I started making my own dishwashing powder after auditing our soft plastics. At the time I had a bulk box of individually wrapped dishwashing tablets. How ridiculous! I still haven’t figured out why they do this… perhaps a safety measure to stop children thinking they are treats?
There are some brands that come as just powder in a cardboard box, saving on the plastic waste, but then I have no idea what the ingredients are because there is no obligation to list them on the container.
So I figure, safest option for planet and us is to make my own from ingredients I can buy in cardboard or bulk and I know exactly what’s going into it. Mind you – I’m still using up some old products so not all of the ingredients I used are plastic free.
This recipe uses washing soda, bi-carb soda, citric acid and sea salt. I use the Environmental Working Group (EWG) website as a trusty source of information on what chemicals and products are good/bad for the environment and our health. They rate products from A to F, where A is good and F is a fail. Washing and bi-carb soda receive an A and citric acid receives a B. This is a really positive result and gets the green light from EWG and me!
My only concern is the mining involved to extract the sodas, so I am conscious of using them sparingly.
I’ve tried a few recipes for dishwashing powder and tablets with varying amounts of the same ingredients. This one I made yesterday, which I believe came from the Rogue Ginger’s book Waste Not, but just plug in DIY dishwashing powder into Google and it will show up plenty of similar recipes.
1 & 1/2 cups citric acid
1 & 1/2 cups washing soda
1/2 cup bicarbonate soda (baking soda)
1/2 cup sea salt
Pour all ingredients into a bottle or jar (I have kept an old dishwashing powder bottle), shake well.
Place approximately 1 to 2 tablespoon into dispenser of your dishwasher and turn on.
DIY Rinse Aid
Pour into rinse aid dispenser of your dishwasher.