Monday, April 2, 2012

"super-easy automatic dishwasher solution"

A few months ago we read about a few homemade cleaning solutions to use around the house in the December/January issue of Mother Earth News {highly recommend adding to your reading list if you don't already read}.  When we came across a recipe for "super-easy automatic dishwasher solution," we knew we had to give it a try.

In early January we decided to mix up our first batch when our  dishwashing tabs were running low.  We've used this solution as our sole dishwashing soap since, with one exception.  Every couple of weeks we run a clean cycle of either vinegar and lemon juice or using a store bought dishwashing tab {we really like these}.  We find that over time, grease and grime can build up and your dishwasher just needs a through clean.  When we use either of these cleaners, we run the dishwasher empty on a normal cycle.

We've been impressed with how well this simple solution has cleaned our dishes.  You don't need much, the recipe says to use 2 tablespoons per load, but I find that if the dishes aren't super dirty you can get away with just 1-1 1/2 tablespoons per load.  Play around with it and find out what works best for you and your dishwasher.  This simple 3 cup solution has lasted us nearly 3 months.

DIY Super-easy Automatic Dishwasher Solution
{via Mother Earth News & "The Naturally Clean Home" by Karyn Siegel-Maier)

2 cups washing soda
1 cup borax
1 cup baking soda
**powder rinse aid

Combine all ingredients - be sure to break down any clumps that may have formed in either of the sodas.
Store in an airtight container.

To use: add 2 tablespoons to the soap compartment of your dishwasher; if you find your dishes developing a residue, reduce to 1 1/2 tablespoons.

I found this jar at a local thrift store and knew it's fit perfectly with all my IKEA SLOM jars.  I ended up using the small Ikea jar for overflow this time around.  I also have an old tea scooper that we got with a gift set that is roughly 1/2 tablespoon.  Looks nice enough to sit on my counter.  A couple scoops with each load and we're good to go!

**It's recommended that you continue to use a rinse aid with each cycle.  While looking at the various rinse aids available, I came across LemiShine, a powder hard water stain remover.  I decided to give this a try and mix it in with my powder solution as it's all natural; instead of having to use a rinse aid with each cycle.  We'll see how it works!

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