Homemade Dishwasher Powder and How To Clean Dishwasher

This recipe is a mix of various ones I’ve found online, and the one that has held up against my testing. It works much better than the ‘green’ ones I’ve tried, and as well or nearly as well as various standard ones. To ensure you don’t need to rewash, scrape scraps off of plates and rinse dishes (not too excessively) before putting them in the machine.

The recipe is a ‘ratio’ recipe, so feel free to double, or make in bulk.
You will need a water proof container, and a 1/4 cup scoop (an old laundry one will be perfect.)
Or, you can refill a store-bought dishwashing powder container.

  • 1 cup Borax
  • 1 cup Baking Soda
  • 1/2 cup table salt (nothing too coarse)
  • 1/2 cup Citric Acid (You can find this in baking sections, or bulk online or at home-brew suppliers or bulk stores)*

Mix well, ensuring that you do not get the mixture wet – citric acid will clump and completely ruin your mix if it gets wet.
Store in container of choice.
Use about 1/4 cup per load, or fill the soap tray almost full.
If you wish, you can add a few drops of Orange or Lemon oil per load for fragrance (which really just helps the machine to stop getting food odours.)
Use white vinegar in the rinse aid, cleaning grade vinegar is better (it’s just stronger) but plain edible white vinegar will do fine.

*I’ve read that you can also use LEMON flavoured kool-aid or similar, as it has the citric acid – be wary of colourants, as they can stain.

How to Clean Dishwasher

I do this about once a month, to ensure you my machine doesn’t get clogged with soap scum, or get smelly. It takes the time of a little more than one wash, and will save you money in the long run, by lessening the chance of a breakdown and making the machine run more efficiently. You can also do this with washing machines.
First of all, clean your filter. If you threw away your manual, look it up online – almost every machine has an online manual that some kind soul has shared.
It’s usually accessible if you remove the bottom rack, and generally you just need to turn something and it comes out. Be warned, if you’ve never done this – it will be gross and you will be shocked.
Firstly, mix a good squirt of dishsoap and vinegar with warm water. With a gentle but scrubby cloth (an old towel is good) clean the outside of the machine, as well as all the seals and bits that grime can get stuck in. Unscrew the arms and give them a good clean, as well as cleaning the bit they screw into. Clean the cutlery basket.
Now, in an empty machine (with the filter back in, leaving the racks in and putting the arms and cutlery basket back in), you can give it a wash cycle.
Sprinkle one cup of the dishwashing mix over the bottom of the machine, and fill a shallow bowl with one cup of the mix, plus 1/2 cup of Washing Soda (sodium carbonate – used in homemade laundry liquid/powder, available at the supermarket – get the powder, NOT the crystals). Add any scented oils you like – Orange or lemon are good.
Put the machine on a regular wash; choose hot if your machine has the choice.

For a washing machine: use the same soapy vinegar mix to clean the seals, soap/fabric softener trays and filter and put back in Fill the inside (not the soap tray) with one cup of the dishwashing powder, plus 1/2 cup washing soda. Add scented oils of preference – Tea Tree, Lavender or Eucalyptus are good. Run on a regular, hot wash.

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