Sunday, July 14, 2013

Homemade Dish Soap and Dishwasher Tabs

DIY and save money!
In my house, if the kitchen is clean than I am much less likely to be stressed out.  I love to cook and bake and since we don't use many paper products anymore (napkins, paper towels, paper plates, etc.) the dishes tend to pile up.  Fast.  I run the dishwasher twice a day usually and still have to hand wash some things.  So as you may have guessed we go through dish soap and dishwasher detergent pretty quickly.  

I want to use natural products and I have found some things that I really do love like the Shaklee products or even some natural products I've found at Walmart.  However, it can get really pricey so I decided to go in search of a good recipe to use for my dishes.

Homemade Dish Soap

This is my version of a few recipes I found online on different blogs and sites that I follow.  If you are not used to using homemade products you will notice that they do not suds up much or for very long.  This does not mean that it isn't doing its job.  It simply means the chemical that makes many liquid soaps do this (which by the way is NOT actually cleaning better - just making you feel better about it) are not present in homemade natural dish soap.

You will Need:

2 cups boiling water
1 bar of castile soap grated
1 1/2 tbsp washing soda
10-30 drops essential oil (I like grapefruit for its antibacterial properties)
A squirt of natural dish soap for suds*

 Bring water to a boil.  Add in grated soap and stir until dissolved.  Remove from heat.  Add washing soda in.   Transfer to a glass container and let cool.  Add in essential oils.  You are now ready to use it!  Put it in a leftover dish soap container and store the rest in your glass jar.

The washing soda is the thickening agent and when it cools completely it should thicken up a bit.  It will continue to thicken the longer it stands.  You can adjust the amount based on the thickness you like.  If it becomes too thick you can add water and shake a bit.  

*This step is totally optional and not needed.  I usually add a little bit of my Shaklee (all natural) dish soap to my mixture so that it will give me a little suds action.  It is still not the same as conventional dish soap as far as suds goes but it does a great job at getting things clean.

Homemade Dishwasher tabs

I found this recipe for natural dishwasher tabs HERE.  The blog, One Good Thing, has lots of great information on natural living and cleaning if you want to check it out for more ideas. This recipe is great and super easy to make.  I hope to move away from using the dishwasher so often to help save energy in the future.  But for now, it is my saving grace as I am a busy mom and it saves a lot of time!

You will need:

2 cups Washing Soda
2 cups Borax
1/2 cup Espsom salt
1/2 cup vinegar
15-20 drops essential oil (I used grapefruit to match my dish soap)
2 or 3 ice cube trays
a container to store your tabs in

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until well mixed.  It will clump together.  

Mush the mixture into your ice cube trays.  Mine filled two and a half trays.  Let them sit over night until COMPLETELY dry.  I left mine sit for about 24 hours. 

Gently empty out the trays as you would ice.  Store in a container for later use!  

To use:  Place 1 cube in your dishwasher soap hatch.  If the load is extremely messy you might need to use 2 tabs.  If they don't fit, just crush them a bit.  I also add vinegar in the rinse aid section of my dishwasher to give it added rinsing power.  I do not use dish soap on my cubes as the original recipe suggests.  I feel it gets the job done just fine without it.

I did a test run with a very dirty load.  I did not rinse any of the dishes first.  Don't you hate washing your dishes before the dishwasher washes them?!


(There was one plate with a crusty on it - I would have normally scraped it off before putting it in the dishwasher.  The other two bowls had caked food on them and came out perfect!)

I hope this helps for those of you who are penny pinching DIYourselfers like me!!  Happy Cleaning. :)

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