Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Not-So-Simple Cleaning Solution

While I’ve had some successes at making eoc-friendly cleaning products, such as an all-purpose surface cleaner, I’ve also had some failures, like making my own dishwasher detergent.
According to the book, Green Clean, you can make dishwasher detergent and laundry detergent with equal parts washing soda and borax. It sounded simple enough to make, plus I loved the idea of getting two household products from the same ingredients.
I couldn’t find borax or washing soda in any stores, so I ordered some online and gave the recipe a go. Turns out borax and washing soda clean clothes fine, but not dishes. After a few cycles, we started getting a white film on our dishes. We tried adding white vinegar to the dishwasher as a rinse aid, but that didn’t get rid of the film. After a couple of weeks, we went back to commercially made eco-friendly dishwasher detergent.
I’m not sure I’m going to keep making my own laundry detergent, either. As you know, I wash a lot of clothes, and am rapidly going through my two boxes of washing soda. While I eventually found borax at our local Ace Hardware, I can’t find washing soda anywhere but online. When you add $20 shipping costs to the cost of a case of washing soda, it just doesn’t seem worth the money.
My Thrifty Green Thursday tip of the week is make your own laundry detergent if you’re able to buy washing soda locally. Click here for more tips.

8 comments:

Condo Blues said...

It's best that you aren't making your own dishwashing detergent anymore. I read that borax shouldn't be used to clean anything you use to cook or serve food with!

angie said...

I would have never thought to make my own laundry detergent. Thanks for the info!

Rebecca said...

Borax is easy to find at any grocery store here. I believe I did look for washing soda once and didn't find it, though. I'm glad you tried it, but it's too bad it didn't work! I have also heard of using straight baking soda instead of detergent in the dishwasher. You may have the same film problem, though.

Condo Blues, it says right on the Borax box that you can use it to wash dishes--even fine china!

Tiffany said...

I am actually able to get both products from my local City Market in the laundry detergent aisle - weird that you can't get them in the big city.

the mama bird diaries said...

you are bold. i would never try to make laundry detergent!

Kathleen said...

I use a homemade detergent too, not exclusively, but often. Have you checked your supermarket? That's where I get both Borax and Washing Soda, in the laundry aisle.

Joy said...

We have no dishwasher but I would like to try homemade laundry soap someday. Our high efficiency washer is somewhat new and I worry that homemade soap could hurt it somehow. Still, I'd love to save money on detergent! Thanks for joining us this week for Thrifty Green Thursday!

Heart of Stone said...

do you live near a kroger? i think all krogers stock washing soda. its next to the other laundry care products.