As promised, here is my homemade dishwasher detergent recipe! It works wonders on my dishes, especially since I discovered citric acid – this seems to be a key component. Yes, it does contain borax. See my FAQ for my opinion on its safety! Yes, the occasional crusty pan comes through – especially if I’ve fried some eggs, but i have never found a detergent that seems to kick fried eggy butt, franky. Especially on spatulas. What is it with that?! See my post on CREAM OF TARTAR for a solution for stubborn stuck on messes!
Anyway, here we go. You’ll need
1 part citric acid*
1 part sea salt / kosher salt (do not replace with table salt)
2 parts borax
3 parts washing soda – NOT the same as baking soda!
Mix well in a large bowl, and transfer to your container of choice!
Use about 1 tablespoon per load.
AND in your rinse compartment: full strength white vinegar – I find this to be crucial. If you find you are getting residues, check your compartment to make sure it is topped up.
I have been told that folks with softer water need less citric acid, and those with harder water need more. I have neither soft nor particularly hard water, so this mix works for me. If you have really hard water, though, and you are getting residues, add 1/2 part more citric acid and see how that goes.
This detergent MAY harden / clump over time due to the citric acid content. I recommend making SMALL batches, using it regularly and quickly, giving a shake every now and again, and adding a terra cotta brown sugar protector (soaked) to your jar. If you have any other tips or tricks to avoid this, please post a comment!
I hope this works for you – let me know how it goes!