So I’ve been ignoring the coconut allergy with respect to my dishwasher detergent because it all rinses off right? Except that it really doesn’t, as shown by how soapy the water left on some of my dishes that feels when I’m cleaning it off after opening the dishwasher. And it’s probably not a good thing, and Cascade Complete is freaking expensive. My younger sister pinned this recipe for dishwasher detergent one day and I looked at it, and thought, “geez, I have all the stuff, except I’ll have to make castile soap like I do for my shampoo.” (Dr. Bonner’s has coconut in it, don’t use it if you’re allergic to coconut). So I thought I’d give it a whirl with my substitute to de-coconut it, and I thought I’d share.
DIY Dishwasher Detergent if Allergic to Coconut
- 16 cups of water, divided
- 1 1/2 cups of Washing Soda (not baking soda, they are totally different things)
- 1 cup of Borax
- 1/2 cup of liquid castile soap (1 Kiss My Face Pure Olive Oil Soap – 8 oz bar, grated in my food processor, then pulverized with the blade after grating, dissolved overnight in 4 cups of distilled water, or 1 Olivella Face and Body Soap, Fragrance Free, All-natural 100% Virgin Olive Oil From Italy, 3.52-oz Bars, pulverized and dissolved in about 1 3/4 cups of distilled water. Make sure you clean your food processor really well afterwards. Once dissolved, stir to make sure there are no lumps. Store the extra amount in the fridge, you’ll make more dishwasher detergent, or you can use it for the dish soap recipe I will post eventually.)
Just an FYI, if you can find the borax and the washing soda locally, buy it locally. I can get a box of each for between $3-5 dollars here, and the prices for them on Amazon are extreme. You can find them in the laundry aisle of your grocery store. In New Hampshire, I’ve had pretty good luck at Hannaford and Marketbasket. Shaw’s not so much.
Also, you will need a non-reactive pot, stainless steel or ceramic, and a whisk and some containers to store your finished dishwasher detergent in. I used 1/2 gallon mason jars to start, but then transferred the contents of one of the jars into an empty gallon vinegar plastic container so that I could pour easily and shake it up before using. An empty gallon container for water would work well too, or recycle one of your old dishwasher detergent bottles.
Bring 8 cups of water to a boil in your pot. Once the water is boiling, remove the water from the heat, and stir in the washing soda, borax, and liquid castile soap until dissolved. Stir in the remaining 8 cups of water and then allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
Pour the dishwasher detergent into your containers. I’ve been using half of the amount in my dishwasher as my old detergent, but see what works best for you. I have noticed that if you use too much it will leave a film. Overall, I’m pretty happy with it, and if you only knew how compulsive I am about the dishes being clean. Strange how that doesn’t extend to the rest of my apartment, but what can you do.