20 Reviews

I have been using close to this recipe for over a month (1 load a day) with great results. Here are my tips. 1 cup each washing soda and borax plus 2 envelopes unsweetened lemonade (like koolaid) And use white vinegar in rinse agent compartment. This is for people with soft water. If you have hard water, mix in 4 envelopes of lemonade. If you continue to have white film, add another lemonade packet. I would also suggest, before giving it a try,(those with hard water) to run through 6 envelopes of lemonade first in an empty dishwasher and put 1 cup white vinegar in the rinse (to clean the dishwasher of limestone) I put my dishwasher powder in an old coffee creamer container with pour spout lid. Use approx. 1 TBS./ compartment- adjust to less if you can-LESS IS MORE. You may notice the powder will clump after a while-it doesn't hurt it- I put a silicon gel pack from a new pair of shoes to dry out my container. If you have heavy limestone build up in your dishwasher-look in your instruction manual or on the internet to find out how to clean out your sprayer arm. I started with FISTFULLS of limestone. Good luck- and don't give up... we can do this on the cheap... I HATE paying 5 bucks for something that is washed down the drain.

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whammie April 21, 2010

Just thought I'd give everyone my tip for avoiding the white film on your dishes. Fill only the small pre-wash cup with the "detergent" and fill the larger wash cycle cup with white vinegar and the essential oil. Works perfect every time!

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isispleiades July 19, 2008

Tried this tonight as I forgot to buy detergent at the store. It seemed to work pretty well on plastic containers, plates and silverware, although, I admit that I pre-rinse my dishes, so there wasn't a lot of stuck on food. Two previous reviews of this recipe were very helpful ~ whammie and isispleiades. Whammie suggested using lemonade packets, which contain citric acid. I've seen other detergent recipes include citric acid, so I am thinking it acts as an abrasive to help scrub away food particles. Isispleiades suggested filling the pre-rinse compartment with the detergent and the main wash compartment with white vinegar as well as adding the vinegar to the rinse compartment. I followed this advice (although my compartments are labeled "light wash" and "heavy/normal wash") and it seemed to work pretty well. 1 tbsp of the detergent filled the "light wash" compartment. Hopefully, this detergent mixture will continue to clean as well as it did tonight.

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SGpratt March 04, 2012

It seemed good the first wash or two, but now I'm looking for one that doesn't leave a film plus dirt.

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smith.diane805 February 17, 2010

I was very hopeful for this one. Used it this afternoon. The dishes were clean, but my glassware & plastic containers had a milky film covering them even tho I do use the white vinegar as a rinse agent. I will say I have very hard water here. Perhaps this formula simply isn't up that that challenge.

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MamaCooks August 15, 2009

I have been using this for a while and really like it. It works best if you use the vinegar for the rinse cycle.

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Z,G,L's mom June 12, 2009

I really was hoping this would work...I had all of the ingredients on hand, since I make my own laundry soap and bath soaps...BUT, even with the vinegar in the rinse I still had food stuck on the dishes, and the glasses had film left on them.

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Denise F. March 31, 2009

I really hate to give bad reviews but this just did not work. Not only did we still have "stuff" caked on our dishes there was grit in our cups and glasses. All the dishes has a white kind of chalky film on them. I'm sorry but this just doesn't do the job for our family.

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Cooking Mom of 7 October 29, 2008

I made this because DH was complaining about our dishes smelling and tasting like the commercial detergent I had been using. This was very simple to make- I already had the washing soda on hand (AKA Soda ash or Sodium Carbonate) because I use it as a dye fixative (purchased at www.dharmatrading.com)- I made a double batch and just shook it up in a plastic jar I bought to store it in. I'm not giving it 5 stars just yet as I haven't worked out the right amount to use where it doesn't leave a film on my dishes. I'm using vinegar as a rinse,too- but there's still a milky film on my glasses. DH is thrilled that the dishes no longer smell like soap. *UPDATE- the film kept building on my dishes and I couldn't get the amount right where it would effectively clean without leaving the milky film, so I have switched back to a commercial detergent.

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SuperSpike June 03, 2008

I'll be using this from now on. Tested the mix last night for the first time in the dishwasher and the dishes came out clean and the glassware sparkling. (I also use the white vinegar trick, too.) I didn't bother adding essential oil. For my machine, 1 tablespoon was sufficient. Thank you for posting this. Note: in the US, Arm and Hammer manufactures washing soda in powder form. In PNW, washing soda can be found at Fred Meyer and WinCo. ~fyi~ Thank you again! cg ;)

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COOKGIRl May 04, 2008
Homemade Dishwasher Detergent