If you have read my laundry soap post you know that my daughter couldn’t handle detergents when she was a newborn, so it not only meant finding a natural solution to my laundry problems but my dishwashing problems as well.
I tried soooooooooo many different kinds of dishwasher soap recipes that I almost gave up. After all, cleaning dishes is serious business. I came across a recipe that used borax as one of the cleaning agents. For those of you who don’t know, borax is controversial in the DIY world. It does an amazing job of cleaning up grime but it has been shown to have some mild toxic reactions creating skin rashes, respiratory problems, and some studies even saying it can interfere with the endocrine system and cause reproductive disturbances. Here’s the catch- from the information I have read those reactions have happened when one is exposed to it for long periods of time, directly breathe it in, and/or have come in contact with a large dose of it.
Most things in our world would cause problems if we regularly exposed ourselves to large dosages. Shoot even water can kill you if you drink too much of it. Keeping in mind that my daughter was already having skin reactions, I modified this recipe to remove the borax from it and it worked really well for us. The truth is borax is just superior to baking soda when it comes to cleaning. I would suggest you do your research and find what is comfortable for you. I will give you the recipe with both options so you can try it either way.
At the end of the day I think it is safe to say Borax is much a better alternative than those toxic dishwasher pods you purchase in the store. If your child puts a homemade dishwasher cube in their mouth you wouldn’t have to worry about them losing their life or having massive reactions like you would with the store bought ones (but please don’t offer this up to your kids as a snack! Keep it secure and away from them just like you would any other household cleaning product).
How to make Dishwasher Cubes:
1 cup Borax OR Baking Soda
1 cup Washing Soda
1/4 cup Epsom Salt
1/2 cup Lemon Juice
Using a wooden spoon, mix the dry ingredients together in a glass or plastic bowl (I wouldn’t recommend metal).
Once combined, add the lemon juice (this will bubble up as the lemon comes in contact with the baking soda–Science!).
Mix it together. The mixture should be damp but not super wet.
Scoop into a plastic ice cube tray making sure to level it out so the height is consistent throughout. Let sit overnight on the counter. Pop them out of the tray in the morning and store them in an airtight container.
This should make you one full tray (about 16 cubes). These most likely will be too big for the holder in your dishwasher. Just toss one cube into the bottom of the dishwasher and start a cycle like you normally would. It will break down like normal detergents.