I started with One Good Thing by Jillee's post about dishwasher tabs and made it just like she said. My dishes looked horrible. Now, I LOVE Jillee, so I'm sure it works for her or she wouldn't have posted it. But, she lives in a small Utah town and I live in the 4th largest city in the States - Houston. So, obviously we have different water and I had to tweak her recipe. (Actually, it was more than a tweak - more of a rework.)
So, lesson learned....play until you get it right.
I learned that my water, needed less soap and more acid. So, here is my recipe:
DISH FAIRY DISHWASHER TABS
1 cup washing soda
1 cup borax
1/3 cup Epsom salt
1/2 cup white vinegar
20 drops of lemon essential oil
5 packs of lemonade drink (like Kool-Aid, with no sugar. This gives you cheap citric acid and a nice lemon smell.)
2 teaspoons of Dawn Dishwashing Soap (I used the orange scented one)
Mix all ingredients together. You will get some fizz from adding the vinegar. Just keep stirring.
Then press the mixture into ice cube trays. Press it down so it is all compacted together. This mixture fills my ice cube trays about halfway. My trays are divided into 16 sections. So, I make 32 tabs.
You could also use egg cartons or fun ice cube trays. Hey, if it makes the little people who live in your house want to do dishes, go for it! I estimate that I am using about 1 Tablespoon per tab.
When you start your dishwasher, add one tab. I put white vinegar in my rinse compartment or you could pour some vinegar in an upright mug on the top shelf. I also like to put a lemon or lime peel in the silverware compartment when I have one (after I have taken out all the lovely juice - see LemonAid post)
When you remove the tabs from the tray, you will have some crumblies. Just put them in the dishwasher for the next load. Waste not, want not.
My dishes are clean, sparkly AND my plastics do not have a film on them!!!! There is also a lovely lemon scent when I open the dishwasher.
The Dish Fairy would be so happy, if she would only show up!