You know when you open your dishwasher after it’s run and it’s all steamy and smells like cleaner? What you smell are very strong chemicals. Sure the dishes are clean, but at what cost to our health? That’s what we asked ourselves. The changing of all of our cleaning, laundry, and consumer products has opened our eyes to what’s really in these products.
Dry automatic dish-washing detergent contains chlorine – which when it comes into contact with the hot water in your dishwasher, releases chlorine fumes into your home. Inside the dishwasher it makes chloroform (mixing heat and chlorine) – which is very bad.
Automatic dishwasher liquids often contain ammonia – even more chemicals. Do we really want to be breathing all of these chemicals inside our homes – especially in our kitchens and coming into contact with our food? I, for one, do not!
My solution? I found a brand (Seventh Generation) that keeps the environment and our health in mind, but it’s expensive – not that our health isn’t worth it – but all those costs add up! Stretch the detergent with baking soda and you have an economical and healthy option.
Use Fewer Chemicals in the Dishwasher
Here’s how: mix equal parts of the dishwasher detergent with baking soda in a large container. I use an old coffee can but you can use whatever you have on hand. A container with a lid is best and then you’re all set. Use a 1-cup measuring cup and add 1-cup detergent and then 1-cup baking soda until the detergent is gone. With the lid on, mix it around by tipping it upside down and then back. That’s it – super easy!
Follow these directions for how to put together a batch of dishwasher detergent.
Next, find a spoon or scoop and use a little – no need to over-do on detergent. (Another reason I don’t like the packs or pods – companies have you using more than is necessary of their products!) If your dishes are super dirty, just toss a Tablespoon or two of baking soda into the bottom of your dishwasher before you start it. Done.
For the rinse aid, use white vinegar. Simply place in a cute jar and make a label – add a ribbon if you’d like. Then, pour the white vinegar into the rinse aid reservoir. That’s it. Never buy rinse aid again.
Follow these directions for how to make the rinse aid.
Here’s what we’ve found after using this detergent and rinse aid routine for two years – the fewer chemicals used, the fewer spots on the glasses. Yes, after filming the above video, I went home and inspected my glasses with my reading glasses on! That’s the conclusion I’ve come up with. Can’t wait to hear how you do with fewer chemicals in your home and more savings in your pocket.
What would you use as a cute scooper for this? Do you have coffee cans around the house?
Go Gingham related links:
The mop cover is a re-purposed t-shirt: how to make a mop cover
Rethinking our cleaning and laundry detergents – feeling duped
Green and natural laundry detergents – what to use and why
Cleaning supplies that do double-duty: simple cleaning products that you probably have at your home already
Cute and clean for the kitchen: make a baking soda shaker for soaking those stubborn pots and pans
More related links:
If you can’t find the brand of dishwasher detergent at your local store, check the Environmental Working Group’s website for their recommendations on all healthy cleaning and consumer products. Environmental Working Group is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment.