Dishes collect some nasty stuff. Sitting in our dishwasher right now are multiple pieces of dinnerware, saucepans, and utensils that are covered in dried yogurt, crusted oatmeal, mashed potatoes, pasta sauce, burnt cheese, peanut butter, regular butter, dehydrated lettuce, cereal, and stuck-on jam. Clearly, we eat a lot of breakfast foods, and we need to pre-rinse our dishes a little better.
Now, I know all that stuck-on food sounds concerning, especially if you remember that I gave up commercial dishwasher detergent this week. Yikes – sounds like a tough cycle for our little Whirlpool, not to mention my Petrified Lemon-Soda Dishwasher Detergent Tabs.
A dishwasher detergent tab is a small amount of solidified dish cleaner that fits directly in the soap receptacle of your washer and slowly dissolves throughout the cycle. Sounds kindof difficult to make from scratch, right? I definitely thought so, but thanks to these wonderful recipes from the Happy Money Saver and Pins & Procrastination, the homemade dishwasher detergent tab became a piece of cake. Here’s the recipe I worked up for myself:
- 1 Cup Super Washing Soda
- 1 Cup Baking Soda
- 3-4 packets Unsweeted Lemonade Mix
- 1/2 Cup Kosher Salt
- 2 Tbsp Water
- 1/2 Cup Vinegar
- 1 tsp Castille Soap
Basically, you just mix all the ingredients together and then knead them gently and thoroughly into an ice cube tray. I filled the tray up all the way to top, but this made the tabs too large for our dishwasher, so I’ve had to cut them in half. The tabs are fairly easy to chop up, but if you want to avoid this whole dance, just don’t fill the ice cube trays up so far. After you let your mix cement for about 24 hours, the tablets will slip right out of the trays in dried-up, formed cubes. Chop them up, put them in a container, and you’re ready to put on your blazer, because it’s business time.
Wondering what business time will look like with Petrified Lemon-Soda Dishwasher Detergent Tabs? I was, too. I woke up early one morning before work, specifically to turn on my dishwasher. Unfortunately, I still had to leave before the cycle was done – I can never wake up early enough! I got to work and texted Carrie immediately, demanding information about our dishes. The verdict? Success! The dishes came out clean! Carrie said there were a few particles left behind on utensils (probably something that traditional dishwasher detergent would cure), but that was about it – she hadn’t even noticed that I’d put the cycle through with my homemade tabs!
That’s what business time looks like – clean dishes…with only tiny particles left behind.