All you need is:
– 1 cup Borax
– 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Baking Soda ( they do not use aluminum or test on animals)
– 1/4 cup of table salt
When purchasing any type of cleaning product, I always ask myself the same three questions. One, is this product tested on animals? Two, is this product harmful to the environment? and three, can I really justify spending this amount of money on a product just because it meets the previous criteria? Sadly, if you want eco and bunny friendly products, you usually have to shell out a few extra dollars to acquire them.
Now I love my dishwasher. And I love to cook, a LOT. I love to cook for a lot of people, and this equals a lot of dirty dishes. SO, I tried to think of the smartest way to use my dishwasher (I run it about twice a week) and not feel guilty about it. It turns out it’s actually cheaper to use the dishwasher than to wash all your dishes by hand. It uses less water and in turn costs you less money. If you NEED to rinse your dishes before putting them into the dishwasher (which you do have to do with older models, like mine), do so in cold water, to keep those costs down.
Let’s talk a little bit about borax. Borax, which is made entirely of sodium borate, is an alkaline mineral salt.
It’s a naturally occurring element but even things from nature can be harmful (like asbestos or mercury; source: MesotheliomaHelp.org). Not unlike conventional cleaning products, homemade or store bought green cleaning solutions should be stored safely away from children and pets.
Borax is very effective, versatile, affordable, and eco-friendly compared to petroleum-based ingredients in conventional cleaning products. When handled with respect, borax is a great addition to your cleaning arsenal. Mix solutions in your kitchen, away from food and clearly label your finished product.
Now on to making your own dishwashing detergent for a fraction of the cost. Mix one cup Borax, one cup baking soda and 1/4 cup salt in a tall mason jar. Shake to mix. Voila! Add a tablespoon of this to your detergent dispenser and run it through a normal cycle. If you have a rinse cycle, add vinegar as a rinse aid and dishes will be clean & spot free.
Here’s another neat piece of information I just discovered. If your dishwasher is looking pretty dingy on the inside, the quickest and most cost efficient way to get your dishwasher looking like new again is just running an empty cycle and filling the detergent cup with a drinking mix with citrus in it. You can use any citrus drink mix and fill it just as you would with your regular detergent. Any drink mix will do- lemonade, Tang, Crystal Lite, or any other drink mix with the citrus ingredient in it. Doing this once a month will help keep your dishwasher looking like new. Pretty neat huh?
You learn something new every day!
* please note that Borax does not test on animals. Unfortunately, the company has now been purchased by Unilever who DOES test their products on animals. However, Borax remains the same. It’s like Tom’s of Maine being bought by Colgate. Aveda by Estee Lauder etc. Sometimes, you have to pick your battles. As much as I try to be 100% cruelty free from all avenues, sometimes you just have to choose the lesser of the evils. I once read: using a product like Borax is like eating vegan in a restaurant that also has meat and dairy on the menu. See my point?