We’ve been reading about the miracle uses of baking soda. So, one day, we ran out of automatic dishwashing detergent. In a pinch, we decided to make some detergent with two tablespoons baking soda mixed with two tablespoons of Borax (we have a box in our laundry room just gathering dust). You cannot believe how beautiful our dishes came out! For pennies a wash! We are now converts and will not need to buy commercial dish detergent.
The cost: Since two tablespoons = one dry ounce, you can see how far this will go. A small 16 oz. box of baking soda costs under $1.00 and will last about 32 loads. A 76 oz. box of Borax ix about $5.00 and will last 152 loads of dishes. Assume you do one load a day, you will need 12 boxes of baking soda (or buy bigger versions, we just don’t have that on hand here…) and two boxes of Borax.
Total for the year to wash dishes if you do a load a day: approximately $22.00.
Total for the year to buy commercial dish detergent: average $5 a large box, which lasts about a month (or less), costs approximately $60.00 a year. We based this on our frugal purchases of store brand detergent and Cascade. However, we know many people who use newfangled products such as cubes, gels, and tabs–all of which are more money and promise better results, but we bet the results are just as good as baking soda and Borax.
Again, here’s the recipe:
2 tbs. baking soda
2 tbs. Borax
Put mixture into washer’s detergent holder as you would normally with any detergent. (NOTE: Some people find that this is way too much detergent for their dishwasher’s compartment. In that case, simply mix the solution up in a bowl/container and pour as much as fits. If you prefer, just mix bigger batches and keep in a glass jar or plastic container and scoop out with an old coffee scoop.)
Our dishes have never, ever looked cleaner–no scratches, no water spots, just crystal clear glasses, dishes, and silverware. Our dishwasher is cleaner inside, too. Typically, we don’t love homemade products because they may not work better than store-bought solutions, but this is different.