Monday, November 18, 2013

Just an observation about using homemade laundry detergent in place of dishwasher detergent

We've been out of dishwasher detergent since Friday night.  I had hopes of going to Costco and getting their huge container of my favorite brand, but Friday was too busy and Saturday slipped away quickly too.  Sunday, because it's the Sabbath and my family likes to support the idea that it is a day of rest, was not an option for purchasing any either.  And of course, I couldn't waste my money on a small box of dishwasher soap at my local grocery store!  At least that's the crazy talk I'd been giving myself.

Come Sunday morning, with lots and lots of dirty dishes piled up and the wish that I didn't have to wash them by hand, I think "Hmm, there's lots of dishwasher soaps on Pinterest, I'll just find one and mix it real quick and try it out."  Unfortunately I seemed to be missing one ingredient out of every recipe that was on there!

I was just about to give up hope that I may need to just live with the dirty dishes, plan better next time, and buy the detergent Monday, when I remembered that I had just made a lot of laundry soap.

AND I remember that homemade laundry detergent has many of the same ingredients as homemade dishwasher detergent.

Of course they aren't exactly the same - in fact there are only three ingredients that are similar in most of the recipes I'd found: borax, super washing soda, and baking soda; but could I use it in a pinch?  Well, I was certainly going to give it a try.

Here's what I did and how it turned out:

I grabbed about two tablespoons of  laundry detergent

sifted the Castille soap out of it

placed it in both allotted portions of the dishwasher

put in around 1/8 tsp. citric acid (leftover from canning my tomatoes this summer)
 added my JetDry (I've tried vinegar in a pinch too and it works - ok) but I figured I really needed this in case I didn't get all of the Castille soap out and it left a residue.

then for good measure, I put in just one drop of Dawn dish soap (going against anything I'd ever heard about putting dish soap in your dishwasher - I had day visions of the dishwasher spewing suds all over my kitchen floor).
Here's a picture of my dishes:
See how there is a residue on some of the measuring spoons.   Those were the ones I measured the soap with, but there was still a little bit of chalkiness on some of the glass. 

After two loads, here's my opinion:  Sifted laundry soap works in a pinch!  But truthfully, it's probably best to actually make your own dishwasher detergent or just go buy some; leave the laundry detergent separate! 

Please tell me I'm not the only one who stalls about going to buy things at the grocery store because I can get a better deal somewhere else - even if it means taking drastic measures later!  I seem to be doing this more and more lately.
Have you ever waited so long to buy something that you have to "make do" with something else around your house?


  1. You're trading time and effort for money whenever you do something like this. Sometimes it better just to pay for doing it the easy way; this may be one of those times.

  2. LOL! I know it @chempianos Dad! But it was fun to experiment!


Hi All,

I've had a few random people commenting not-so-nice content on my blogs so now you'll have to go through some comment moderation. But feel free to still leave comments if you'd like!

Thank you!