So I ran out of dishwasher soap two weeks ago, and decided to experiment. I have never been happy with the store-bought detergent, because it smells so strong, and who knows what is in it. (Did you know that cancer patients are often advised not to use dishwasher detergent, because of all the harmful chemicals it contains. Makes you think doesn’t it..) Since we have an older model dishwasher, it doesn’t seem to get as hot as the newer ones do, so I would always find soap residue on my dishes. This obviously doesn’t sit well with me. Also, when my dishwasher is on, and the steam comes through the vents, the smell of the soap is so strong that I can’t even stand near it. So I did a little googling to see if I could find and make a home-made natural solution. A came across the idea of using baking soda, and decided to give it a try. So I filled the soap slot with baking soda and put on a load of dishes. It worked pretty decent, however, I did find some baking soda residue, and water spots. After a bit more research I decided to try adding about a dime size amount of liquid Dawn dish soap to the baking soda, and added vinegar to the rinse cycle. It worked like a charm! The baking soda provides grit to clean the dishes, the Dawn some bubble action, and the vinegar helps eliminate those water spots. I have been using this method for about 2 weeks now and my dishes and dishwasher have never been this clean before. (Once i put in a little too much baking soda I think, and I did find residue on top of the cups… However I don’t feel so bad about it, because as least I know what it is, and that it is safe.)
So I’m really loving this method… however I do wonder if its good for the dishwasher and pipes long-term… So I don’t know if I’ll never have to buy the nasty chemical stuff again… but for now, so-far-so-good. I’ll keep you posted.
P.S You can buy natural dishwasher detergent online… however this can get pricey. Also there is a dishwasher detergent recipe floating online that uses Borax.. but I’m not a huge fan of it because Borax can be harmful too.