I've been waiting to finish off my extra-large box of Cascade before making Homemade Dishwasher Detergent. I finished the Cascade off in this morning's load, and spent less than 5 minutes making this. I have spent a lot of time reading different recipes and have come up with a combination of what I've read. Here's the recipe:
1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda
1/4 cup sea salt
4 packets unsweetened lemonade
I already had everything on hand, except the lemonade, from having made the homemade laundry detergent. The packets of unsweetened lemonade are 10 cents each at my Walmart and serve the purpose of providing citric acid. If you can find citric acid in powder form, that would work well instead. I could only find liquid, so the lemonade will work, so I have read.
Also, I plan to use 1 tablespoon regular white vinegar in the Rinse Aid compartment of my dishwasher. I have never used a Rinse Aid before, but I have read that it helps with a recipe such as this (and even with store-bought detergent).
With a family the size of mine, I'll probably be able to try this out by the end of the day. I'll post my results soon.
Oh yeah, that little round thing that I'll put in with my detergent is silica, to prevent clumping. I've read different solutions for the clumping that occurs because of a chemical reaction between the citric acid and the soda. One is to find one of those silica packets from a vitamin bottle, or another is to tie a "toe end" of a piece of pantyhose together around some rice. Well, I found a little silica gel container from a vitamin bottle before I found spare pantyhose around here, so that's what I'm using.
And, I do plan to make a batch big enough to fill that nifty container with, but I thought I should start small.
If you've tried something like this before, please comment with your experience. Or, let me know if you try this recipe and how well it works for you.
EDIT: I have used this a couple of times now, and my dishes seem as clean as they did with my former Cascade. Once I used vinegar as the Rinse Aid, and once I didn't use any. I didn't see any difference, however I am not a person who cares much if there are spots on my glasses or not. Works great for me! I've never used a rinse aid before anyway.
Something to note: When I went to use the detergent the 2nd day, the powder had hardened in my container. I hit it against the counter once and then just shook it a little. It turned out fine.