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Making My Home-Made Dishwasher Detergent

April 2013 –
As I was working on cleaning up the kitchen last week, I was thinking about the fact I was getting low on dishwasher detergent and needed to find some good deals.    I just haven’t seen or heard of any recently.     In addition, I’ve become very interested in using healthy products in the home such as Shaklee Basic H2.     I did some simple searches and found several websites offering their recipes for Homemade Dishwasher Detergent including .   This got me very excited because I have most of the ingredients at home!  Not only would this be healthy but also cheap!   Now the question was would this really work???

From Homemade Dishwasher Detergent including

Soap recipe

  • 1 cup borax
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1/2 cup citric acid
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt (for scrubbing action)

Use 1 Tbsp per load (you can use a heaping tablespoon if you feel the need, but we do not).

Each batch yields 24 ounces of detergent. We recommend storing in a container you were going to dispose of anyway, like an old yogurt container or coffee can you can fit it under your kitchen sink. Feel free to double the batch, or multiply to create any amount you’d like.

I needed to find Citric Acid.  Where do you find Citric Acid?   There were suggestions the FAQ on their site such as Amazon, and Lemi-Shine , and most stores sell canning products with Citric Acid.

I headed to my local Walmart and compared the prices and what I could tell by the labels and found Dishwasher Magic Dish and Spot Remover.   It said its main ingredient is Citric Acid so I went ahead and purchased 16 oz for $3.50.  Note:  I only need 1/2 a cup for this recipe.

I came home and followed the instructions above and as you see in the picture came up with a container.  One of the suggestions is to continue to mix it by shaking it so that there are less clumps.  Clumping is a problem with this mixture especially for high humidity climates.    I did just as mentioned and so far so good.  Then I read, there are some people using the Silica-Gel packets that you get in medicines and other products to absorb moisture and add them in.   So whenever I find one I throw that in for safe keeping.

Then using it!   I put a tablespoon in the bottom of the dishwasher and then another half-tablespoon in one of the cups.   I also have solid Jet Dry that I use since our dishwasher is more than 20 years old it doesn’t have the fancy Jet Dry dispenser.

It turns out the dishes have been coming out very clean.  I’m so impressed!   I can’t seem to get them to come clean like that with any of the name brand detergents.   I know we have hard water but this recipe works great and with the solid Jet Dry it really works.

I love my old dishwasher!

September 2013 –

I wanted to update this post and say that I’ve been so happy with this recipe and even my skeptical husband really is impressed. We use 1 tablespoon in the bottom of the machine and a little less than a tablespoon in the cup that closes. The dishes come out perfect.

I have recently purchased the Citric Acid from Amazon and it works just as good as the Dishwasher magic.

Our environment is pretty humid in the woods which causes it to clump up a bit. I put several of the moisture packets (silica gel) into the mixture so that it doesn’t clump as much and I gently shake or stir it regularly.

I find this batch lasts us about 3 weeks and we do at least 1 to 2 loads a day.

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Day #18-28 -30 Day Cleaning Challenge

Day #18-28

I’m going to challenge myself by following the 31 Day Cleaning Challenge with Money Saving Mom.     She is using the chart from Fresh and Organized. So, I’m a little off the same schedule but we are getting most of the things done.

Day 18:  clean out your refrigerator and/or organize your pantry I’m amazed how fast time has past!  It has been over 10 days since I updated my blog.  Trying to keep up with it all is hard work.   Even though I haven’t been good about posting here I have been great at keeping up with my daily activities for this challenge or doing something on the list.

I did go grocery shopping and re-filled the pantry and refrigerator.  I do need to clean out the refrigerator!

Day 19:  clean your entryway, sweep your garage, and/or vacuum out your car.  We didn’t get to this on Day 19, but my hubby cleaned the front porch on Day 26.  It was awesome!       I did clean up some of the bedrooms and even vacuumed every room in the house including the basement!

Day 20, 21 and 22: surface clean living room and kitchen, surface clean bathroom(s), or surface clean bedroom(s).    We worked over the weekend and cleaned up the family room and kitchen.   I even had my daughter help with the downstairs bathroom.

