We had such a wonderful weekend as a family! I love Minnesota summers – even if we are still in the midst of a heat wave. Come mid-January we are all going to be longing for 90°+ days. So, we had better enjoy them while they last. Although, I have to admit that it’s at this point in the year that I get really excited for Autumn. I absolutely love the warm days and cool nights along with crisp breezes, football and, of course, my birthday.
Usually I order the Seventh Generation free and clear dish pacs from Amazon using subscribe and save; however, I noticed that the price had increased and the dish pacs were not getting our dishes as clean as I would like. I swear that I have tried using pretty much every eco-friendly dishwasher soap and, to no avail, cannot find one that gets our dishes squeaky clean.
About a month ago I saw this recipe for dishwasher detergent on Passionate Homemaking and decided that when we ran out of dish pacs I would try it out. What can it hurt? So, last week it was time to mix up the homemade dishwashing detergent and get to using it. I mixed up the recipe in a glass mason jar exactly as it is listed on Passionate Homemaking. I attached a tablespoon to the jar using a paperclip and rubber band for easy measuring and use.
So, how does it compare? I honestly think that it works just about as well as the Seventh Generation products that we have been using.
Although, we are still pulling out a few clean dishes that need to be rewashed. Specifically, utensils used to spread/scoop nut butters, dishes that once contained oatmeal and glasses that were used for smoothies. Although, I know that this is commonplace with most eco-friendly dishwashing detergents used in areas that have un-softened water, like Minneapolis.
We have learned that following these simple steps we can minimize as much rewashing as possible:
- Above all, the items listed above need to be rinsed well before being placed in the dishwasher.
- I have begun using our dishwasher’s “rinse” cycle every with a teaspoon of dishwasher detergent every evening before bed so that food does not get dried on to the dishes.
- We have stopped crowding the dishwasher so that dishes are able to be sprayed well and thus cleaned thoroughly during the rinsing and washing cycles.
- Once a month, I run an empty “Quick Wash” with 1/2 c white vinegar in a small coffee cup on the bottom rack to clean the dishwasher of dried on food and other nasties that could be lingering.
1/2 c sal suds
1/2 c water
1 tsp lemon juice
3 drops tea tree oil
1/2 c white vinegar
Combine all ingredients in a glass mason jar and stir gently to combine. Use 1 tbsp per load of dishes.
Feel free to adjust the amount of sal suds necessary to get your dishes squeaky clean based on the hardness of the water in your area.
I look forward to also trying my hand at making my own laundry detergent once the stockpile of Seventh Generation that we have is gone. The week of Earth Day, Target had all of the Seventh Generation products on sale and I had a 5% pharmacy rewards certificate in addition to the 5% red card savings and Allan’s employee discount, so I stocked up on laundry detergent and household cleaning items. However, once those products are gone I intend to make my own. I plan to share my thoughts/reviews of the recipes here, if you are interested.