Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Homemade Detergent Update

A while ago I wrote a couple of posts about making your own laundry detergent and making your own dishwasher detergent. The laundry detergent was a roaring success and I have been happy using it since with no problems! Not so the dishwasher detergent.

I have used that recipe for dishwasher detergent with citric acid for many months. At first it clumped so badly it was unusable. Then I added some dry rice to absorb the moisture and it helped, but didn't eliminate clumping altogether and I didn't like putting rice in my dishwasher. The clumping is the citric acid absorbing moisture which makes it work not so well in the dishwasher.

It did work VERY well when first mixed, however and all the dishes came out sparkling clean with no detergent residue whatsoever. It's the citric acid that does it. Now I use store bought dishwasher detergent or my own homemade without citric acid in it. I keep the citric acid in a small jar by itself and just sprinkle a little into each load - no more detergent residue! We are much happier doing it this way and with very little added trouble. I top up the rinse agent each time anyway.

For those of you who are on the journey to self sufficiency and are having difficulty with the dishwasher detergent recipe, try adding the citric acid separately.


Self sufficiency is a continuous journey, one that starts with the first step. That first step is not all that hard to take, either. I don't believe anyone actually gets there. I don't think it's possible to achieve true self sufficiency. You wouldn't be reading this on a computer if you had...

10 comments:

The Japanese Redneck said...

You are right about self sufficiency. It does start with the 1st step.

Glad you are working it out. Hopefully I can do more toward it in the future.

chris2112 said...

We use a basic homemade dw detergent,it took a few tries but we finally have something we're happy with. 1 cup of borax, 1 cup washing soda, 1/4 cup of sea salt and 2 pkts of unsweetend kool aid lemonade. With this recipe we got mediocre results until we started filling our rinse-aid reservoir with straight vinegar. It works great with the xtra bonus of vinegar being much cheaper than jet dry or other rinse agents. The only thing i notice is that the dw tub needs the occaional cleaning now, but no biggie, it's a small price to pay for the savings we realize.

Providence Acres Farm said...

Hi Chris!

Koolaid lemonade is citric acid :-) otherwise it's my recipe! It occurs to me now that Koolaid lemonade might have a declumping agent in it. Hmmm....something to look into. Thank you!

Does it clump after being stored for a couple of weeks? I know there are salts you can buy with declumping agents and I might use one of those next time too, since we are not eating it. Koolade might be cheaper!

I have read about using vinegar in the rinse cycle and do intend to switch to it. I just have a super large bottle of commerical to use up first.

I don't mind a yellow tub in the dishwasher :-)

Lindsay B. said...

Hello! I am very glad to have found your blog. I stumbled across some of your recipes at 'Chickens in the Road'. They all looked great. So happy also see that you're a Christian. :)
just wanted to say hi and let you know i'll be following your blog

Providence Acres Farm said...

Hi Lindsay and welcome! I like the "Chickens in the Road" blog too! It's a great site!

chris2112 said...

Hi prov,it might clump just a tiny bit, but i just mash it up with a fork every now and again.

Providence Acres Farm said...

I did that with this recipe too, at first. The bottom of the buckets gets too hard and solid. If the citric acid has clumped that badly, it doesn't seem to work well in the dishwasher. Maybe the activity is already partly used up? Anyway, we got tired of a solid clump of hard dishwasher detergent. Maybe I was using too much citric acid...

chris2112 said...

I guess I should have said that we only make 1 ' batch " at a time in a small tupperware container. We probably use it up in 2 weeks, so it's not like it sits around forever absorbing moisture,we also keep it on a shelf away from the sink and moisture.

Sonia said...

I too had the problem with the dishwasher detergent not working after a period of time. It worked beautifully in the beginning, but then it just would not clean. I am going to make another batch, but this time omitt the citric acid and just add it to the washer when I do a load of dishes. Thanks for the wonderful tip Sheryl!

Sonia said...

I too had the problem with the dishwasher detergent not working after a period of time. It worked beautifully in the beginning, but then it just would not clean. I am going to make another batch, but this time omitt the citric acid and just add it to the washer when I do a load of dishes. Thanks for the wonderful tip Sheryl!