March 3, 2009

Eco-Friendly Dishwasher Detergent

Although we don't have a dishwasher, I dream of one all the time. Today's dishwashers are more efficient than those of the past, using anywhere between 4-6 gallons per load, and the debate is still open over whether or not washing dishes by hand is more efficient. Treehugger and Green Daily have good articles on the pros and cons, and also calculations about the number of watts, gallons, and other figures.

If you are one of the lucky people who has a dishwasher (that is not human), Barbara from Moo Cow Momma Etsy shop has a great recipe for homemade dishwasher detergent that is eco-friendly. Some of my blog friends have complained about not finding a dishwasher detergent that works well, so maybe this one is a winner. Leave me a comment and let me know.

And before we get to Barbara's recipe, check out her wonderful eco-friendly cleaning items she sells in her Etsy shop. She sells flannel wipes, reusable Swiffer mop covers

and reusable sandwich wraps.
Barbara's Water Friendly Dishwasher Detergent
You will need:
  • Borax 20 Mule Team Natural Powder (4+ lb. Box at Walmart is $2.39 will last many loads)
  • Pure Washing Soda (also known as Sodium Carbonate, Arm and Hammer makes, sometimes it can be tough to find, but is usually in laundry aisle on top shelf near Borax and Fabric Dyes, etc) .
Keep in mind it is NOT Baking Soda (also known as sodium Bi-carbonate), though the boxes look similar. You may also be able to find it at your pool store. If you can't find it, Call this phone number 1-800-524-1328 and have the UPC code 33200-03020. They will tell you where you can find it near you, they will also try to get you to buy it and add shipping, but it's better to ask your local store to carry it and then buy all they have when they do get it in to let them know they need to keep carrying it. It's about $2.30 a box and will last many loads!

Mix both ingredients 1:1 and store in a clean labeled container (my favorite is a repurposed creamer bottle, the lid opens easy and you can write right on the bottle what's inside after easily removing the creamer label). Put 1/2 tb. into each cup. You can also use white vinegar in the rinse cup to help with water spots. If that doesn't get the dishes clean enough, try using 1 tsp. of eco friendly phosphate free dishwasher detergent in each cup with the borax/washing soda and that should do the trick!

Thanks so much Barbara for sharing this, and please check out her Etsy shop, Moo Cow Momma.


  1. Her colors and print combos are adorable!

  2. Thanks for the resources. Those are good places to start!


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