SO, A FEW WEEKS AGO I DISCOVERED THAT THE DISHES WERE GROSS..........
I guess I just had other things on my mind all that other times I was unloading the dishwasher because I know that cloudy look to our glasses and the almost tarnished looking silverware hadn't JUST appeared there. So I immediately began to try and discover the cause.....
I thought I was doing most things right, I pre-washed, I even talked to my sweet hubby about pre-washing the dishes, because he is very nice and likes to load and unload the dishwasher for me a lot :)
We were using the cascade complete gel with bleach, which I though was the good stuff....or maybe I'm just a sucker for advertising. Anyway, we were paying like we were using the good stuff and it was making our dishes look NASTY.
I emailed our land-lady to ask her if this was an issue when they lived in the house or if maybe the washer needed to be serviced, she said it had always been that way but if I used a finishing agent it would probably reduce some of the cloudiness. Well, people Jetdry isn't cheap and it comes in a small bottle and I really didn't want to pay a whole lot for a tiny chance that it would PROBABLY make my dishes look cleaner so I turned to the internet and read all about what people were saying about DIY dish detergent.
I make my own laundry detergent and use it in a HE front-loading washer and it works great so I really wasn't scared about putting homemade remedies in my dishwasher.
I came across a recipe for homemade dish detergent here and it was....ALRIGHT. It cut down the cloudiness but not a whole lot so I read some more, tweaked my approach and achieved perfection.
IT'S ALL IN THE INGREDIENTS...
- 1 cup Borax
- 1 cup Washing Soda
- 1/2 cup Kosher Salt
- 1/2 cup Citric Acid
All these ingredients are super easy to find anywhere, so that was fabulous. I was a little worried about the citric acid but that was really easy too, they will have it at any Walmart or grocery store in the canning supplies.
So you will want to put all those ingredients in a bowl and whisk them together....
NOW, HERE'S WHERE I MADE MY MISTAKE
When you whisk all the ingredients together you get this nice little powdery mixture, DON"T ASSUME YOU'RE DONE!!
My first attempt at this stuff I just put the mixture in a container and when I woke up the next morning and did my dishes, this is what I found...
It pretty much looked like huge clumps of feta cheese, but it does not crumble so easily. some of the rocks it made were HUGE and would just be unusable because it seemed that the different ingredients had found itself and only adhered to particles like it.
SO I WENT BACK TO THE INTERNET...
Turns out citric acid will make the mixture separate and clump, NO GOOD. However you can always breakout your trusty food processor to help break down all those little clumps into a nice powder once again, so I did.
I MADE A SECOND BATCH,
and added the broken down, older batch too it in a mixing bowl. I read that if you make a batch, leave it out on your counter in a bowl for a day or two after you make it, whisking it periodically it will maintain a powdery form and then you can store it in a container without it clumping.
I left the mixture out for three days before containing it. The morning of day two the mixture seemed kind of sticky, like the powder was slightly wet (BUT IT WASN'T). I just whisked it back into a powder and let it sit for another day and a half and it was good to go, NO MORE STICKING.
NOW FOR A BIG FINISH.
For my first try with homemade dish detergent I was doing the 1/2 cup vinegar mixed with three drops dish soap and just pouring it in the bottom of the washer with the 1TBS of detergent, like I said before this wasn't giving me the results I wanted. Thanks to research I now pour vinegar into the rinse agent dispenser and make sure it stays full. I still pour 1 TBS of the detergent in the bottom of the washer and then the washer releases the vinegar when it's doing it's thang.
SO HERE'S MY RESULT!
The little spoon is the old recipe, it's not TERRIBLE, but it's nothing compared to the nice shiny spoons I now have (Big spoon).