Thursday, April 11, 2013

Herbal All-Natural Home Cleaning Series - Part 5 - Dishwasher Tablets

"She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands."
~ Proverbs 31:13 ~ 

I am having so much fun finding these recipes, trying them out and then (if they work) handing them over to you. This week I made dishwasher tablets, you know like the finish or cascade products...except these use all natural ingredients.

Let me tell you when I first found this recipe I was a bit skeptical. The reason? When we'd run out of our Finish Powerball Tablets I would make up a recipe that I found online for a powdered dish detergent that was suppose to be natural and replace a cascade type powder. But, it didn't work near as well as the Finish product. The recipe I was using contained borax, baking soda and washing soda...some of the same ingredients in this recipe.  So, when I started out on this I almost hated to make it, I was so afraid that I would be wasting so many things. But, since we are here you can tell that I really liked the finished product.

The best thing about this recipe is that it is so cheap to make and you probably have all the ingredients to make it right in your pantry, laundry room, or fridge. The best part is the money that will be saved by using this recipe.

The only thing that I had a problem with in this recipe? Waiting. I am not a patient person and having to wait three, or four days was torturous to me. But, it was all worth it and it'll last me probably 3 weeks or more. If I were you I'd buy up some extra ice cube trays and make a bulk batch. I have already made two batches and I am planning on doing another as soon as these are through. I want to make as many as possible so I won't have to worry about it for awhile.

So, are you ready to make some dishwasher tablets?

What you'll Need:
3 - 16 cube ice trays1- 55 oz box of Washing Soda ($3.24)
1- 76oz box of Borax ($3.38)
1- 2lb carton of Epsom Salt (.88c)
1- 32 oz bottle of Lemon Juice ($1.98)
2 Gallon Bucket
Glass Mixing Bowl
One Cup Measuring Cup
Metal Spoon
Disposable Gloves
Metal teaspoon
Use 2 gallon bucket to mix all dry ingredients.
Measure out 2 cups of dry mixture into glass bowl, add lemon juice one tablespoon at a time, I think I used about 10-12 tablespoons. Stir together with metal spoon until it begins to clump.
When it is a slightly sticky consistency use teaspoon to measure out and press mixture into the ice cube trays, use only one teaspoon per cube. Put trays in your car window in direct sulight, or if you have solar dehydrator that will work just as well. Make sure you bring them in before night fall or the moisture in the night air will re-wet them and undo the work of the day.
If you need to use your hands please put on gloves because this mixture will dry your hands out.
They will need to sit out for three to four days to completely dry out, once they are dry, flip the trays and tap the bottoms, they should fall out. If some of them crumble then take those and use mortar and pestle to grind it and then place in a parmesan shaker, use an abrasive cleaner.
As you can see I put my tablets in an ovaltine container, but you can use a half gallon mason jar,
an oatmeal container, or even a plastic bag.
I decided to "try" to do a pretty label, but that is optional ;)
Total: $9.98
Multiply total batches by how many tablets made in one batch. Then divide total cost by the total number of tablets
8x48 = 384.
9.98/384 = .02599
Total cost per tablet: .02c
If I buy the normal dish tablet at our bulk distributor I pay almost $15 for 120 tablets (and that's a deal compared to what they cost at the supermarket: $4.99 for 20), that adds up to .12c a tablet, so just by making your own you save 10 cents a tablet and you save 36.60 on all 384 of them. You could buy a nice meal for two or get a good pair of shoes (on sale of course) or put it in your bank accout and save up for something nice.
My dishes were clean, I would say that my tablets did just as well as anything on the market, and here are a couple of pictures to prove it:
As you can see we load our dishwasher to the brim, no space left. A side not, but helpful hint from an appliance repairman's daughter (me): If you can't spin the arm after both racks are full and pushed into the dishwasher then your dishes will probably not be very clean. Just a free tip ;)
I hope this has been a very helpful post and if you have any ideas for a natural cleaning recipe please send it to me and feel free to post pictures on my facebook page. Please leave comments about your successes or if you have a question.
Also, if you are wondering why I posted this so early it is because I am going on a much needed hiking trip with my best, have a great weekend and continue in all your frugalness ;)
Learning to be a Proverbs 31 Woman

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