Day 23:  sweep and vacuum all the floors in your house.  Since I had already done this over the weekend, I caught up on cleaning the kitchen and putting away some of the laundry.

Day 24: clean your linen closet.  I should have worked on cleaning out one of our closets.  We don’t have a linen closet but we have a lot of other closets.  I did go through some of them earlier in the month and pick out things to donate.  (This would be a great challenge each month!)

Day 25: surface clean or deep clean your kitchen and/or living room.  I didn’t get to deep clean but I did keep up.  I ended up deep cleaning the kitchen on Day 27.    We did a quick clean around the house and vacuumed the family room before we had guests over.

Day 26,27 and 28: surface clean a bedroom or the bathroom(s) or you can vacuum and/or sweep the floors in your home.  I ended up surface clean the kids bedrooms on the 26th as well as the hubby vacuuming the front porch.

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Day #15-17 -30 Day Cleaning Challenge

Day #15-17

I’m going to challenge myself by following the 31 Day Cleaning Challenge with Money Saving Mom.     She is using the chart from Fresh and Organized. So, I’m a little off the same schedule but we are getting some of the things done.

Day 15:  surface clean the living room and kitchen. We had a huge playdate at our house that was a bit larger then I was planning for so I quickly had my daughter and I clean as much as we could. I ended up filling up a basket of items from our dining room and put them in the upstairs guest room and papers were put back into the office. My half organized office is back to piles again. 🙁 I had my daughter help me and clean one of the bathrooms later in the day. I did put some laundry away.

Day 16:  deep clean your bathroom(s)  I ended up doing some cleaning in the family room instead and it was so good to vacuum most of the rooms on the main floor. We had babysitters come over to watch the kids while I got some other things done.

Day 17:  Knobs and handles –  I decided not only to tackle that I would also deep clean the kitchen and re-organize a couple of the cabinets. Wow! What a difference!


This is the before and this is the after of the back part of our kitchen which we call the butler’s pantry. See how I have so many appliances. I found lots of unused or not used correctly space. For example the 2 bread makers that we love to use are now sitting in the lazy susan which was being used for cereal which half the time is being put on the floor by one of the boys. Moved the cereal to the pantry.



This are looks and feels so clean!


I got so excited at finishing my first project and the kids were playing and being very good I decided to tackle the next portion of the kitchen!  Yes, this is what my counter looks like after lunch.


This is after I cleaned up the counter and ready to clean out that cabinet above it.


The process of sorting things out and figuring out what we use and don’t use or forgot we had!


The end result a well organized cabinet with markers, pencils, crayons and paint ready for craft time.  I also put stickers in a plastic bag so when we find stickers we have a place for them.  I used cans from canned food for the markers and plan to decorate them later.   I love this all organized!

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Day #6-14 – 30 Day Cleaning Challenge

Day #6-14

I’m going to challenge myself by following the 31 Day Cleaning Challenge with Money Saving Mom.     She is using the chart from Fresh and Organized.

Has it been over 8 days since I posted on this Challenge?  Well, I have to admit I have been doing the challenge!  When I get on my computer I have been doing a lot of other things like finishing up my small business paperwork, creating some embroidery items for customers and working on a new up and coming sewing forum.   Feel free to check it out!   It is called 4 the love of It is a paid subscription forum. It is a great place to talk and learn about sewing, quilting, and embroidery.

Day 6:

Clean Bathrooms – Since the bathrooms were basically already cleaned from a couple days ago I didn’t feel I needed to again so I continued on working on the office paper work.

Day 7:

All interior windows –  This is still on my list.  I used the rest of the weekend to catch up on keeping the kitchen and family room clean.

Day 8:

Sweep and vaccum all of the rooms in the house – I’ve always wanted to do this!  I’m not joking.  But, my house is always a mess in some room.  So I made it a challenge on Day 12 and Day 13 to do this challenge and I almost succeeded.

Day 9:

Surface clean bedrooms – I worked again on my daughter’s room the master bedroom.   We got several loads of laundry put away.

