You’re going to need borax.
I make no bones about my love of making items from scratch whenever possible. Food, household cleaners, detergents – nothing is safe from my frugal tendencies. Recently, I set my sights on making something so unnatural, most people have never thought about what it’s made of: dishwasher detergent.
Most things I tried are verified by pseudo science, prone to markups, and sometimes ineffective. It’s fairly common to run something through the dishwasher twice – and I see that as a waste of time and money.
Just like any other do it yourself project, there was a lot of trial and error in creating a good dishwashing detergent. I weeded out the duds before coming across the following recipe. With a few tweaks, I finally found exactly what I was looking for. These little cubes are great for using in the dishwasher.
1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing soda
1/4 cup Epsom salts
3/4 cup Lemon juice
Plastic ice cube trays
1. I start the process by mixing all of the dry ingredients together. They need to be mixed well so each will be spread evenly through the finished detergent cubes.
2. When the dry ingredients are thoroughly combined, I take a cup of the powder and add it to another bowl and add four tablespoons of lemon juice. The mixture needs to be a little wet and sticky but not soaking wet. The mixture will begin to foam when the juice is added, this is a normal part of the process.
3. When the powder is ready to use, I add a little each each mold, making sure to pack it down so the finished cubes will not crumble. Fill each mold completely. As I run out of mixed powder, I make another batch as before. Continue the process until all of the ingredients have been used.
4. Once the trays are full, place them somewhere dry. I usually place them in a sunny window so they will dry quicker and the cubes should dry completely overnight.
5. Once dry, simply flip the trays over and knock out the finished detergent cubes.
Ta da! These cubes are easy to make and work wonders in my dishwasher.