Sunday, October 13, 2013

Homemade Version Of Dishwasher Soap

With very little dishwasher soap left in the container I began thinking about making my own. I'm finding the fewer reasons for going to the store means I spend far less. You know how tempting things are and you can't help but come home with more than you intended.  I'm thinking I really need to look up my food expenses because I rarely go to Walmart and the local grocery store doesn't see me but every two to three weeks. I've got to be saving money don't I?

Yes, these ingredients for laundry soap have to be purchased but a couple of them I use in my laundry soap and the canning salt I use in well, canning. They are definitely cheaper than the products meant for just one use. Multiple uses items have taken on a big deal as I am trying to figure out just what to put in my extended storage. There is only so much space. We have run out in this house and if something has many uses, it just rose in importance in my eyes.  

So instead of buying hand soap, laundry soap, dish soap, and dishwasher soap, and the myriad of other cleaners, why not just have a few ingredients and use them for everything? I have read several studies and they all say the same thing. We are being ripped off by advertising telling us that we need all these products to get our houses, dishes, and laundry clean. They want our money pure and simple, not to create something far superior or safe for that matter. I already have salt, citric acid, washing soda, and borax, I'm set without a trip to the store to make my own dishwasher soap. That means this formula is a biggy on my list because I buy these products anyway.

Soap recipe

  • 1 cup borax
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1/2 cup citric acid
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt (for scrubbing action)
Use 1 Tbsp per load (you can use a heaping tablespoon if you feel the need, but we do not).

This is the recipe I tried. I'm washing my second load of dishes right now with this formula. The first one looks as clean as the store product.

 If borax is something you wish to avoid, I found this recipe but haven't tried it. I've got to say I'm still on the fence about borax and so I'm using it.

So here is my borax-free dishwasher detergent recipe:
  • 1 cup washing soda (old recipe used baking soda)
  • 1/4 c. citric acid
  • 1/4 c. coarse salt
  • 10-15 drops of citrus essential oil (Optional. Orange, grapefruit, or lemon essential oils have great cleaning as well as antibacterial properties.)
  • Distilled white vinegar (in the rinse aid compartment)
Mix first 3 ingredients well in an air tight container. Add essential oil. Mix again. Fill your rinse aid compartment with undiluted white distilled vinegar.
Use 1 tsp. detergent for average loads.
Use 1 tbsp. detergent for extra greasy, dirty loads
From My Healthy Green Family

I definitely don't use any product with lemon or orange in it as it eats the finish. That is why you never use anything with lemon in it when cleaning silver. Orange juice left on cotton will eat the fabric. Knowing this, long ago I began avoiding all cleaning products with lemon or orange despite the fact that they smell good. Well, at least better.

I did find this bit about the use of borax as a cleaner.

From ehow.   Borax's grainy texture removes dirt, and its chemical properties kill microorganisms and eliminate odors. The result is a clean dishwasher full of clean dishes. Since borax is alkaline, it also softens water, decreasing mineral buildup inside your dishwasher. At the time of publication, you may use borax freely in place of commercial dishwasher detergents.

According to the chemistry department at Iowa State University, borax is dangerous when inhaled or ingested and may burn the eyes and skin. Never touch it with your bare hands, and handle it carefully to avoid producing dust clouds, which can enter your eyes, nose and lungs.

Have to say I touch borax and declump it through my bare fingers all the time. Of course my skin is more like leather than skin. So don't let this freak you out. As with anything use caution, natural things can be dangerous too if use improperly.

I happened upon some recipes that used baking soda versus washing soda so I went hunting.

The difference between baking soda and washing soda is water and carbon dioxide. Seriously. Baking soda s chemical makeup is NaHCO3 (1 sodium, 1 hydrogen, one carbon, and 3 oxygen molecules). Washing soda s chemical makeup is Na2CO3 (2 sodium, 1 carbon, and 3 oxygen molecules). When baking soda is heated up to high temperatures, it breaks down to become washing soda, water steam, and carbon dioxide.

You can turn Baking Soda into Washing Soda by baking it. Below is the explanation on how you can do it.

The process is really simple. Just heat your oven to 400 F (or 200 C), sprinkle some baking soda on a shallow pan, and bake it for about half hour, until it changes composition. You should also stir it up occasionally, just so that it bakes more evenly.

Baking soda is powdery, crystallized like salt, and clumps together. Washing soda is grainy, dull and opaque, and is separate grains. (from rondagreig)

This made me wonder if baking soda is less expensive than washing soda? If so why not use baking soda instead. Don't get confused here because I don't know that baking soda is cheaper.

My next question is do you use equal amounts and what I found was that 1 cup of washing soda is equivalent to 1 1/3 cup of baking soda. The increase of baking soda needed would have to be figured into the cost to see which is cheaper.
  • Then I found out that the ph is different and this had me wondering again since you wouldn't use washing soda to substitute for baking soda just baking soda for washing soda.
  • Baking soda has a pH of 8 (7 is neutral) and is best known for its use as a leavening agent in cooking. It also can be used as a mild scouring agent, an antacid and an emergency kitchen fire extinguisher.
  • Washing soda is a caustic substance with a pH of 11. Because of this, you should wear gloves when handling it directly. Washing soda is used as a laundry additive and cleanser but never in food.
So there we have it. We are all completely confused. Well, I am anyway but for now I'm going to use the several boxes of washing soda I have. Then in the future I will decided if I want to buy enough for a full four gallon bucket for storage.

Right now I'm not wanting to have to move any more things than I absolutely have to.

I do know that I am completely in love with my home version of laundry detergent. It is the only thing I've found that gets out my grease stains. I'm a messy cook. Now if only I can tweak my lotion so that I have a less greasy version for a quicky softener instead of the greasy soak before bed while laying on a towel.  

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