was pretty dirty.
This performance is better than Cascade or any of the other detergents I’ve used. And the cost? Well, the one site estimated it at .03 each — so another major win in the budget saving department. I’m so excited. So, then, here is how it goes:
DIY Dishwasher Tablets
1 Cup Borax (you could use plain ‘ole baking soda if you have an issue with borax)
1 Cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda)
1/2 cup Epsom Salt
3/4 Cup Lemon Juice
Mix all your dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the lemon juice. It will fizz so the kids will think it is fun. I used a tablespoon and went for what looked like a 1 and a half to 2Tbs clump. I dropped it on a cookie sheet and I then formed it into a shape that looked like it would fit the washer dispenser. Once it got a little harder I transferred them to a cookie tray for better air circulation. Now that they are hard, in a jar for storage they go.
The only other thing I can add is that I noticed that the whole tablet did not dissolve. So I might need to either just place it in the bottom of the dishwasher to start or make the tablet a little smaller or thinner.
End result. I’m very happy. The recipe took less than 5 minutes to make and cost mere pennies. Much greener, less cost, easy to make: sounds like a winning combo to me.
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