Day 10:

Deep clean the family room –  I actually did some of this.  I cleaned the TV, dusted around the hearth and some of the base boards.

Day 11:

Clean the bathrooms – I wanted to do this but I needed to catch up again on the kitchen, laundry and other chores.

Day 12:

Clean out closets – Hahah!  This one is a challenge so I went back and did the sweeping and vacuuming of the house.   The best part is I remembered I have a Roomba.  I forgot we had one.  We have the original one.  My hubby had it in the basement so I used it in there both on Day 12 and Day 13 since it really needed it.   We have a lot of kid toys down there and it helped to convince the kids to clean up the toys because the “robot” doesn’t like to vacuum toys.

Day 13:

Surface clean the other rooms – Besides vacuuming the other rooms and doing some more laundry.  I did tackle the guest bedroom that has a bit of everything.  It has the donation pile, the consignment sale and my extra sewing supplies.  I had my hubby take the donation pile to the Salvation Army today – total of 5 bags.

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Day #3-5 – 30 Day Cleaning Challenge

Day #3-5

I’m going to challenge myself by following the 31 Day Cleaning Challenge with Money Saving Mom.     She is using the chart from Fresh and Organized.

Day 3:

Surface clean the bedrooms

Day 4:

Surface clean other rooms

Day 5:

Surface clean kitchen or living room/family room
This is hard!   My kids and I worked hard on the bedrooms and only got to 2 of them.  It was a lot of hard work for 2 hours with 3 small kids.  I got pretty exhausted and it did cause me to fall behind on my other chores like dishes.   Here is the before of my Doodle’s room.


Here is the before of the boys’ room.


Yesterday we had outside activities so I fell behind again on working on the  “other” room.  I did put some items away in the dining room and I even cleaned up the family room a bit and vacuumed it.   It still needs more cleaning even after that quick clean up.   Then today the kids spilled a bag of popcorn all over the floor so I need to re-vaccum.  It is never ending!

My goal this weekend  is to get the office cleaned! My husband and I are on the same page to get it looking very clean and re-organized.  I plan on catching up on coupons and we plan on working together to get rid of papers we just don’t need to keep.   One that has continued to work well for us is our receipt envelopes which is part of our message board.    This method has saved us so much time and stress.  Yes, we have been doing this for over a year and it has worked!   As soon as we get a receipt for anything we put it in the monthly envelope and if we need it again we know exactly where to go!



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Day #2 – 30 Day Cleaning Challenge

Day #2

I’m going to challenge myself by following the 31 Day Cleaning Challenge with Money Saving Mom.     She is using the chart from Fresh and Organized.

Per Money Saving Mom:

Your project for today is to clean your bathrooms.

  1. Clean the toilets.  I usually just use free shampoo or if I toilet bowl cleaner I use that and let it sit.
  2. Take everything out that doesn’t need to be in there.
  3. Including taking the rugs and washing them, if I haven’t already done this recently.
  4. Clean the sinks with a microfiber cloth and Shaklee Basic H2.
  5. Mop the floor to get the dust and grime up.  It’s been awhile.
  6. Rinse out the tubs and spray them down.
  7. Clean the mirrors.
  8. Clean the front of the cabinets.

Woohoo!  I finished all of the bathrooms.  Thanks to my daughter for helping me.    She helped mop the floors and wipe the sinks.   We were done with all 3 bathrooms in about 30 minutes.


Oh how I love my clean guest bathroom.


Master bathroom!


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Day #1 – 30 Day Cleaning Challenge

Day #1

I’m going for it!  I’m going to challenge myself by following the 31 Day Cleaning Challenge with Money Saving Mom.     She is using the chart from Fresh and Organized.

Per Money Saving Mom:

Your project for today is to surface clean your living room and kitchen.

  1. I plan on cleaning the kitchen counters and even turn the self-cleaning on the oven.
  2. Empty the dishwasher
  3. Put the food purchases from Sam’s Club away
  4. Clean the top bar of the kitchen counter
  5. Mop the floor in the Living room.


