Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Domestic Goddess Dress Up

As promised: Homemade dish soap!

I must tell you, this has been a life saver for my dish washer.
Once upon a time there was a dishwasher that was average, to say the least. It required a lot of love to work correctly and get it's dishes clean. Until one day, it just couldn't keep up with all the hard water that was building up on it's basket and spinner. Try as it might, it couldn't keep all that lime from getting on the glasses and fogging them up. And the glasses kept getting worse and worse.
Until one glorious day, fairy housekeeper decided to try not just cleaning the little dishwasher, but using a soap that would help keep it lime-free!

Is everyone excited?! I am!



2 cups Super Washing Soda
2 cups Borax
1 cup Kosher Salt
2-12 oz. containers of LemiShine

Use White Vinegar as a rinse aid. Just put in your "JetDry" dispenser. If you don't have one of those just dump in the bottom of the washer, or in the cup with the soap and watch it bubble. :) I have white vinegar in my rinse aid dispenser and I put a little extra in the detergent cup for good measure.

Borax, Super Washing Soda and Lemishine will all be in the laundry/dish soap isle. Kosher Salt will be in the baking isle.

Now, the original recipe I had called for 2 cups of LemiShine and one 12 oz. container holds only 1 1/2 cups so I had to go back and get another container and decided to dump the whole thing in because our water is SO bad. After I added the second container it made all the difference. If you don't have very hard water, you probably won't need as much.
Use a heaping tablespoon with each wash. I just use a spoon that is going onto the dishwasher, not an actual tablespoon, and I separate that amount into the pre-wash and wash cups.

Mix all ingredients together in large bowl. Because of the citric acid in the LemiShine, everything sticks together and becomes as hard as a rock. The best thing to do is keep it in the mixing bowl on your counter for a day or two and stir it a few times a day. Doing this will help it stick together in smaller clumps and not become a big rock in the container. After those couple days you can put it into a big container.

Another solution would be getting a few ice trays, measuring out serving sizes into each little cup and letting it harden onto serving-size cubes, then put those in a big container and using one clump per wash. I think I will try this next time.

You see the huge clumps? Yeah, those are from me getting too excited about putting it in the container and then having it harden up and THEN I had to use my husband's screwdriver to break it up and get it out. Save yourself the headache and just leave it in the bowl to stir.

In the final container.

Now, working up to using the fabulous soap, you need to prep your dishwasher.
Taking a close look at my washer, I noticed that everything (including baskets) were covered in lime. So, taking a page out of Mrs. Meyer's cleaning book aka My New Cleaning Bible, first, I took white vinegar and a cleaning toothbrush and cleaned around the soap cup and the along the bottom of the door (those places had a lot of buildup from soap) then, I ran two wash cycles to clean it through. The first one I just put about a cup of white vinegar and ran it empty on hot wash, for the second I used another cup of vinegar and some CLR (Lime Away works the same.) You may not need two cycles, but I decided to take abrasive action. I recommend running a plain vinegar cycle maybe once or twice a month for upkeep.

If you aren't yet acquainted with Mrs. Meyer's and her wonderfully amazing cleaning methods and products, you need to check her out.

Once I was satisfied with the cleanliness of my washer, I started using my new soap with amazing results!

I love before and after pictures, so here they are!



Now take a look at this, as if just lime wasn't bad enough, the washer would leave crusted soap on most of the dishes, which means that I would have to wash all the dishes by hand after scraping, rinsing, and going through the washer. So, instead of being a time-saver, the washer was just backing up my dish washing production.

You can't tell, but this is an action shot.
I should mention that I always run my washer on heavy cycle and I no longer use the heat dry, I just let it drip dry.

BEAUTIFUL! It almost brings me to tears. ;)

So, after fighting the battle for so long, the war has been won!

Stay tuned for the next Domestic Goddess Dress Up post: Turning one bar of hand soap into over 3 liters of liquid soap! Amazing and thrifty!


Kate & Jordan Van Ausdal said...

dang girl...you are just the most domestic little homemaker I have ever met!!

Tedi said...

A few questions...

Do you like the Mrs. Meyers book? and do you have hard or soft water? I do love these posts!

Sera Lucia said...

I LOVE the Mrs. Meyers book and products. She's a no nonsense kind of lady. :) Our water is super super hard, just terrible. Blegh. I'm glad you like them, I'll keep them coming!

booturtle said...

I love the idea of making my own to save money. But before I do can I ask if you still love it a month later? Does it work well with the dirtiest dishes? I'm not a pre-dishwasher dish washer. :D Thanks for sharing. boo (at) booturtle (dot) com

chelsey neve said...

LOVE this. Can't wait to try it. I NEED THAT BOOK, definitely getting it!

Sera Lucia said...

I DO still love it a month later :) If you aren't a pre dishwasher dish washer it may have varied results. If you have a hard-working dishwasher I think you should be fine. I do highly recommend putting white vinegar in with the detergent, as I have noticed that it can clump and not dissolve all the way.

LeAnna said...

I am so going to try this. Our water is HORRID, and I've tried lots of things. Vinegar, lemon shine, plain citric acid...but never all at once... ;)

lucyb said...

ok stupid question, but isnt Iodized salt from the local store also kosher salt??

Sera Lucia said...

Hi Lucyb!
Kosher salt is actually a bit different than regular table salt. Kosher salt is much coarser with bigger grains. The difference it makes in the soap is that the particles don't dissolve as quickly as table salt and so the softening effect on hard water is more substantial.
Thanks for asking!

Mrs. Prada said...

While leaving it on the counter (while still in the mixing bowl) do you cover or leave it uncovered?

Sera Lucia said...

I left it uncovered. It might stick together more if it was covered, but that's just my thinking, not based on anything scientific. :)

Riley Family said...

Can you use epsom salts?

bb said...

I purchased citric acid as lemonshine is not available in my area...use the same amount?