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Dishwasher detergents are the most commonly available utility product. But, a downside to this easy availability is that they come with chemicals that stick to the utensils and linger around, resulting in infections and other diseases. Besides, they just aren’t environment friendly. Homemade detergents, on the other hand, make the utensils cleaner, at about a tenth of the cost of commercially available detergents. If you want to make a homemade dishwater detergent, read on.
What Dishwasher Detergents Do
Dishwasher detergents do a number of things to help keep your dishes clean, but not all of their effects are positive. Here are the main things dishwashers do:
- Change organic deposit colors through a bleaching reaction.
- Soften hard water to stave off mineral deposits building up on dishes.
- Soften and dissolve fat and oil on dishes. Very alkaline (and dangerous) salts are sometimes used for this.
- Scrub off food and filth. Many detergents use ingredients like sand to accomplish this, which can wear down dishes and colors as well as the dishwasher itself over time.
- Keep corrosion of utensils and dishwasher internals at bay.
- Contribute a pleasant aroma to freshly washed dishes. Certain perfumes can cause irritation or adverse health effects in sensitive individuals.
The good effects of these detergents can be mimicked and the bad ones minimized or eliminated completely by using natural ingredients instead.
There are certain, typically, natural products that can be used for cleaning the dishes. They include –
This is known to dissolve grease and cut down on the clouding. Until the year 2010, commercial detergents had added phosphates, for this purpose, even though that negatively affected the environment. This practice was, later, banned by many states.
Borax is a name for the chemical combination of sodium borate decahydrate. It is found underground and was first discovered over 4,000 years ago. If borax is used in hot water, it can bleach through a chemical reaction, in which the chemicals get converted into hydrogen peroxide. As you may be aware already, hydrogen peroxide is a natural bleacher that is used in several cleaning products. When borax is combined with washing soda, it becomes a naturally occurring alkaline that can remove stains and take the form of a hard water fighter.
Some commercial dishwater detergents would cause some forms of spotting and clouding. If you use the good old white vinegar to finish the rinses, instead of the expensive commercial ones, you will get crystal clear glasses and dishes. The use of vinegar also ensures that the dishwasher remain clean and free of odour.
DIY Homemade Dishwasher Detergent
To make your own version of a dishwater detergent, here is what you’ll need.
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- 1 cup of borax
- 1 cup of washing soda
- ½ cup of kosher salt
- ¼ cup of citric acid
Step 1 – Place all the ingredients in an airtight container. To combine all the ingredients, shake the container well. Remember to do so every time you want to use the homemade dishwater detergent.
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Step 2 – Now, pour white vinegar into the rinsing dispenser. The vinegar acts as a finishing agent. It is highly recommended to add the vinegar, towards the end for reasons cited earlier: clean and odour-free dishwasher.
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All these ingredients for the DIY homemade dishwasher detergent can be found online or at local retailers. If certain products aren’t available, you can utilize their substitutes, but make sure that you do a thorough research, on each before purchasing. You would certainly not want to buy something that ends up exhausting your pocket and blowing the home with chemical fumes. Furthermore, if the grocer does not have washing soda, you need not worry, because it can be easily made at home. To make washing soda, take a cookie sheet and spread baking soda all over it. Now place the sheet in an oven at 400 degree for about an hour. The sodium bicarbonate will get converted into sodium carbonate.