When it comes to dishwashers, we are pretty sure there are two kinds of people in this world: Those who rinse and scrub their dishes within an inch of their lives before placing them delicately in the dishwasher to be cleaned, again. And those who leave every uneaten morsel of dinner on every inch of surface area because everything is just getting tossed in the dishwasher anyway since, as its name suggests, that's it's job.
The dishwasher. Is meant. To wash dishes.
You just throw in a splash of dishwasher detergent, or toss in a brightly hued space-looking dishwasher pod (whose colors, when found in nature, suggest I will poison you). Or maybe you use those chalky dishwasher tablets that never seem to fully break down and then you always find gross little bits of dishwasher detergent powder stuck to *something*.
But then ok, let us ask you this: What even is the point of dishwasher detergent if you have to clean the detergent? And then it’s like, dishwasher not cleaning? Maybe that's why.
Furthermore, if the goal is to get your dishes and cutlery clean, wouldn’t it just feel nice to know that the things you eat from or put directly in your mouth are actually, in fact, clean? And we don’t mean just visibly clean, like from the melty lasagna cheese or cake crumbs left over from dinner. We mean properly clean, like the dishwasher soap used to make them usable again is clean, too. Free of harsh chemicals and synthetics, and definitely doesn’t leave any invisible toxic residue behind.
Listen, we don’t know about you, but we kind of want to know what goes in to the stuff that cleans our flatware. And we definitely want to know that it’s free of unpronounceable toxins.
Soap vs Detergent
Most people use the terms soap and detergent interchangeably and we get it – they are both used for cleaning. In reality, though, their chemistry is completely different, and without getting too technical, the bottom line is this: Soap is natural and biodegradable. Detergent is not.
A quick li’l history primer
This will probably impress your dinner guests, so feel free to bring it up next time you have people over.
The earliest evidence of soap can be traced all the way back to 2800 BC, but mass-produced soap in bar form wouldn’t become widely available in Europe and the U.S. until the late 18th century.
Detergents, however, only came about around the time of World War I, when soap ingredient shortages meant manufacturers had to get crafty – and went on to develop synthetic cleaners to meet demand.
By the 1950s, detergents had overtaken traditional soap products in homes across North America.
And here we are today, washing our forks and knives before placing them in a dishwasher to be washed a second time. Funny how that happens.
Your meals are homemade. Why shouldn’t your dishwasher soap be, too?
That’s right, detergent companies - we can also get crafty!
So, let’s DIY this thing, shall we?
Below we present two homemade dishwasher soap recipes – one liquid, the other gel, both starring your preferred scent of Cove Castile Soap, and both sure to keep chemicals out of the equation.
Liquid Dishwasher Soap Recipe
- 2 cups liquid Castile soap
- ½ cup water
MAKE IT HAPPEN
- Just put your ingredients in a jar and shake until completely mixed. Literally that’s it.
*Use 2 tbsp per load.
Gel Dishwasher Soap Recipe
(NOTE: You’ll need an immersion blender for this one, or a blender blade and gasket that attach to the jar)
- 5 tbsp liquid Castile soap
- 3 cups warm water
- 1 cup washing soda, completely free of lumps (this is different from baking soda! Trust us, do not use baking soda)
MAKE IT HAPPEN
- Add the water and Castile soap to a jar.
- Then, a little bit at a time, add the washing soda, giving it time to properly dissolve.
- Close the jar tightly and shake ‘er up.
- Then, invert the jar. Leave it alone for like an hour or so, then shake it again, remembering to keep the jar upside down (this will ensure nothing settles at the bottom of the jar).
- After a couple of hours, the contents should appear more gel-like.
- Now, the fun part: Grab your immersion blender and whip until blended and creamy.
*Use 1 tbsp per load
We feel pretty great about these homemade dishwasher soap recipes, and we think you’ll love them, too! It’s all so surprisingly easy, not to mention impressive (“Why yes, Dinner Guest, I did make this dishwasher soap from scratch, would you like the recipe?”)
Plus, knowing the things you eat with are properly clean and free of chemicals will leave you free to properly enjoy your food - with your mind on your meals, and your meals on your mind. You know, the way nature intended.
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