I long ago converted to homemade laundry detergent (brief detour here: even if you hate the Duggar family, their laundry detergent recipe is the bomb http://www.duggarfamily.com/recipes.html). But when I tried the most common online recipe for homemade DISHwashing detergent, which is 1:1 borax and baking soda, it was no match for Ann Arbor’s hard water. My dishes came out filmy and unclean, and my glassware was all spotty and gross. So I “cut in” a box of dollar store powdered dish detergent, hoping that the enzymes in the store-bought stuff would improve my homemade stuff. It was passable, but my Cascade Gel-Pacs were clearly better, and I resigned to keep dishing out 20 cents per load for the rest of my life.
Fortunately, the people at Debtfreeadventure.com appear to have figured out the secret to a better formula. It uses the same washing soda found in the better laundry soap recipes (although in a much smaller quantity), uses kosher salt to create some of the “scrub” that the commercial formulations have, and uses food-grade citric acid to get that missing “sparkle”. I am psyched to try this! I’ve even already located my local beer specialty shop (http://www.winemakersshop.com/beer.php) to find the citric acid!