Recently I saw a post in my Facebook feed for a recipe to make your own dishwasher tabs. I was intrigued. We spend a whole lot of money on dishtabs, and a more economical and chemical-free alternative sounded great.
The link to the original post is here.
I had to make a few changes to that recipe because once I purchased the citric acid the recipe called for, I realized just how expensive these tabs really are! So you are definitely helping the environment by cutting down on plastic, and you're helping your family by cutting down on chemicals, you're not really helping your wallet. The little bottle of citric acid I bought (which was less than 1/2 cup measured out) cost me almost $7. This recipe asked for 1-1/2 cups! That would cost $28, not exactly cheap. I also had a tough time finding 'washing soda' - so I just had to make my own for this recipe and omit it from the one I came up with myself.
Nonetheless, I cut the recipe so that I could use only what I had and made 28 dishtabs successfully for an initial investment of $19, The bottle of vinegar, essential oil and box of salt all had enough left over to make the recipe (according to my quantities) at least 5 more times.
As you can see, even after 24 hours of drying, not all of the tabs will come out whole. I placed the powder into a jar and use it in the pre-wash slot.
DIY Natural Dishtab Recipe
1 cup washing soda
1/2 cup citric acid
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup baking soda
1/4 cup salt
10 drops essential oil
1. Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a bowl (don't use metal)
2. Gradually mix in vinegar, small amounts at a time - it will foam up.
3. Mix in essential oil and pack tightly into 2 ice-cube trays.
4. Set trays in a sunny spot and allow to dry & harden for 24 hours.
If you're okay with using powder over tabs, the recipe I came up with is both easier and sooo much cheaper (me likey!) and works really well. In this case you will take the chemical dependance down yet another notch, because we are no longer going to put a rinse agent bought at the store into the machine either! Your dishes will still be kinda' wet when the cycle is over, but that is easily remedied by leaving the door open and allowing them to air dry for a bit before putting them away.
Trust me, your dishes will be clean and fresh without residue and it'll cost you about $12 initially - but you probably won't have to purchase any more supplies for a half a year! Pretty great for the environment, your family and your bank account!
DIY Natural Dishwasher Powder Recipe
1 cup Borax
1 cup baking soda
1/2 cup salt
1. Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
2. Fill your rinse aid reservoir with vinegar.
3. Place 1 tbsp of powder mix in detergent reservoir and top with one drop essential oil. Add a 1/2 tbsp of powder to pre-wash reservoir.
That's it! So quick and easy!
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