About a month ago I bought an enormous package of washing soda at the store, intending to use it for homemade laundry soap. Since it's been in the house, however, I've used the washing soda for all sorts of little chores. How did I ever get by without it?
So far I've used it as a deodorizer in the dog area outside, scrubbed the 100-year old bathtub with it (and gotten rid of the bathtub ring that's been there for almost as long), sprinkled it over the stovetop to loosen all the caramelized gunk from preserves, made a test batch of laundry soap, and most successfully, used it for dishwasher powder.
For ages my family has been on the lookout for an eco-friendly alternative to dishwashing detergent, and I believe that after many failed (and highly expensive) ventures, my homemade powder is just what we needed. It's a very simple recipe, and there are only a few ingredients:
Mix 1 cup Washing Soda, 1 cup Borax, 1/2 cup kosher salt, and 1/2 cup citric acid (optional-- for hard water areas) in a medium bowl. Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to an airtight container--Tupperware or a large Ball jar will do-- and use 1 tablespoon of powder per load. Use a tablespoon of vinegar as a rinse aid if needed. If you run your dishwasher once a day, one batch should last about a month. (I like to sprinkle a bit on my sponge or dishcloth for stubborn pots and pans, or to clean the sink, so my powder goes more quickly than I would like!)
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