Each batch yields 24 ounces of detergent. We recommend storing in a container you were going to dispose of anyway, like an old yogurt container or coffee can you can fit it under your kitchen sink. Feel free to double the batch, or multiply to create any amount you’d like.
(You can also add lemon juice as a rinse agent)
Tips to avoid clumpingThis detergent will clump because of the citric acid. Here are a few ways to make it clump less.
- Add a tsp of rice to the detergent to help absorb moisture.
- After combining ingredients, leave mixture out and stir several times each day for a day or two. (This is how we do it.)
- Add 1/2 tsp. citric acid separately to each dishwasher load rather than adding it to the detergent.
Cost savings breakdownPrior to making our own, we were using Palmolive eco+ liquid detergent. Here is the cost analysis:
- borax | 76oz = 4.29 | 8oz=.45/batch
- washing soda | 55oz = 2.19 | 8oz=.32/batch
- citric acid | 80oz = 27.00 | 4oz=1.35/batch
- kosher salt | 48oz = 1.99 | 4oz = .16/batch
- total for 24 oz = $2.28/batch
- white vinegar (as rinse agent) | 1gal = 1.79 | 4oz=.06/fill
- Palmolive® eco+ gel 75 ounce detergent – $3.79 – 28 loads = $0.14 per load
- Homemade powder 24 ounce detergent – $2.28 – 48 loads = $0.05 per load
- FINISH® JET-DRY® Rinse Agent 4.22 ounce solution – $3.99 – 1 fill = $3.99 per fill
- White Vinegar as a Rinse Agent 1 gallon solution – $1.79 – 1 fill = $0.06 per fill
Is Borax ToxicAfter thorough research, I concluded borax is only as toxic as baking soda or table salt; if you ingest it in high quantities, it may make you sick. If you use it as described in our recipes, it poses no toxic threat.
Just make sure you don’t confuse Borax with Boric Acid, the two are NOT the same. Use borax (I recommend 20 Mule Team brand), steer clear of boric acid.
In 2010 the government ordered all phosphates in dishwashing detergents to be decreased significantly. But phosphate isn’t the only concern. Dish washing detergents can contain a myriad of chemicals. Surfactants, stability and dispensing aids, fragrances and colors, mildness additives, preservatives and antibacterial agents are sometimes added. In some cases these might be naturally occurring substances, but often they won’t. Some will be toxic to aquatic organisms and likely won’t be filtered out at water treatment facilities.All good reasons to use a natural dishwashing detergent.
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