A while back I posted about making your own natural dishwasher detergent. We have been using this exclusively for nearly 2 months now so I feel like I can report back.
Sadly, I have to say that I am a bit disappointed with the results. Often, the powder turns into a gelatinous mess and gets stuck in the detergent cup. Then the dishes don't get so clean and we have to remove the old detergent and try again. I did discover that using white vinegar as a rinse agent does seem to help prevent this a little.
Another thing that I discovered is that the citric acid that the recipe calls for can get expensive. I have not been able to find a really cheap source for this. I did try the recipe's alternative which was 2 packages of lemon flavored kool-aid mix. This seems to add to the whole icky blob stuck in the detergent cup. Next I decided to just leave this ingredient out all together which seemed to work just fine for the most part.
Several times I nearly broke down and just bought some commercial dishwashing detergent, but I really like the idea of making my own. Not only is is cheaper, it is convenient to be able to mix up a new batch at my convenience when I am getting low (eliminating a run to the store), and there is one less chemical concoction sitting in my cupboards.
This morning I stumbled upon another recipe for dishwasher soap. This one uses Borax and washing soda. I think I may just give this one a try and see how it compares. This article also includes other uses for Borax and washing soda including a link for homemade laundry detergent.
If you try any of these recipes, be sure and comment and let me know how it goes for you.