I am sure all of you have seen various versions floating around Pinterest of homemade dishwasher detergent. Since I am trying to reduce the chemicals out of my life I decided to try making one of them.
Now most of these recipe's have Borax in them. I knew that Borax was a natural way to clean clothes but I was a little leery to try it on my dishes. After a little searching around I found a really nice post by Crunchy Betty. http://www.crunchybetty.com/getting-to-the-bottom-of-borax-is-it-safe-or-not She has researched in detail the makeup and components of Borax. It is not Boric Acid like many people think which indeed can be harmful. Instead it is Sodium Tetraborate which is a salt that is mined from the ground. One of the largest mines in the USA is in Boron, California where the "20 Mule Team" brand comes from.
Sodium Tetraborate is actually quite safe unless consumed in large quantities. The theory that CB mentioned is that when it mixes with the acid in your stomach that is when Boric Acid is created. Now this being said with dishwashing, since only trace amounts will be left on your plates, it is probably as safe as baking soda for your body. Baking Soda can also be toxic to your system in large amounts, as well as any other salt of course. (Please see her post for details)
In conclusion I decided after reading her post as well as others, that a mixture for the dishes would be safe for my family. The recipe I decided to try was the one that is only Baking Soda and Borax. You mix equal parts of each together. Thats it. Yep... really complicated. A dishwasher will probably take about 1.5-2 TBSP of the mixture. I will let you know the results!
|Mix equal parts of Baking Soda and Borax. Use 1.5-2 TBSP per load of dishes.|
** An update afterwards, the solution worked wonderfully for my dishes! They were sparkling clean and no residue was left behind. I had a lot of glass in the load as well since we had a lot of lunch containers to clean and they all came out very shiny. So my conclusion, love it!