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Homemade Dishwashing Solutions

By Megan Hirt

Tags: baking soda, borax, dishwashing, green cleaning, homemade cleaners, natural cleaners, Storey Publishing,

DIY Dishwashing SolutionsIn a recent poll on our home page, we asked readers which cleaning product they’d most like to find a homemade alternative for. Nearly half of the respondents named dishwashing formula as their most desired DIY cleaner. We aim to please, so here are three dish de-griming recipes from the book The Naturally Clean Home by Karyn Siegel-Maier.

Read a discussion of the possible health effects of borax.

Super-Easy Automatic Dishwasher Powder 

Because it stores so well, this formula can be doubled or made in bulk.

2 cups washing soda
1 cup borax
1 cup baking soda

Combine all ingredients and store in a plastic container. To use, add about 2 tablespoons to the soap compartment of your dishwasher. If you find your dishes developing residue, reduce this amount to 1 1⁄2 tablespoons.

Citrus Sparkle Automatic Dishwasher Powder 

Citric acid (sometimes labeled “sour salt”) is available in powdered form from many health food stores, stores that cater to homebrewers of beer and wine, soap-making supply outlets, and various online sources.

2 cups washing soda
2 cups borax
6 tbsp citric acid powder
25 drops grapefruit essential oil

Combine all ingredients in a plastic container or tub and mix completely. Use 2 tablespoons of the blend per load of dishes.

Herbal Liquid Dishwashing Blend 

Plant essential oils provide a chemical-free fragrance. Enjoy this nontoxic, leafy-fresh scent as you scrub!

Liquid soap
10 drops lavender essential oil
8 drops rosemary essential oil
4 drops eucalyptus essential oil

Fill a clean, 22-ounce plastic squirt bottle with liquid soap (diluted according to directions if using concentrate). Add the essential oils. Shake the bottle before each use. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of the liquid to dishwater and wash as usual.

Photo by Fotolia/robynmac 

Megan Hirt is an Associate Editor for MOTHER EARTH NEWS. Find her on .