The kitchen looks a bit better.  There are still some items on the left hand side that need to put in their proper places and I’ve decided the hubby will take on those items.


I have the list of the 30 day challenge in a plastic sleeve with my dry erase markers.    I also have the drink 8 glasses a day chart and behind the 30 day challenge I have the list from A Bowl Full of Lemons – PDF file Daily List of Chores here.

These dry erase markers are so handy and they were from the Dollar Store.


I also did the self-cleaning in the oven.  It had been at least year since we last had done this.  Good time of year to do it right before the weather got warm and used the heat to help heat the house.   I plan on clean it out the last of the dust tomorrow.


The living room looks so nice!  I’m hoping this picture will keep me motivated to keep it that way.   It also gets me thinking of ways to get it simpler.   Just last week it had a lot of toys including a toy kitchen and puzzles which have now moved to the basement.   Those days will be the challenge!

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Update to Redberrydeals!

Hi to all of my readers. Welcome to 2013!

I have mentioned this in previous posts this last year and I thought I would get into more detail. 2012 was a great year for us. Watching our kids grow has been so rewarding. My husband and I have decided to create a company. I’m very excited. It will include several components to it including Redberrydeals and my passion for sewing and embroidery. I’m in the process of following the proper business creation procedures. I’ve been so busy with it that I’ve neglected adding the Shoppers Matchups each week. The time that took to prepare and post is more time then I have right now.   I will no longer add those matchups.

I’ve decided to limit my posts to Redberrydeals this year. I have some exciting ideas that I will try and create this year.

  • Posts about creating a small business.  The dos and don’ts.
  • Family Organization for 2013.  Since are family is now 5 members we have had to adjust quite a bit to little crawlers to now runners.  It is time to re-organize!   My goal is to make the house super simple.   Declutter, declutter and declutter.
  • More recipes.  I love sharing recipes and I love trying new ones too.
  • Share my new sewing and embroidery business as it gets moving forward.  It is a part-time at home business.  I truly believe you are most happy when you do things you love.
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Easy Chocolate No Bake or Boil Cookies

When I was growing up a tradition that my Dad and I would do is make these yummy No Bake Boil Cookies.

They take minutes to make and are so yummy and even a bit healthy since they have oatmeal in them.

Makes 3 Dozen cookies

2 Cups Sugar

1/2 cup Cocoa

1 Stick Butter

1/2 cup Milk

1/2 tsp Vanilla

1/2 cup Peanut Butter (optional)

3 cups dry uncooked oatmeal

Boil sugar, Cocoa, Butter, Milk and Vanilla for 2 to 4 minutes.  Take off burner.  Add Oatmeal and stir.   Then drop 1 Tablespoon on wax paper.  Let dry.

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Vistaprint – FREE 140 Holiday Labels (just pay shipping) – 3 days only!

Hurry! This is a great offer! Holiday season is underway, and so are more specials for freebies from Vistaprint! For THREE DAYS ONLY, you can choose from holiday-themed labels with snowmen or wreathes, to bold chevron designs, classic monograms, or elegant floral designs—or even upload your own—and get a set of 140 labels for free, only paying for shipping and processing!

Here are some awesome ideas to use these labels:

  • Return address labels for your Thanksgiving dinner invitations, holiday cards, annual holiday newsletters, and thank you cards.
  • You can even upload your own image!  Including a company logo.
  • Use them as “Property of” labels for your dishes during all of those upcoming holiday potlucks
  • For your children’s new toys and books that are filling their stockings of the space under the tree.
  • You can even get creative and design your own To/From gift stickers for stocking stuffers, holiday goodie bags, holiday care packages, or even little presents from Santa.
  • Or personalize a set with a chef’s hat or cupcake for your family’s aspiring chef, one with a wine glass for the future sommelier, or football labels for your star football player to use them as free stocking stuffers!

3 day fast shipping is ONLY $3.69!  This deal expires on Friday, November 16, 2012!

I just ordered mine!  I’m creating a new business this coming year.   It is a sewing embroidery part-time business.  I’m so excited.  More information to come!