I think most people can agree that the dishwasher is most definitely one of the best inventions ever. Sure, the lightbulb and electricity are great too; but come on, a machine that washes dishes for us? Ingenious! Now, I’m probably one of that .001% of the population that actually likes washing dishes by hand, but I still can appreciate the amazingness that is our dishwasher. I do have to wonder though, if they can invent something to wash our dishes, why can’t they invent something to put them away, too? Am I right?! #lazy
Since trying to go the more natural route with my cleaners and soaps since Jade was born, I thought it was time to figure out how to rid ourselves of store-bought dishwasher detergent and make my own. While you can make both powdered or liquid soaps, I wanted to stay away from Borax (it received an “F” on the EWG’s guide to healthy cleaning!). I had read awhile back that castile soap is a great dishwasher soap, so I started to play around with concoctions.
I did a little researching on some DIY dishwashing soaps and tweaked them a bit. For my first attempt, the recipe I found mixed castile soap, vinegar, and fresh lemon juice together. However, the result was a separated and curdled-looking “soap.” I tried it in the dishwasher, but my dishes came out with a terrible white film. Not clean at all!
So, I did a little more researching. I learned that the reason it looked “curdled” when mixing it all together was because of a little basic chemistry. The vinegar is acidic, while the castile soap is basic. Unfortunately when added together, the soap becomes “neutralized.” They basically cancel each other out! Weird, right? They will lose cleaning property when put together because the two compounds are reacting. Don’t make my mistake and waste a whole cup of castile soap!
With this info in mind, I went back to the drawing board. Since lemon is acidic too (and also reacted with the soap when I put it in), I decided to not use any the next time around. Instead, I turned to my favorite essential oils to help! They have amazing cleaning and anti-bacterial properties to really clean those dishes.
If you want to make your own liquid dishwasher soap, here’s what you need:
For the soap:
- 1 cup castile soap (I use this Dr. Bronner’s in Baby Mild since it’s scent-free)
- 1 cup distilled water
- 10 drops Thieves essential oil
For the rinse:
- 1/2 to 1 cup vinegar (amount depends on if you have hard water!)
- 5-7 drops Lemon essential oil
To make this soap, just add 1 cup of distilled water and 1 cup of castile soap to a bowl.
So, why Thieves, you ask? Well, Thieves is a fabulous blend of highly antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-infectious essential oils. Basically, it’ll kill anything on your dirty dishes, without using any synthetic chemicals!! Yes, please!
(TIP: After my bottle of vinegar was gone, I reused the glass bottle to store this dishwasher soap! It’s easy to pour right into the dishwasher.)
To use this soap, I add 1 to 2 tablespoons to my “open” dishwasher compartment that is typically used for detergent.
For the rinse, mix 1 cup vinegar and 5-7 drops of lemon essential oil and add it to the “closed” compartment, usually used for rinsing. If you don’t have hard water like we do, you could use less vinegar. You could also use fresh juice from lemons, but lemon essential oil is a perfect replacement if you don’t have any fresh ones lying around (did you know it takes 70 lemons to make a 5ml bottle of essential oil?!). Lemon essential oil is also a natural cleaning agent, and has antiseptic properties, too!
Interested in trying these amazing essential oils for your own dishwasher detergent? Get rid of synthetic and harsh chemicals in your house and keep your family healthy! Visit here if you’d like to learn more info on how to get started (and save 24% off retail prices!)!
(I link up at these fun parties!)