Tag Archives: soap making

Homemade Dishwasher Soap Recipe without Borax

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.

Powdered Mixture:

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.


Thanks, Courtney

Preparing to make your own lotions and soaps

No, it’s not just another thing to keep me busy.  But it surely is doing that.  On my quest to make something natural I have decided that the cheapest and safest way to do that is to make my own products.  I plan on making a facial cleanser, moisturizer, sun screen, diaper rash cream and possibly diaper wipes.  The facial cleanser and moisturizer come first though.

Here are some of my criteria for recipes and products I plan on making:

Lye-free, tallow free

No essential oils (I will just leave them out of the recipe) This is recommended while pregnant.

All natural ingredients with no additives.

No melt and pour kits.

Product used on dry, sensitive skin for my dry climate.

If by chance you find yourself feeling a little crazy meaning you are interested in making your own lotions and soaps so here is how you can get started.

1.  Check out as many books from your library as you can.  Select books with natural recipes.  Scan them for recipes that you can easily make.  This means it contains ingredients that aren’t too bizarre and hard to find or expensive.  Remember we are trying to save a few pennies here, not break the bank using some exotic oil.

I found one book that I really liked (but remember my library network is small, so you may find another you like).  My favorite is called Green Beauty Recipes by Julie Gabriel.

I also found Organic Body Care Recipes by Stephanie Tourles was helpful in finding out what skin type I had.

I wasn’t crazy about the recipes because I want any everyday product that is shelf stable.  I found that Tourles’ book is more geared towards special occasion spa day recipes.  It also uses borax as an emulsifier in several recipes which is not good, possibly dangerous.   Green Beauty Recipes on the other hand had a vast and diverse selection of recipes for all skin types.  The recipes are clearly communicated and give helpful shelf life data as well.  She also has a large section on mother and baby recipes which I appreciated.  The book contains no lye based recipes instead it uses natural oils, butters, emulsifiers and olive oil liquid soap (castile soap).  The ingredients are gently melted together.  The book was published in 2010 so the info is current and reflects up to date ingredients and information.

2.  Gather your supplies.  This is hard than it might seem.  I found the list of references at the back of the soap books to be very helpful but still not enough.  After many hours of searching on the internet I turned to ebay.  I found what I needed at one source, CountrySoapShop which was great for combined shipping.  The other supplies (Dr. Bronner’s unscented Castille soap with no additives and beeswax) I found at my local health food store.  I was tempted to order from Mountain Rose Herbs but in the end they didn’t have exactly what I needed and I wanted to minimize my shipping costs.  I also ordered my laundry and dishwasher soap supplies at BrambleBerry.com.  Their prices for castile soap were the best I could find.  They aren’t organic and don’t have culinary grade products but that’s okay for the purposes I am using them for.  I’d rather put my money into organic products that are going directly on my body.

Next I just have to wait for my supplies to arrive and then I am ready to go.  I will let you know how it turns out.  Do you have any books or websites you’d like to recommend?