I’ve been pleased, so far, with my homemade laundry detergent and figured the next thing to try was the dishwasher detergent. Used the recipe from http://simplydesigning.blogspot.com/2011/05/hard-water-stains-dishwasher-detergent.html that I had found through Pinterest. So far it’s working really well. I did follow the advice to use the Lemishine first in the washer with no dishes to get it clean. I also am using white vinegar in my rinse dispenser. My dishes are as clean as I ever remember, but time will tell if is going to continue. I think as long as the white vinegar is in there, it’s going to be really successful.
There are a lot of comments in the link for the recipe about clumping of the mixture. The suggestion for stirring it often for the first 24 hours is helpful, but I found that it took several days (3-4) of doing so before it stopped continuing to clump. I have lots of very small clumps, but as long as it dissolves well in the washer (and it does!) then I can deal with it. I waited till it was completely finished clumping to put it in a container (I had it sitting out in an open bowl, but if you have children or pets that might be curious, PLEASE DON’T DO THAT!) Since mine was going to be stored under the sink, it didn’t have to be pretty, so I used an empty Oxyclean container and it was the perfect size. It is airtight, so nothing is going to leak and moisture shouldn’t get in.
If you’re on the fence about trying some of the homemade cleaners, this one is a success, so don’t be afraid to give it a shot. If you’re having any trouble finding the Lemishine in your local stores, Wal-Mart’s site said they have it, but I was in Target that day and found it there, even though their website didn’t find it. So check whatever store you’re in. I had no luck with my local grocery store (Food Lion.) You can use regular citric acid or Fruit Fresh (sold where canning supplies are) but I found the Lemishine to be cheaper by volume. I think I paid $3.69 for it at Target.