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Make your own cleaning supplies. Saves money and safer for you and your family

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For the umpteenth time -- even before I started trying out new dishwasher recipes -- I had to listen to my wife nag about the need to get the dishwasher serviced or repaired or to get a new dishwasher altogether because of film and spots on the glassware. While the DIY remedies seemed to exacerbate the situation, after hearing it again last night even after using Cascade I decided to do some digging.

And what I found out is that it's not you or your dishwasher. As with most things, it was caused by the government.

Seems a couple of years ago in an effort  to "protect the environment," the government banned the use of phosphates. Detergent manufacturers began eliminating it ahead of time until now there's no detergent on the market that includes phosphates in its formulation. But that has led to the spotting/filming problems we've probably all experienced, DIY recipes or not. It's probably created more environmental damage too since people use more water to pre-rinse glasses, then wash them, then clean them again afterwards. The Law of Unintended Consequences strikes again!

I found thought that if you add a product called LemiShine to the dishwasher detergent it helps reduce the spots and film (interestingly, it's also phosphate free!). But after trying it out -- and getting better but not great results -- I was concerned that it might be more of a chemical formulation than something natural, yet when I went looking for the ingredients I couldn't find them. Not on the container and not on the website. Not even the product's MSDS lists them -- they're a "trade secret."

A search of the company site found one forum where the only assurance it was an all-natural product came from an employee posting there swearing it was all-natural. Not exactly confidence building. Others on that thread though suspect it's really just citric acid, which can be bought for the same price -- or less than -- LemiShine.

That seems to conform to a lot of other DIY dishwasher detergent recipes I've found that call for adding citric acid to the mix. Because of my initial enthusiasm for finding a solution for the spotting and filming, I bought a couple of containers of LemiShine so I'll use them up first, but then I plan on trying to replace it with citric acid and comparing the two.

As I said my first attempt with LemiShine was so-so, but that's because I tend to do first then read second. I had loaded up the dishwasher with plates and glasses and then when I read the instructions it said to run LemiShine alone through an empty dishwasher first to clean out the system and then use it with your regular detergent each load thereafter. So I'll be doing that next.

Also, because I had my wife looking over my shoulder at the time, I used Cascade rather than the DIY recipe, but I'm going to try out the latter -- with the TSP -- with the next load I do.

FWIW, the trisodium phosphate (TSP) that was recommended above should replace the phosphates that were removed after the government edict. My experience though was the film was worse, but perhaps with the addition of the LemiShine/citric acid we may get a combination that truly gets the glasses clean and spot-film free! I'll post my results as they occur.


Thanks for the research  FoolishCop! Let us know how your lemishine tests go

Phase 2 Testing:

I used the homemade dishwasher detergent and the LemiShine last night and I'll say there was a marked improvement. I'd put it on par with the Cascade detergent used by itself. There were still spots and stuff, but definitely not the heavy film I had before.

According to the LemiShine directions you put your detergent in the pre-wash tray and LemiShine in the main wash tray, which is what I did. The only thing is I used a rather full tablespoon full of detergent instead of the recommended 1/2 tbsp (hey, I said I like to do first then read!). I did add the TSP, but since I filled up the pre-wash tray with the detergent I put the TSP into the main wash tray first and then added the LemiShine to fill up the balance.

Soooo, next test will be trying everything the correct way: 1/2 tbsp detergent and 1/2 tbsp TSP in pre-wash tray; fill main wash tray with LemiShine. To be honest I'm not so hopeful for the outcome as I don't think it should matter all that much on the extra 1/2 tbsp or where the TSP is placed, but then again, what do I know? But what I'm planning on trying after that experiment (and after using Cascade and LemiShine alone) will be making the detergent into a liquid form. Right now I've been using the powdered version of the detergent and I'm wondering if that has more to do with it than anything else. We'll see, stay tuned! Science is fun!


Okay, after 5 days of doing dishes I have results!

I've done several loads of dishes using Cascade and and the LemiShine and was not overly impressed. They seemed a bit cleaner, but not so much better than before. So in the last load I decided to use the proper proportions of the DIY detergent (1/2 tsp) and 1/2 tsp TSP in the prewash port and used LemiShine in the main wash port, filling it up.

I just completed the cycle and have to say this is the cleanest I've seen my glassware in ages! Spots were very minimal.

I'll do the next load the same way to ensure this wasn't just some fluke, and perhaps it takes a few cycles of running LemiShine through the dishwasher to help clean it out. But if this repeats itself with the next load I think it will be a winner.


Great job, Foolish... btw, I have also had similar results on the quantity used... more is not necessarily better.


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