Here are the ingredients you'll need for this homemade dishwasher soap. When I first saw this recipe, I didn't think it was all that natural, but the gal who put on the cleaning class put it in perspective for me. You are using such a tiny amount of the Cascade Complete in each load, that it really isn't that bad for you or the environment. Mary said that one box of Cascade Complete will last her almost a year and she is like me, does 2 to 3 loads each day. The reason you need the Cascade Complete is for the citric acid. I had thought about making my own dishwasher soap before but when I went to the health food store and saw the price for a small bottle of citric acid, I thought I coudn't afford to make my own dishwasher soap. I've also heard of using KoolAid packets, but that could get expensive, too, plus how natural is KoolAid anyway, with all that dye ;P
The other thing Mary said was that she had a dishwasher repair man come to her house and he said you don't need as much dishwasher soap as the instuction manuals say. In fact, using that much dishwasher soap can actually be hard on your machine. This recipe only calls for 1 Tbl of this powder mixture for each load.
Homemade Almost-Natural Dishwasher Soap "Recipe"
1 part borax (laundry aisle)
1 part washing soda (I had to order this through my local hardware store)
1 part Cascade Complete Powder
Mix well and store in a plastic bag or container. Use one Tbl for each load.
I've been using this and I can't believe how much cleaner my dishes are and how white the inside of my dishwasher is now. Before I took this class, I had just bought some cheap dishwasher soap from Walmart and now I'm avoiding it. I think I may give it away because I don't think I can go back to using it. I'm so happy to have found a CHEAP and EASY way to make dishwasher soap that will not only save me money, but cleans so well. While it isn't perfectly natural, it is way more natural than what I have been using. Stay tuned, next week is homemade laundry soap and stain remover.
Now go forth and wash dishes!
P.S. I also forgot to mention that you can use straight vinegar in place of Jet Dry. I just splash a few Tbls onto the open door before I run it. It works just as well, is cheaper and all natural.