Recently I've been really frustrated with the amount of money we're putting into dishwashing powder and liquid. It seems like we go through a box every week. We do a lot of dish washing. Between pots, pans, dishes, glasses, and sippy cups, our dishwasher is always in use.
In an effort to reduce cost, I started to do some research on how we could save money in this area. My initial finding was that instead of using Jet Dry as a rinse agent to make our glasses sparkly (by the way jet dry didn't seem to work all that well for us anyhow), we could use... wait for it... DISTILLED WHITE VINEGAR. Yes. It actually gets not only glasses and plates squeaky clean, but it cuts through pot grease, and reduces that white film that you can sometimes get if your area has hard water. It also is great for cleaning your dishwasher. (I know that seems weird - why clean the dishwasher when it's always getting "cleaned"? In actuality, it too needs to be cleaned out every so often to really work at its peak performance.)
Directions: Fill 1 cup with Distilled White Vinegar and place the cup on the top rack. Fill up the dishwasher as normal. I personally feel that adding an additional amount of vinegar in the little compartment where you normally would put the jet dry, works even better. That way, it'll be time released. (If you just want to clean your dishwasher, put the 1 cup of vinegar on the top rack, then run it through a rinse cycle while empty)
After a little more GOOGLEing, this is what I found: you can either use the regular dishwashing powder, which still helps with the cost since you're not paying an additional amount of over $4 per jet dry bottle, OR you can go completely all natural and make your own dishwashing powder too! All you need is Super Washing Soda, and Borax. Both are all natural minerals made of sodium that have anti-fungal properties and are used in many cleaning agents. Some people create their own laundry detergent with this stuff too! (I'll save that for another DIY Saturday *wink*)
Directions: Mix equal parts of Super Washing Soda, and Borax. Place the completely mixed powder into a large jar. If you get a large size of both products, you will have enough for 96 washes, which is about a year if you use your dishwasher twice a week. Not bad huh! So you're not only saving the planet, but you're saving some doe as well... cha ching!! $$$ <--- now that's MY kinda "green"!
Let me know how it turns out!