I’ve tried this for about a week now and am pretty happy with the recipe. I will admit my glassware is a little foggy looking but this is a fair trade off we have decided. Everything else comes out clean and I know they have all been through a high heat rinse so that’s good enough for us. I am sure they won’t meet my mom’s standard of shininess but oh well. See my new update below.
I found that vinegar is a crucial part of the system, and since it can’t be added to the soap because it will turn it back into oil, it needs to be part of the rinse cycle. Because I am too lazy to wait around until the dishwasher hits the rinse cycle I just put a few glugs into the bottom of the washer. Also if you fill the rinse aid dispenser that will be released during the rinse cycle as well. It’s not enough to do the job though, that’s why I add more.
As for the cleaning agents I decided to try my two part method that I developed for the laundry detergent. First I add the liquid soap mix and then I pour in some of the powdered mix. Think of it like those little packets of detergent that have soap on one side and powder on the other.
Liquid Soap Mixture:
1 part liquid castile soap
1 part water
I put this into an empty dishwasher soap container that I had on hand.
3 parts washing soda
1 part salt
Put into clean, dry jar. Don’t waste a canning jar, use a jar that you can’t can with to be extra frugal.
For each load: Use 2 teaspoons dry mix, approximately 3 teaspoons liquid soap mix and a tiny squeeze of dish soap (my newest discovery, see update below). Pour a glug of vinegar into the bottom of the dishwasher too. The amounts don’t have to be exact just measure it once and then eyeball it after that.
Also, fill up the rinse aid with vinegar. It only releases a small amount each load but it’s better than nothing.
If you find this isn’t working for your unique water requirements then just experiment. I read an article that said less soap is better than more soap. The soap is what causes the soap scum on the glasses. So adding more won’t make matters better. Try less soap, instead. Maybe more dry mix would be a better option. Hopefully you find something that works for your family.
Another thing to think about is that I have heard, not sure where, but that putting soap into the dishwasher is not advised. Detergent is apparently different than soap. I take this to mean, no dish soap, especially dish soap alone, but I thought I would mention it so you can decide for yourselves.
Update: I have been using this dishwasher soap now for about 2 months and I think I have worked out some more of the kinks. My discovery came with the addition of plain ol’ dish soap (I have some natural brand in a giant bottle from Costco). I use the same amounts posted above but then I add a tiny squeeze of dishwasher soap into the dispenser. It makes my glasses come out shiny now. It’s perfect. Several steps I admit but natural and nearly equal to the old stuff.